The Men: Tomorrow's Hits
The Men's new LP for Sacred Bones is the tongue-in-cheek-but-still-auspiciously-titled Tomorrow's Hits. This is their first album recorded in a high-end studio and, appropriately, the result is their most high fidelity album to date. That being said, it is still an incredibly straightforward record. Tomorrow's Hits is a concise collection of songs that nonetheless expands the band's ever-evolving musical palette. It's an album full of genre-bending risks, but it reinforces the overarching theme that has come to define its makers: The Men are a great rock band.
Marissa Nadler: July
Marissa Nadler wastes no time in cutting close to the bone on July, her latest album and first for her new North American label, Sacred Bones. “Drive” opens the record with one of her most devastating lines, addressing a quandary we have all grappled with at some point: “If you ain’t made it now/ You’re never gonna make it.” July is the kind of release that reminds you why NPR counts Nadler's songwriting as so “revered among an assortment of tastemakers.” This is a singular achievement for the artist, a record she couldn’t have made earlier in her career because, as every songwriter knows, she didn’t just write these songs: She lived them.
Prolife: Overheated b/w Gold Leaves
We are very pleased to introduce you to Prolife, an anti-suicide band formed out of the ashes of death rock enthusiasts and label alumni Slug Guts. After Slug Guts’ last U.S. tour, James Dalgliesh (vocals) and Nicholas Kuceli (saxophone) returned to their flat on Lygon St. in Melbourne, Australia and decided to buy some pedals to make noisy landscapes for the modern asthmatic gentleman to lie awake to at night. Using toy keyboards (and some real ones) they developed minimal two track techno into a set of sprawling song based sets and played some shows with Jonny Telafone, Forces, Asps and Lakes. Their first proper release, this 7”, was recorded and produced by themselves with the help of Todd Dixon, who has specifically asked not to be named here. They are planning to record a full-length LP in early 2014.
Various Artists: Killed By Deathrock Vol.1
In 2007, Sacred Bones Records founder Caleb Braaten started unearthing rare and little-heard post-punk, deathrock and dark punk tracks for an eventual compilation. Seven years later, those tracks are finally being released in vinyl, CD and digital formats as Killed By Deathrock Vol. 1. Bands from all over the world are represented on the comp, from the relatively well-known Scots in Twisted Nerve to the “completely un-Googleable” Move from Italy, with a vast spectrum of American and European bands in between. What all these songs have in common, apart from their dark, icy atmosphere, is that they’re quintessential pieces of the deathrock story that haven’t been heard by nearly enough people — until now.
VEX: Sanctuary: The Complete Discography
Despite only being active for a few years in the mid-1980s, Vex left a huge legacy in underground circles for their affecting brand of anarcho punk. Until now, it was almost impossible to find an original copy of their essential Sanctuary record, let alone their scant other recordings. Sanctuary: The Complete Discography collects all of the Vex material that was ever put to tape on one limited-edition LP for the first time ever. Drop the needle for a lean half hour by what CVLT Nation calls “a very well balanced band that combined the angst of punk with the ethereal vibe of positive punk
David Lynch: Bad The John Boy
On the heels of David Lynch’s hugely successful sophomore full length, The Big Dream, comes a very limited edition 12”, Bad The John Boy. While technically this track qualifies as a non-album or bonus track, this song was made around the same time as the track, We Rolled Together. Producer Dean Hurley elaborates, “In the bridge of that song, David was trying to do this thing where he was shuffling around lyric-based sentences: "Street the up, going girl little crazy..." Bad The John Boy has this shared idea...instead of 'John the Bad Boy,' it's Bad The John Boy..."good to up no" (up to no good. This track is more left of center than the songs on the full length, with vocals being processed straight into the spirit realm, sounding deeply non-human.
Complimenting this sci-fi dirge, on the B-side is a Venetian Snares remix of the album’s title track. Despite the fact that Canadian electronic musician Aaron Funk has been known for reinventing breakcore, in this remix he breathes completely new life into this song, turning it into something far from your typical dance remix.
The Hunt: The Hunt Begins
2007. The cover art for 1st record Sacred Bones released depicted an androgynous wild banshee wearing warpaint, clad all in leather and animal bones, holding a sacrificial knife pointed at the sky. Our debut single was The Hunt's lone statement. The songs were a visceral pulsation, etched in echo. London, structure fires and mental institutions all played a part in the downfall of the originators of 21st century redskin darkwave.
2009. After multiple tumultuous attempts at recording a full length The Hunt decamped to their collective hometown, Boston, to record the ultimate document of their time on earth. This document sat for years, untouched by human hands.
2013. The Hunt lives on. In honor of both the first and one hundredth release, we will finally see and hear the toils of New York's most enigmatic post punk band of recent. Ian Danger, percussive wunderkind, Mike O'Brien, whose four strings drew blood nightly, Christian Kount, master of negative space and Jasper McGandy, the man who's hopes for a darker future led them towards a reality we only now have the honor of witnessing. After all these years the time has come. The Hunt Begins.
The Men: Campfire Songs
While holed up in a house in upstate NY, The Men took full advantage of their rural surroundings, in-house studio, and lack of recording timelines and obligations. They tracked over twenty-five songs. On top of that they also managed to record five songs acoustically, while sitting around a campfire outside the house.
Before this year is over (2012) they will have already recorded an entire new full length. To say this band is prolific is an understatement; they are teeming, borderline prodigal even. Two of these acoustic jams are alternate takes from the album, “I Saw Her Face” and “The Seeds”. The plugged in version of “Water Babies” appeared on the b-side of their 7” from January, “Patience” and “Turn Your Color” are two entirely new beautiful tracks that highlight this band’s ability to be as gentle as they are commanding.
Wymond Miles: Cut Yourself Free
On the heels of last years critically acclaimed debut LP “Under the Pale Moon,” and “Earth Has Doors” EP comes the sophomore full length from Wymond Miles, guitarist of San Francisco garage-pop titans The Fresh & Onlys. “Cut Yourself Free” assembles another convergence of moon-lit romantic swagger and post-punk massacred urgency. Again self recorded and produced to tape, Miles’ song-craft has emerged more refined and poignant, benefitting from the avalanche of his frenzied live shows, but also adhering to a more minimalistic fashion with crooning mid-era Nick Cave or Bowie/Roxy Music strains of pop-modernism. But what stands at the forefront is Miles’ command of his textural guitar and vintage-synth sprawl that on his choosing can open dream-like vistas, or pierce with an engine’s snarl. Turning to the narrative, Miles weaves each song with its own vignette of story line, often with a vaguely obscured protagonist/antagonist dialog. Relationships in Miles’ sketches are always tangled, if not licentious affairs, but are presented more as lustrous gateways to mend and revitalize rather than squalor in.