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Bishop, Sir Richard [Tangier Sessions]

February 17 street date. SIR RICHARD BISHOP (Sun City Girls/Sublime Frequencies) IS BACK - AND HE’S GOT A NEW GUITAR!! Tangier Sessions tells the oft-told tale: while traveling abroad, nobleman meets guitar. Guitar is too expensive for nobleman and outraged, he departs. Nobleman quietly returns several days later for guitar but still can’t bring himself to pay the price. Yet nobleman can’t get guitar out of mind (he’s never heard anything like it) - so nobleman buys guitar, then travels the world with it, enchanted, and makes this album while in Tangier. We’ve heard this story a million times - and yet, under the adroit fingers of Sir Richard Bishop, the hoary old tropes come alive again, and dance their personal jig. It helps that it’s a true story! While in Geneva for a time last year, Sir Richard was on the lookout for a Taylor Mini, something he could travel with. Stumbling into an obscure luthier’s shop in a shadowy lane off the high road, he was unable to find what he was looking for . . . but as he was leaving, the old shopkeep reached behind an ancient and dusty cabinet and produced - what was it? A model identified only by a tiny sticker inside reading 'C. Bruno', but with no recognizable attributions otherwise. Clearly an old piece, likely made in the mad final days of the 19th century. And the sound! Just to touch it was to hear an instrument of unusual depth. The experience of playing it was equally exquisite. Sir Richard was in Morocco, staying in Tangier on the invitation of a local patron who’d invited him to play in the courtyard of the old Spanish post office deep in the heart of the Old City. With a rooftop apartment and a week of time to spend before his gig, Sir Rick soon fell into a routine of wandering the city throughout the day, quaffing cups of strong coffee periodically throughout his ramblings, before returning to his apartment to play the guitar through the night. All the pieces on the album were improvised and recorded during his week there. An incredible story, we know! But then, all compositions were improvisations once, weren’t they? The narrative that builds as a function of this (noble)man-guitar dialogue gives Tangier Sessions a visceral punch that makes for a singular listening experience, even in the crowded realm of solo acoustic guitar albums. Nobody plays the guitar like Sir Richard Bishop - and on Tangier Sessions, he’s found a guitar that nobody but him plays either.
Butthole Surfers [Independent Worm Saloon (180g)]

February 17 street date. 'Independent Worm Saloon' was the major label debut by the Butthole Surfers originally released by Capitol Records in 1993. Riding the wave of the early 90s alternative explosion the band used some of that major label money and hired former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones as producer and the result is a tight in your face album that didn't tone down the band at all. Gibby Haynes is in fine form with his often hilarious and bizarre vocals and lyrics working their way into your brain on all out rockers like 'Who Was In My Room Last Night?' and 'Goofy’s Concern' and on the more mellow numbers such as 'The Ballad Of Naked Man' and 'You Don’t Know Me'. First time ever domestic vinyl release.
Damon & Naomi [Fortune]

February 17 street date. Vinyl includes download. People talk about Damon & Naomi as if they’re the raw infrastructure that remained after Galaxie 500 fell apart, a steel skeleton stubbornly standing after an earthquake. But when the pair began a new project, they weren’t adjusting so much as starting from scratch. By the time they released More Sad Hits, they had grown enough as musicians and songwriters that they didn’t need to lean on stark sincerity and reverb-drenched emoting. Instead, they reigned in their sound, favoring acoustic over electric, building more complex and specific textures, and exploring smaller sonic spaces. If Galaxie 500 was ahead of its time, Damon & Naomi are prescient in their own way, firmly rooted in the early ’90s but hinting at things to come. The project provided a necessary platform for the pair to focus, hone and build on the groundwork that they laid for themselves, peeling away layers to reveal a shy closeness that Galaxie 500 never could. The pair’s latest project, Fortune, is an LP released in tandem with Naomi Yang’s video piece of the same name. She refers to the work as "a silent movie", though the visuals are so bound up in the music (and vice versa) that it’s more of a long-form music video, a visual poem set to the metronome of a textural score. She conceived of the piece to explore conflicting feelings surrounding her father’s recent passing; Yang was suddenly burdened with a massive archive of his artistic work (her father was a photographer), as well as the ongoing aftermath of flawed parenting. Her use of the term "fortune", then, is tinged with sardonicism but also with nostalgia - portraits from the 1940s and ’50s painted by protagonist Norman von Holtzendorff’s father (also recently deceased, and who also left his archive in Norman’s hands) feature prominently. An ongoing tarot card motif ties in another facet of the suddenly slippery term "fortune", using Damon & Naomi’s now familiar brand of close, acoustic warmth to explore the past’s bearing on the future: "I want to be over / To touch and be gone / Forget this amnesia." "Grey day celebration music for meshed afternoons; eleven strums and songs to savor as you wander till spring. Did Damon & Naomi dream them? Did I? Will you?" - Andy Zax
Guided By Voices [Bee Thousand (remaster 2015/gatefold sleeve)]

Please Note: New street date is January 27. Little introduction should be required here. Let it suffice to say that Bee Thousand is arguably the best, or at least among the top Guided By Voices albums in a copious discography. Accordingly, the album has stacked up accolades over the years, including being voted #1 on Amazon.com’s "100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums of All Time." It’s a staple of such lists, and has also placed highly on those curated by Spin, Pitchfork, Mojo and Rolling Stone. This new LP pressing, the first since the late ’90s, honors the album’s 20th anniversary. It features new (and definitely improved) mastering from John Golden, a substantial gatefold jacket with a previously unpublished Robert Pollard collage, and high-quality virgin vinyl from RTI. We’ve also included a free download card.
Guided By Voices [King Shit And the Golden Boys]

Please Note: new street date January 27.As a companion piece to the vinyl reissue of Bee Thousand, Scat Records presents a new edition of this finest compilation of Guided By Voices outtakes. Originally included with the multi-disc set Box, this issue marks the album’s first release as a standalone piece. The first side features highlights from two otherwise unreleased albums from the band’s early days (Learning to Hunt and Back to Saturn X), while the second side mops up the best cuts left off of Bee Thousand. All tracks are exclusive to this release. Packaged in a high-quality, heavy-duty tip-on jacket and pressed on virgin RTI vinyl (Incl. Download), this LP is a must for even the casual GBV fan.
Hiss Golden Messenger [Southern Grammar EP]

February 3 street date. (Includes download) This three-song collection that we’re calling Southern Grammar is good for a few good reasons. It gives the song 'Brother, Do You Know the Road? - formerly an orphan tune with no fixed address - a proper physical home. It also offers up a song called 'He Wrote the Book' that was a near-casualty from the Lateness of Dancers sessions. Incidentally - and this I didn’t realize until we had gathered the material for this record 'Brother, Do You Know the Road?' and 'He Wrote the Book' share a lyric that goes: "And though the storm’s passed over - And the sun is in its place - It’s been a long time - And the rain, how I know it" - Sometimes that feels just about as close to a summation of the HGM philosophy as I can get at. And this is the first and only time that I have ever shared words between two songs. Finally, this version of 'Southern Grammar' shows off the HGM road band, which includes Scott Hirsch, Phil Cook, Matt McCaughan, Matt Douglas, and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, who are all friends and inspirations. The fine, fine crew at WXPN in Philadelphia engineered the recording of this song and graciously agreed to let us use it for this record. - M.C. Taylor
King Khan & BBQ Show [Bad News Boys]

February 17 street date. After a five-year hiatus, rock ’n’ roll’s renegade-angel savior The King Khan & BBQ Show returns with a brand new album of high-energy, low-brow rockers! Known as the hottest duo from Montreal to come out of Berlin, the King Khan & BBQ Show is dirty, funny, irreverent and always a good time. Their raw, stripped-down mix of doo-wop, early rock ’n’ roll, soul and punk is drenched in pure energy. Known to their mothers as King Khan and Mark Sultan, these guys make this stuff sound simple, but make no mistake - it takes serious talent as well as balls to pull this off. Bad News Boys takes its title from the original moniker the duo gave themselves when they first started over ten years ago. They recently threatened to revert to this name before deciding that it might make things too confusing. Bad News Boys serves twelve sizzling slabs - from the beautifully soulful 'Buy Bye Bhai' to the juvenile and obnoxious 'D.F.O.' (which stands for 'Diarrhea Fuck Off') - with all the rocking lunacy that their legion of fans has come to expect. In their storied, sordid career, these guys have endured a roller-coaster of successes, trials and tribulations that would’ve buried lesser men: They’ve played with some of the coolest names in rock. Their relentless touring schedule has included countries where few bands venture. They’ve been kicked off tours. They’ve headlined and sold out some of the most prestigious venues in the world. They’ve played some of the worst dumps imaginable. They’ve been busted and jailed for shrooms mid-tour. They were handpicked by Lou Reed to play the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival. They were ejected from the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival. They’ve suffered mental and physical exhaustion. They’ve enjoyed dizzying highs and suffered crushing lows. They’ve broken up. They’ve gotten back together. Through it all, they continually make incredible and real rock ’n’ roll music like no one else, always with smiles on their faces, always with middle fingers held high. (Vinyl includes digital download card)
Martinez, Cliff [Film Fest Gent (collection of soundtrack scores)]

February 17 street date. Cliff Martinez is a key figure in our time’s film scoring. In the 80’s, he began spending several years drumming with such acts as Captain Beefheart, The Dickies, Lydia Lunch and The Weirdos, and then joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers. His career is exemplary. His experimental electronic music highlighted many cinema masterpieces. He has been Steven Soderbergh’s regular composer ('Sex, Lies and Videotape'; 'Traffic'; 'Solaris'; 'Contagion') and has made speak about him for a few years now scoring the two last films of visionary Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, 'Drive' and 'Only God Forgives'. Cliff Martinez also scored the great 'Spring Breakers', 'Arbitrage' (MILAN) and 'The Company You Keep' (MILAN). We now hear about him as he has just scored the first Steven Soderbergh TV series 'The Knick'. This 'Film Fest Gent' album gathers the best film scores by Cliff Martinez ('Solaris'; 'Only God Forgives'; 'The Company You Keep'; 'Contagion') arranged for orchestra and performed by the Brussels Philharmonic conducted by Dirk Brossé.
Murder By Death [Big, Dark Love]

February 3 street date. LP version pressed on 180 gram vinyl and includes digital download. Big Dark Love reflects a different, bigger, and more complex side of the band. As hinted in the title, the 10 songs circle a central theme of love, only in this case, the oft-traveled topic is examined through a non-traditional kaleidoscope: the love of a parent for their child, the struggle between unconditional love and morality, loving to excess. There can sometimes be a dusky patina of despair overlaying glints of hope. For a band that has built its formidable, near 15-year career around a consideration to tension, release, bombast, ecstasy, and highest-highs vs. lowest-lows, it is something to say that this is Murder By Death’s most dynamic release to date. Sonically here, their signature sound - rootsy indie rock, cinematic gothic ballads, and rousing pub rock shout-alongs - mixes with enlivening new stylistic elements - touches of pop, synth-y electronics, and psych rock - only hinted at on previous albums. Big Dark Love was recorded at La La Land in Louisville, KY in the summer of 2014. It was produced by Murder By Death and Kevin Ratterman, and mixed by John Congleton.
Nofx & Friends [Home Street Home: Original Songs From the (S)hit Musical]

February 10 street date / March 24 for LP. Punk icon Fat Mike (NOFX) recently announced that Home Street Home: Original Songs From the Shit Musical, a new punkrock musical concept album will be released on February 10, 2015 through Fat Wreck Chords in advance of a theatrical production. Home Street Home tells a story of survival and love among runaway teenagers living on the streets, and features music by Fat Mike with lyrics by Fat Mike, Jeff Marx (Tony Award winner, Avenue Q) and Soma Snakeoil (AVN Award winning writer/director). The theatrical production of Home Street Home will be directed by LA Stage Ovation Award winner Richard Israel. The studio album features performances by Fat Mike and NOFX, and sees the play’s characters inhabited by a wide roster of vocalists including Frank Turner, Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba, Tony Award winner Lena Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Bad Cop/Bad Cop’s Stacey Dee, the late Tony Sly of No Use For A Name, and Dance Hall Crashers’ Karina Denike. Members of Descendents, Lagwagon, Old Man Markley, Mad Caddies, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, The Aggrolites, The Living End, The Real McKenzies, and RKL also play on many of the tracks. The Home Street Home concept album includes a portion of the songs that will ultimately comprise the full score of the new musical. Based on true stories of the authors’ experiences, the story of Home Street Home revolves around Sue, a 16-year old runaway who plunges headfirst into the deviant subculture and alternative lifestyle of the streets. After being adopted into a tribe of homeless teens, Sue finds empowerment and acceptance from her new chosen family. Fat Mike said, "Ever since I saw Rocky Horror when I was 8, I’ve been intrigued by musicals. Well, not all musicals, just the ones that break the mold. Luckily, I found two people, Jeff Marx and Soma Snakeoil, that love breaking things as much as I do. This is fucking fun!" (LP version due out on March 24th)
Pratt, Jessica [On Your Own Love Again]

January 27 street date. WE ALL WANT THE WORLD TO BE BEAUTIFUL. We want scribes and songbirds to tell us so - and sometimes they do and then it is. They point their pens and focus their lens where they will and surprise us to our soul. On Your Own Love Again is a record that does it to us, with songs from a spine-thrilling new place and a gifted young singer with her own musical logic. Jessica Pratt’s self-titled 2012 debut has been much-murmured about in the time between yesterday and today. People respond to the austere, pristine clarity of the performances, the gentle strength, marveling at how much comes from so little: just a voice and a guitar or two! They remark on the timeless nature of the songs and the voice, scrupulously informed by the folk-rock of ages past, but sung without bags (none in hand, nor beneath eyes). They speculate on just who is the personality behind this Jessica Pratt? It is hard not to respond to the sound of her music, not to want more right away. Two years on, and Jessica’s very new On Your Own Love Again is here for us, playing her further adventures in different pastures. If they feel removed from the first songs, it may help to know that the recordings of the first album were made some years back with no expectation of making an album. They sat quiet on the shelf for a long time, appearing on the internet eventually. It all seemed harmless, but when Birth Records honcho Tim Presley rolled up in his long white limousine and began to spin tales of folk rock glory, who was she to say no? Sure, Mr. Presley, fence me a record! The album was recorded entirely by Jessica in the fashion of 'Night Faces' and 'Dreams', from her first album, and mixed in collaboration with Will Canzoneri. Touched lightly with additional instrumental and vocal parts, the songs ripple beneath the surface with lyrical details that morph almost subliminally from the personal into fantasy. When Jessica’s playful nature bubbles up, she sends her voice traveling into strange places to see what it finds there. The music too is deceptively accomplished, providing subtle hallucinatory nuances to the tunes.
Public Service Broadcasting [The Race For Space]

February 24 street date. Following the critical and commercial success of their debut album last year and 18 months’ extensive touring & festival appearances, Public Service Broadcasting are pleased to confirm the release of their eagerly anticipated second album, The Race For Space. Recorded at The Pool Studios and Abbey Road in London and, once again working with exclusive archive footage from the British Film Institute, the new record will tell the story of the American & Soviet space race from 1957 - 1972 via the duo’s eccentric mix of guitar-driven electronica, propulsive drumming and spoken word samples culled from this uniquely rich period of modern history. The Race For Space follows Inform - Educate - Entertain, Public Service Broadcasting’s debut album which reached #21 in the UK album charts and was nominated for ‘Best Independent Album’ at the AIM Awards 2013, as well as being The Guardian’s Album of the Week and one of BBC 6Music’s Top 10 albums of 2013. "Adrenalised post-rock and electronics..gripping" 4* Mojo // "Terrific" GQ // "Brilliant" Q Magazine Watch the trailer for the new album here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udKBXoO2e3U
Retox [Beneath California]

February 10 street date. Coming off of their Epitaph debut, YPLL (Years of Potential Life Lost), Retox have emerged from the collective depths of San Diego and Los Angeles with their latest antagonistic effort, Beneath California. Melding the raw with the refined, the band continuously teases yet never settles on any one genre-- aside from perhaps (as members of the band itself have referred to their work) "annoying". Retox simultaneously seeks to reflect and defy, using music as a way of holding a broken mirror to the rest of us, exposing different pieces of our own fucked up realities, and forcing the acknowledgement of the self-imposed apocalypse we are creating for ourselves. Singer/frontman Justin Pearson has also been in bands The Locust, Swing Kids, Head Wound City and Some Girls. For fans of Fucked Up, Celebration, OFF! and The Locust. LP contains Download Card of full album.
Ricked Wicky [I Sell The Circus (Robert Pollard)]

February 3 street date. The first thing the listener will notice about Ricked Wicky is that it is the most musically adept project Guided By Voices’ mage Robert Pollard has undertaken in some time, at least since late period-GBV (Half-Smiles of the Decomposed, for instance), or even Boston Spaceships. "[Ricked Wicky] is a sophisticated arena rock band," says Pollard, and I Sell the Circus offers in evidence a series of ball-peen hammers to the brain-pan. Credit the players: bolstering the easy mastery of a dizzying array of songwriting forms one naturally expects (and receives) from Pollard are the impressive instrumental prowess of fellow Daytonian Nick Mitchell ("no blood relation to Mitch," Pollard stresses), who can otherwise be found in near-weekly performance at Wings, an important Dayton sports bar; multiinstrumentalist and producer Todd Tobias; and "the worldly Kevin March", (Pollard again) who does double duty these days in Guided By Voices. Fourteen of its fifteen tracks were recorded at Cyberteknics in Dayton, a studio Pollard has come to use with increasing frequency due to its profusion of vintage analog gear. "Some may wish to refer to us as a ‘super group,’" says Pollard, tongue practically poking through his cheek, but as with a lot of the pronouncements made by The Oracle of Huffman Prairie, as no one has ever called him or ever will, he’s joking, but he’s not joking. Ricked Wicky may not be a super group as the term is too-commonly used, but there’s no real doubt they’re a super group.
Segall, Ty [Live In San Francisco]

February 3 street date. By now you should know what you’re in for here: an eardrum-toasting take to tape of the mighty Ty Segall Band, captured during two nights in San Francisco at the barely-pushing-medium-sized venue The Rickshaw Stop. Rowdy crowd, meet stacks of amplifiers - Ty, Charlie, Mikal and Emily came to singe your ears off. There have been live recordings of Ty before, of course, but never so crisply and fully realized as this scorching platter of fuzz. As always, the cover artwork showcases beautiful black and white photos shot to film at the venue by Castle Face’s favorite lensman Brian Pritchard. As always, the tape takes are tweaked and saturated to perfection by their incredible crack team of engineers and knobgoblins. Live in San Francisco features jams from throughout Mr. Segall’s torrential output of the past few years, including a take of the first single 'Feel' off his great new record Manipulator. It’s the next best thing to getting in to the show, which is getting harder and harder with Ty these days. . .
Solium Fatalis [The Undying Season]

February 17 street date. The self-titled Solium Fatalis was released in 2013 which featured Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork) on drums & Loic Colin (Scarve) on bass and was produced by Fredrik Nordstrom (At the Gates, Dimmu Borgir). The album was a frantic statement of aggression and brutality. In 2015 Solium Fatalis returns with "The Undying Season" featuring Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy) on drums, Olivier Pinard (Cryptopsy, Neuraxis) on bass as well as two members of Excrecor. Mixed & Mastered at The Grid by Christian Donaldson (Cryptopsy, The Agonist, Beyond Creation) The album features a refined blend of blackened melodic-death metal and further expands on the vision originally spawned in 2012. The album features guest guitar solo by Christian Donaldson (Cryptopsy). For fans of: Zyklon, Brutality, Hypocrisy, Cryptopsy.
Staples, Pop [Don't Lose This]

Please note new street date: February 17. LP contains CD of full album! In 1990, Roebuck "Pops" Staples recorded a final session, capping an illustrious career as leader and patriarch of the Staples Singers. Unfinished at the time of his passing in 2000, the tapes went to his daughter, Mavis, who then waited for the right opportunity to finish the recording in the spirit Pops intended. When she began her series of remarkable collaborations with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, starting with 2010’s You Are Not Alone and continuing with 2013’s One True Vine, Mavis knew she had found the person to work on her father’s record. Mavis Staples: "I chose this title because these were the words my father said to me as he gave me the tape of his final recordings. He was sick and lying in bed and asked me to play the record for him in his room. After listening to it, he called me to his room again. He was weak, but he handed me the tape and in a soft voice said ‘Don’t lose this, Mavis.’ While Pops’ voice and guitar sounded so good on the original recordings [and remain untouched on this record], I knew the songs needed something else to really come to life. Something special. Pops deserved that. So I called on my dear friend Jeff Tweedy to fill out the tracks around Pops and he’s helped to craft this beautiful album."
Sumac [The Deal]

Please Note new street date is February 17. Sumac is a new band made up of veterans Aaron Turner (Isis, Old Man Gloom, Mamiffer) and Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists), who also happens to be Dave Grohl’s new favorite drummer. Bass player Brian Cook (Russian Circles, Botch, These Arms Are Snakes) joins the duo as an auxiliary member on The Deal, the group’s debut album of steamroller crush and methodical, free-range technicality. Sumac came into being when Turner had the urge to revisit his roots - the forward-thinking heavy music sound of early Isis and Hydra Head Records output - and take these influences in wholly new directions. He found the ideal partner in drummer Yacyshyn, who employs his impressive drumming talents to the fullest extent in the project. The pair entered the studio in late Summer 2014 to track The Deal with engineer Mell Dettmer (Wolves in the Throne Room, Sunn 0))), etc.), where bassist Cook laid down the pulse. The album was mixed by Kurt Ballou of Converge at Godcity Studios and mastered by Mikka Jusslla at Finvoxx Studios in Finland. The Deal stands on its own as the crushing, colossally heavy work of a full-time band - not simply a one-off side-project. Touring and live actions are imminent.
Title Fight [Hyperview]

February 3 street date. LP CONTAINS DOWNLOAD CARD OF ENTIRE ALBUM. Every artist bio has its stock narrative: first comes the lengthy Juvenile Period (trial, error, rejection); then, dues having been paid, comes the electrifying Breakthrough (critical praise, general validation), which inaugurates the terminal Mature Period (respect of peers, reliable buying public, steadily diminishing relevance). Those who make it to that third stage, the story goes, might as well get comfortable, for they’ve achieved Success. In 2012, Title Fight, a four-piece from Kingston, Pa., then known for a screamingly insistent brand of melodic hardcore, was right on schedule. Having formed in 2003 while its members (bassist/vocalist Ned Russin, guitarist/vocalist Jamie Rhoden, guitarist Shane Moran, and drummer Ben Russin) were in middle school, the band had begun in typically wobbly fashion with several pop-punk demos, split singles, and EPs. Then, in the spring of 2011, the Breakthrough had arrived in the form of Shed, their debut long player, a blistering, throat-shedding blend of Gorilla Biscuits, Turning Point, and Jawbreaker that won the heart of every hardcore and punk kid from the Warped Tour to Chaos in Tejas - and of every critic from Alternative Press to NME. When the follow-up LP, Floral Green, unexpectedly appeared a scant 16 months later, it bore some new, high-end influences (Hum, Slowdive, the Sundays) and engendered the reasonable assumption that Title Fight had landed comfortably in their Mature Period. Hyperview, Title Fight’s third LP, due out on Anti- Records February 3rd 2015, sets those assumptions on their head. Taking the measure of Hyperview’s massive leap forward from previous releases is difficult to accomplish with words. The listener is periodically struck by faint echoes of the familiar (the Floral Greenishly tuneful and driving 'Chlorine') and of the canonical (the incantatory downstroke pummel of My Bloody Valentine’s Isn’t Anything period, as on 'New Vision'; a Scratch Acid bassline jarringly yet winningly resolving itself into a Chapterhouse swirl, as on 'Hypernight'), but this is an album that renders futile the exercise of conceiving bands as sums of influences. Hyperview can only be heard, and loved, as itself. (For fans of My Bloody Valentine, Wild Nothings, Joyce Manor, La Dispute, Sonic Youth.)
Twerps [Range Anxiety]

January 27 street date. Formed in Melbourne in late 2008, Twerps enjoyed immediate success, releasing a series of vinyl singles and cassettes on various labels around the world. Their 2011 self-titled debut album was recorded with producer Jack Farley at Head Gap, marking the band’s first foray into a "bona fide" recording studio. The release of Twerps led to appearances at SXSW and CMJ and tours with Real Estate, Mac DeMarco, and others. Not wanting to wait until 2015 to unleash new songs on present and future fans, Twerps quickly recorded the delightful Underlay EP, which Pitchfork described as "songs fraught with universal, emotionally familiar sentiments." And now, Merge brings you Twerps’ second full-length album, Range Anxiety. Also recorded with Jack Farley, its title refers to a debilitating fear of running out of gas - both literally and metaphysically. As singer-guitarist Julia McFarlane explains, "The title Range Anxiety is both descriptive and comic. The album at times feels like it was built on uncertainties; some purely practical and some emotional obstacles were present around the start of writing." Twerps are a very collaborative band, with most songs being written in rehearsal rooms. " Range Anxiety is a worthy showcase of the creativity and vitality Twerps bring to their music. At first listen, nods to The Go-Betweens and the band’s beloved Flying Nun influences are clear, but upon closer examination, Twerps expand into a sound uniquely their own. Twerps are Martin Frawley (guitar, vocals); Rick Milovanovic (bass, vocals, synthesizer); Alex Macfarlane (drums, guitar, vocals); and Julia McFarlane (guitar, vocals, keyboards). (LP Includes download code)
V/A [Ciao Bella: Italian Girl Singers of the 60s]

February 3 street date. The 1960s girl-pop compilations on our occasional Ace International and Big Beat International imprints rank among our most popular releases of recent years. Having hit upon a winning formula by hopping over the Channel to France for 'C’est Chic!' and 'Tres Chic!', and by venturing further afield to Japan for two volumes of 'Nippon Girls', we now turn the spotlight on Italy. The collection opens with Brunetta’s prized dancefloor-filler ‘Baluba Shake’ and closes with ‘Cuore’, a dramatic beat ballad by petite dynamo Rita Pavone. Star of the show is the prolific Mina - queen bee of Italy’s female singers - with three tracks: ‘No’ (a wailing folk rock nugget), ‘Più Di Te’ (a cover of the Tracy Dey/Bob Crewe classic ‘I Won’t Tell’) and ‘Se Telefonando’ (a sophisto-pop epic courtesy of maestro Ennio Morricone). Other highlights include the sitar-embellished ‘Il Mio Posto Qual’È’ by Ornella Vanoni, a convincing cover of ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ by beat girl Caterina Caselli, Gigliola Cinquetti’s superbly orchestrated Eurovision-winner ‘Non Ho L’Età (Per Amarti)’ and breathy-voiced actress Catherine Spaak’s bossa-imbued ‘La Notte È Fatta Per Rubare’.
Walker, Butch [Afraid Of Ghosts]

February 3 street date / February 24 for LP. With a remarkably diverse resume that includes everything from guitar god to GRAMMY and CMA nominated producer, Butch Walker's new album shows the skill and tenderness that have earned him a dedicated legion of fans across his seven-album career as a solo artist. The new album was produced by Ryan Adams at PAX AM Studios in LA with friends & special guests Johnny Depp and Bob Mould. Walker also toured with Adams as the opening act on 23 dates in the US and Canada in the fall of 2014. With gritty hints of folk, pop and rock, Afraid Of Ghosts weaves a journey through life, love, death and everything in between. "The album is a deeply personal exploration for Walker filled with bright, acoustic-driven tunes." - Esquire

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EXCLAIM! Review score: 9/10


PITCHFORK Rating: 8.1

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