The weekend is here, and around my way it's raining and cold, the perfect weather for staying inside and listening to music. This week I'm sharing some great new discoveries, some new and others from times long gone. Also on this list is my most anticipated album of the year and my most excellently unexpected new release. All rock on this list, but don't worry, there's plenty of jazz on the horizon. Hopefully you'll have some time to check out some these releases. Enjoy.
Green Seagull - Scarlet Fever: The debut album for the London psychedelic band came out back in March and from the opening notes, it compelled me. I've never heard a band before that I would say that they sound like The Yardbirds, but this band sounds like that, mixed with an early Syd Barrett Pink Floyd singles sound. Steeped in '60s mod nostalgia, this is one of those albums that sounds like a lost artifact from the past. I was totally blown away by this record and highly recommend checking it out.
Scorpions - In Trance: Released in '75, one year before their masterpiece Virgin Killer, this is an epic album that is nearly equally as good. Uli Roth is in his prime, helping to invent the sound of heavy metal guitar. There's an eerie and dangerous mood on here, as with Virgin Killer, which makes it sound unique. This isn't an album that you see around too often, so I snatched it up when I came across a used copy. "Dark Lady," "Sun in My Hand" and the title are track are my personal favorites on a monster album by a band who's early work is greatly underappreciated.
The Beatles - Twist and Shout: This is the Beatles '64 Canadian release, that country's edition of their debut "Please, Please, Me". I came across a beautiful copy of this the other week and picked it up. I've always been partial to real early or real late Beatles work. Their early work has this crazy unique quality. Interpreting American pop R&B of the late '50s and early '60s into a British sound gives these songs a strangeness that is still immediately enjoyable as it was then. This is a primal scream of a time long gone, but the sentiment is still loud and clear.
Fat - Fat: The 1970 debut album from Fat is a swirl of Doors style grooves and acid blues riffs. This is that early heavy rock sound that was forming at the time, a sort of take on the blues but giving it a heavy psychedelic gloss. I came across this and had to take a chance and it was sure worth it. Another one of those lesser known bands that would become forgotten, but who was a pioneer of a sound that would later catch on. "Black Sunday," "Mine Eyes Have Seen," and "Country Girl" are standouts on this fine artifact of acid blues.
Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino: It's been five years since the band's amazing AM album, but they have finally returned with their sixth record. This was possibly my most anticipated album of the year, so needless to say, my expectations were sky high. This was not what I was expecting. It's more of a lounge album than a rock album, as Alex Turner channels his Vegas persona to deliver these songs. It's not that it's bad, it's just a shock and will take some getting used to. I'm not quite sure what I think of this album, but I won't know for another six months, it's that shocking to my soul.