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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


album cover MELVINS Electroretard (Man's Ruin) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The Melvins court controversy with the title and Kozik artwork (fluffy Hitler bunny, anyone?) of this new release. Dunno if anyone will care, what people really should care about is that it's a pretty good record, albeit a kind of "odds and ends" collection rather than a real "new" album: the disc is composed mainly of covers and reworked versions (new and improved! it says here) of older Melvins songs. So it's in keeping with the past two Melvins releases, their covers-intensive "The Crybaby" project and the reissue of their early classic "Gluey Porch Treatments" (the title track of which gets redone here, in fact). The covers, done without any guest help unlike the star-studded (ahem) "Crybaby" album, number three: a fantastic version of "Voice Of America" by The Wipers, a cover of "Missing" by Melvins bass player Kevin Rutmanis' old band The Cows, and an appropriately spacey take on Pink Floyd's "Interstellar Overdrive". Meanwhile, the versions of the Melvin's own songs, while not absolute improvements on the originals, are interesting and worthy. Chalk another one up for the Melvins comeback that started with "The Maggot" and "The Bootlicker".

album cover MELVINS Everybody Loves Sausages (Ipecac) cd 15.98
Fact: the Melvins are one of the best bands ever, and continue to be one of the best bands ever.
Fact: the Melvins are always awesome when it comes to doing covers (their version of "Candy-O" by The Cars from Ozma being our favorite, closely followed by their version of KISS's "Going Blind" from Houdini), usually "making them their own" 100 percent.
Fact: they've just released a disc that's all covers, with some guest vocalists, and the song selection is quite eclectic to say the least, occasionally obscure too, including one that maybe only folks from San Francisco will freak out over - they do a song by the Pop-O-Pies!!! Cool.
Our only complaint about this, really, is that with the presence of the guest vocalists, some of the covers, while totally spot-on or otherwise interesting & well-done, maybe don't sound as much like the Melvins as we'd like - if Buzz woulda sung 'em all, we'd be even happier. But it's a quibble.
So, what more do you need to know? Well, the dang tracklist, perhaps. Here it is:
1. "Warhead" by Venom, featuring Scott Kelly of Neurosis
2. "Best Friend" by Queen, featuring Caleb Benjamin of Tweak Bird
3. "Black Betty" not by but as performed by Ram Jam
4. "Set It On Fire" by the The Scientists, featuring Mark Arm of Mudhoney
5. "Station To Station" by David Bowie, featuring J.G. Thirlwell of Foetus
6. "Attitude" by The Kinks, featuring Clem Burke from Blondie
7. "Female Trouble" by Divine
8. "Carpe Diem" by The Fuggs
9. "Timothy Leary Lives" by the Pop-O-Pies
10. "In Every Dream Home A Heartache" by Roxy Music, featuring both Jello Biafra and Kevin Rutmanis (formerly of both the Cows and the Melvins)
11. "Romance" by Tales of Terror
12. "Art School" by The Jam, featuring Tom Hazelmeyer of Halo Of Flies
13. "Heathen Earth" by Throbbing Gristle
Wow, quite a diverse & cool selection, eh? If you're a Melvins fan, you probably want this (unless, perhaps, you hated The Crybaby, which also featured a lot of unlikely covers/collaborations). 'Cause after all, heck, everybody does love sausages!
MPEG Stream: "Warhead"
MPEG Stream: "Station To Station"
MPEG Stream: "Female Trouble"

MELVINS Gluey Porch Treatments (Ipecac) cd 17.98
Mike Patton re-issues his Melvin buddies' awesome "Gluey Porch Treatments" album from 1986 and for this we are thankful -- it's nice to have a cd of this godly album all on its own, instead of merely appended to the "Ozma" cd (even though that version is still available for those who want to make their Melvins dollar go further--however, as added value incentive, this stand-alone "Gluey" includes the previously unreleased "garage demos" of the entire album!...thus making it an essential purchase for true Melvins fans even if you already have the "Ozma" cd!). Now, the Melvins have made a lot of records, some better than others, but let me tell you that this is one of the best. Heck, if they'd only made this one record they'd still be one of my all-time favorite bands, it's that good. This is the one that, prior to masterpieces like "Ozma", "Bullhead" and "Lysol", really established their unique Black Flag-meets-Black Sabbath heavier than thou sound.

album cover MELVINS Hostile Ambient Takeover (Ipecac) cd 17.98
My god these boys are prolific! Last week a live album with Fantomas, now a new not-at-all-"ambient"-despite-the-title studio full-length. And the past 3 or 4 years have seen just as many Melvins releases. If after 1999's disparate trilogy of The Bootlicker, Crybaby, and The Maggot you don't know what to expect then I can tell you this is more in the vein of the relatively straight-ahead "classic Melvins" sound of The Maggot, yet a bit more subdued. Maybe this album starts off a bit too wacky, but it quickly returns to the dirgey sounds of the (old) Melvins we know and love. Heavy drums and driving guitar with a good dose of fucked up shit, like cow sounds and the like.
RealAudio clip: "Black Stooges"
RealAudio clip: "Untitled"
RealAudio clip: "Little Judas Chonge"

album cover MELVINS Houdini (Atlantic) cd 10.98
Huh? We've never reviewed this classic Melvins album, their 1993 major label debut on Atlantic Records, though we did review the live version of this album they released on Ipecac much later, in 2005. Time to rectify the situation!
Houdini destroyed any doubts anyone could have had about the Melvins "selling out", it was pure Melvins through and through, tracks like "Night Goat" and "Hag Me" were just as fierce and devastating as anything they'd done up to then, "Hooch" and "Lizzy" as heavy and rockin', and the likes of "Sky Pup" and "Pearl Bomb" utterly as eerie and puzzling and weird...
How the heck did the freakin' Melvins get signed to a major? One word: Nirvana. And it was a more direct connection than just another "grungy" indie band getting swept up in the major label alt-rock signing hysteria of the era, as the Melvins and Kurt Cobain were old punk rock pals from their Aberdeen, Washington days. And indeed Cobain appears as a guest on a couple of the tracks here, including the finale, "Spread Eagle Beagle", a song in the glorious Melvins tradition of truly WTF? album-closing tracks, over ten minutes of echoing abstract percussion.
Oh, and this album features their harrowing, heavier than thou cover of "Going Blind" by KISS, which even moreso than some other songs they've covered, sounds like it was written FOR the Melvins.
Maybe the reason we never reviewed this before (besides the fact this album's release predated us doing "the list" anyway) is that we had to figure that any/all Melvins fans must already have this. But if by chance you don't, good grief, get it! And if you're NOT a Melvins fan, but would like to be, here's a great one to start in on.
MPEG Stream: "Night Goat"
MPEG Stream: "Lizzy"
MPEG Stream: "Hag Me"

album cover MELVINS Houdini Live 2005 - A Live History Of Gluttony And Lust (Ipecac) cd 17.98
It's kind of a dinosaur move, isn't it, releasing a live version of one of your classic albums later in your career? Didn't B.O.C. or Journey or somebody pull that one recently? But of course, this is the Melvins, the lords of surreal sludge grunge weirdness, who've ruled for years and shall never stop ruling. Which means they can do whatever the heck they want to do. So a live album devoted entirely to songs from their 1993 major label debut Houdini (a fan fave, if you ask this fan), recorded last year with Trevor Dunn (Fantomas/Mr. Bungle) on bass, why the heck not? And it delivers the Houdini live experience quite nicely, changing up some things a bit (song lengths, tempos, arrangements, track sequence) but not much really. "Night Goat" is even dirgier, "Going Blind" still the heaviest Kiss cover ever, and "Spread Eagle Beagle" remains a mindbending finale, undergoing further electronic mutations this time around. Overall though, these versions are nothing too radical, just a visit by Melvins circa 2005 to the material of Melvins circa 1993. It is a nice way to get reacquainted with an old fave. Guaranteed after hearing this you'll want to pull out Houdini and take it for a spin again too, feeling all fresh and new (or pick it up for the first time if you have never heard it before!!). So fans will want to check this out for sure, but we're of course more excited to hear whatever's upcoming from the even newer Melvins lineup featuring the two dudes from Big Business...
MPEG Stream: "Hooch"
MPEG Stream: "Honey Bucket"

MELVINS Live At The F*ucker Club, Australia (Amphetamine Reptile) cd 6.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Seven-track live disc from these hard-workin' rock madmen. Includes renditions of earlier faves like "Boris" and "It's Shoved" as well as more recent material.

album cover MELVINS Mangled Demos From 1983 (Ipecac) cd 14.98
The words "Footloose and fancy-free and out of school" come from your speakers, beginning the disc and thusly, we embark on the career of that "juggernaut of pummel" known as the Melvins.
Here is a collection of "never heard before" (demo, live, rehearsal) recordings dating back to 1983! Remember 1983? I do...ugh! Anyways, a "pre-Dale Crover" line-up (which includes a young punk-ass named Matt Lukin on bass, you might also know him from another little band, Mudhoney?) bashes and thrashes it out with songs and tone reminiscent of Flipper / Bad Brains / Fang / Poison Idea / Black Flag -- this is NOT to say they sound like they are emulating the aforementioned legends, we're just saying that the Melvins, at such a tender age and still without the "other greatest drummer" Dale Crover, pretty much came into this world screaming and wailing. Buzz Osborne definitely is / was / is blessed / cursed as a "5-string motherfucker". Word. The liner notes by Buzz go on about how they were hacks at the time, but LEGIONS (after listening to this) will attest to "the power of the riff" that a (pre) King Buzzo packed at the age of 20 somewhere in Shithole City, WA (or maybe it was the town next to it?). This release is packed with all the fury and "pent-up-ness" that only comes from growing up on the outside of "cool" or "rich". (Well, it speaks to me, anyways...) There are songs on here that show up shortly after -- and many years later -- down that ugly road of "former bass players"...
It's refreshing to hear (punk) rock like this right now. There are even funny moments of (drunken?) banter on here that will make you laugh and think back and reminisce (or not) on your own "destruction ride" through your late teens/early twenties, etc. The actual sound on this thing is incredibly solid too, for something from the "golden age of hardcore".
A must own, if you will. But you already knew that, didn't you?
MPEG Stream: "The Real You"
MPEG Stream: "Bibulous Confabulation (during rehearsal)"

album cover MELVINS Mangled Demos From 1983 (Alternative Tentacles) 2x10" 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
NOW ON VINYL!! Double 10" at that!
The words "Footloose and fancy-free and out of school" come from your speakers, beginning the disc and thusly, we embark on the career of that "juggernaut of pummel" known as the Melvins.
Here is a collection of "never heard before" (demo, live, rehearsal) recordings dating back to 1983! Remember 1983? I do...ugh! Anyways, a "pre-Dale Crover" line-up (which includes a young punk-ass named Matt Lukin on bass, you might also know him from another little band, Mudhoney?) bashes and thrashes it out with songs and tone reminiscent of Flipper / Bad Brains / Fang / Poison Idea / Black Flag -- this is NOT to say they sound like they are emulating the aforementioned legends, we're just saying that the Melvins, at such a tender age and still without the "other greatest drummer" Dale Crover, pretty much came into this world screaming and wailing. Buzz Osborne definitely is / was / is blessed / cursed as a "5-string motherfucker". Word. The liner notes by Buzz go on about how they were hacks at the time, but LEGIONS (after listening to this) will attest to "the power of the riff" that a (pre) King Buzzo packed at the age of 20 somewhere in Shithole City, WA (or maybe it was the town next to it?). This release is packed with all the fury and "pent-up-ness" that only comes from growing up on the outside of "cool" or "rich". (Well, it speaks to me, anyways...) There are songs on here that show up shortly after -- and many years later -- down that ugly road of "former bass players"...
It's refreshing to hear (punk) rock like this right now. There are even funny moments of (drunken?) banter on here that will make you laugh and think back and reminisce (or not) on your own "destruction ride" through your late teens/early twenties, etc. The actual sound on this thing is incredibly solid too, for something from the "golden age of hardcore".
A must own, if you will. But you already knew that, didn't you?
MPEG Stream: "The Real You"
MPEG Stream: "Bibulous Confabulation (during rehearsal)"

album cover MELVINS Neither Here Nor There (Ipecac) book + cd 35.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Won't go into too much detail here, since if you're not already a bit obsessed with the Melvins, you're probably not gonna need a 200 page book about em. But thos of you who ARE into the Melvins. WAY into the Melvins will definitely need this. Over two hundred pages of artwork, photos, tour diaries, discographies, interviews, stories, inserts, ALL the artwork from all their releases and more. Also includes a greatest hits cd. Odds are you have most of it, but there are a few surprises. Definitely super cool and gorgeously laid out. And of course, limited!

album cover MELVINS Nude With Boots (Ipecac) cd 16.98
Y'know, the Melvins have been one of our favorite bands for so long we practically take 'em for granted. But when a new album comes out, it's still pretty exciting. Almost like it must have been in the '60s when, like, a new Beatles LP would be released, that's what it's like for us and the Melvins... except heck the Melvins have been around now for, like, 100x as long as the Beatles' whole career lasted.
So, yes, yah, yay, it's a new Melvins! Again on Ipecac, which means it's yet another Melvins cd with the front cover on the back and the tracklist on the front. You think they'd be over that by now, but the Melvins are all about being quirky now aren't they? Well, being quirky and HEAVY. And we're pleased to report that Nude With Boots is plenty heavy! As expected, though with the Melvins you also have to expect the unexpected too. But from the get go, Nude With Boots hammers it down, maybe a bit more uptempo rockin' than typical, lead-off track "The Kicking Machine" being just that, ass kicking that is, a hooky slab of classic rockin' riffola. Replete with chunky guitars, catchy vocal choruses, and splattering percussion to spare. The next track up, "Billy Fish" is another big, bangin' number. And then when track three, "Dog Island" hits, though, it's CRUSHING. And you realize that the album's only getting started. That song's 7 and a half minutes of herky-jerky slo-mo heaviness, creeped out and melodically fist-waving too. Yep, this is shaping up to be a quite satisfying Melvins experience, one that so far stacks up with the likes of Houdini. No kidding.
How do they do it? The Melvins have such an *authoritative* sound. Heavier than thou for sure. Distinctively untouchable. It's like they have access to better stuff than anyone. Stuff? Dunno, gear, drugs, organic vegetables, whatever it is that makes them sound like they do, the Melvins are in a league unto themselves.
One not so secret weapon: Buzz's always amazing, melodic yet gritty vocals, which we realize sound like Gene Simmons crossed with Ozzy Osbourne. And, as well, his usual cryptic, imagistic lyrics.
Furthermore, there's simply so much geetar badassitude on this album, Buzz blasting riffs and sweet licks all over the place, and of course Dale's drum fills are sweet (and punishing) too. We defy you to try to listen to this album and not a) air-guitar b) air-drum or c) at the very least, headbang. Maybe even sing along! If you can figure out the words that is.
Of course, along with the rippin' rock, this also has its copious share of abstractly wacked weirdness, ambient interludes like the 1:05 "Flush" ferinstance. Or the atmospheric moody SUNNO))) styled murk of the cleverly titled "Dies Iraea". Or the bizarre bludgeon n' scrape of "The Savage Hippy" and the even more out there "It Tastes Better Than the Truth", a twofer in the extreme tradition of Melvins album-enders, the latter practically sounding like a chaotic Khanate on a ketamine bender. Or Wildildlife...
So, sometimes it almost sounds like this is a uber-produced Ozzy or Alice Cooper album from the '80s or '90s that's been taken over by the real inmates of one of the padded cell insane asylums that those two cartoon characters always were checking into/outof (on the album covers anyway, rehabs in real life), hard rock pop that's been utterly warped and weirded out...
Maybe it's just as well that Melvins never got as huge as pals Nirvana during the Grunge years. They had a major label dalliance, yes, but survived it, and are still with us to crank out what's simply the classic rock of our generation (with a heavy dose of weirdness). Nude With Boots makes you remember, oh yeah, ROCK MUSIC. We love rock music. Damn, it's good. We've been really into the rejuvenated Harvey Milk lately, a Melvinsy band for sure, but you've gotta give it up to the originals, the one and only Melvins. All hail.
MPEG Stream: "The Kicking Machine"
MPEG Stream: "Dog Island"
MPEG Stream: "The Savage Hippy"

album cover MELVINS Nude With Boots (Ipecac) lp 17.98
Now, at last, on (gatefold sleeved) vinyl!!! Here's what we wrote before about the cd release last year:
Y'know, the Melvins have been one of our favorite bands for so long we practically take 'em for granted. But when a new album comes out, it's still pretty exciting. Almost like it must have been in the '60s when, like, a new Beatles LP would be released, that's what it's like for us and the Melvins... except heck the Melvins have been around now for, like, 100x as long as the Beatles' whole career lasted.
So, yes, yah, yay, it's a new Melvins! Again on Ipecac, which means it's yet another Melvins cd with the front cover on the back and the tracklist on the front. You think they'd be over that by now, but the Melvins are all about being quirky now aren't they? Well, being quirky and HEAVY. And we're pleased to report that Nude With Boots is plenty heavy! As expected, though with the Melvins you also have to expect the unexpected too. But from the get go, Nude With Boots hammers it down, maybe a bit more uptempo rockin' than typical, lead-off track "The Kicking Machine" being just that, ass kicking that is, a hooky slab of classic rockin' riffola. Replete with chunky guitars, catchy vocal choruses, and splattering percussion to spare. The next track up, "Billy Fish" is another big, bangin' number. And then when track three, "Dog Island" hits, though, it's CRUSHING. And you realize that the album's only getting started. That song's 7 and a half minutes of herky-jerky slo-mo heaviness, creeped out and melodically fist-waving too. Yep, this is shaping up to be a quite satisfying Melvins experience, one that so far stacks up with the likes of Houdini. No kidding.
How do they do it? The Melvins have such an *authoritative* sound. Heavier than thou for sure. Distinctively untouchable. It's like they have access to better stuff than anyone. Stuff? Dunno, gear, drugs, organic vegetables, whatever it is that makes them sound like they do, the Melvins are in a league unto themselves.
One not so secret weapon: Buzz's always amazing, melodic yet gritty vocals, which we realize sound like Gene Simmons crossed with Ozzy Osbourne. And, as well, his usual cryptic, imagistic lyrics.
Furthermore, there's simply so much geetar badassitude on this album, Buzz blasting riffs and sweet licks all over the place, and of course Dale's drum fills are sweet (and punishing) too. We defy you to try to listen to this album and not a) air-guitar b) air-drum or c) at the very least, headbang. Maybe even sing along! If you can figure out the words that is.
Of course, along with the rippin' rock, this also has its copious share of abstractly wacked weirdness, ambient interludes like the 1:05 "Flush" ferinstance. Or the atmospheric moody SUNNO))) styled murk of the cleverly titled "Dies Iraea". Or the bizarre bludgeon n' scrape of "The Savage Hippy" and the even more out there "It Tastes Better Than the Truth", a twofer in the extreme tradition of Melvins album-enders, the latter practically sounding like a chaotic Khanate on a ketamine bender. Or Wildildlife...
So, sometimes it almost sounds like this is a uber-produced Ozzy or Alice Cooper album from the '80s or '90s that's been taken over by the real inmates of one of the padded cell insane asylums that those two cartoon characters always were checking into/outof (on the album covers anyway, rehabs in real life), hard rock pop that's been utterly warped and weirded out...
Maybe it's just as well that Melvins never got as huge as pals Nirvana during the Grunge years. They had a major label dalliance, yes, but survived it, and are still with us to crank out what's simply the classic rock of our generation (with a heavy dose of weirdness). Nude With Boots makes you remember, oh yeah, ROCK MUSIC. We love rock music. Damn, it's good. We've been really into the rejuvenated Harvey Milk lately, a Melvinsy band for sure, but you've gotta give it up to the originals, the one and only Melvins. All hail.
MPEG Stream: "The Kicking Machine"
MPEG Stream: "Dog Island"
MPEG Stream: "The Savage Hippy"

MELVINS Ozma (Boner) cd 13.98

album cover MELVINS Revolve (Summer Version) b/w With Teeth - Live (Poof!) 7" 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Got a handful of these not-so-cheap new Melvins singles, not sure what the occasion is for this release is but we know anyone named Kevin Willis might not be so happy about the cover photo.

album cover MELVINS s/t (From The Nursery) 12" 22.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Just got this in TODAY, no time to really "review" it, no need to either, as we only got a handful and it's limited edition vinyl from the MELVINS after all. Here's the facts: "A limited edition three-track 12-inch EP from MELVINS featuring a long version of "Dies Iraea" and a remix of "It Tastes Better Than The Truth" on the A-side, and a 9-minute version of The Wipers' "Youth of America" on the flip. None of these tracks have appeared on vinyl prior. Limited to 2,000 copies (with 1,500 for distribution) pressed on silver/gray vinyl, with artwork by Steven Parrino".

MELVINS s/t (aka Lysol) (Boner) cd 13.98
Another fucked up Melvins classic, the one-track album of sheer heaviosity that pre-dates Sleep's Jerusalem...and visits both Flipper and Alice Cooper tuneage. Originally titled 'Lysol' then simply 'Melvins' due to legal reasons.

MELVINS Singles 1-12 (Amphetamine Reptile) 2cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
2 cds for the price of one. Every track from those monthly 7"s that you couldn't get hold of cos they sold so quickly. Of course, this too is limited. Oh, AmRep.

album cover MELVINS Sugar Daddy Live (Ipecac) cd 14.98
Well, if you're a Melvins fan you know that not only do these weirdos still make awesome albums (their most recent, The Bride Screamed Murder, we raved about when it came out a year ago) but they also still utterly slay live. With, what, almost 30 years of experience, they are as potent as ever. We just saw 'em live the other day, on the first evening of a two-night stand here in SF, doin' songs from Houdini, Lysol, and Eggnog, and boy their current 2 drummer line up sure packs a wallop. And guitarist/vocalist Buzz still looks striking in his mumu and outlandish 'fro. The Melvins are a heavy band of world-historical stature and we expect 'em to keep on rocking for at least as long as their forebears KISS!
So, as fans, of course we're curious about this new live album, and expectations are met, performance-wise they're on top of their game. The real question surely any fan has, is just what songs get the Melvins/Big Business treatment, there's 13 tracks here mostly showcasing the best of their more recent material but also digging into their massive discography for a few old faves. The first five tracks are Big Biz era stuff, from 2008's Nude With Boots (this recording comes from that tour) and 2006's Senile Animal, then they reach waaay back for an epic rendition of "Eye Flys" from 1986 opus Gluey Porch Treatments, followed by "Tipping The Lion" from 1996's Stag (a good choice, just 'cause we hardly ever pull that one out to listen to, but this makes us want to), and then it's back to Senile Animal stuff, four in a row, before, wha? a voice and drums version of "The Star Spangled Banner", that's right. They were feeling patriotic, apparently. Or just wanted to fuck with people, more likely. Then, for the grand finale, they offer up an anthem of their own, a crushing, extended version of "Boris" from Bullhead (1991), which will remind you why the band Boris chose that name!
If you're a Melvins fan from way back, but haven't acquainted yrself with their modern double drummer incarnation, this should convince you it was a good idea, and that they've still got songs to compete impressively with past "hits", a few a which you get to hear here as well. And if you're not a Melvins fan, well obviously live albums like this aren't intended for you anyway, so why are you still reading this review?
MPEG Stream: "Nude With Boots"
MPEG Stream: "Kicking Machine"
MPEG Stream: "Tipping The Lion"

MELVINS The Bootlicker (Ipecac) cd 17.98
#2 in the Melvin's 3-album summer plan. This is the self-proclaimed 'quiet' one, and, while not near-silent like a Bernard Gunter record or anything, it is quite restrained by the Melvin's usual loud-and-pummelling standards. Rather hypnotic post-rock is what you get, with strange almost-Gothic vocals from Buzz. The first 'wacky' Melvins album that Allan has liked, because the so-called wackiness is limited to a single (successful!) concept that they stick to throughout the record, instead of trying to surprise/annoy with each and every song like some other Melvins discs of which I could think. No, 'The Bootlicker' doesn't possess the classic heavy Melvins sound that previous disc 'The Maggot' recaptured, but is much better the sort of indie-rock/Mr. Bunglized sound of other recent full-lengths like 'Stag'. So, two down, both pretty good, and one to go. (The next one, 'The Crybaby', we'll admit to being a bit afraid of...seeing as it's the 'wacky guest star' album or something, with contributions from the likes of Leif Garrett and Hank Williams III!)

album cover MELVINS The Bride Screamed Murder (Ipecac) cd 16.98
Has it really been two whole years already since the last Melvins long player, the supremely rockin' Nude With Boots? They've been around so long and yet remain so vital and prolific and reliable, it always seems like they just put something out the other day, yet each release is a marvelous surprise. This is their third album since they recruited bass/drums duo Big Business into the band, and this phase of the Melvins' storied career has been a fruitful one.
The first minute or two of the first track "The Water Glass" starts off sounding very much typically thunderous heavier than thou Melvins... but woah, hey, it then takes a MAJOR turn into, what, a rhythmic marching band drumline thing (why not, they've got two drummers), with call and response vocal chant, the Melvins as cheerleaders or drill sergeants gettin' pumped up and ready to go. We're smiling like fools, and confused, what IS this? It's somehow like the MC5 or Dictators meet the Boredoms or go-go music or, we dunno, it'd be awesome and hilarious to see this live. Wow. All right, fair warning, this is clearly the Melvins getting weird on us, something of course they've have always had a knack for. Nude With Boots had its experimental moments, as all Melvins records do, more than moments sometimes, to varying degrees of accessibility, and this one ups the ante, coming closer in WTF?-ness to their recent radical remix album Chicken Scratch... and this time in ways that we don't think we've heard from them before.
All the while keeping it damn catchy, and HEAVY too, at least some of the time. Right on cue, track two again kicks out the jams in old school Melvins style... but a percussive breakdown isn't far away. Neither are cinematic keys, herky jerky prog parts (Ruins-esque, even, or Nomeansno-ish), quirky POP, frenzied metal, and plenty more random what the fuck weirdness, as warned. Such as a ploddingly odd, semi-abstract cover of "My Generation", ferinstance, or the lonely harmonica and hymn-like a cappella of the album's final track, "PG X 3" (and that's not even what's weird about that one). As always, they're part Kiss and The Cars, heavied up and punk rocked, and now we're realizing that Sparks just might be another big fave of theirs.
So, go along for the ride, trust us. And them. Ok, maybe "Hospital Up" is a bit of a throw-away (random improv scatter there). But otherwise, we're sold. And maybe it's the frequent vocal holler, echoing with chorus effect, or the double drummer bombastic battery, but this album sounds particularly triumphant. As well it should. One of the best bands ever, once again deliver the goods. And it can't be easy, after, what, 30 albums??? All we know is, THE MELVINS RULE. End of story.
MPEG Stream: "The Water Glass"
MPEG Stream: "Evil New War God"
MPEG Stream: "Pig House"

MELVINS The Maggot (Ipecac) cd 17.98
The first in their three part summer album series recorded for Mike Patton's new Ipecac label. This one is their "metal" record. Supposedly album number two is "slow" and part three is "experimental". Includes a rendition of Fleetwood Mac's "Green Manalishi With The Two-Pronged Crown" (a live favorite at Melvins shows for the past few years). Not as good as the Judas Priest version, but good. Anyway, The Maggot should satisfy those for whom the last couple of Melvins' records were too deliberately weird or "indie-rock".

album cover MELVINS Tres Cabrones (Ipecac) cd 14.98
A Melvins album without Dale Crover playing drums? What's next, is Buzz gonna get a normal haircut? Well, wait a sec, let's explain. On their latest, Tres Cabrones, Dale moves over to bass (no prob there, he plays guitar in Altamont, and played bass long long ago in Fecal Matter with a pre-Nirvana Kurt Cobain) letting one Mike Dillard take over the drum stool. Mike Dillard having such rights 'cuz he was in fact a founding member of the Melvins, leaving the band long before they ever made a name for themselves. Now (temporarily, we assume) he's back, and the band gets to hang out with their old buddy and pretend like it's 1983 again (that's why it sez "1983" on the back, or is it the front, speaking of which, why just one goat, shouldn't there be three?). But they're not playing old songs, at least, it doesn't sound like it [edit: there ARE some old songs here updated from their '83 demo, but most of 'em are new - or covers - including tunes by The Lewd and Pop-O-Pies!]. Sure, there's a bit of juvenile silliness (such as, a truncated cover of "99 Bottles Of Beer"!!) not that the Melvins don't always often include some silliness on all their records. But mainly it sounds like the usual solid Melvins music they've been making for decades, heavy and catchy and all that good Melvins stuff, topped with Buzz's distinctive vocals. They once again display their brilliant ability to meld off-the-wall weirdness with classic sounding, hard rockin' riffage, so there's plenty of new tunes here that any Melvins fan will be fully stoked on, whether it be the chugging slow-and-low creepy-crawl of something like "American Cow" or the distorto-glam stomp of a track like "Doctor Mule", among many highlights here. As "reunions" go, a total success!
What's next, we wonder? We guess when you've made sooo many albums (this is, like, their 22nd) to such a high standard of quality, you wanna keep things interesting and challenging and find ways to be different. Hence of late Los Melvins have seemingly been approaching each recording session as a stand-alone concept/project, what the all-covers disc that preceded this, and the Melvins "Lite" album that came before that (with Mr. Bungle's Trevor Dunn on bass), etc., etc. Heck whatever works for them, we're just happy they're still going and going strong.
MPEG Stream: "Doctor Mule"
MPEG Stream: "City Dump"
MPEG Stream: "Dogs And Cattle Prods"

album cover MELVINS + LUSTMORD Pigs Of The Roman Empire (Ipecac) cd 17.98
Folks have been chomping at the bit for months since it was first announced that the kings of sludgy goofy heaviness were to team up with the master of creepy, sinister ambience. And we do mean 'team up' as in write and record together, not a split record or anything like that, a good ol' collaboration! So here it is. The first track is a creepy slithering dark snippet of sound, super minimal and slowly shifting. So much as we thought, the only way these two behemoths of the underground could cooperate and have it work would be for it to be a drone record. Well the second track blows that theory out of the water. A wickedly fierce, super dynamic barn burner, with a KILLER riff, and some spooky drone-y breakdowns complete with a haunting little melody played on the strings above the neck, and then some serious shredding leads. Maybe the best Melvins song in forever!! But what excatly is Lustmord doing while the Melvins rock? Maybe he strapped on a guitar and joined in the riffing. Or more likely, he supplied the track with all of its weird little sounds and murky background noises. Either way, who cares? It's an incredible track. The next track is a weird tribal workout done Melvins style, with exotic tribal percussion over rumbly drones and distorted guitars providing the melodies. Sounding not unlike a way heavier Muslimgauze! The centerpiece of the record though has to be the 20+ minute title track which sounds like the perfect hybridization of the two bands. Massive slow rolling drones slip and slide through clouds of machine like whirs and muffled outer space sounds, distant clatter and swirling sonic splatter. Eventually the guitars roll in like a huge crushing wave of sound, very Earth-like before it slowly develops into another killer riff, repeated over and over and over, bombarded on all sides by strange effects, swooping chunks of sound and strange, clipped 'almost-vocals' before trailing off into a slowly decaying barely there minimal hum. The rest of the record sort of seesaws back and forth between pounding and churning classic Melvins style sort-of-metal riffing, and really haunting otherworldly minimal dronescapes. VERY reminiscent of Old Man Gloom's drone / dirge combo. But hey, you can't argue with more drone or more dirge or more sludge or more Melvins or more Lustmord. Not at all. When all is said and done, Pigs Of The Roman Empire sounds like someone took a really great Melvins record, and a really great Lustmord record, and sort of chopped them up, and mixed and matched and made the perfect hybrid of the two. Which when you think about it is pretty awesome. We've thought of doing that all the time. Earth and George Winston, Bjork and Thuja, Squarepusher and Jandek, Motorhead and PJ Harvey, A Minor Forest and Keiji Haino (well that one's mainly to piss Andee off), and the list goes on and on and on.
MPEG Stream: "III"
MPEG Stream: "The Bloated Pope"
MPEG Stream: "toadi Acceleratio"

album cover MELVINS + LUSTMORD Pigs Of The Roman Empire (Alternative Tentacles) 2lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
NOW ON VINYL!! What we said about this great Melvins album when it came out on cd last year on Ipecac:
Folks have been chomping at the bit for months since it was first announced that the kings of sludgy goofy heaviness were to team up with the master of creepy, sinister ambience. And we do mean 'team up' as in write and record together, not a split record or anything like that, a good ol' collaboration! So here it is. The first track is a creepy slithering dark snippet of sound, super minimal and slowly shifting. So much as we thought, the only way these two behemoths of the underground could cooperate and have it work would be for it to be a drone record. Well the second track blows that theory out of the water. A wickedly fierce, super dynamic barn burner, with a KILLER riff, and some spooky drone-y breakdowns complete with a haunting little melody played on the strings above the neck, and then some serious shredding leads. Maybe the best Melvins song in forever!! But what excatly is Lustmord doing while the Melvins rock? Maybe he strapped on a guitar and joined in the riffing. Or more likely, he supplied the track with all of its weird little sounds and murky background noises. Either way, who cares? It's an incredible track. The next track is a weird tribal workout done Melvins style, with exotic tribal percussion over rumbly drones and distorted guitars providing the melodies. Sounding not unlike a way heavier Muslimgauze! The centerpiece of the record though has to be the 20+ minute title track which sounds like the perfect hybridization of the two bands. Massive slow rolling drones slip and slide through clouds of machine like whirs and muffled outer space sounds, distant clatter and swirling sonic splatter. Eventually the guitars roll in like a huge crushing wave of sound, very Earth-like before it slowly develops into another killer riff, repeated over and over and over, bombarded on all sides by strange effects, swooping chunks of sound and strange, clipped 'almost-vocals' before trailing off into a slowly decaying barely there minimal hum. The rest of the record sort of seesaws back and forth between pounding and churning classic Melvins style sort-of-metal riffing, and really haunting otherworldly minimal dronescapes. VERY reminiscent of Old Man Gloom's drone / dirge combo. But hey, you can't argue with more drone or more dirge or more sludge or more Melvins or more Lustmord. Not at all. When all is said and done, Pigs Of The Roman Empire sounds like someone took a really great Melvins record, and a really great Lustmord record, and sort of chopped them up, and mixed and matched and made the perfect hybrid of the two. Which when you think about it is pretty awesome. We've thought of doing that all the time. Earth and George Winston, Bjork and Thuja, Squarepusher and Jandek, Motorhead and PJ Harvey, A Minor Forest and Keiji Haino (well that one's mainly to piss Andee off), and the list goes on and on and on.
MPEG Stream: "III"
MPEG Stream: "The Bloated Pope"
MPEG Stream: "toadi Acceleratio"

album cover MELVINS / BRIAN WALSBY Manchild 4 (Bifocal Media) comic book + cd 16.98
If you were going to create a comic book that would appeal equally to fans of Harvey Pekar (American Splendor) and punk metallers the Melvins, Brian Walsby's Manchild would be it. It IS it. Autobiographical, confessional comix about his life, love, and music. Lots and lots of music. Much of this is devoted to stuff about indie/punk/HC/metal, back in the day... Especially for anyone of a certain age, with nostalgia for the '80s and '90s underground rock scene, this is a must! Walsby is a good artist, and writer, and in fact almost each and every panel found on these many, many pages (this is thick!) is packed with text you'll need to squint a bit to read, but it's worth it.
We haven't read the whole thing yet, but we can tell you that in this issue, there's a bunch of stories about bands he's been in (ferinstance Walsby played drums for Snake Nation, with CoC's Woody Weatherman and Mike Dean, and he was also in Shiny Beast, wow, we had no idea) and stuff about his life now, like how he met his current girlfriend, who has a toddler, what what that's been like.... He illustrates some other folks' tales about quitting their jobs, there's a two-page piece about Jason Newsted, all sorts of random, cool shit, usually pretty funny or weird or interesting, sometimes really something to think about.
In addition to the longer stories, there's plenty of one-page and half-page bits, good laughs like the one about reformed '80s hardcore bands, renamed: 700 Seconds, Middle Aged Threat, Adult Brigade, Youth Of Yesterday, Post-Adolescents, Semi-Negative Approach... Or the one about Jimi Hendrix in Heaven, getting pissed that he's required to "jam" with every other rockstar who dies and goes there after him (he's like, "I finally get Janis and Jerry off of my back... and then I have to play with this...'Dimebag Darrell'?").
The comic book would be worth it by itself, but sweetening the deal, this is shrinkwrapped with a LIVE MELVINS CD! Entitled Pick Your Battles, it's about 50 minutes long, presenting 15 tracks taken from two shows, Berkeley back in 1989 and Boston 2008. True Melvins fans want this, even if they don't like comic books, but why wouldn't you like comic books, especially this one?
MPEG Stream: "Oven (live '89)"
MPEG Stream: "Boris (live '08)"

album cover MELVINS / BRIAN WALSBY The Making Love Demos / Manchild 3 cd+book 14.98
It's a comic book! It's a Melvins cd! It's pretty darn cool is what it is. Cartoonist Brian Walsby spoofs and skewers various icons of old school punk/alt rock culture, and puts his own personal family history on the page too ("My Old Man!"). It's mostly subversively funny, sarcastic stuff. Lots of chuckles for those with a bit of nostalgia for the good ol' days of '80s punk rock for sure!! One of our favorite comix in here is "Whatever Happened To You Favorite Eighties Hardcore Mascots" which imagines the DRI "thrash guy" finding a new career as a school crossing guard, and the Black Flag bars being sold to Hank Williams III who "dropped one bar and used the rest for his new logo." Some of the other pieces in this fairly thick book include an illustrated article celebrating TV's SCTV, a Walsby/Melvins 2006 tour diary, a memoir entitled "How I Survived Grunge", "The Rules Of Young Rock Bands" (which include holding the microphone like a glass of wine, and combining two kinds of bad singing: whiny, nasal and hysterical screaming), several comic strips about The Dios (a la The Osbournes), a tribute to Cheap Trick, and much much more. If you like stuff like Peter Bagge's Hate or Chunklet magazine this is for you.
This book makes a perfect team up with Walsby's old pals, wise ass scene vets the Melvins, who contribute a 20+ minute cd to the package, entitled "The Making Love Demos". These eight songs are DIY four-track recordings from back in '87, from the Buzz/Dale/Matt lineup, several of which later wound up in re-recorded form on their classic Ozma album, and some you've never ever heard before. Wow. Melvins fans are gonna be stoked. Heavy grinding nastiness, perfectly filthily home-recorded, that's way more punk than grunge.
MPEG Stream: "Creepy Smell"
MPEG Stream: "Excess Pool"

album cover MELVINS / FANTOMAS Millennium Monsterwork 2000 (Ipecac) cd 17.98
Here it is! Your opportunity to (re)experience the New Year's Eve 2000 festivities Fantomas-Melvins-tagteam-style. This live album captures their combined heavy eccentricities featuring the vocal acrobatics of one Mr. Mike Patton and the deep rumble-grumble and howl of one Mr. Buzz Osborne. There were even a few fine Melvins' classics in their repertoire that evening including "Hooch", "Night Goat", "Skin Horse" and "Mombius Hibachi". Go on, relive the magic!
RealAudio clip: MELVINS "Night Goat"

album cover MELVINS / PATTON OSWALT split (Chunklet) 7" 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Boy, did we get lucky. We heard about this and at first wrongly assumed it was Mike Patton with the Melvins. And as much as we love Mike Patton, we were pretty tickled to discover that in was in fact, Patton Oswalt, one of our favorite comedians, sharing this split with the Melvins.
The thing is, this was never technically available to stores or distros. But we did manage to track a handful down for our AQ faithful. Unfortunately, because of the scarcity and the fact that technically they weren't available wholesale, the price ended up being a bit steep. But hey, $16 from us is is a whole heckuva lot better than $75 on eBay!
So act fast, these will disappear in a blink of an eye.
As with all Chunklet stuff, gorgeously packaged with killer (and hilarious) Jay Ryan cover art, screen printed onto thick cardstock sleeves.
And like with all ultra limited stuff, only one per customer please...

album cover MELVINS LITE, THE Freak Puke (Ipecac) cd 14.98
Melvins LITE? What? That makes no sense. We want our Melvins HEAVY.
Well don't worry, 'cause the godlike Melvins, despite their many many years and many many albums, never ever disappoint (unless perhaps deliberately, as with 'difficult' stuff like Prick and Colossus Of Destiny). So of course Freak Puke is heavy. 'Tis their usual (unusual) blend of rockin' heaviness and utter weirdness. They're just calling themselves Melvins Lite on this record because it's a trio this time, with Buzz Osbourne and Dale Crover joined by bassist extraordinare Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, etc.), rather than being the four-piece unit that has constituted the Melvins as of late. However, their dual-drummer lineup, with Buzz and Dale and the two dudes from Big Business, is just on hiatus. Apparently Buzz and Dale thought it would be interesting to pull a temporary lineup switcheroo and record with their old pal Trevor, who plays a stand-up bass and thus brings in some 20th century avant-garde string-scrabble elements to the lurching, lumbering mix, particularly on track 2, "Inner Ear Rupture". Elsewhere, ingredients include gloom-doom atmospheres, mathrock dynamics, druggy grunge, AND uptempo noise pop catchiness, as you'd expect from these guys. Plus all the UNexpected stuff you'd also expect. With Trevor's upright bass getting in its licks all right.
Opener "Mr. Rip Off" has an oddly spaced out, loose '60s/'70s Floydian psych feel (in a way), with dreamy droney vox and distorted guitar. That vibe recurs, among plenty of 'Melvinsy' twists and turns throughout the disc. Oh, and they do a cover of "Let Me Roll It" by Paul McCartney and Wings!
For fans of any of these folks (possibly including Paul McCartney), Freak Puke by 'Melvins Lite' is an interesting detour / change of pace that's not so different, really.
MPEG Stream: "Mr. Rip Off"
MPEG Stream: "Baby, Won't You Weird Me Out"
MPEG Stream: "Tommy Goes Berserk"

MELVINS, THE Gluey Porch Treatments (Boner) cassette 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

MELVINS, THE Joe Preston (Boner) cassette 6.66

album cover MEM1 +1 (Interval Recordings) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The L.A. sound art duo Mem1 gathered together a great line-up of collaborators for this, their second album released earlier in 2009. Steve Roden, Jan Jelinek, Frank Bretschneider, and Area C are the heavy-hitters from our perspective, although those contributions from the those we've not heard of - Jen Boyd, Ido Govrin, RS-232 - seem to more than pull their weight. Mem1 works from an electro-acoustic context reworking cello through an interconnected series of electronics, most of which are probably driven through Max/MSP patches. The results typically settle into a slumbering drone sensibility, as noted in the Jan Jelinek collaboration which interweaves dark plucks from the cello with fizzing Tim Hecker-esque digital washes. The RS-232 pairing is a creepy, nocturnal track of sci-fi sound design for deep industrial hummings scorched with slow burning arcs. Frank Bretschneider offers an exception to this rule through his pulsing post-techno rhythms which gyrate in pools of reverb beneath looping sustained patterns of resampled cello. Beautiful stuff!
MPEG Stream: "+Jan Jelinek"
MPEG Stream: "+RS-232"
MPEG Stream: "+Frank Bretschneider"

album cover MEM1 Alexipharmaca (Interval Recordings) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
With artwork by the man behind Svarte Greiner and a conceptual framework dealing with "plant and animal poisons and their antidotes," Alexipharmaca is an album that wouldn't be out of place on Type. The Los Angeles based Mem1 is a duo comprised of Mark & Laura Cetilia, employing plenty of high-tech gadgets to abstract, obfuscate, and accompany the languid sounds from Laura's cello. Softened drones and delicate atmospheres are the dominant structures for Alexipharmaca, certainly casting a long gaze back to Erik Satie's idea of wallpaper music through the lens of Brian Eno's ambient and Akira Rabelais' esoteric digital abstractions. The movements of the bow across the strings of the cello are sometimes all that remains, as the rest of the sounds have been rarified, pitch-shifted, softly mulched, and recast as a ghostly undulation of sound crosshatched with digital ephemera and microsonic pin-pricks of glitchiness. While many of the quietly rendered sounds enjoy a jewel-like preciousness, Mem1 infuse these passages with a ghostly bleakness that occasionally grows ominous.
MPEG Stream: "Somniferum"
MPEG Stream: "Dasyatis"

album cover MEM1 {Tetra} (Estuary Ltd.) lp 17.98
A while back we reviewed two cds from the LA based duo of Mark And Laura Cetilla, one a collaboration with bigger avant music names (Steve Roden, Jan Jelinek, Frank Bretschneider), the other the duo's own dark sonic concoction, and while the guests on the collaborative record definitely made for interesting listening, we much preferred the Cetilla's work unadorned, a hushed minimal darkness, brooding, and softly caustic, ominous and strangely menacing. The sounds here on their first proper full length lp, seem to be a continuation from the music presented on that cd.
Three longform compositions, of smoldering lowercase sound, what sounds like bowed strings, and reverberating metal, blurred into a murky concoction of shimmering grey thrum and dense softly undulating swells, the vibe is definitely cinematic, conjuring up all manner of bleak and abject imagery, evoking decay, and distance, the drones alive with overtones and constantly shifting layers, noisy in places, but the noise blunted and smoothed out into rough expanses of warm buzz and softly prickly hum. There are moments of pure unfettered speaker shredding noise, but even within these blown out squalls, lurk all manner of rich texture and subtle shading. That said, most of the record is spent in hushed drift mode, the final track the most fully fleshed out, with the original instruments still recognizable, the tones organic and only lightly effected, drifting on a sea of distant blackened shimmer, and softly roiling whir and hiss, before finally smoothing out, into a final coda of warm, dreamy (and still slightly ominous tranquility). Dark abstract loveliness for sure, the sort of thing that folks into Jasper TX, Machinefabriek and Type Records might dig quite a bit.
LIMITED TO 300 COPIES, each one hand numbered, packaged in super swank matte finish jackets, and includes a download coupon as well.
MPEG Stream: "Trieste"
MPEG Stream: "Caldera"

album cover MEMORIES ATTACK, THE s/t (tUMULt / Noyes) cd 11.98
tUMULt seems to have been unfairly pegged as a purely black metal label lately. Easy mistake to make really. For sure BM is a big part of the tUMULt universe. Weakling, Leviathan, Crebain, Draugar, Diamatregon... But at the risk of committing heresy in the eyes of the black hordes, there's more to musical life than black metal alone. And by that we mean specifically, POP MUSIC. Before there was black metal, heck before there was even metal for us, our musical world was defined by pop music. And that pop side never went away, a list of all time favorite bands would still be packed with groups like Sloan, Redd Kross, the Posies, the Swirlies and a little group from Canada called Eric's Trip.
Anyway, the black metal hordes are just gonna have to move to the back of the bus and let the pop kids sit up front, as we're in for a little flurry of genius pure pop, branded with the tUMULt logo, the debut full length (actually THREE full lengths crammed onto one cd!) from SF's very own Ovens, coming soon, and this, record number two from The Memories Attack, which just so happens to feature Chris Thompson of the mighty Eric's Trip as well as long time aQ customer and indie rock luminary in his own right Ron Bates.
The Memories Attack are a duo, augmented by an occasional drummer, who sound like they were transported to 2008 directly from the early nineties, bringing with them all the jangle pop, lo-fi bedroom folk, crunchy distorted guitar, gorgeous vocal harmonies, busted effects pedals, old synths, incredible hooks, and catchy songs they could stuff into an old beat up suitcase. Bates plays in a band called Orange Glass, Thompson performs solo as Moon Socket, but it would be silly to not look back to Eric's Trip, one of THE Halifax pop bands who ruled the nineties indie rock world along with Sloan, Jale, Hardship Post, Superfriends, Thrush Hermit, and a bunch more, as the sound of Eric's Trip as well as other bands of the era (especially Sebadoh) totally inform the music of The Memories Attack.
And the thing is, they just don't make bands like TMA that much anymore, a couple guys, with a four track, a guitar, a beat up old drum set, and a head full of hooks. With Pro-Tools and laptops, home recording is a totally different process, and now pretty much everybody has some sort of drone record, or an abstract black ambient band, or a solo project of buzzing synthscapes, and don't get us wrong we love that stuff, but there's something to be said for songs, for POP songs, the kind that get stuck in your head, find their ways onto mix tapes, are forever stuck in the car stereo, the soundtrack to every roadtrip, whether it's across country or just to the 7-11. Take "Peaks & Valleys". It is THE jam of the summer, if it was in fact summer, and if it was actually 1995. Fuck it. This is the 2008 winter jam of the year, so there. All fuzzed out guitars, chiming melodies, blown out drums, gorgeous drawled vocals, and a chorus that KILLS. We literally have listend to this song about 100 times since we first got our hands on these recordings.
Or take "The Raft", beginning with a laid back lope, all spidery minor key guitars, falsetto vocals, distant shimmery drones, underwater bass, until the chorus kicks in, a massive churning chunk of heavy as fuck crunch, a killer riff, all wreathed in crumbling distortion and wrapped around an angular almost looped sounding countermelody, and tempered with gorgeous high high vocals, the sort of jam that you never ever ever want to end. "Collapso" is a minute long blast of scrabbly high end guitars, dueling vocals, splattery drums, all treble, a swirling glorious high end blowout. "Beautiful Sound" begins with a chugging metallic groove, pounding drums, very hypnotic and heavy, before slipping into a soft glimmering droney drift, vocals hovering above cymbal shimmer, and little flurries of clean guitar, before the heaviness kicks back in again. Record closer, "Exploding House II" is all folky and fluttery, a gorgeous steel string guitar workout, twangy pick and strum supporting dreamy world weary vocals, long streaks of fuzzy chordal whir drifting in like thick clouds in a bright blue sky, so so lovely.
Every track here is some glorious strain of perfect pop, whether it's a chunk of old school college rock jangle, a burst of synth infused almost metal crunch, wild wooly lo-fi garage-y stomp, or hushed intimate bedroom pop, it's all so catchy and rocking and irresistible. And it's all held together by some sort of mysterious pop music magic that few have mastered and even fewer understand, but which never fails to totally and utterly entrance us every time.
Needless to say WAY recommended. Most definitely another contender for pop record of the year!
MPEG Stream: "Peaks & Valleys"
MPEG Stream: "Beautiful Sound"
MPEG Stream: "The Raft"
MPEG Stream: "Go!!"
MPEG Stream: "Collapso"

album cover MEMORY BAND, THE Apron Strings (DiCristina) cd 13.98

MPEG Stream: "Blackwaterside"
MPEG Stream: "Come Write Me Down"

MEMORY GARDEN Mirage (Metal Blade) cd 16.98
Latest (third, I think) release by this Swedish band who are heavily influenced by the dark, epic, doom metal of countrymen Candlemass, circa '88. The chugging riffs, melancholic lead guitar, and the lamentations of their singer (whose soaring and sad wails are not quite as over the top as those of former Candlemass vocalist Messiah Marcolin, but close) all fit that doom blueprint, and will meet acceptance from fans of Solitude Aeturnus, Memento Mori, and the like as well. Really great stuff, actually, with some brilliant guitar solos.

MEMORY SMOKER Skulled Peel (Time Burglar) cassette 49.80

MEMPHIS BLEEK Understanding cd 16.98

MEMPHIS MINNIE The Essential (Classic Blues) 2cd 15.98
That Memphis Minnie defeated Big Bill Broonzy in a Chicago competition in 1933 that Bill himself called "the first contest between Blues singers that was ever given in the USA" should alone carry a hefty weight as a testament to Minnie's greatness. From 1905, at the age of 8, when she got her first guitar, to her death in 1973, Memphis Minnie was a popular figure in blues amongst blues musicians and fans alike, hosting Monday night blues parties throughout the 30's in Chicago and winning top awards as a vocalist and performer. This reasonably priced collection brings together 36 of her best tracks on two disks. Most tracks feature Minnie alone on guitar, but there are a few barrelhouse blues numbers with piano accompaniment and duets with the likes of Kansas Joe McCoy, Bumble Bee Slim and Little Son Joe.
RealAudio clip: "Where Is My Good Man"
RealAudio clip: "Let's Go To Town"
RealAudio clip: "Today Today Blues"

album cover MEN OF FORTUNE Time Lovingly Bled (Bird Dialect) lp 14.98
Some bands are considered 'punk' or 'underground' or even 'alternative' based more on lineage, their record label, or membership than actual sound. And weirdly, we find ourselves often digging more mainstream sounds made by those underground bands. Not sure if it's a lifelong aversion to 'the man' and his 'corporate rock', or maybe more likely, it's that popular music is popular for a reason, but when an artist makes 'popular' music and comes at it from a whole different direction, with a whole set of non-popular sonic references and resources, that just makes for something more original and compelling and interesting. A perfect example is the recent Orange record from Diamond Youth. A record we originally bought cuz it was on the same label as another band we love, one that's super punk and noisy and screamo, but the fact that Diamond Youth sounded like something you could hear on the radio, maybe SHOULD hear on the radio, only made it that much cooler.
Which brings us to Men Of Fortune, who we've raved about on the list before, and who are on a cool weird underground label, and who play shows with all sorts of heavy rock and punk bands, but whose sound is maybe closer to outfits like Kyuss or Queens Of The Stone Age. Or at least it was last time we heard em. But this time around, the label references Santana and King Crimson as well. Which at first blush we thought was sorta ridiculous, but the more we listen to Time Lovingly Bled, the more the weirdness, and proginess, and tripped out jamminess shine through. The split we first heard these guys on, they came across more as a sort of stonery noise rock outfit, but here, the band have stretched WAY out, and transformed their sound into a kind of sprawling stoner prog psychedelic space rock. Churning riffs and pounding drums give way to epic droned out psych-dirge drifts, the sound slipping sometimes into near metallic crush, but just as often, getting super spacey and abstract, meandering post rock psychedelia, the kind of thing that wouldn't be out of place on Agitated or Rocket or Cardinal Fuzz. And it's sorta funny, all that talk above about weird underground bands playing popular music, well, with every spin of this record, the actual sound becomes more and more tripped out, proggy, tangled and fucked up, which maybe speaks to the power of MoF's vision, cuz really, some of the moments here are catchy as hell, lots of moments in fact, but those moments are surrounded on all sides by strange swirls of buzzing synths, or tranced out hypno-rock blowouts, or brooding post-rock creeps, the arrangements dense and intricate, the prog vibe looms large, as does the sort of Isis / Neurosis style post metal, although these guys are less about bombast as they are about mood and vibe, texture and tone, some of the jams here, we could get lost in for hours, the band laying down dense tribal rhythms beneath skies full of swirling spidery melodies, and blurred chordal shimmers, the bass thick and sinewy, but the songs always seem to coalesce into proper songs, and in places, those songs verge on classic DOOM, just check out "The Passing Shame", which sounds like modern day Cave-In playing doom metal, and as unlikely as that may sound, the actual SOUND of it is pretty fucking excellent.
We definitely dug the previously reviewed split, but this full length has won us over big time. If you dig progged out heaviness, droney space rock, and all strains of psychedelia, and aren't averse to a little poppiness and proper songcraft, Time Lovingly Bled should push all your musical buttons. Pressed on 180 gram, 100 percent virgin vinyl. Includes a download of the whole record, as well as tracks from MoF side project Leaves Aflame!!
MPEG Stream: "Voices From The Void"
MPEG Stream: "Some Crystal Dawn"
MPEG Stream: "The Passing Shame"

MEN'S RECOVERY PROJECT Bolides Over Basra (Load) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover MEN'S RECOVERY PROJECT The Very Best Of (5RC) cd 14.98

album cover MEN, THE Campfire Songs (Sacred Bones) 12" 16.98
New five song ep from these East Coast noise rockers, and true to the title, the songs here are all acoustic, not sure if they actually were recorded around a campfire, but hell, they probably could have been! It's not necessarily a whole different side of the band, the last full length, found them shedding much of their obtuse noisiness in favor of more jangle and a bit more poppiness, and that is definitely evident here as well, although don't be expecting spare strum and croon, the sound here is actually pretty lush and full, a little bit noisy, distorted and maybe mid-fi. Opener "I Saw Her Face" transforms acoustic guitars into something thick and blurry, while the multi-tracked (or dual?) vocals, keening and heartfelt, definitely add some pathos. Sounds like their could be a piano in there too, or maybe just another guitar, but for an acoustic jam, it's pretty noisy and psychedelic. Some of the other tracks are bit more acoustic-y, like "The Seeds", which is downright Beatles-esque, super melodic and classically catchy, laced with some shaker-percussion, but even here, the guitars seem to billow into clouds of strummy shimmer, giving the sound a definite psychedelic vibe. And so it goes, the other tracks here are similarly woozy and washed out, pretty, fuzzy and strummy, although "Turn Your Color" might be our favorite, it's definitely the droniest and most tripped out of the bunch, with minimal percussion, and long stretched out tones, super trancey and hypnotic, thick clouds of cymbal shimmer, and some mumbled, buried-in-the-mix vox. Nice!
MPEG Stream: "I Saw Her Face"
MPEG Stream: "The Seeds"
MPEG Stream: "Turn Your Color"

album cover MEN, THE Immaculada (Deranged) cd 13.98
As much as we loved The Men's Leave Home album, which we made our Record Of the Week back in 2011, Immaculada, the 2010 debut from Brooklyn post punks / noise rockers The Men, released on cd for the first time (and vinyl again), might be even better. It's the same mix of experimental noise and twisted pop smarts, but here that hybrid is even more raw and feral, more blown out and urgent, more of a sort of home brewed basement-made mystery. The opener is the perfect teaser, a crumbling distorted layer of guitar buzz draped over a lilting organ melody, the combination reminding us of Tim Hecker, or maybe the Goslings, and then when the band kicks in proper, they simply add another layer, transforming that gauze-y drift into a sort of slow-mo shoegaze bliss-metal doom-drift that we sort of wish would have gone on forever.
Thankfully, the rest of the record is just as great. "Problems/Burning Up" unfurls a woozy sitar like drone, a sort of lo-fi raga, that is rudely interrupted by a squall of feedback and guitarnoise, those too settle into a sort of drone, before the sound splinters, and the song kicks in, all swaggery noise rock riffage and howled distorted vox, early AmRep is the vibe, but all washed out and sort of blissed out, and seriously catchy, and from there on out, the band sort of careen wildly from sound to sound, pretty and drifty one second, noisy and stomp the next, blurry and psychedelic the next, it's a glorious hodgepodge, as is evidenced by the jagged edits, and weird song structures, almost like this was a patchwork put together way after the fact, but that sort of schizophrenic arrangement suits the sound and the songs. "Grave Desecration" is The Men doing their best buzzing black metal, peppering that blackened noise-rock with parts way poppier, not to mention a dreamy acoustic guitar outro. "Madonna, Star Of The Sea" is another gem here, never fully forming into proper song form, but instead, unfurling as a glorious, super distorted, blissed out psychedelic guitar drone, the sound churning and undulating, chugging and drifting in equal measure, a bit of twang here and there, but ultimately, the sounds surface and then seem to ooze and bleed into one another, the result a sort of heady psychedelic drone-drift, that again, like the opener, could have filled up the rest of the record and we would have been just fine with that.
From there on out, the group continue to confound. "Lazarus" delivers a swirling squall of guitar noise and feedback drenched skree, very free form Sonic Youth style, but then when the song kicks in, it's CRAZY poppy, sounding like a stumblier, noise rockier version of the Swirlies, "Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition" sounds like Polvo by way of the Meat Puppets, total classic noise pop, a little bit angular, a little bit twangy, but still plenty murky and lo-fi, "Oh Yoko" is a brief blast of pop flecked noisiness, a chaotic sonic swirl rife with shrieked vox and buried melodies, and finally the title track is a brooding groover, a classic slice of noise pop/rock, with chugging, churning bass heavy verses, soaring super distorted sort-of choruses, some killer psychedelic guitar freakouts, and somehow the whole thing manages to still be insanely catchy. Probably should have made this one Record Of The Week too, which of course means that this is absolutely and utterly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Stranger Song"
MPEG Stream: "Problems / Burning Up"
MPEG Stream: "Grave Desecration"
MPEG Stream: "Madonna; Star Of The Sea"
MPEG Stream: "Lazarus"

album cover MEN, THE Immaculada (Deranged Records) lp 17.98
As much as we loved The Men's Leave Home album, which we made our Record Of the Week back in 2011, Immaculada, the 2010 debut from Brooklyn post punks / noise rockers The Men, released on cd for the first time (and vinyl again), might be even better. It's the same mix of experimental noise and twisted pop smarts, but here that hybrid is even more raw and feral, more blown out and urgent, more of a sort of home brewed basement-made mystery. The opener is the perfect teaser, a crumbling distorted layer of guitar buzz draped over a lilting organ melody, the combination reminding us of Tim Hecker, or maybe the Goslings, and then when the band kicks in proper, they simply add another layer, transforming that gauze-y drift into a sort of slow-mo shoegaze bliss-metal doom-drift that we sort of wish would have gone on forever.
Thankfully, the rest of the record is just as great. "Problems/Burning Up" unfurls a woozy sitar like drone, a sort of lo-fi raga, that is rudely interrupted by a squall of feedback and guitarnoise, those too settle into a sort of drone, before the sound splinters, and the song kicks in, all swaggery noise rock riffage and howled distorted vox, early AmRep is the vibe, but all washed out and sort of blissed out, and seriously catchy, and from there on out, the band sort of careen wildly from sound to sound, pretty and drifty one second, noisy and stomp the next, blurry and psychedelic the next, it's a glorious hodgepodge, as is evidenced by the jagged edits, and weird song structures, almost like this was a patchwork put together way after the fact, but that sort of schizophrenic arrangement suits the sound and the songs. "Grave Desecration" is The Men doing their best buzzing black metal, peppering that blackened noise-rock with parts way poppier, not to mention a dreamy acoustic guitar outro. "Madonna, Star Of The Sea" is another gem here, never fully forming into proper song form, but instead, unfurling as a glorious, super distorted, blissed out psychedelic guitar drone, the sound churning and undulating, chugging and drifting in equal measure, a bit of twang here and there, but ultimately, the sounds surface and then seem to ooze and bleed into one another, the result a sort of heady psychedelic drone-drift, that again, like the opener, could have filled up the rest of the record and we would have been just fine with that.
From there on out, the group continue to confound. "Lazarus" delivers a swirling squall of guitar noise and feedback drenched skree, very free form Sonic Youth style, but then when the song kicks in, it's CRAZY poppy, sounding like a stumblier, noise rockier version of the Swirlies, "Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition" sounds like Polvo by way of the Meat Puppets, total classic noise pop, a little bit angular, a little bit twangy, but still plenty murky and lo-fi, "Oh Yoko" is a brief blast of pop flecked noisiness, a chaotic sonic swirl rife with shrieked vox and buried melodies, and finally the title track is a brooding groover, a classic slice of noise pop/rock, with chugging, churning bass heavy verses, soaring super distorted sort-of choruses, some killer psychedelic guitar freakouts, and somehow the whole thing manages to still be insanely catchy. Probably should have made this one Record Of The Week too, which of course means that this is absolutely and utterly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Stranger Song"
MPEG Stream: "Problems / Burning Up"
MPEG Stream: "Grave Desecration"
MPEG Stream: "Madonna; Star Of The Sea"
MPEG Stream: "Lazarus"

album cover MEN, THE Leave Home (Sacred Bones) cd 14.98
Brand new full length from this Brooklyn postpunk / noiserock quartet, who take the whole gloomy, gothicky dour eighties pop sound that is so popular with the kids these days, and twist it all up, supercharging it, dousing it in noise and transforming an overfamiliar sound into something super exciting and fresh, blown out and psychedelic, wild and chaotic, a collection of crashing, bombastic pop songs, tripped out droney instrumentals, and furious super saturated noiserock blowouts, that while in fact do occasionally hint at the aforementioned sound, seem to shed bits of that sound as the record progresses, and even moreso with every play, ultimately revealing the twisted, noisy, and wholly original sound at The Men's gloriously distorted core.
The opener starts with a misleadingly tranquil stretch of softly swirling psychedelic guitars, warbly ambience, and effects laced shimmer, it's over three minutes before the song proper kicks in, but when it does, holy shit, a blinding, head spinning kaleidoscopic blast of thick shoegazey guitars, super distorted drum pound, all tangled melodies and swirling harmonies, the main riff sounding strangely like Big Country, albeit more warped and woozy and noisy, and then the vocals swoop in and it's pure pop, all supercharged dreamy hazy multitracked vocals, everything wreathed in a crumbling almost Elephant Six style production, it's like a dirgey noiserock Neutral Milk Hotel record, melting in the sun, and blasted through some hood mounted loudspeakers as you do doughnuts in the middle of a busy intersection on a hundred degree summer afternoon, fantastically fuzzy and blissed out, but still crunchy and heavy and dreamily noisy.
The rest of the record follows suit, mixing in healthy heapings of pop soaked punkish pound, but even then the sounds are warm and in-the-red, and the sounds seem to ooze and warble, the riffs slippery and the songs laced with loads of subtle (and not so subtle) subtle harmonies. Much of the record is actually instrumental, which in the hands of most bands would bore big time, but these guys kitchen sink every song, often sounding like multiple Polvo's playing at once, thick and dense and gnarled and gloriously twisted, the songs constantly switching gears, whether it's feedback doused almost-sludge, wrapped in wild squiggly guitar leads, or dirgey near Brainbombs sounding cacophony, or even strummy psych pop blowouts that seem to explode into swirling squalls of free-psych shreddery, the sounds all merge into one glorious noise pop blur.
"Bataille" is the hit here, and it's obvious why, all of the above mentioned sonics, harnessed to a low slung chunk of Sonic Youth worthy post punk, all angular guitars, dense layered melodies, howled throat shredding vox, and dense propulsive drumming, the song rife with crazy hooks, droney-cyclical riffage but also some seriously killer gloomy new wave-isms. And while we love that track, our favorite (besides the opener), might just be "Shittin' With The Shah", a smoldering, sun baked, wide eyed bit of hazy psychedelia, all simple skeletal drumming, and chiming echo drenched guitars, woozy and dreamily druggy, a soft slow build to a final one minute blast of gloriously blown out in-the-red, sweetly melodic, but speaker shreddingly noisy shoegazekrautpopnoiserock swirl.
Needless to say, quite a surprise, even from a label we dearly love and who rarely disappoints. Most definitely a new noise pop / psych rock / post punk favorite, that we can't seem to stop listening to!
MPEG Stream: "If You Leave"
MPEG Stream: "Bataille"
MPEG Stream: "Shittin' With The Shah"

album cover MEN, THE Leave Home (Sacred Bones) lp 14.98
Brand new full length from this Brooklyn postpunk / noiserock quartet, who take the whole gloomy, gothicky dour eighties pop sound that is so popular with the kids these days, and twist it all up, supercharging it, dousing it in noise and transforming an overfamiliar sound into something super exciting and fresh, blown out and psychedelic, wild and chaotic, a collection of crashing, bombastic pop songs, tripped out droney instrumentals, and furious super saturated noiserock blowouts, that while in fact do occasionally hint at the aforementioned sound, seem to shed bits of that sound as the record progresses, and even moreso with every play, ultimately revealing the twisted, noisy, and wholly original sound at The Men's gloriously distorted core.
The opener starts with a misleadingly tranquil stretch of softly swirling psychedelic guitars, warbly ambience, and effects laced shimmer, it's over three minutes before the song proper kicks in, but when it does, holy shit, a blinding, head spinning kaleidoscopic blast of thick shoegazey guitars, super distorted drum pound, all tangled melodies and swirling harmonies, the main riff sounding strangely like Big Country, albeit more warped and woozy and noisy, and then the vocals swoop in and it's pure pop, all supercharged dreamy hazy multitracked vocals, everything wreathed in a crumbling almost Elephant Six style production, it's like a dirgey noiserock Neutral Milk Hotel record, melting in the sun, and blasted through some hood mounted loudspeakers as you do doughnuts in the middle of a busy intersection on a hundred degree summer afternoon, fantastically fuzzy and blissed out, but still crunchy and heavy and dreamily noisy.
The rest of the record follows suit, mixing in healthy heapings of pop soaked punkish pound, but even then the sounds are warm and in-the-red, and the sounds seem to ooze and warble, the riffs slippery and the songs laced with loads of subtle (and not so subtle) subtle harmonies. Much of the record is actually instrumental, which in the hands of most bands would bore big time, but these guys kitchen sink every song, often sounding like multiple Polvo's playing at once, thick and dense and gnarled and gloriously twisted, the songs constantly switching gears, whether it's feedback doused almost-sludge, wrapped in wild squiggly guitar leads, or dirgey near Brainbombs sounding cacophony, or even strummy psych pop blowouts that seem to explode into swirling squalls of free-psych shreddery, the sounds all merge into one glorious noise pop blur.
"Bataille" is the hit here, and it's obvious why, all of the above mentioned sonics, harnessed to a low slung chunk of Sonic Youth worthy post punk, all angular guitars, dense layered melodies, howled throat shredding vox, and dense propulsive drumming, the song rife with crazy hooks, droney-cyclical riffage but also some seriously killer gloomy new wave-isms. And while we love that track, our favorite (besides the opener), might just be "Shittin' With The Shah", a smoldering, sun baked, wide eyed bit of hazy psychedelia, all simple skeletal drumming, and chiming echo drenched guitars, woozy and dreamily druggy, a soft slow build to a final one minute blast of gloriously blown out in-the-red, sweetly melodic, but speaker shreddingly noisy shoegazekrautpopnoiserock swirl.
Needless to say, quite a surprise, even from a label we dearly love and who rarely disappoints. Most definitely a new noise pop / psych rock / post punk favorite, that we can't seem to stop listening to!
MPEG Stream: "If You Leave"
MPEG Stream: "Bataille"
MPEG Stream: "Shittin' With The Shah"

album cover MEN, THE New Moon (Sacred Bones) cd 15.98
And now here's the cd version!
We love NYC noise rockers the Men, pretty much every one of their records ended up being a HUGE favorite around here, heck we even made Leave Home our Record Of The Week back in 2011. Review-wise we'd sort of been leapfrogging between records and sounds, having first reviewed, Open Your Heart, before reviewing their much noisier, WAY more chaotic debut Immaculada. And while we did love that record, it may have distracted folks from the fact that The Men had been growing steadily more poppy and less noisy with each record. And we'd been hearing rumblings recently about how this new one was crazy poppy, so much so that some folks just couldn't handle it. We were pretty skeptical, but listening to it now, we can definitely see what had people all worked up. Don't get us wrong, we still dig it, it's a pretty awesome record, but it IS crazy poppy, sounding way less like nineties noise rock, and way more like nineties indie/college rock, which might not seem like that much of a distinction, but in some ways it really is.
But if you're like us, and you love jangly pop as well, there's still some noise pop goodness to be had here, it's just now heavier on the pop than on the noise. Just check out the opening one-two punch of "Open The Dorr" and "Half Angel Half Light". The first of which is all acoustic guitar and piano, whirring organ, laconic laid back vocals, a little bit twangy, it reminds us a bit of the Woods, or for a nineties reference, a little bit like a less guitar heavy Dinosaur Jr, maybe Sebadoh? Might not be what we expected, but it's pretty great. And the follow up is definitely more rocking, but somehow it's even more nineties indie rock sounding, a la Replacements, Soul Asylum (when they were good, and when they were good, they were GREAT), Skunk... This could be some lost band on Minneapolis label TwinTone, with the heartfelt vox, the urgent jangle, the fuzzed out riffage, swirls of wah wah guitar and a big chorus. And that's pretty much how the whole record plays out, a killer throwback to the heyday of nineties indie rock, but these guys began life as a post punk / noise rock band, so they can't ditch that side of their sonic personality altogether, and when it pops up, it adds some awesomely noisy heft to the proceedings, like on "Without A Face", the stripped down verse give way to a wild squall of a bridge, complete with wild harmonica blowing (!!), or on "I Saw Her Face", the band unfurl a super blown out, crumbling distortion drenched dirge, wild and psychedelic, but underpinned by some serious poppiness. Elsewhere the band further confound with the stripped down jangle garage rock of "The Seeds", but return to melt faces with "The Brass", which could definitely have been plucked from one of their older records, and the sprawling 8 minute closer, which fuses dense drum pound with chugging, noisy distorted riffage, the whole thing tranced out and hypnotic, but laced with some stretches of pure poppiness, which are balanced by some fierce noise drenched psychedelic blowouts, sounding not only like an ideal final track, but probably a live set closer as well.
So yeah, don't believe the hype, odds are if you dug the other Men records, you'll likely dig this one too, unless you're extremely averse to pop, but in that case, what the heck is wrong with you?!?
MPEG Stream: "Open The Door"
MPEG Stream: "Half Angel Half Light"
MPEG Stream: "Without A Face"
MPEG Stream: "I Saw Her Face"
MPEG Stream: "The Brass"

album cover MEN, THE New Moon (Sacred Bones) lp 17.98
We love NYC noise rockers the Men, pretty much every one of their records ended up being a HUGE favorite around here, heck we even made Leave Home our Record Of The Week back in 2011. Review-wise we'd sort of been leapfrogging between records and sounds, having first reviewed, Open Your Heart, before reviewing their much noisier, WAY more chaotic debut Immaculada. And while we did love that record, it may have distracted folks from the fact that The Men had been growing steadily more poppy and less noisy with each record. And we'd been hearing rumblings recently about how this new one was crazy poppy, so much so that some folks just couldn't handle it. We were pretty skeptical, but listening to it now, we can definitely see what had people all worked up. Don't get us wrong, we still dig it, it's a pretty awesome record, but it IS crazy poppy, sounding way less like nineties noise rock, and way more like nineties indie/college rock, which might not seem like that much of a distinction, but in some ways it really is.
But if you're like us, and you love jangly pop as well, there's still some noise pop goodness to be had here, it's just now heavier on the pop than on the noise. Just check out the opening one-two punch of "Open The Dorr" and "Half Angel Half Light". The first of which is all acoustic guitar and piano, whirring organ, laconic laid back vocals, a little bit twangy, it reminds us a bit of the Woods, or for a nineties reference, a little bit like a less guitar heavy Dinosaur Jr, maybe Sebadoh? Might not be what we expected, but it's pretty great. And the follow up is definitely more rocking, but somehow it's even more nineties indie rock sounding, a la Replacements, Soul Asylum (when they were good, and when they were good, they were GREAT), Skunk... This could be some lost band on Minneapolis label TwinTone, with the heartfelt vox, the urgent jangle, the fuzzed out riffage, swirls of wah wah guitar and a big chorus. And that's pretty much how the whole record plays out, a killer throwback to the heyday of nineties indie rock, but these guys began life as a post punk / noise rock band, so they can't ditch that side of their sonic personality altogether, and when it pops up, it adds some awesomely noisy heft to the proceedings, like on "Without A Face", the stripped down verse give way to a wild squall of a bridge, complete with wild harmonica blowing (!!), or on "I Saw Her Face", the band unfurl a super blown out, crumbling distortion drenched dirge, wild and psychedelic, but underpinned by some serious poppiness. Elsewhere the band further confound with the stripped down jangle garage rock of "The Seeds", but return to melt faces with "The Brass", which could definitely have been plucked from one of their older records, and the sprawling 8 minute closer, which fuses dense drum pound with chugging, noisy distorted riffage, the whole thing tranced out and hypnotic, but laced with some stretches of pure poppiness, which are balanced by some fierce noise drenched psychedelic blowouts, sounding not only like an ideal final track, but probably a live set closer as well.
So yeah, don't believe the hype, odds are if you dug the other Men records, you'll likely dig this one too, unless you're extremely averse to pop, but in that case, what the heck is wrong with you?!?
MPEG Stream: "Open The Door"
MPEG Stream: "Half Angel Half Light"
MPEG Stream: "Without A Face"
MPEG Stream: "I Saw Her Face"
MPEG Stream: "The Brass"

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