Saturday, May 13, 2017

Weekend Music Roundup

It's the weekend again, and it's raining, so that means I'm fairly pleased with the world. This week I look at four highly anticipated releases in my universe from bands that I truly enjoy. I also ramble on about to more Record Store Day purchases, one a release issued for the day, and one just a record that I picked up at the local store to take advantage of their RSD sale. All in all, this is an all star kind of Roundup filled with goodies that you should check out...or in some cases, maybe lower expectations a bit. Enjoy. 

Slowdive - Slowdive: The shoegaze band was one of my favorites in the mid-to-late '90s and on constant rotation during my drugged out college years. Then they broke up and Mojave 3 was born, and they became on of my favorites of the early '00s. Like other fans, I was thrilled when they reformed a few years back and have been looking forward to this album, their first since '95. I knew it would be hard for them to live up to the hype, and while this is a fine album, it doesn't feel revolutionary to me, by that I mean it doesn't really add anything to their legacy. "Sugar the Pill," "Go Get It," and "No Longer Making Time" are standouts on a quality release.  

The Wooden Sky - Swimming in Strange Waters: This is the fifth album from the indie folk band out of Toronto. They've been a favorite of mine since their debut back in '07 and I've been looking forward to this one. It's been three years since their somewhat disappointing last album and I'm happy to say that the passion is back on this great album. It starts a little slow, but ends with a string of amazing songs. "You're Not Alone," "Deadhorse Creek," "Matter of Time," and "Black Gold" are my personal favorites. 

The Bevis Frond - Triptych: One of two albums released by the British psych outfit in 1988, this was another Record Store Day release that I picked up on colored vinyl. Nick Saloman hits his stride on this record, the band's fifth and most popular of the decade. His guitar work is Hendrix like on here and his poetry is Lennon-esque. This is one I hadn't had either on CD or digitally in the past and it was a thrill to hear it for the first time. Stunning.

Gorillaz - Humanz: It's been seven years since Damon Albarn's (Blur) cartoon band has released a proper LP. This time they delve even further into the realm of hip-hop, which has been a standard of the band since their first single. Loaded with guest spots, another staple of the band, this record runs a good groove throughout even if it feels a bit souless at times. Personally, I think it lacks enough Damon and would've liked to hear more of him. His feature tracks, "Andromeda," "Busted and Blue," and "She's My Collar," are my favorites. All in all, a solid okay.

Woods - Love Is Love: Last year's release by Woods was one of my favorites of 2016, so I was excited to see they were releasing another record so quickly. This is another psychedelic folk gem as this band continues to evolve and mature. This album settles into its groove immediately and flows beautifully from start to finish. "Bleeding Blue," "Lost in the Crowd," "Spring is In the Air," and the two versions of the title track are outstanding.

T.Rex - The Slider: The third album from the glam rock legends, release in 1972, was another Record Store Day purchase. It was not re-released, I picked up an original. I've been really into Marc Bolan this past month and this album is brilliant. This was the creative peak, along with Electric Warrior album which came out the year before. At the height of his fame, and the height of the genre, this record is absolutely essential.

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