Saturday, March 31, 2007

From Beale Street To Oblivion

Clutch are on a roll. Having released their debut EP in 1992, not many bands this far into their career are producing records that surpass their early material. Starting with 'Blast Tyrant' in 2004, they've gone in a much bluesier direction while maintaining their love of the groove. And groove they do.

Other bands may have better riffs or better compositions but Clutch lays down the groove that those bands are sorely missing. Adding a keyboard player (primarily on Hammond B3 organ) for 'Robot Hive/Exodus' they've managed to evolve their sound by adding the influence of blues music to their trademark big choruses and rock solid rhythm playing. Last year drummer Jean-Paul Gaster played on Five Horse Johnson's album 'The Mystery Spot' and so FHJ leader Eric Oblander returned the favor and added harmonica to three of the tracks on 'From Beale Street To Oblivion'.

After two quick rockin' tracks, Clutch lay down the thick groove with The Devil & Me. The album just rolls along with fantastic track after fanstastic track with Neil Fallon's always entertaining lyrical content. After the short burner that is One Eye Dollar, the album looses it's momentum for three songs that lack catchy choruses or interesting riffs, but thanks in part to Oblander's harp on Black Umbrella the album gets back on track. Closing out the disc is Mr. Shiny Cadillackness, a title that certainly fits in with the rest of Clutch's catalog, with contributions once again from Oblander and guitar by Bryan Hinkley.

For me the album doesn't quite top 'Blast Tyrant' or their self-titled album from 1995, but it's yet another excellent release from a band that gets better with age.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Two Sides Of Noise

Arriving today was a split 7" from Yellow Swans and The Goslings. It's part of the Bored Fortress 7" club on Not Not Fun records. I probably should have subscribed to the whole series, but this was the only record that I really wanted. Unfortunately that means I might be missing out of some bands I've never heard of before. More info on the series here:

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Yet another order from ATH

That's right, another order from the All That's Heavy webstore has arrived. After getting the new Brant Bjork album 'Tres Dias' in clear yellow wax, I decided to also get it on CD. As a bonus they threw in a promotional postcard signed by Brant. Not wanting to pay the high tax and shipping fees of Southern Lord mailorder nor make a trip down to the record store, I also ordered the new CD/DVD release from Earth titled 'Hibernaculum'. The DVD is a documentary on the band's last European tour and the CD features some remakes and a different mix of their track on the limited Sunn O)))/Earth split LP. I also bought the 10" split from Hypnos 69 and Monkey3. Unfortunately the Monkey3 side is the Ennio Morricone cover from their latest album. But there are two new tracks from Hypnos 69 which might be the last material they'll release since they are no longer a band.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Vinyl and Compact Disc

A couple of orders arrived today, both having a CD and LP. From Three Lobed Recordings came the second LP from Bardo Pond's Michael Gibbons under the moniker 500mg. Along with the nicely pressed 180 gram record came a CD featuring 15 minutes more of 500mg material. Just another fantastic release from Three Lobed.

The other order was yet another from Important Records. On black wax with a text-less black label and a black on black front cover attached to an all white sleeve is a recording from Eleh, who I know nothing about other than they dedicated the album to La Monte Young and there's a second volume coming in the future. The CD is yet another one from Vanishing Voice, this time a pressed disc of their vinyl and CD-R release Nordic Visions from a couple of years ago. I like the fact that ImpRec is reissuing rare CD-R and vinyl-only material like they have recently with Slomo, Vanishing Voice, Grails, Axolotl, etc on factory pressed CDs. I refuse to buy CD-Rs and have missed out on too much vinyl.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


A couple of new albums from Last Visible Dog arrived today. First up is a self-titled album from Transitional Phase who are a collective of musicians in the San Francisco bay area who got together and recorded some psychedelic jams. Also arriving is the latest from the self proclaimed NWOFHM (New Wave Of Finnish Heavy Metal), Circle. This album is a collaboration with a dude who goes by Verde and now has a logo stating N.W.O. NWOFHM. As usual with Circle, I'm expecting the unexpected regarding the music on this disc. I was going to also order the Tivol album on LVD but I forget. I'll have to get that with my next order from them.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Round Up

Since I was expecting a couple of orders to arrive and I planned on hitting up Lou's Records, I decided to do an end of the week round up of recently acquired records and CDs.

Middian - Age Eternal (CD)*
YOB - The Unreal Never Lived (CD)
A Silver Mt. Zion - Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upward (CD)
Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - Myth Of The Love Electrique (CD)
Big Business - Here Come The Waterworks (CD)*
Blackfield - Blackfield II (CD)*
Do Make Say Think - Goodbye Enemy Airship The Landlord Is Dead (CD)
Do Make Say Think - & Yet & Yet (CD)
Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn (CD)
Do Make Say Think - You, You're A History In Rust (CD)*
Ghost - In Stormy Night (CD)*
Orange Goblin - Thieving From The House Of God (CD)
Brant Bjork - Tres Dias (LP)*

* 2007 release

As noted there are quite a few albums from this year. So far this year has had a much better start than 2006 did. Some fine releases in the first 2 1/4 months that will surely make the best of 2007 more difficult.

Thursday, March 1, 2007


Important Records just put out a bunch of releases and I ended up buying them all. The samples varied from "this has potential" to "this sounds fantastic", so I took advantage of their deal to buy them all. I've yet to listen to any of them so it remains to be seen if I made a smart choice.

Here's the list:

The Bark Haze - Total Joke Era CD
The Bark Haze - LP
Rameses III - Honey Rose CD EP
Baikal - Baikal CD
Axolotl - Memory Theatre CD
Vanishing Voice - Stone Tablet CD
Vanishing Voice - Stone Tablet LP
Major Stars - Portable Freak Factory 7"