Saturday, February 25, 2017

Weekend Music Roundup

Happy weekend everyone! Spring arrived in the foothills of the Castkills this week with silly warm temperatures, which meant it was time for some rock and roll. There's a mixture of new and old on here, a handful of 2017 releases and some great 80's rock that I acquired on vinyl. The list also features one legendary crate digging find. I paid $3 for a record on this list that sells for a minimum of $85, and that's the kind of pull that us diggers dream of. Enjoy.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana: This is the Australian bands ninth album in their six years of existence, but represents my first encounter. This is one of the most interesting combinations of garage rock and psychedelic rock that I've heard, and also incorporates elements of surf rock. The drumming insane, almost sound line a drum loop with its speed and repetition. This is quite good, with "Billabong Valley," "Doom City" and "Melting" being standouts.

White Zombie - Psyche-Head Blowout: The second EP from the New York band was released in 1987, a few months before their debut record. This is before they were full on metal, more of a garage punk sound that is reminiscent of early Mudhoney and other pre-grunge bands of the late 80s. It's fierce and explosive and all around awesome. Only ever released on vinyl, I was able to find a copy for a few dollars, which is a total steal. Though I'm a fan of the band, these raw songs totally blew me away. A punk treasure!

Circus Devils - Laughs Last: One of Robert Pollard's many deliveries for music, this band is similar to his better known band, Guided by Voices. This is the new album, and like their previous records, it's a little more straight forward rock than GBV, though it still consists of snippets of brilliance that leave you hungry, which is a good recipe for addictive albums. "Get Out of My Way...," "End of the World Ice Cream," "Teenage Rooster," and "Time Trapper" were standouts for me.

Blondie - Eat to the Beat: Released one year after the huge success of '78s "Parallel Lines", this was the band's first album as bonafide New Wave stars. Listening to this album, I was struck by just how much Madonna borrowed from this band on her first two records. It is really one of the foundation albums for the New Wave style that would explode in the years following. Some great tracks on here like "Union City Blue," "Atomic," "Accidents Never Happen," and the hit, "Dreaming."

Brendan Benson - Upstairs and United Vol. 1: This 2011 EP features four covers from The Raconteurs member. There are several artists who have participated in this series of recording live to analog and released on vinyl. I found this one severely marked down at a local shop for a few bucks and had to pick it up. I love Benson, and the covers of Bowie and Elvis Costello are great. The Kinks and Randy Newman covers are also quite good and different. Definitely not essential, but fans will enjoy it.

Scorpions - Lovedrive: This 1979 record is the German rock band's first release after the departure of their gifted guitarist Uli Roth left the band. It also finds them moving into a style of rock that would explode in the decade that followed. Though his playing is definitely missed, they still rock this album. It's actually a little better than Taken By Force, the album that came the year before. "Coast to Coast," "Another Piece of Meat," "Can't Get Enough," and the title track are standouts.

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