Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Vinyl Vednesday 11/10/2010


[Vinyl Vednesday is a weekly feature about three favorite vinyl finds. It’s not meant to be a dick-measuring contest, but it usually turns out that way. Today’s edition comes from music impresario and cultural juggernaut Paul Tsikitas. He runs a music blog of his own, called In the Wake of Poseidon. Tsikitas sent his big vinyl finds to pelonej1@gmail.com, and so can you! Be like Tsikitas! Write for me for freeeeeee.]

Records: Torche In Return 10 “ (2007) on multi-colored vinyl, Reigning Sound’s Too Much Guitar (2004) on classic black and Black Mountain Wilderness Heart (2010) on classic black

Place of Purchase: First Unitarian Church at concert, AKA Records in Philadelphia, PA and Jagjaguwar.com.

Thoughts: Thanks to Mr. Picasso Blue’s recent love of Baroness, I finally have figured out how to get the inspiration to choose what records from my collection to talk about. A former bandmate turned me on to a band called Torche. Upon listening, I knew this was the kind of band I needed in my life. The sludgy yet catchy Floridians were right up my alley. We went to a show of theirs and I saw that not only was this band into kicking raw ass, but they had an eye for artwork. Immediately purchased the In Return EP, which was released on multi-colored 10” vinyl. The record itself was beautiful. When the needle met the groove, a hissing guitar followed by bludgeoning passages came forth via “Warship.” The titular track comes in with a fury and ends in a swirling barrage of spaced out yet distorted guitars slowly giving way to instrumental closer “Bring Me Home.” It’s hard to believe these three tracks last only half of the total 20 minutes of music. Side two has equally theatric numbers, with the highlight being “Rule The Beat” with it’s catchy, yet brutal hooks.

Equally loud yet in a different vein, Reigning Sound turn the amps up for their brand of classic garage rock. Jack White and Julian Casablancas only wish they were as cool as Greg Cartwright, frontman of the garage rock trio. Bathed in shimmering reverb and ear-splitting sizzle, the garage rock assortment is truly a wonderful album to own. And it being such a brilliant throwback to ’60s garage, there seems no other medium suited for it other than vinyl. The pop and crackle of the needle adds a flavor to the searingly loud guitars on tracks like “I’ll Cry” or the ridiculously loud “We Repel Each Other.” Their melding of CBGB-style punk rock and Memphis country on “If You Can’t Give Me Everything” sounds straight out of the late ’70s garage revival. The succinct tracks lead this record into a fury, culminating on side one in the fantastic cover of Sam and Dave’s “You Got Me Hummin’.” The garage stomper is one of my favorite covers of all time taking the original’s Stax sound into strange yet comfortable territory. If anything can be gleaned from Too Much Guitar, it’s that Reigning Sound don’t sacrifice grit for polished updates of garage rock tropes. If you play it honest, you don’t have to change the sound.

Black Mountain is one of those other bands I love that sound as if they rocketed in from some other time period or dimension of what popular rock and roll could sound like. On their new album, Wilderness Heart, they tone down the epic scope of songs like “Tyrants” or “Heart of Snow” from their previous two records for clearer, yet still epic-sounding pop numbers. This is easily the coolest artwork yet from Black Mountain. That shark is going to eat my face any second, I know it. Much like Too Much Guitar this record sounds delightful on vinyl. The high end of Amber Webber’s harmonies on “The Hair Song” sound even more angelic as the ominous swirls of Jeremy Schmidt’s organs gurgle behind it. “Radiant Hearts” futurescape swirls and swells and is given even more of a crisp sound on this vinyl. The Black Sabbath infused “Let’s Spirit Ride” skyrockets over your speakers in all it’s biker glory. This is the kind of band that the revival of vinyl was started for. It is imperative for fans of the band and fans of vinyl alike to own all their albums on vinyl, a personal goal of mine (anyone have the Druganaut EP on vinyl? I have cashahol for you!)

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