Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Vinyl Vednesday 3/16/2011

[Vinyl Vednesday is a weekly feature about three favorite vinyl finds. It’s not meant to be a dick-measuring contest, but usually turns out that way. This week’s entry features three Irish bands in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. I’m half-Irish and all-ignorant of my cultural identity. Have a Smithwick’s and e-mail with your own big finds!]

Flogging Molly’s Drunken Lullabies (2002) on clear green, My Bloody Valentine’s Things Left Behind (2001) on black, and U2’s Boy (1980) on black.

Place of Purchase: Flogging Molly came from Hot Topic (Remember when they sold good vinyl?). MBV from Repo Records. I believe U2 came from Disc World in Conshohocken (R.I.P.), but it could have been Legends from the Plymouth Meeting Mall (also R.I.P…. sigh, I’m getting old).

Thoughts: Flogging Molly gets slagged for rehasing The Pogues Celtic folk + punk formula, but honestly, I always kind of preferred Molly. They just rock a little harder on record, and frontman Dave King has a knack for lyrics that alternate between tear-in-your-beer sadness and all-out glee. And hey, Steve Albini recorded them! That guy did In Utero, so that’s cool. Drunken Lullabies has some of Flogging Molly’s most popular tunes, including “Drunken Lullabies,” “What’s Left of the Flag,” and “Rebels of the Sacred Heart.” Really, I could just type the tracklisting and some people would assume it was a greatest hits package. I plan to blast the complete Flogging Molly discography tomorrow for maximum fun.

Things Left Behind captures My Bloody Valentine before they really became My Bloody Valentine. While regarded by some as the greatest shoegaze band and creators of one on the best albums of the ’90s, MBV started off as a fuzzed out horror-punk band (hence the ’80s horror movie reference in their name). They were never The Misfits, though, so MBV had something of a twee bent to them. You can hear them trying to play like The Jesus & Mary Chain, but they’re not quite there. For a more contemporary reference, they sound like the first Pains of Being Pure at Heart album. A lot. MBV got way better from here, but I like visiting their roots on occasion. Things Left Behind collects some of their earliest EPs, such as Geek! and The New Record by My Bloody Valentine.

With every passing year, it gets harder for me to defend U2. But the band’s records up through 1991’s Achtung Baby are mighty fine [Although Zooropa and All That You Can’t Leave Behind are good too]. My second favorite album of theirs, besides War, is Boy. U2 started out as a Clash-inspired punk band, but by the time they got to Island Records, they skewed more towards post-punk. That phase ended after War, but here they mix jittery angles and passionate yells to great effect. “I Will Follow” is a catchy single, while “An Cat Dubh” reveals the more ethereal places U2 could go when they weren’t obsessed with being the Biggest Band in the WorldTM.

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