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Last updated:
22 April 2016

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Just some of the Highlights of the week of 46 items on
NEW ARRIVALS #499 (22 April 2016)

album cover MANNERFELT, PEDER The Swedish Congo Record (Archives Interieures) cd 17.98
Wow. How many electronic albums have you heard that feature track titles like "Mambuti Pigmy Flutes", "The Ceremonial Drums Of Chief Kokonyang", or "Elephant Feast"? How about "Circumcision Dance"?? Probably none, until this one. The basic concept here, in a fast phrase, would be "Switched-On Pigmy Music". Conceived by electronic artist Peder Mannerfelt, who is one half of Roll The Dice, that aQ fave duo of Swedish cinematic soundscapers, it's an all-synthesizer recreation (no sampling) of a 78rpm record, originally released in 1950, that documented ethnographic field recordings of traditional African music made in the rainforest of the Belgian Congo. "Stirring rhythms and unusual melodic tunes as played and sung by the people of the great Equatorial forest", according to that old record's liner notes. Made all the more unusual now. In transforming those vintage "Belgian Congo Recordings" into these new "Swedish Congo Recordings", Mannerfelt has managed something unique and magical. Such field recordings already conjure a world apart from one's own; this does so in an entirely illusory way, and that world is even more far off and far out. Musically, Mannerfelt's reinterpretations are surely different, but not completely different, retaining the spirit and intricacy of the original tracks while translating them into another realm, these tribal folk rhythms computerized and synthesized into something both primitive and technological, living and mechanical, real and artificial. It's not only an interesting, clever concept, and a very impressive undertaking (quite a bit of careful work went into this we're sure), but even more crucially it ended up as a compelling listen - dynamic, complex, and often delightfully melodic. A lot of this comes of like Cut Hands meets Cluster, or an Africanized Aphex Twin!
Sometimes it's easy to imagine how the sounds from the original field recordings that Mannerfeld based this on must map to these electronic sounds, while at others times it's a lot harder to imagine - but even then, the rhythms come through, and certainly in many places some of the timbres & textures of his synths clearly suggest log drums and hand percussion, or even passages of vocal chant, but on other tracks you'd have to dig deeper to discover the shared DNA, as they display much more of an abstract & overtly electronic sound - examples being the droning feedback of the aforementioned "Elephant Feast" or the sci-fi spaciness heard on "Pygmies Of Kigali", or the clicks and cuts of "Flagellation".
Perhaps, possibly someone, somewhere is going to cry "appropriation!", but we'll leave that issue for others to concern themselves with; we consider this a respectful reimagining / recontextualization of these ancient rituals and dances from another culture (again, with no sampling) that will utterly fascinate and enrich both world music fans and electronic heads.
MPEG Stream: "Baprere Dance"
MPEG Stream: "Bawata Pigmy Dance 1"
MPEG Stream: "Bawata Pigmy Dance 2"
MPEG Stream: "Elephant Feast"

album cover TROLLER Graphic (Holodeck) lp 19.98
Had anyone else found it strangely lurid / alluring that Beach House titled one their two 2015 albums Thank Your Lucky Stars, when Whitehouse screeched out their power electronic classic of that same name some twenty-five years earlier? Probably not. After all, we are all sick in the head here at Aquarius. But if the sultry Beach House chanteuse Victoria Legrand were to adopt some unseemly industrial alter-ego clad in black leather trenchcoats, what might that sound like? We'll offer Troller as our answer, with the caveat that Troller is probably more worthy than what our fantasy may have conjured up. Graphic is the epic second album from this Texan quartet of gloom-synth portent fronted by the steel throated Amber Goers.
As much as we raved about Troller's eponymous debut five years ago, this one is even better. The band posted a video for the albums' "Storm Maker" which is a beautiful swoon of an synth ballad harking to those emotive tracks that OMD sculpted early in their career. A lovely track to say the least, but the Siouxsie / Kate Bush allusions may be the siren call to draw unwitting listeners into the dark pit at the soul of this album. Snarled electronic death rock and synthetic industrial catharsis is found throughout the rest of Graphic, highlighted by the title track's Cranes-ish pummel of heaven and hell, "Sundowner" (a track of a Diamanda Galas theatricality affixed to what the whole witch house scene aspired to but failed in delivering while busy coming up with ascii symbol nomenclature), and the diabolically death-disco anthem "Torch" with its ice queen vocal crescendos and tense drum-machined inventions for the dungeon. Luridly alluring indeed, and recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Graphic"
MPEG Stream: "Storm Maker"
MPEG Stream: "Sundowner"
MPEG Stream: "Torch"

album cover AQUARIUS 'NEW WAVE' TOTE BAG Blue On Natural tote bag 12.98
AQ TOTES ARE BACK! We got more printed up just in time for this year's Record Store Day, the same ones we had made for our big 45th birthday party last year, y'know, with the vintage flaming A guitar "New Wave Music Is Our Specialty" design, now in two different color schemes: red on 'natural' and blue on 'natural', your choice. Both have been quite popular.
Dimensions: 15" x 15" with a 3" gusset (flat bottom); with cross-stitched straps. Will hold a bunch of records and/or other stuff in style.

album cover AQUARIUS 'NEW WAVE' TOTE BAG Red On Natural tote bag 12.98
AQ TOTES ARE BACK! We got more printed up just in time for this year's Record Store Day, the same ones we had made for our big 45th birthday party last year, y'know, with the vintage flaming A guitar "New Wave Music Is Our Specialty" design, now in two different color schemes: red on 'natural' and blue on 'natural', your choice. Both have been quite popular.
Dimensions: 15" x 15" with a 3" gusset (flat bottom); with cross-stitched straps. Will hold a bunch of records and/or other stuff in style.

album cover ATRAX MORGUE Closed Exit (Urashima) lp 25.00
A very raw recording from Atrax Morgue that originally came out as a double cassette in 1997, reflecting a very primitive, yet wholly theatrically minimalist approach to the power electronics of Whitehouse and Brighter Death Now. The barren synth drones and hypno-funereal melodies have been stripped bare of distortion and filtered noise, leaving only these pure analog synth tones as the only accompaniment for the obsessively growled vocalizations that cycle through the lyrics with increasing anxiety and alienation. The reductive strategies boldly embrace the naive sound designs of low-rent / B-movie bloodsplatter Giallo with an uncomfortably sweaty distressed urgency. One of the more difficult recordings in the Atrax Morgue catalog, and limited to 199 copies.
MPEG Stream: "There Is Not An Exit"

album cover BRONZE Live In San Francisco (Castle Face) lp 15.98
Local electronic rock trio Bronze is one of those bands whose records are always great but are no substitute for actually experiencing their musical energy in the flesh. Their pulsing, syncopated melodies are completely hypnotic and Brian Hock's drumming has to be seen to be believed. They exude some kind of crazy uninhibited chaos that is difficult to reproduce aurally and are also a bit notorious for their antics (Miles, Rob and Brian all getting their heads shaved on stage before a show being a small example). Their newest release, however, a live recording made here in San Francisco by John Dwyer and other engineers, does a fantastic job of capturing the ephemeral spirit of their performances. It's relatively short, seven songs in about 30 minutes, and Bronze plays cuts from all three of their studio records with a bit of emphasis on their most recent, In Stone. The live version of "Maniac" is especially gritty and crunchy and better than the studio version, and "Showdown of Sorts" off their first record has an instrumental breakdown towards the end of the song that comes across much more dynamically than on the original. Like the other releases in the "Live in San Francisco" series, and unlike many a typical live recording, the sound quality is amazing. Thankfully for those who missed the few copies of In Stone we had on vinyl, Castle Face has pressed plenty of this, both cds and vinyl (with a download code). If you've never had the opportunity to see Bronze live, or if you want to relive the experience, you need to own this record.
MPEG Stream: "Played"
MPEG Stream: "Maniac"

album cover CARLTON MELTON Aground (Agitated) lp 23.00
We would have been super stoked about this even if it wasn't a special Record Store Day release, the latest from our psychedelic space rock pals Carlton Melton, and we have to say, we're beginning to run out of superlatives for these guys, every record is another killer batch of hypnotic heaviness and spaced out cosmic bliss, and this new one is really no different. Well, maybe a little different. The opener is about as straight up 'rock' as these guys get, the guitars are downright Hendrixy at times, and while it's still plenty psychedelic, it definitely displays the kind of sonic structure the group often disregard completely. But as if to balance the rock, the follow up gets super loose and drifty, weaving delicate webs of smoldering sound and fingerpicked guitars into softly undulating sprawls, wreathed in a washed out soft focus haze, and then the side closes with what might be one of the coolest CM jams yet, tribal drums and squelchy synths, all over dense swells of low end rumble, while over the top, little fragments of sun dappled guitar drift and shimmer. We would have been more than happy if that track took up a whole 'nother side of the record.
Side two offers up another couple long ones - the first is a gorgeously wasted, loping post rock piece, with a slo-mo groove that manages to sound druggy and dreamy and very krautrocky, the vibe super minimal and spare, another one that could stretch out forever and ever. The guitars do eventually swoop in, but again, like that opener, they unwind in streaks of hazy blooze slow-shred, all languorous and darkly emotional. Finally, the group ditch the drums completely for a hushed, crystalline finale, all delicately layered guitars, subtle synths, a woozy psychedelic lullaby that seems to just glow and fade, gradually growing more and more abstract, until it seems to finally lose momentum and settle into a little pool of soft shimmer.
Not sure how limited this is, as it WAS a Record Store Day release, but regardless, we grabbed a bunch, so for now we got you covered, but can't say for how long! Pressed on clear green vinyl, and at 45rpm, and housed in another of the groups distinctively UN-distinct pastoral album covers, the band name and title easy to miss, and sadly no download code.
MPEG Stream: "Upon Returning"
RealAudio clip: "Holiday Hours"

album cover COATES, STEPHEN X-Ray Audio: The Strange Story Of Soviet Music On The Bone (Strange Attractor) book 39.00
Listed this last time, but accidentally without a cover image so for those of you who are very visually-oriented (for whom this is a perfect book), we're relisting!
It's hard to imagine a record nerd that doesn't NEED this on their bookshelf! Imagine this, it's the cold war era in the Soviet Union, and the recording industry is strictly regulated by the state. Western music is essentially forbidden, and thus arises an underground black market, that offers a solution to satisfy people's desire to hear all this banned music, and that is to bootleg the recordings, which essentially meant building homemade record pressing machines, and copying those illicit recordings onto a medium that was more readily available than vinyl, that being X-rays spirited away from hospitals! The story itself is a good one, but it's the records themselves that are truly incredible. Imagine the cover to Faust's self titled debut, with its iconic skeleton hand cover art, but as an ACTUAL SKELETON HAND X-RAY RECORD!!! And the music is probably the Beatles or something. Even if this were simply a picture book, it would be well worth the price of admission. Image after image of stunning, homemade records, displaying ghostly images of skulls and hands, of spines and ribcages, and these records are still floating around, but as this story has been popping up on podcasts and other various places, they now fetch a pretty penny, so this is the next best thing. Besides the stunning photographs, the aforementioned story is told in great detail here too, offering up fascinating interviews with and contributions from collectors, historians, bootleggers and musical commentators.
And yeah, while this may be the next best thing, and is obviously highly recommended, if you're anything like us, you'll still find yourself with the uncontrollable urge to hunt down an actual Russian bootleg X-ray record for yourself! Good luck.

album cover COVEN (PATRICK NETTESHEIM) OST (Forever Midnight) lp 27.00
Not sure about you, but we were OBSESSED with the 1999 documentary American Movie, the crazy story of Mark Borchardt and his quest to make a horror movie called Coven (not pronounced cuh-ven, but COH-ven!). It's pretty incredible, hilarious and heartbreaking, as the struggle to get the movie made is sometimes so ridiculous it seems like it could be some Christopher Guest move. Essentially, it goes like this: Coven is funded by Borchardt's Uncle Bill's savings, who died right after the movie was released (leaving Borchardt a sizable inheritance), Borchardt is also an alcoholic, a compulsive gambler, and Coven ended up starring Borchardt's friends and neighbors, who also made up his crew, and watching the interactions with an increasingly more stressed out (and often drunk) Borchardt is like some wild cinematic train wreck. And we'd be remiss if we didn't mention Borchardt's best friend and co-producer Mike Schank, who seriously steals the show. In the movie AND the documentary.
Regardless, in the documentary, you only get to see glimpses of Coven, which did eventually come out, and sold surprisingly well. It's pretty ridiculous, and totally low budget, with wooden acting, a bizarre true to life plot, with Borchardt playing an alcoholic, who ends up joining a support group, that just happens to be A COVEN! We really had no idea there was a soundtrack, until some guy came in with a stack of them, and needless to say, we were super excited.
It's been a while since we saw Coven, so we're kinda taking the music on its own sans visuals, and really, it's pretty killer, fun and funky in places, goofy and rocking in others, and a lot of the time just super creepy and tense. It's not hard to imagine this coming out on Death Waltz or Mondo. And for a low budget short film that barely anyone has seen, the label went ALL out, this is some of THEE most deluxe packaging we have ever seen. First the cover, with a super striking black and white painting of Borchardt, and some super fancy clear printed images over the tip, hooded figures surrounding a car, Borchardt's greasy long hair and dripping crucifixes. There's a printed Japanese style obi, new liner notes by Borchardt and composer Patrick Nettesheim printed on super heavy glossy cardstock with rare photos, a handful of flyers, a page from the script, and a HUGE newsprint poster. On top of all that, there's a download code for the soundtrack AND one so you can download Coven the movie as well!
MPEG Stream: "Obit"
MPEG Stream: "Drinks From The Hell"
MPEG Stream: "Out Of Darkness"

album cover CRAOW s/t (Nostilevo) lp 16.98
Over the past couple of years, Nostilevo has enjoyed an unblemished run, continuing now with Craow's eponymous album that seems to pick up where fellow Los Angeles EBM synthesist Oil Thief left off last year with Obsolescence & Monality. Yes, yes, yes, that latter album was on Chondritic, but there's more than few overlaps on the Nostilevo and Chondritic rosters. Craow occupies a far more muscular, minimal, and frenetic position amidst the minimal wave recombinations produced by such recent darlings as Xeno & Oaklander or Cold Cave. The convulsively twitching electronics and buried vocal vortex of echo and delay snap against the booming crack of the goth club rhythms, walking the tightrope between heavy ear-drum noise and infectious dark techno grooves. At the album's finale, Craow disengages the throttle for a nocturnal Joy Division / Cassandra Complex mid-tempo number that chimes with suitably spectral guitar melodies. Gotta think that Regis would be floored by something like this.
MPEG Stream: "B7US2"
MPEG Stream: "Game Of Fools"
MPEG Stream: "Dark"

album cover CROUCH, ROBERT A Gradual Accumulation Of Ideas Becomes Truth (Line) cd 14.98
The Los Angeles sound artist Robert Crouch proposes these five tracks as being the result of production that was arrived at through the act of listening. Tone from his modular synth systems were recorded with the patch bay networks intentionally forgotten so that only the sound became of import; then Crouch dilated these 're-discovered' sounds into slow-dissolve / moire-patterned drones of closely aligned harmonic layers richly fizzing with digital dissonance. These pieces announce their physical presence and hold their ground with a subtle plasticity to their sonic architecture. There is a detached, amnotic fluidity evident in Crouch's work which is also found in much of the Pop Ambient compilations over the years. Luminous sound pooling abounds.
MPEG Stream: "3184 Pullman, Costa Mesa, 1974"
MPEG Stream: "Limbo Town (Croatoan)"

album cover DEFTONES Gore cd 17.98
At glamorous aQ HQ few things can stir up controversy and debate quite as quickly as mainstream music, so instead of a traditional review of the new album by Deftones, we instead present this word-for-word recreation of an actual Aquarius Records staff conversation. No names have been changed to protect the innocent.
[Interior: A charming San Francisco record store. A customer examines an lp copy of the entirely silent Sounds Of Silence compilation quizzically. Meanwhile, several employees gather by the register debating the merits of a recently released nu-metal/emo/shoegaze/alt-rock opus.]
HARRY: I'd review the new Deftones if we feel like ordering it. It's really great! Sounds like a metal Sunny Day Real Estate.
ANDEE: I'm curious to hear it... I had two different people tell me it sounds like Chino Moreno singing for Coldplay!? But metal Sunny Day Real Estate sounds way better.
[KIRK appears as if from nowhere.]
KIRK: It sounds like Coldplay? Now I'm interested.
HARRY: Speaking as a bona fide Coldplay fan, it sounds nothing like Coldplay.
SYDNEY: I thought you said a metal Real Estate instead of a metal Sunny Day Real Estate. Now I really want to know what that would sound like.
KIRK: Probably Deafheaven! Hey-o!
SYDNEY: Yeah, actually that's pretty accurate.
ALLAN: Can this discussion be the review?
KIRK: Despite being the perfect age and being into the same scene as the 'Tones I've never heard them, but I know their fans are quite... adamant.
HARRY: I think you might like them...?
SYDNEY: I've never listened to them before ever, but they're already great because they're from Sacramento. #RepThe916
HARRY: They're pretty shoegazey and '90s sounding.
ALLAN: This discussion should definitely be the review.
[General approval from the group.]
ALLAN: All I know is they are one of those bands that Andee likes that I'm a little skeptical about but would check out someday but haven't yet really. The question is, is this new album the one to check out?
HARRY: Yeah, I think so. I haven't heard any of their new stuff in 10+ years, but I lurve this one. It sounds like old emo & alt rock mixed with the occasional Meshuggah chugga chugga.
[Epilogue: The Aquarius staff decide to order the new Deftones and include it on their New Arrivals list. The album ends up being much better than everyone expected. It really does sound like a metal Sunny Day Real Estate!]
MPEG Stream: "Geometric Headdress"
MPEG Stream: "Hearts-Wires"

album cover ELECTRIC MOON Theory Of Mind (Sulatron) cd 17.98
Latest from these latter day krautrockers. Germany's Electric Moon have a flower power hippy vibe that belies the sheer heaviness it turns out they dish out, playing a very stoner brand of space rock that's heavy on the heavy, just like we like it. Mostly instrumental jammage from on high, this disc opens with the aptly titled "Hypnotika" and goes from there, four looooong tracks to space you out and crush you under.
"Hypnotika" is a slow-build burner with lots of tremulous synth-drone wash and about-to-explode drumming rising wave after wave after wave as the track rolls on by the end they're really grinding it out, and heads are banging harder than Hawkwind at their heaviest.
If anything, the following tracks ramp up the amp worship further, all double-digit distortodelic throb-a-thons. Single-minded, simple & effective, lysergic chuggery that should be definitely dug by anyone into the likes of White Hills, Hills, Wooden Shjips, UFOmammut, and Acid Mothers Temple.
MPEG Stream: "Hypnotika"
MPEG Stream: "Theory Of Mind"
MPEG Stream: "The Picture"

album cover ETERNAL TAPESTRY Beyond The 4th Door (Thrill Jockey) lp 16.98
This 2011 album, the fourth lp from Portland psych rockers Eternal Tapestry, out of print for ages, has been repressed at long last for this year's Record Store Day! It was their first for Thrill Jockey, where they found a home alongside their pals, (former) SF dronerockers Barn Owl... We have just a few left, and may or may not be able to acquire more. Despite that, here's the long review from when we first listed this:
For Beyond The 4th Door, these guys haven't really changed their MO all that much, but then as they say, why fix what ain't broke? The opener is a sprawling smoldering psychedelic drift, all minimal stripped down drums, effected guitar, processed vox, deep low end buzz, and helicopter like thrum, the sound twangy and sun baked, almost like they're taking a page from label mates Barn Owl, the same sort of deserty drift, but ET augment their drift with strange effects, whirring synths, culminating in a thick buzzing denouement, before slipping right back into a slowly fading outro.
That track bleeds right into the next, another chunk of psychedelic smolder, this time the guitars more distorted, a sound that reminds us of Flower Travellin' Band actually, like those wailing vox could swoop in at any second. Instead, the song unfurls, a mesmerizing chunk of hypno psychedelia, which again blurs right into the next track, a hazy slow burner, all tangled psych guitars, and shuffling skeletal rhythms, and finally on this one, the band get heavy (not crazy heavy, but heaviER), there's some sax here too, but it almost sounds just like another guitar, the band unleashing loose softly chaotic squalls of dueling guitars/sax, the whole thing hazy and druggy and pretty excellent, the sort of modern shit that should moss definitely appeal to all the Japrock obsessives who worship at the altar of Les Rallizes.
The record finishes with two sprawling epics, "Reflections In A Mirage", a droney, twangy, stretch of minimal, spacious shuffle, vocals return, to chant, and moan ominously, while the guitars warble and buzz, all tangled an spidery, draped over swirls of shimmery drone, the song never explodes or climaxes, which only makes it cooler, the instruments gradually blurring together and finally coalescing into a closing stretch of layered drone. The comes "Time Winds Through A Glass, Clearly", topping out at 12 minutes, beginning like some strange sort of country jam, loping low slung bass, and twangy reverbed guitars, soon sizzling clouds of cymbal shimmer drift overhead, the saxophone returns and skronks off in the distance, the song drifts and lopes and meanders, slowly picking up steam, but staying mostly restrained, until the last few minutes, where the band do let loose again, the drums pounding, the guitars distorted, wild streaks of psychedelic leads everywhere, a serious sonic squall, but only briefly, before things quickly settle back down and the track unwinds in a soft psychedelic haze. Great stuff. And refreshing that they managed to avoid the ubiquitous soft/loud, slow build, explosive ending thing that seems to be the way most bands do psychedelic space rock, instead, each song was a expansive sprawling epics that were both hypnotic and heavy, mesmerizing and mysterious...

MPEG Stream: "Ancient Echoes"
MPEG Stream: "Cosmic Manhunt"
MPEG Stream: "Galactic Derelict"

album cover FEELS s/t (Castle Face) lp 15.98
Listed the cd last time, now here is the vinyl version of this great album, repressed & back in!
It's been awhile since we've heard a band that channels the hook-laden swagger, sex and fuzz-filled ferocity of bands like The Breeders and Elastica at their mightiest without at all sounding nostalgic, but goddamn! this debut by LA based outfit Feels is just pushing all the right buttons! Produced by Ty Segall on the always on-point Castle Face label, veering from garage to punk to hard indie rock on the thinnest of dimes, we've been playing this in the store as often and as loud as we can. Tight and direct, surfing a mighty force without going over the rails, Feels clock in a killer set and leave us wanting more. For fans of Ex-Hex, X, The Mallard, Marnie Stern, Helium and any of the bands mentioned above.
MPEG Stream: "Slippin'"
MPEG Stream: "Close My Eyes"
MPEG Stream: "Play It Cool"

album cover GURU GURU Hinten (Play Loud) lp 27.00
This Krautock essential, back in print on vinyl for the first time in, like, eight years!
What it is exactly that constitutes quote-unquote krautrock is definitely up for debate. It seems quite often construed to be the insistent, motorik pulses of Neu! and Can and the like. Or sometimes people think only of the cosmic electronic side of the genre. But to limit krautrock to just that would be a mistake. It's called krautROCK, remember. Bands like Guru Guru and Ash Ra Tempel were also part of the scene, bringing forth some of the heaviest psychedelia ever recorded. Hinten is the former band's second album, and is a classic, full of free range guitars grazing on open, organic jams. It is more evidently structured than their debut, UFO, while still retaining an improvisational feel that is as playful as it is crushingly acidic. Hinten is one of our favorites within the genre. Halfway between killer rock riffs and complete psychedelic blow-out, delivered with Guru Guru's typical bizarre, druggy hippie sense of humor and rhythmic flair.
The Play Loud label has a vinyl reissue of Guru Guru's UFO coming soon too, btw.
MPEG Stream: "Electric Junk"
MPEG Stream: "The Meaning Of Meaning"

album cover HALL, DEREK & MIKE COOPER Out Of The Shades (Paradise Of Bachelors) 7" 12.98
Just a couple of these leftover from Record Store Day, last chance to get them before they're gone! It's the first release Paradise of Bachelors has done for RSD, and innovative British folk guitarist Mike Cooper barely needs an introduction - if we started writing one, we might be here all day. The tracks on the 7" are beautiful, and very early (originally released 1965), home recordings of these two guitarists playing on the floor of Cooper's Georgia apartment, a perfect candidate for a Paradise of Bachelors reissue, simple and gorgeous.
MPEG Stream: "Paul's Song"

album cover KVB, THE Of Desire (Metropolis) lp 22.00
Latest from this Berlin-based, but British, boy-girl duo (whom we've never reviewed before, but should have!) who really do a bang up job of mixing psychedelic guitar shoegazery with cold / minimal wave electronic beats, so across these dozen tracks you get a loud and lovely dose of this duo's dark dance floor ruminations, replete with washes of distorted guitar, propulsive rhythmic sequencing, heavy-with-reverb vocals, Joy Division basslines, tick-tock percussion, and anthemic minor key melodies. Quite moody & mesmeric, with lots of atmospheric synth-werk, and an undercurrent of, well, desire. Darkly romantic some would say. It's both very '80s and very 'now', and should appeal to fans of such aQ faves as Moon Duo and UK noise-poppers Novella.
Over in England, this was released on Invada, the label run by Geoff Barrow of Portishead and Beak, and was recorded in his Bristol studio, where The KVB took full advantage of his impressive collection of synthesizers. Most certainly recommended.
MPEG Stream: "White Walls"
MPEG Stream: "Night Games"
MPEG Stream: "Lower Depths"

album cover MDC (MILLIONS OF DAMN CHRISTIANS) This Blood's For You (Beer City) lp 23.00
We have a couple of these left from Record Store Day, so grab them now before they're gone forever! The first domestic reissue of hardcore punk legends MDC's third album since it came out in 1987. Nasty, vicious Texas crossover from the Reagan era with sneery, snotty vocals railing against society and the cops. Best song title: "Henry Kissmyassinger".
MPEG Stream: "Millions Of Damn Christians - Dante's River Styx"
MPEG Stream: "Guns For Nicaragua"

album cover METZ & SWAMI JOHN REIS Let It Rust / Caught Up (Swami) 7" 7.98
Canadian noise rockers Metz find the sweet spot between Reis' other bands. The hookiness of Rocket, wound around the tense angular energy of Jehu, the A side is a barnburner, that slaps a crazy catchy chorus on what would otherwise be a gloriously noisy, droned out heavy rock workout, and Reis's wild ass guitar is all over the map. The B side is kind of just as good, and had us wishing Reis would just join Metz and make this a real band, dense, driving, mathy, with some cool dubbed out FX here and there, but really two sweet slabs of sound, that have us dreaming of a full length.
SUPER LIMITED. These are left over from Record Store Day, so stock is limited, and these are likely gone for good once we run out. Pressed on swirly gold vinyl, and includes a download code too. By the way, this was one of two Metz-related RSD singles, the other being a split with Mission Of Burma that Sub Pop put out, those are gone already though.
MPEG Stream: "Caught Up"

album cover MORBY, KEVIN Singing Saw (Dead Oceans) cd 14.98
The singing saw creates a sound that is so indescribably eerily and ethereally beautiful, and if used right can send little shivers of nostalgia down your spine and make you ache for years you never even lived. Incidentally, that's more or less exactly how we feel about Kevin Morby's rich, timeless, vaguely psych-y Americana folk rock, especially on this third full-length, Singing Saw. Seeing as how much we loved Morby's past work in psych-folk combo Woods and garage-pop group The Babies (along with Cassie Ramone of Vivian Girls), it was no surprise when we fell for his comfortably warm troubadour solo work. In the tradition of Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, Morby's tone generally runs a little world-weary, and while Singing Saw retains some of the wistfulness of his previous albums, it also feels optimistic and celebratory. This joyous openness is reflected in the slightly up-scaled arrangements, with prominently featured strings (which delicately walk a line between symphonic grandeur and grounded folk fiddle), choral backing vocals, and bright trumpet solos. As always, Justin Sullivan's drumming is the backbone of this album: understated, but lending Morby's gorgeously ambling guitar melodies all the steady directionality of an ironclad train. While all of the tracks on this album are heart-wrenchingly stunning, "Drunk And On A Star" is a particularly enchanting little gem; perfectly layered and dripping with just the right amount of reverb, it feels (like much of this album) as though it's sweetly echoing out into a summer night's sky.
MPEG Stream: "I Have Been To The Mountains"
MPEG Stream: "Dorothy"

album cover MRS. MAGICIAN Eyes All Over Town/I'm Glad You're Dead (Swami) 7" 7.98
Strange Heaven, the debut and only record so far from San Diego garage / surf pop punks Mrs. Magician, was our Album of the Year in 2012, pretty much. Even now, it gets played like crazy. The perfect mix of hooky jangle, woozy fuzz, and crunchy punky pound, with songs that just won't quite. We were hugely bummed when the band called it quits, and drowned our sorrows in their subsequent B-sides collection, assuming that would be the last we'd hear of them. And then whattayaknow, they decided to UN- call it quits and they're back, and we're kind of freaking the fuck out. They have a new full length on the horizon, but we got this sweet little teaser for Record Store Day, and both tracks are just as good as we could have hoped, and sound like they could have been plucked right off Strange Heaven. The A-side is all Farfisa driven garage pop, a summertime top down jam, but with a sort of sinister undercurrent, while the flip gets all old school power poppy, with echo drenched vocals, more organ, and some rad blown out guitar buzz. So glad to have these guys back, and counting the days 'til we get more more more!
SUPER LIMITED. These are left over from Record Store Day, so stock is limited, and these are likely gone for good once we run out. Includes a download code as well.

album cover MURDER CORPORATION Disturbance (Urashima) 2lp 35.00
Of all the Italian industrialists, Moreno Daldosso may be the most extreme through his Murder Corporation project, which has its origins dating back to 1993. Disturbance is an early work from 1995, first released as a double cassette through Slaughter Productions. These four extended tracks telescope as horrific ruminations upon the abjection of violent death, as the sonic equivalent to Jorg Buttgereit's unsettling slasher films. The morose, distended fugues are amassed from harsh analog synthesizers, gated noise demolition, and blown out tape loops all intent on imagining the gruesome and brutal psychic rupture from the violence of a homicide. Murder Corporation's recordings are never easy to digest, with the title to this mammoth double lp set being quite an understatement regarding the sonic torment found within. Limited to 199 copies.
MPEG Stream: "Exophagy"

album cover OVVL (AKA OWL) Screech (Hardvaark) lp 19.98
The legion of '70s sounding heavy rock bands in San Francisco and Oakland has grown quite large lately, with a glut of Sabbath-worshipping, fu manchu-rocking riffers jocking the aesthetic but rarely packing the same punch as the bands they idolize. Enter OVVL (formerly, Owl) who, if led by lazier or less dedicated musicians, could've ended up just another band in that scene. Instead, their latest lp, Screech, is a absolute razor-sharp slab of prog-punk-blues-stoner rock, a mystical, fuzzed out trip down the California coast in a van with an airbrushed dragon on the side. Certainly inspired by Fly By Night era Rush, Blue Cheer, Monster Magnet, UFO, Captain Beyond, Budgie, and all manner of heaviness across all decades. We loved their previous disc, this one kills it too - chalk another one up for the New Wave of Oakland Heavy Metal!
MPEG Stream: "Devil's Lake & Whiskey Town"
MPEG Stream: "Remover"
MPEG Stream: "Atlantean Key"

album cover PIA FRAUS After Summer (Seksound) cd 14.98
Pia Fraus's 2008 album After Summer was produced by Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake, who deftly shapes and sculpts the buoyant dream pop found in these recordings. It's a bright and lilting sound, one that melds the hushed boy / girl vocals with a plaintive jingle-jangle on the guitars with nary a blurred edge to be felt. All of the soft-focus vibrancy that Pia Fraus conjures is through their sparkling, motorik drift pop, which cheerful organ melodies daubed throughout. Think Stereolab, Urlich Schnauss, or even The Pastels.
MPEG Stream: "Springsister"
MPEG Stream: "Sailing Yes"
MPEG Stream: "After Summer"

album cover PIA FRAUS Nature Heart Software (Seksound) lp 19.98
Nature Heart Software was the third album from this beloved Estonian dreampop / shoegaze outfit, originally released through their Seksound label in 2006. Now the band has issued this album on vinyl for the first time! The band lifts away some of the fuzz, bluster, and blur that was found on their 2001 debut for Clairecords in particular, showcasing the impressive songwriting that ripples through Nature Heart Software. The whammy bar bends across Pia Fraus' layered 'n' jangled guitars were obviously inspired by Kevin Shields, with their bright riffs and fading summer sweetness heading toward Yo La Tengo like swooning on "You Know There Are People Living In The Country" and some Slumberland-ish noise-pop propulsion on the charmingly titled "Thank You Peter Parker." Top it all off with a few melodic flourishes from horns and Farfisa, and here's one wistfully perfect dream-pop record!
MPEG Stream: "Pretend To Be Here"
MPEG Stream: "You Know The Are People Living In The Country"
MPEG Stream: "Thank You Peter Parker"

album cover PINHAS, RICHARD & JOHN LIVENGOOD Cyborg Sally (SouffleContinu) 2lp 36.00
The gonzo works of sci-fi writer Norman Spinrad have always been a major touchstone for French guitar-synth-prog mastermind Richard Pinhas - in fact, his seminal '70s outfit, Heldon (alongside Magma, one of the crucial bands out of France in our opinion) was named after a fictional nation from Spinrad's notorious Hitler-as-sci-fi-author novel, The Iron Dream. Here's another Pinhas project inspired by a Spinrad book, one that was titled Rock Machine. Though, Spinrad is not the only writer paid tribute to here, as one track explicitly references philosopher Gilles Deleuze by name. Created in collaboration with fellow underground Parisian progger John Livengood (of Red Noise and Spacecraft), Pinhas plays guitar and electronics, Livengood is responsible for keyboards, sampling, and digital effects/processing, and various other friends, including several past Heldon members, contribute too. Also, Norman Spinrad himself appears, providing some processed vocals on the title track, a percolating, nearly ten minute piece that shares textures with much of the rest of the record, including plenty of spacey Frippertronic-ish guitars and washes of cryptic ambience. Very much in the mode of classic Heldon.
Cyborg Sally originally came out in 1994 on cd only and is now released for the first time on vinyl, for Record Store Day 2016, limited to 1000 copies of double red vinyl in a heavy matte sleeve. Naturally, we have only very few left...
MPEG Stream: "Cyborg Sally"

album cover RAVENSIRE The Cycle Never Ends (Cruz Del Sur) cd 13.98
Ok, we know we just listed this last week, already. But that was in the crazy Record Store Day anticipation days when folks may have been distracted, and we didn't sell nearly as many of these as we should have, and we say should have, not just wanted to, 'cause heck this Ravensire album is our Allan's pick for, like, his favorite epic heavy metal metal disc of 2016 so far. So don't sleep on it!!
Galloping like a ton of bricks, to mix metaphors massively, Ravensire's The Cycle Never Ends is a must for anyone into triumphing true metal. Storming right out of the gates with opener "Cromlech Revelations", these proud Portuguese barbarians make it quite evident that their new effort possesses a foe-slaying energy, and an arcane, idiosyncratic X-factor, that sets it apart from other, more ordinary efforts by the worldwide true metal legions. There's a powerful heft to their folkish, majestic riffage and an edge to their not-so-clean yet sufficiently melodic vocals (that sound like a bit like Paul Di'Anno gargling with Baron from Amebix) that just delivers the damn goods. We've liked their previous releases - which include a split single with Irish epic metallers Terminus - but this is their best record yet, and gets not just thumbs up from us, but fists waving in the air. It's not only damn heavy and has a dark, atmospheric gravitas, but also brings the riffs - ones that Slough Feg fans in particular (like these guys themselves are, having had Mike Scalzi cameo on their preceding album) will certainly appreciate - they're very Feggy indeed. Also recommended to fans of Maiden, The Gates Of Slumber, Ironsword, Visigoth, and Grand Magus, among others.
MPEG Stream: "Cromlech Revelations"
MPEG Stream: "Procession"
MPEG Stream: "Temple At The End Of The World (White Pillars Pt. III)"

album cover RIBEIRO, CATHERINE + ALPES Ame Debout (Philip) lp 21.00
Huzzah! These two amazing early seventies records by the obscure French prog-folk outfit Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes have turned up *unofficially*, and won't be around for long so you know what that means: Don't Sleep!
Ame Debout (1971) and Paix (1972) were the second and third records by the group which lasted about a decade over seven lps. Ribeiro's commanding and unusual voice, stemming from her Portuguese origins, was the perfect vehicle for multi-instrumentalist and instrument creator, Patrice Moullet, who wrote all of the music and was the constant mainstay as principal member of Alpes. Moullet and Ribeiro first met on the set of Jean-Luc Goddard's film, Les Carabiniers, and soon after Moullet wrote music to accompany Ribeiro's poetry and later formed a full band. Ribeiro has often been called the French Nico, but her voice has far more range and power, like Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention or Judy Henske. But what really set the group apart was Moullet's artistry with innovative instrumentation, creating unique instruments such as the percuphone, cosmophone & orgolia, which gave the group a spacey almost mystical vibe.
Indeed they are like a proggier version of Fairport Convention or Pentangle but much more psychedelic and strange and less rooted in folk traditions. However you cut it, this is French progressive folk at it's best. Both albums come highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Ame Debout"
MPEG Stream: "Diborowska"
MPEG Stream: "Aria Populaire"
MPEG Stream: "Dingue"

album cover RIBEIRO, CATHERINE + ALPES Paix (Philip) lp 21.00
Huzzah! These two amazing early seventies records by the obscure French prog-folk outfit Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes have turned up *unofficially*, and won't be around for long so you know what that means: Don't Sleep!
Ame Debout (1971) and Paix (1972) were the second and third records by the group which lasted about a decade over seven lps. Ribeiro's commanding and unusual voice, stemming from her Portuguese origins, was the perfect vehicle for multi-instrumentalist and instrument creator, Patrice Moullet, who wrote all of the music and was the constant mainstay as principal member of Alpes. Moullet and Ribeiro first met on the set of Jean-Luc Goddard's film, Les Carabiniers, and soon after Moullet wrote music to accompany Ribeiro's poetry and later formed a full band. Ribeiro has often been called the French Nico, but her voice has far more range and power, like Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention or Judy Henske. But what really set the group apart was Moullet's artistry with innovative instrumentation, creating unique instruments such as the percuphone, cosmophone & orgolia, which gave the group a spacey almost mystical vibe.
Indeed they are like a proggier version of Fairport Convention or Pentangle but much more psychedelic and strange and less rooted in folk traditions. However you cut it, this is French progressive folk at it's best. Both albums come highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Roc Alpin"
MPEG Stream: "Jusqu' Ce Que La Force De T'aimer Me Manque"
MPEG Stream: "Paix"

album cover SHE BIT HER LIP Viiv (Seksound) cd 14.98
Tartu, Estonia's She Bit Her Lip is another fantastic outfit of Baltic shoegazing dream-pop who landed their first release on the Pia Fraus curated label Seksound. While the opening track seems to parallel Pia Fraus' love of Kevin Shields' whammy bar, the full snowblind blur, blustery stratospheric space-drift, and slow-build crescendos found her positions She Bit Her Lip as confident neighbors to the likes of Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky, with vocalist Risse Soomets cooing softly throughout. Very limited stock and already sold out at the label.
MPEG Stream: "Kajaruum"
MPEG Stream: "Tempo"
MPEG Stream: "Valguse Kiirusel Vaikuses"

album cover SMILES s/t (Melters) 7" 6.98
Ah, Melters, easily one of our favorite local labels going. Masters of the cavity-inducing bubblegum pop, hazy bedroom psychedelia, and cultivators of endless earworms. So, it should go without saying, we are VERY stoked to get in their newest release, the debut 7" from local power poppers Smiles. The only complaint here is you only get FOUR of the best Teenage Fanclub worship this side of the Atlantic Ocean. Simultaneously melancholic and sickly sweet. Pitch-perfect pop for fans of the aforementioned Scots, along with Elliott Smith's more boisterous numbers, and obviously a must for anyone who has enjoyed the flawless Melters back catalog (Ovens, Swiftumz, and Violent Change). Recommend!
MPEG Stream: "Black Hearts"
MPEG Stream: "I Don't Want To Remember"

album cover SSHE RETINA STIMULANTS / IUGULA-THOR Wrist (Urashima) lp 25.00
A split release of electric overload from two projects closely related to Sigillum S, Italy's iconoclastic / transgressive industrial outfit that dates back to the mid '80s. This was originally released on Ant-Zen in 1996, but has never been released on vinyl til now. The Sshe Retina Stimulants half of Wrist tangles neurotic, slipstream oscillations with bloodlusty chunks of synth-noise detonation and tendrils of rasping guitar abstractions, finishing everything off with full-spectrum noise eruption of blackened distortion. Dynamic, abusive, and unkempt, Sshe Retina Stimulants conjures all of the infernal aspects of the Ramleh / Gary Mundy / Kleistwarh noise axis.
On the other side, Iugula-Thor laces the demonstrative voice of the power-electronic sermon with squalls of feedback, over a heavily distressed lock-groove / rhythmic underbelly. Theres an intense claustrophobia to this that's constantly closing in, as if from the squeeze from a gloved fist. It's closer to Sutcliffe Jugend than Anenzephalia, but regardless, the pleasantries were done away with along time ago as far as both of these projects are concerned. Another grim necessity from Urashima. Here, limited to 199 copies.
MPEG Stream: "Unrestrained Actor Displacement"
MPEG Stream: "Pinkie Baby's Story"

album cover V/A Cambodian Cassette Archives (Sublime Frequencies) 2lp 30.00
Originally released on cd back in 2004 and long out of print, this Sublime Frequencies fave has now been issued on vinyl for the very first time, for this year's Record Store Day!! Here's what we said (raved) about it the first time around:
What? Another collection of Cambodian pop? But you just listed two volumes of Cambodian Rocks? (And, get ready for two more in that series!) It's true, Cambodian music seems to be the flavor of the moment on the obscure world music scene. But bear with us, as this one deserves all the attention afforded the Cambodian Rocks series... and then some. The history of Cambodia's flourishing and rich music scene was - like the greater culture and society of the country in general - cruelly severed in the early seventies by the Khmer Rouge during their "cleansing" program. All our favorite performers, anonymous until Khmer Rocks' own collections were recently released, were undoubtedly victims of the Khmer Rouge during this period. In the following years Cambodians who fled the country set up communities around the globe and among the other parts of their culture they treasured, the music of these lost performers was not forgotten. Throughout the seventies, eighties and nineties the scattered communities set up recording studios and continued to produce music just as amazing as those lost golden years. Enter Mark Gergis (of Neung Phak / Mono Pause and the man who brought us I Remember Syria). From 1999 to 2004 Mark diligently scoured the Asian branch of the Oakland Public Library, checking out each and every Cassette of Cambodian music produced in the period from the early seventies to the present. Many of the cassettes were unfortunately unlistenable; not merely because they'd been played thousands of times, or left on hot car dashboards, but because they were being slowly bulk erased by the library employees themselves as they would unwittingly pass them over the magnetic security system used to prevent book theft. Even with the best intentions of the public library as a repository for culture, Cambodian music was slowly being erased one cassette at a time. Of course there was no public outcry, at this point people had moved on to the newest thing (no doubt something recorded by one person with an electronic keyboard and other MIDI gear). It seems to happen everywhere: recent history is wiped clean for whatever happens to be hot at the moment. So it was that Mark culled together a collection of songs that are as amazing as they are rare. One thing particularly striking about many of the tracks is that, unlike what you'll hear on the Cambodian Rocks collections (all of which were actually recorded in Cambodia), they include both traditional Cambodian instruments alongside western instruments. There are tracks with Khan (the inimitable mouth organ of Southeast Asia) playing alongside electric guitar (which is often times being played in the style of a traditional Cambodian stringed instrument), saxophone, drums, electric bass and organ. Some of the combinations and bizarre genre bends are truly off the wall - such as the track, unfortunately to remain untitled for now, a proto-metal Cambodian pop ditty featuring echoey and brash female vocals and a Queen-era guitar solo. While there are a few of the more modern pop tunes - of the primarily keyboards and drum machine variety - here, none are of the overly westernized Asian pop that is so ubiquitous these days. There are also 6 tracks of older tunes that were recorded in Phnom Penh between the mid-1960s and the early '70s (one of which was overdubbed by an American operated studio with a drum machine beat!) This is a truly amazing collection, certainly the best disc to be released by Sublime Frequencies to date, and aQ international music specialist Byram's top pick for 2004 thus far. Highly recommended!
This RSD vinyl with "restored and remastered audio" includes "extensive liner notes and vital new track and title information", limited to 2000 copies.
MPEG Stream: "Blue Basket"
MPEG Stream: "Unknown [track 12]"
MPEG Stream: "Unknown [track 15]"

album cover V/A Doused In Mud, Soaked In Bleach (Robotic Empire) lp 23.00
Much like Sacred Bones' annual Todo Muere release for Record Store Day, Robotic Empire return with the third in their series of Nirvana covers compilations, this one the entirety of Nirvana's Bleach record, reimagined by a bunch of our favorite bands, as well as a handful we had never heard before. Really if you dig Nirvana (and how could you not?) the lineup here should have you sold before even hearing a note: Daughters, Rob Crow's Gloomy Place, Thou, This Will Destroy You, Young Widows, and for those who don't mind a little emo in their grunge, Circa Survive and the Fall Of Troy both do killer versions, and there are groups like Defeater, The Saddest Landscape and Basement who were pretty exciting new discoveries. Some of the bands play it pretty straight, the biggest difference is swapping out Kurt style vocals for all manner of shrieks and bellows, which may rub some people the wrong way, but it casts these songs in a way different and WAY heavier light. Thou's version of "Floyd The Barber" is soooooooo heavy, and This Will Destroy You turn "Paper Cuts" into some kind of super abstract, experimental doom. We're a bit partial to the songs with real singers, as these songs are so good, which means some of the 'hmmm, i'm not so sure about them' bands end up really shining, Circa Survive in particular kill it on "Love Buzz", and Rob Crow's Gloomy Place totally rework "Swap Meet" into something that more resembles some lost Heavy Vegetable jam. All in all, not a bummer in the bunch!
We have limited stock on these, they're the copies we have left from Record Store Day, so that means these are SUPER DUPER LIMITED, and will probably be gone pretty quick, so grab one while you can. Includes a download code too!
MPEG Stream: DEFEATER "Blew"
MPEG Stream: CIRCA SURVIVE "Love Buzz"
MPEG Stream: DAUGHTERS "Big Cheese"

album cover V/A Todo Muere Volume 5 (Sacred Bones) lp 15.98
It's not really a Record Store Day without a new volume in Sacred Bones' Todo Muere sampler series, which like in years past once again gathers up a killer collection of rarities and unreleased tracks from some of the label's best and brightest. We were never that into Blanck Mass, but their track starts things off with a bang, fusing a cool sort of retro Euro-disco with some psychedelic house music and a little John Carpenter style cinematic synthiness, and from there it's all over the map, from the Stooges-y stomp of Cheena to the weird drum machine driven psychedelic Casio-core exotica of The Holydrug Couple to the warped distorto drama-pop of Jenny Hval. Heck this is probably worth picking up for the two covers on it alone - Institute do a sloppy, stumbly, mush mouthed cover of the Doors' "Touch Me", and Marissa Nadler, who we already love love love, tackles Black Sabbath's "Solitude" and transforms it into a smoldering soft-psych torch song.
Like a lot of the stuff on this week's list, these are left over from Record Store Day, and thus are EXTREMELY LIMITED, which means they'll likely be gone super quick, and will then be gone for good. Includes a download code!

album cover WHITNEY HOUSTON'S CRYPT s/t (Vacant Valley) 7" 5.98
A little while ago we listed a cool comp called Living In A Shadow, devoted to the underground Down Under lo-fi-noise-rock-weirdness scene as documented by the label Vacant Valley, run by the drummer of aQ fave shoegazers Bunyip Moon. Now Vacant Valley brings us a 7" ep by the band with one of thee most awesomely ridiculous names from that comp. The three new tracks of "death wave noise rock" found here from this five-piece are full of churning, chiming minor key melodies arranged for a pair of spidery, seasick guitars and a thuggish rhythm section, supporting an onslaught of throat-ripped vokills (female) that sound practically black metal, DSBM even. A bit like Deaf Wish meets The Body, maybe, and totally rad. More, please.
MPEG Stream: "Hateful Boyfriend"

album cover WIRE, THE #387 May 2016 magazine + cd 9.98
Another new issue of crucial new music magazine The Wire, imported from the UK. On the cover this month we find Marissa Nadler, who has a new album coming out in May on Sacred Bones. Also in the issue: bassist Jair-Rohm Parker Wells, conductor Illan Volkov (doing the Invisible Jukebox deal), a report on the Manchester improv scene, and tons more, including the usual plethora of expert reviews. AND, this issue is one that comes with a free "Wire Tapper" sampler cd stuck to the cover, with 20 tracks including a new one by aQ faves Supersilent!!

album cover WORMED Krighsu (Season Of Mist) cd 14.98
Ok, we know we just listed this last week, already. But that was in the crazy Record Store Day anticipation days when folks may have been distracted, and we didn't sell nearly as many of these as we should have, and we say should have, not just wanted to, 'cause heck this Wormed album is our Kirk's pick for, like, his favorite extreme metal disc of 2016 so far. So don't sleep on it!!
Interplanetary cosmic space-slamz? Hyperwarp tech-death cyborgization? Computronic brutality from the event horizon? Surely aQuarius of all places would champion these genres, if they were real. Luckily, Spain's Wormed invented all of them! Their third album, and somehow the first we've reviewed, Krighsu, explores a distant future where the last human lineage seeks to save the universe from destructive nanomachines. The music to accompany the story is easily the most over-the-top, hyperspeed, mind-meltingly technical brutal death slamz you will hear between now and the distant cyberfuture. Somehow, Wormed are indeed humans, and how humans created these sounds is beyond us. So deep into the abysss of mechanized brutal death metal that it will surely appeal to people who don't normally dabble with the gore-obssessed simpletons that they would otherwise avoid. Top notch stuff!
MPEG Stream: "Neomorph Mindkind"
MPEG Stream: "Computronium Pulsar Nanarchy"

album cover YELLOW EYES Sick With Bloom (Gilead Media) lp 25.00
Listed this last time, but accidentally without a cover image so for those of you who are very visually-oriented, we're relisting!
One of our favorite purveyors of all things heavy, Gilead Media has been responsible for a ton of our recent obsessions Kowloon Walled City, Krallice, False, Bastard Sapling, Geryon, and Thou, to name a few. They, along with Profound Lore, seem to be THEE go-to for current forward-thinking metal. Enter Brooklyn's Yellow Eyes, two brothers who, along with Mike Rekevics (also of Fell Voices, Vanum, and Vorde), recorded Sick With Bloom in a Connecticut cabin, the atmospherics of which spill into the tremolo-picked whirlwind riffage that takes center stage. At times they conjure the melodic melancholy of Rekevics' Vanum project, other times they sound more like the more hypnotic and straightforward passages of Krallice's idiosyncratic brand of black metal, but the end result is a sound that is no-nonsense, corpsepaint-free US black metal that surely would have topped many year-end lists had it not come out in the very last weeks of 2015. No gimmicks, no pretension, no irony, just crushing, wind-swept black metal. Gilead does it again.
MPEG Stream: "Streaming From The Undergrowth"
MPEG Stream: "The Mangrove, The Preserver"

red dot See ALL of NEW ARRIVALS List #499 (22 April 2016)...

red dot Or see the 50 items on our previous NEW ARRIVALS #498 (08 April 2016)...