Saturday, May 14, 2016

Weekend Music Roundup

The weekend is here at last and it couldn't come fast enough. This was one of those weeks where I never seemed to have time to listen to music. Though I always manage to make time, I wasn't able to get to a whole host of albums that I'd planned to throw up here for the Roundup. I didn't get to listen to two that I'd been really excited for, and finally made time to listen to a few remaining Record Store Day purchases. There are three $1 bin records on here, so be prepared for that. I find myself often buying nostalgic albums in the $1 bin, things that I remember from childhood. I feel like you can't go wrong that way. Even if the album ain't all that great, it's worth it for the memories it conjures up. Hope something here will spark your interest. Enjoy!

The Cosmic Dead - Rainbowhead: The new album from the Glasgow heavy psych band came out this past spring. This is their tenth album in their six years of existence, my previous experience with them is based on a compilation that came out in 2011. Unlike most heavy psych bands around these days, Cosmic Dead aren't afraid to vary things up a bit, and mix in space rock and drone elements into traditional stoner metal riffs. Only four songs on here, the last two being extended jams of over ten minutes apiece, of them, the title track and "Skye Burial" are my favorites.

The Legendary Pink Dots - Pages of Aquarius: Released a few weeks ago, this is the newest album from the band that has had the biggest impact on me in the last two years. Though they've been around for nearly 40 years, it's only been a two years since I started to exploring their catalog. This one opens with the amazing "Mirror Mirror", one of my favorite songs that I've heard by them. As it progresses, it drifts into their more soundscape style, producing intriguing and fascinating worlds, though I must admit, not their most intriguing or fascinating. Definitely worthwhile, but a bit of letdown...though it must be stated that my expectations were very high. 

The Bevis Frond - Inner Marshland: Released in 1987, this is the second album from the psychedelic rock band, not counting the extremely limited release Bevis Through the Looking Glass. This was re-released on vinyl for RSD and I was lucky enough to score a copy. They've been a favorite of mine for years, and this was one album I did not yet have on CD or digital. It's a great psychedelic record that contains all genres, from folk and acid rock to indie. At moments, it's part Floyd, then it swings to Hendrix on "Mediaeval Sienese Acid Blues," while all throughout, capturing that unique and little explored world of '80s psychedelic rock.  

Dizzy Mizz Lizzy - Forward in Reverse: The Danish band's third album, and first in twenty years, came out last month. Being unfamiliar with their two mid-90's records, I have no point of reference on which to base their progression or revival. What I can say is that this album feels similar to other emo and post-rock albums that feature heavier guitar. It reminded me a little of The World Is a Beautiful Place..., which is another band that I've never been able to fully embrace. This album sort passed through me and made little impact with the exception of the last song, "Say It To Me Anyway." 
Slim Boyd - Hits Made Famous by Hank Williams: This was a $1 bin find back on Record Store Day. This is a fine record of old time honky tonk country, which is really the only kind of true "country" music. Doing some digging trying to find out more about this album, it seems unclear whether this is simply a tribute album done by Slim Boyd or actual Hank and I'd have to listen to them side by side to know. Either way, it's a good listen and one dollar well spent.

Steve Winwood - Arc of a Diver: Released in December of 1980, this is only the second solo album from the legendary blues rock leader of Traffic. As the '70s are ending, so is the daze that came with it, and the stars of the decades before began to mellow out. This has to be one of the earliest 80s sounding albums, all smooth jazz fusion that reminds me of my early childhood. Certainly not in the same league as something like Traffic or The Spencer Davis Group or Blind Faith, but respectable enough that there's nothing to be ashamed of. "While You See a Chance" is the biggest hit on here, but "Slowdown Sundown" is the real standout.

Dr. Hook - Pleasure & Pain: By the late '70s, the New Jersey band had all but abandoned their country rock roots in favor of more commercial soft rock, something that proved successful with hits on this album like "When You're In Love with a Beautiful Woman" and "Sharing the Night Together." I took a chance on this one for $1 and while you can never go wrong with a one dollar record, this is a far cry from their '71 debut which I have and love. One of those nostalgia records that I'll have to be in the mood for, which definitely happens from time to time, so you need these kind of records around.

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