Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Vinyl Vednesday 3/9/2011

[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. E-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: Castevet’s The Echo & The Light (2010) test pressing on black, Pregnant’s Pregnant (2010) on black, and a whole heap of reggae artists on The Harder They Come (1972) on, that’s right, black.

Place of Purchase: I scored the Castevet and Pregnant LPs as a favor for reviewing the albums. WHAT UP. I bought The Harder They Come from Disc World in Conshohocken (R.I.P.) for like $2.

Thoughts: If you’re just joining us, I really, really like Castevet. Their publicist knows this too, so much so that when I helped him do some work for Ghost Robot Ninja Bear, he paid me back by sending me a test pressing of The Echo & The Light. Even better, it plays flawlessly next to my “real” copy of Echo. The record is chock full of ambient, crunching post-hardcore that pulls in a ton of different sounds I love. The short description I give people is “Mogwai vs. Hot Water Music,” and that seems to have worked out well so far. Man, I need to see these guys live some time.

Outside of the themed installments, I don’t plan what records I pick for Vinyl Vednesday. I just grab stuff at random. Clearly, my taste is impeccable and I can talk forever. I was surprised to grab another strong record from 2010 off the shelf, Pregnant’s self-titled full-length debut. Hailing from Brooklyn, this three-piece dishes out frills free garage rock in the Cloak/Dagger vein (So really, I mean The Stooges ‘n’ Black Flag). The full-length is a little bit cleaner than their debut seven-inch, but no matter; Pregnant rips. Their label just sent me a cassette compilation they’re on; I need to get around to reviewing that jimmy-john.

Let’s be honest. The Harder They Come is a Jimmy Cliff record; the rest of the artists just show up to give him a break. The two biggest highlights from Harder are Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross,” which builds and builds from ballad to force of nature, and “The Harder They Come,” which is just a really catchy reggae tune. Both are powered by Cliff’s big, clean voice. While drug problems cobbled him creatively later on, here Cliff is king. The Slickers, Desmond Dekker, and a couple other acts get in on the fun, but c’mon. “The Harder They Come” is so good they put it on the album twice.

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