90 Day Men: s/t
The 90 Day Men create a thrilling masterpiece of innovation and anger; discordant yet sometimes jazzy riffs to stop-start guitar bashing, spite-filled vocals that bite and spit, background samples of unknown voices whispering - all of the pieces fit together beautifully. The raw intensity of "Sweater Queen" rips through the ears, while the intricacy of "Hey Citronella" brings forth a new feeling or idea with every listen. It is refreshing to hear something as well-written and as passionate as (this EP) proves to be.-All Music Guide
Anomoanon: Asleep Many Years In the Wood
Returning with his band, The Anomoanon, Ned Oldham has carefully crafted an album ripe with country crooners, slow burning ballads and the occasional raucous back woods jam. Joining the band are brothers Will (aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy), David Heumann (also in Bonny's band) and David Michael Curry on viola. Inspired by the birth of Ned's son and daughter, these songs have a communal, heartfelt warmth previously only hinted at on Anomoanon recordings. There's an overwhelming beauty and depth to these songs that is simply heartbreaking; a charming series of stories about the family as told by the family themselves. Recalling a diverse batch of influences ranging from Neil Young to Uncle Tupelo, Asleep Many Years in the Wood is a sentimental walk through the woods that lets you in on the family secrets, but also lets you in on the family fun.
Anomoanon, The: Joji
Hailing from the same rural Kentucky town that birthed fellow longhairs MyMorning Jacket, The Anomoanon's music sythesizes backwoods folk andarena-ready anthems. Combining Ned Oldham's familiar croon with theacoustic textures of Led Zeppelin and inspirational dirge of Crazy Horseinto a sound that seems so natural, one wonders if this record wasn't justwaiting around for these guys to discover it. Saying that this is theband's most accomplished recording is downright redundant, since it's alsoone of the finest of its kind by anyone. In a sea of glorified bar bandsposing as hipster revivalists, Joji finds The Anomoanon dropping from thesky and landing on both feet with a rhythmic stomp that rattles every bonein your body.
Bellini: The Precious Prize of Gravity
Recorded as always with long-time collaborator Steve Albini, The Precious Prize of Gravity is Bellini's most accomplished production yet. Guitarist Agostino Tilotta wraps a hundred notes per minute around the towering, sturdy rhythm section of Matthew Taylor and Alexis Fleisig (Girls Against Boys), while Giovanna Cacciola's poetic lyrics and smoky melodies alternately recall Grace Slick and PJ Harvey. With no less than four songs centering around the deaths of loved ones (including the heart-wrenching "The Thin Line," featuring Andy Cohen and Tim Midgett of Silkworm/Bottomless Pit), Precious Prize is lyrically Bellini's darkest album yet. Never wanting to repeat themselves, the songs are more complex and progressive than the comparatively stark Small Stones, with a driving, X-inspired cowpunk vibe throughout.
Bellini: Small Stones
It all began in late 2000 when Sicilian guitarist Agostino Tilotta (of Uzeda) formed Bellini with Damon Che (Don Caballero). Originally conceived as an instrumental duo, the two soon expanded the group to include Tilotta's wife Giovanna Cacciola (also of Uzeda) and Matthew Taylor (of The Romulans). They embarked on a small tour on the way to Chicago to record their debut album, Snowing Sun, with longtime friend Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio studios. In 2002 they toured Italy and the US in support of Snowing Sun. After enduring a string of cancellations at the hands of Hurricane Lilly, the band could not withstand the wrath of Hurricane Damon. Midway through their set in Athens, GA, Che quit the band in a well-publicized on-stage breakdown, literally leaving the band stranded with no vehicle or drummer. This is where the band calls it a day and catches the next flight home, right? Not quite. Taylor called his old friend Alexis Fleisig (Girls Against Boys, Soulside) to ask for help. Incredibly, Fleisig answered their cries for help. Having just walked in the door from an extensive GVSB tour when he got the call, he headed right back out the door with the GVSB gear and headed out on tour with Bellini, replacing Che only two days after the Athens meltdown. Learning all the songs in one day by listening to the CD in the van, Fleisig and Bellini got along famously, so much so that by day three he was a permanent member of the band.
Recorded in a whirlwind 5-day session in a dilapidated studio in Austin, TX (much of which was spent watching Albini repair neglected recording equipment), Small Stones is the sound of a band made stronger. More melodic, more rhythmic and more intense than anything Cacciola and Tilotta have ever been involved with, Tilotta's guitar stabs punctuate the relentless rhythm section, and more than ever before. And Cacciola sings, her voice exuding an assured power and effortless sexiness that eludes most contemporary vocalists. If Bellini had to endure tragedy before enjoying triumph, Small Stones is as brilliant a reward as they could have ever hoped for.
Bitch Magnet: Bitch Magnet
Temporary Residence Ltd. is proud to present the remastered and repackaged reissue of the legendary Bitch Magnet’s seminal and critically acclaimed three albums ? Star Booty, Umber, and Ben Hur. The deluxe 3xLP/3xCD package include all three albums, plus more than a half dozen rare and previously unreleased tracks, a total of 34 songs, remastered from the original, restored analog master tapes. Bitch Magnet was formedat Oberlin College in 1986. Immediately following the release of its debut Star Booty in 1988, the band garnered rapturous reviews and established itself among the top-tier of America’s independent music underground. The band’s reputation continued to grow with tours of the US and Europe, and the subsequent releases of Umber (prominently included by Mojo on its list of “Lost Albums You Must Own”) in 1989 and Ben Hur in 1990. The latter two have been frequently cited as a key inspiration for what would become known as “post-rock,” a term that baffled and amused the members of Bitch Magnet when it first surfaced, and still does today. Along with their contemporaries in Slint, in the years following their breakup, Bitch Magnet has been recognized as a significant influence on generations of aggressive and musically complex bands, including Don Caballero, Mogwai, Rodan, June of 44 and Battles.
Books, The: Thought for Food (reissue)
Filled with endearing and enduring songs, the Books revisit their wide-eyed beginnings with this remastered Thought For Food, repackaged with all-new artwork and expanded to include lyrics for every song for the first time ever. Carefully and thoughtfully remastered from the original mixes by Zammuto at his new studio outside his home in Vermont, TFF now boasts a warmth and clarity that surprisingly reveals an increased harmonic depth. Having combined and refined their compositional and recording processes over the course of four albums, addressing the technical limitations of these earlier recordings offers the chance to marry the technical, musical and emotional aspects of these songs in a way like never before. To be sure, the differences are subtle, but for a band who have transformed minutiae into modern art, that subtlety is downright sublime.
Books, The: The Way Out
Over the course of three albums in nearly a decade’s time, the Books have grown to become one of modern music’s most genuine innovators. Creatively complex and truly unclassifiable, The Way Out continues the Books’ tradition of meticulous, existential songcraft, infusing the playfully surreal elements of previous albums with a humorous, childlike excitement. Produced and recorded as always in the Books’ home studios, The Way Out expands on the charm and intimacy of past endeavors with a deeper emotional resonance and an ever-impressive marriage of seemingly disparate sound worlds. With The Way Out, the Books have mastered the precarious balance of beauty, absurdity and accessibility.