CAT POWER (Also) Plans An Album Of ‘COVERS’

10 October 2021

Artist: CAT POWER (born Chan Marshall)
Who: American singer-songwriter
Active: Since 1992 – 10 studio albums

New album: COVERS
Release: 14 January 2022 – Order info here

Cat Power joins the long queue of artists recording and releasing
a covers album/EP/single. Since the coronavirus paralyzed normal
life, most of the musicians got a lot of free time and many of them
used it to interpreting other songs. It rained/rains covers.

Tracklist

01 “Bad Religion” (Frank Ocean Cover)
02 “Unhate”
03 “Pa Pa Power” (Dead Man’s Bones Cover)
04 “A Pair of Brown Eyes” (The Pogues Cover)
05 “Against the Wind” (Bob Seger Cover)
06 “Endless Sea” (Iggy Pop Cover)
07 “These Days” (Jackson Browne Cover)
08 “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” (Kitty Wells Cover)
09 “I Had a Dream Joe” (Nick Cave Cover)
10 “Here Comes a Regular” (The Replacements Cover)
11 “I’ll Be Seeing You” (Billie Holiday Cover)

First two tasters…

– A PAIR OF BROWN EYES –
(Original: The Pogues)

– BAD RELIGION –
(Original: Frank Ocean Performed live
on an American TV show)

CAT POWER: Website

4 Brand New ALBUMS: MANIC STREET PREACHERS – THE VACCINES – SLEIGH BELLS – METALLICA

Brand new longplayers…

The Ultra Vivid Lament by MANIC STREET PREACHERS

Band: MANIC STREET PREACHERS
Album: THE ULTRA VIVID LAMENT
The Welsh rockers’ 14th longplayer

NME says: “The band delve into loss, insecurity and existential dread, resulting in some of the prettiest songs of their career… The record has its flaws, but in the end they are minor bumps
in a record of intense beauty, among the best of the Manics’ records this century.”
Full review here. Score: 4/5.

Turn Up The Volume: Even after all these years, the Manics – one of my-all time favorite bands – do what they do terrifically best, writing adrenalin-fueled pop anthems that make your ears tremble the moment they stream out of your stereo speakers. I know, their slash-‘n’-burn punk edge of the early days is gone, and they pop more than they rock now, with sticking symphonic sparks, and they still tackle social issues/injustices – past and present – with a pointed knife. A band designed for life.

Stream here…

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MANICS: Facebook
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Band: SLEIGH BELLS
Album: TEXIS
The New York duo’s fifth full length

The Line Of Best Fit says: “TEXIS delivers everything that one could hope to find on a Sleigh Bells record: dance worthy beats, angelic vocals, and satisfying boisterousness. While TEXIS could have afforded more variability, it remains a testament to the act’s ability to express a range of emotions without killing the tempo.” Score: 4/5.

Turn Up The Volume: Sleigh Bells combine half tunes, with half grooves, half beats and half booms, then throw the whole shebang in a bubbling electro bath. Don’t expect a Saturday Night Fever Party, but a rather Saturday Of Messed-Up Minds Madness. Actually, my messed-up cup of tea.

Stream here…


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SLEIGH BELLS: Facebook

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Band: METALLICA
Album: METALLICA BLACKLIST
What: A massive covers compilation called The Metallica Blacklist featuring
no less than 53 artists interpreting a Black Album song, the breakthrough LP
that celebrated its 30th last month.

Pitchfork writes: “There’s some great music on The Metallica Blacklist, but how great can
an album truly be if you can’t stomach listening to it in one sitting? The Black Album launched Metallica to superstardom because of its approachability, but in its attempts to offer something for everyone, Blacklist spreads itself too thin.”
Full review here. Score: 6/10.

Turn Up The Volume: 66 tracks, 5 hours and 56 minutes! No, thank you. Really too much for my ears. And, to be honest, I was never a devoted Metallica fan, but millions are, so there you go.

Stream here…

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METALLICA: Facebook

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Band: THE VACCINES
Album: BACK IN LOVE CITY
Fifth LP by the London indie rockers

DIY magazine‘s verdict: “The Vaccines allow their unashamed love for pop to soar
on ‘Back In Love City’. Against Justin’s increasingly interesting way with words, it feels
like the purest Vaccines album yet.”
Full review here. Score: 4/5.

Turn Up The Volume: The one and only Vaccines album I frequently return to is their debut What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?. Its razor-sharp, no fillers all killers brilliance melted away along their long and winding road. Mind you, this new one has some big moments… but just not enough. Also, too much over-orchestrated bombast. Their first vaccine is still their most effective working in my book.

Stream here…

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THE VACCINES: Facebook

SMELLS LIKE NEW VINYL – Four New LPs Out Today

3 September 2021

Band: MEATBODIES
Who: Alt-rock group formed in 2013 in Monrovia,
California
by Chad Ubovich / 3 studio albums

New album: 333
Released: 3 September 2021 via In The Red

Chad Ubovich (frontman): “Here in America, we’re watching the fall
of U.S. capitalism, and 333 is a cartoonish representation of that decline.”

Turn Up The Volume: A wall-of-fuzzing-and-buzzing guitar rock.
No wonder Ubovich plays with the equally fuzzing and fuzzing Ty
Segall
 in one of the latter’s bands called, eh, Fuzz.

Stream
here…

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MEATBODIES: Facebook

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Band: SUUNS
Who: Psych Krautrockers from Montreal, Canada
Active: Since 2007 / 5 studio albums

New album: THE WITNESS
Released: 3 September 2021 – order info here

Loud and Quiet Magazine says: “Listening on headphones, especially, heightens
the many intricacies and textures permeating the record. In particular, the twinkling
chimes and glimmering guitars punctuating ‘The Fix’ are all the more rewarding when consumed with no external distractions.”
Full review here.

Turn Up The Volume: For (only) 37 minutes, Suuns infiltrates your ears for
a relaxing electro pop trip with soothing effect. Not their best, but grows on
you after a couple of spins.

Stream here…


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SUUNS: Facebook
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Band: IMAGINE DRAGONS
Who: Famous pop/rock quartet from Las Vegas, Nevada
Active since 2008 / 5 studio LPs so far

New album: MERCURY – ACT 1
Released: 3 September 2021
Order info: here

USA Today says: “It’s a cohesive expression of celebration and mourning,
of affirmations and struggles, all packaged with newfound candor.”
Full review here.

Turn Up The Volume: Vegas’ synth pop darlings move as a roller coaster
on this new one. From sensitive to aggressive, from brisk to feverish.

Stream here…

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IMAGINE DRAGONS: Facebook

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Band: TONER
Who: Indie rockers from Oakland, California

New album: WHITE BUFFALO ROAM
The group’s 3rd LP – order info: here

Turn Up The Volume: Classify this amplified-guitar-extravaganza
longplayer somewhere between your Dinosaur Jr. and your Pavement
LPs and your cracking Nirvana bootlegs.

Stream here…

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TONER: Facebook

Coming Soon… New Album By THE WAR ON DRUGS

15 August 2021

Artist: THE WAR ON DRUGS (Philadelphia)
Adam Granduciel‘s highly successful band.

Active: Since 2005 / 4 studio albums (so far) with
A Deeper Understanding as the most recent one,
already 4 years ago.

New album: I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE
Info: “An uncommon rock album about one
of our most common but daunting processes,
resilience in the face of despair.”

Release: 29 October 2021
Order info: here

Lead single

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TRACKLIST

01. “Living Proof”
02. “Harmonia’s Dream”
03.“Change”
04. “I Don’t Wanna Wait”
05. “Victim”
06. “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”
07. “Old Skin”
08. “Wasted”
09. “Rings Around My Father’s Eyes”
10. “Occasional Rain”

THE WAR ON DRUGS: Facebook

Coming (Very) Soon… Solo Album By Happy Monday SHAUN RYDER

10 August 2021

Artist: SHAUN RYDER

Who: Frontman of Madchester icons Happy Mondays
and Black Grape. He also has several collaborations on
his resume (Gorillaz, tenor Russel Watson, Talking Heads…)

New solo album: VISITS FROM FUTURE TECHNOLOGY
Out: 20 August 2021 – Order info here

Singles: Mumbo Jumbo / Posters and Daughters

– MUMBO JUMBO –

Sultry, funky, sickly sticky disco groover

– POPSTAR’ DAUGHTERS –

Shaun goes pop, trippy and catchy as bloody hell

SHAUN RYDER: Facebook

VISITS FROM FUTURE TECHNOLOGY out 20 August – order info here

“The American Dream Is Not For Weak Soft-Hearted Fools” – JOHN GRANT On ‘BOY FROM MICHIGAN’

27 June 2021

Artist: JOHN GRANT
Born in Buchanan, Michigan, U.S. – now living in Iceland, Europe.
Who: Former member of alt-rockers The Czars (1994–2006) / so far
he made 4 solo albums.

New album: BOY FROM MICHIGAN
Released: 25 June 2021 via Bella Union

Info: John Grant arrived at the studio to begin recording his fifth solo record,
Boy from Michigan, on 1st March 2020. “So, basically right at the beginning of
the pandemic nightmare and all throughout the Presidential campaign,” he says.
For Grant, lockdown was largely academic. He is insular by nature and removed
himself from his native America in 2011, decamping to Iceland. From afar, the US
Presidential race loomed large, though, igniting potent memories of the country
which shaped John Grant. 2020’s temporary destabilising of world order suits
Boy from Michigan’s intent just fine.

John Grant on working with Cate Le Bon for this longplayer: “Cate and I
are both very strong-willed people. Making a record is hard on a good day.
The mounting stress of the US election and the pandemic really started to get
to us by late July and August last year. It was at times a very stressful process
under the circumstances, but one which was also full of many incredible and
joyful moments.”

NME says: “The electro-pop artist’s latest punctuates intense and dark
examinations of contemporary masculinity with moments of breathtaking
beauty… It’s an album that does not only confronts the cult of masculinity
and its endless tentacles, but ultimately overcomes it.”

Score: 5/5.

Turn Up The Volume: From nostalgia and heavyhearted reveries to
upbeat electro grooves (The Rusty Bull / Rhetorical Figure / Best In Me).
When you, like me, live in an uncertain weather country (Belgium) it’s
great to have records like these to keep your moods swings company
on rainy summer days.

Keylines: “The American Dream is not for weak soft-hearted fool The American
Dream can cause scarring / and some nasty bruising
/ The American Dream is
not for weak soft-hearted fools”
(from title track ‘Boy From Michigan.”

Singles: Billy / A Boy From Michigan

– BILLY –

– THE BOY FROM MICHIGAN –

Stream/buy album here…


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JOHN GRANT: Facebook

STEREOGUM Reveals List Of 50 Best 2021 Albums So Far

10 June 2021

STEREOGUM, the daily online publication that focuses
on music news, reviews, interviews, and commentary
(winner of several awards) revealed their list of
50 Best 2021 Albums so far.

1. ‘Between The Richness’ by FIDDLEHEAD
Hardcore from Boston.

Stream/buy here…


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2. ‘Ignorance’ by THE WEATHER STATION
Dream pop from Ontario, Canada.

Stream/buy here…


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3. Deacon by serpentwithfeet
Experimental gospel from Brooklyn, NY


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4. Promises by Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders,
& The London Symphony Orchestra

Jazz

Stream/buy here…


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5. ‘An Overview On Phenomenal Nature’ by
CASSANDRA JENKINS
Singer/songwriter from Brooklyn, NY

Stream/buy here…


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Click
for THE FULL LIST

Power Blues Rockers THE UGLY KINGS Announced New LP & Share Single ‘TECHNODRONE’

10 June 2021

Band: THE UGLY KINGS (Melbourne, Australia)
Who: A passion-filled gang that offers a stripped down but
powerful injection of energy and emotion to the modern rock
scene; formulating what can only be described as ‘Power Blues’

FFO: The Doors, Jack White, Black Sabbath, Arctic
Monkeys, Royal Blood, Rival Sons, The Dead Weather

New album: STRANGE, STRANGE TIMES
Out: Friday the 13th of August – order info here

New single: TECHNODRONE
A blistering powerhouse slam dunk. Beat-your-ass drums,
flaming guitars, high-octane vocals, massive tune. Heavy
rock emotions in motion. Touchdown!

Can you tell me how am I supposed to feel
I’m losing sight of everything that’s real
When you’re hypnotised left standing like a stone
Like a disillusioned technicolour drone

Here comes the explosion

THE UGLY KINGS: Facebook

(promo press photo – FB The Ugly Kinks)