Check out this weeks 'Vinyl Five for Monday 25/05/2015', The essential vinyl you should own this week, carefully selected by Kenny Murdock from Belfast's best vinyl record store 'Sick Records, Belfast'.
Album Of The Month, May 2015
Death & Vanilla – To Where The Wild Things Are (Fire)
Discounting last year’s ‘re-imagined’ soundtrack “Vampyr”, “To Where The Wild Things Are” is only the second album from Sweden’s Death & Vanilla. Existing somewhere between the ‘library’, synth-sounds of the Ghost Box label and the classic, baroque-pop sound of 60s French cinema, Death & Vanilla are perfect replacements for the much-missed Broadcast. This album is a great starting point for the uninitiated. It’s an accessible mix of shimmering, pop haze and the warm, dusty sound of the vintage instruments and equipment used in the recording process. For fans of The Belbury Poly, The Left Banke and The Free Design.
Listen to a track BELOW:
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Thee Oh Sees – Mutilator Defeated At Last (Castle Face)
Very few bands have created a local stir in the way that Thee Oh Sees did two years ago with a phenomenal sold-out show at the Black Box. Though John Dwyer is the only constant over their 18-year existence, he shows no sign of slowing down creatively or in the live arena (check out You-tube clips of the new two-drummer line-up). “Mutilator….” Is another fantastic record. Gone is the 1000 mph garage-rock blitz of their early albums and singles. It’s been replaced with a more rhythmic, tuneful, Krautrock groove, first heard on “Floating Coffin”. Check out the 60’s pop sheen of ‘Sticky Hulks’ or the mellow jam of ‘Holy Smoke’ with Brigid Dawson back in the studio on keys. Another triumph !
Listen to a track BELOW:
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The Fall – Sub-Lingual Tablet (Cherry Red)
There’s a new Fall album. It won’t be the best album you’ll hear this year. It will be far from the worst. It’s The Fall. It sounds like The Fall. Mark E. Smith is still a cantankerous curmudgeon who writes amusing lyrics and great angular tunes and his band sound great (though I will forever miss Steve Hanley and Karl Burns). He still mis-fires from time to time, here with the lumpen ‘Black Door’, but his filler is still better than anything The Cribs have ever done. And he’s nearly 60. ‘Dedication Not Medication’ is superb, but ‘Auto Chip 14-15’ is their best song since ‘Theme From Sparta F.C.’. Hey, It’s The Fall. What else do you need to know.
Therapy? – Disquiet (Amazing Record Company)
Disquiet is the fourteenth studio album from Therapy? Fourteenth ! That is an impressive statistic. However, this is no revisionist, cash-in exercise. In fact, this might be the most important album of the band’s 26-year career. There’s no softening of approach here. The tunes are dark, brooding and, above all, catchy. The comparisons to Troublegum are not without foundation. Cairns’ mines familiar themes in his lyrics, namely alienation, mortality and despair in a suite of songs filled with killer riffs and huge, anthemic choruses. ‘No News Is Good News’ and ‘Still Hurts’ are as good as anything they’ve done before. Want to know how important Therapy? are to the local scene ? Can you name me another band from N.I. who got to their fourteenth album ? Didn’t think so.
Takaakira ‘Taka’ Goto – Classical Punk And Echoes Under Beauty (Pelagic)
Takaakira Goto is best known from his work in MONO, Japanese, instrumental, post-punk, noise-makers. “Classical Punk…..” is a cinematic tour-de-force, built around dark, sweeping string arrangements and simple piano melodies that sound like Godspeed You Black Emperor arranged by Ennio Morricone. The music feels so insular and brooding, like an un-official soundtrack to Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’, that even the high-points seem muted. Post-rock has become something of an on-line joke among music fans in the last few years. This year’s fantastic Godspeed album and Takaakira Goto are re-dressing the balance admirably.
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Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker (Bloodshot Records)
Ryan Adams was a relative unknown when he released his solo debut in 2000. He’d recorded three albums of faultless Americana as the front-man of Whiskeytown but only true aficionados of the genre knew his identity. Everything changed from then on. He’d be photographed at movie premieres with A-list girlfriends and his increasingly erratic behaviour in public caused huge concern among his legion of fans. It didn’t alter the fact that he’d written some of the most haunting, love-lorn ballads of the early 2000’s. Heartbreaker is a stunning debut, full of tales of struggle and loss. His decision to use David Rawlings as producer was a master-stroke and you can feel their chemistry from the opening exchange, where they argue, light-heartedly, about Morrissey albums. Everyone knows ‘Oh My Sweet Carolina’ and ‘Come Pick Me Up’ but the true gem here is ‘In My Time Of Need’, a desolate prayer from a widowed father, struggling against his eternal misfortune.
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