It's the unofficial start of summer, the most dreaded of all the seasons in the Northeast, but tempered with the proliferation of music releases meant to hype up the endless touring schedules all across the country. Meanwhile, I'm still struggling to keep up with all the exceptional releases that came out in the spring. Many of the albums on this week's list are from the past few months, with the addition of two old albums that I acquired on vinyl in the last couple of weeks. Lots of rock on this list, so get your lighters out, throw up some devil horns, and turn it up loud. Enjoy.
Jack White - Live at Third Man Records: This limited release is a recording of a concert put on at Third Man's Nashville headquarters. Using two different backing bands, The Peacocks and The Buzzards, this show took place sometime before the release of last year's Blunderbuss album and features the first performance of many of the songs from that album. But it also includes many White Stripes classics, serving as a nice career spanning set. This album really captures the manic energy of Jack White live. Definitely a must for fans.
Mötley Crüe - Too Fast for Love: I've been listening to this album a ton lately, having dusted off my old CD a few weeks back. So when I came across a copy on vinyl the other day, I had to pick it up. This is the band's 1981 sleaze glam debut. I've always thought of this album as the California response to the New York Dolls. "Live Wire" "Piece of the Action," and the title track are real stand-outs, not that there is really any filler on here. It's fast, raw, and stone cold rocks.
The Black Angles - Indigo Meadow: Back in 2006, this Austin psych band blew me away with their debut album Passover. Borrowing heavily from late '60s and 70's heavy psych rock, they revived a kind of sound that had all but faded into the past. Now with their forth album, and first since 2010, they continue to draw on the same influences and feed my appetite for this genre of music. Through their career, they've always been consistent, never delivering a bad record. If you don't know this band, but are into psych rock, definitely check them out.
The Animals - The Best of The Animals: I'm not usually one to go for Greatest Hits or Best Of albums. They account for only about two dozen or so of the thousands of albums in my collection. But there are some exceptions and this compilation is one of them. It's not a typical "Best Of" as it was released in 1966, a mere four years after the band's first release. It was too nice of a collection to turn away from a $5 copy of the original vinyl pressing. It collects most of the A-sides from the early EPs, including "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," "It's My Life," and "We Gotta Get Out of This Place." One of the best, and most overlooked bands of the British Invasion.
The Go - Fiesta: Founded way back in 1998, this Detroit band was on of the ignitors of the garage rock revival of the last decade, which former member, Jack White, would go on to become the poster idol for. In that time, the band has only released four albums. Released in march, Fiesta is their first album since 2007, and not much has changed in the six years since. They still produce some of the best retro psychedelic rock around. A double album of twenty tracks, there is a lot of great music on here. It could probably be cut down by a few tracks, but that's just being picky.
Melvins - Everybody Loves Sausages: Released in April, the fathers of stoner sludge rock gave us this album of covers. This is actually the band's second covers album, following 2000's The Crybaby. Sadly, this album lacks the creative surge that their previous covers album had. Perhaps it was the more inspired song list, or the guests, but The Crybaby succeeds in being one of those amazing covers albums that makes every song sound new. And while the songs still sound new on this record, I'm not sure they really sound all that good. "Black Betty" sounds great, but not very different than the original...but I suppose on some level the band is aware of all of this, hence the name which suggests this is just filler before an album of new material.
Sparrow and the Workshop - Murderopolis: Released this past spring, this is the third album from the Glasgow based folk trio. I've enjoyed this band ever since their 2010 debut Crystals Fall. While staying true to their indie folk roots, this album does veer a little further into the rock genre, which sounds refreshing for them. Honestly though, I think I could listen to Jill O'Sullivan sing just about anything. A beautiful record.