Archive for the ‘Release notes’ Category


First two Arab Strap albums to be reissued

July 14, 2010

Arab Strap’s first two albums, 1996’s The Week Never Starts Around Here and 1998’s Philophobia, get the deluxe reissue treatment courtesy of label Chemikal Underground. Both are being released as double-CDs, with the original album backed with a contemporary Peel Session and a live set (their first show for Week Never Starts and a 1998 T in the Park appearance for Philophobia).

Street date is August 17th. I suggest that you load up on sunshine, hugs, and possibly antidepressants before buying.

MP3: Arab Strap – The First Big Weekend [from The Week Never Starts Around Here]

MP3: Arab Strap – Packs of Three [from Philophobia]


Parts & Labor’s crowdsourced album

November 18, 2008


For Parts & Labor‘s newest album, Receivers, they solicited sound samples from their fans. Hundreds of samples arrived, and the band incorporated all of them into their album. The final product sounds pretty good, and is a little more accessible than some of their previous work – while I wouldn’t exactly describe the album as radio-friendly (thankfully), the songs I’ve heard are definitely more melodic and less noise-driven.  And if you want to get into the game, call (888) 317-5596 (toll-free) and send them sound samples – the band will play them onstage during their current tour.

MP3: Parts & Labor – Nowheres Nigh [buy]

[via Listening Post]


Release notes: The Faint, Fasciinatiion

August 18, 2008

I find it quite remarkable that Omaha, Nebraska’s Saddle Creek Records could have birthed three different bands with such different sounds. Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes have the emo-folk thing, Cursive the harder indie sound, and The Faint write dance-y electro-pop. Or maybe dance-y electro-indie-punk would be a better description – it has considerably more edge than the warmed-over New Order sounds that seems to characterize many electro-pop bands these days. To make their new album, Fasciinatiion, The Faint left the Saddle Creek nest and struck out on their own, building their own studio space, Enamel, and starting their own label with the extremely 21st century name of blank.wav. With its heavy distortion and booty-shaking bass, Fasciinatiion sounds a bit like a bastard lovechild of We Are Scientists and LCD Soundsystem, with some donor DNA from the Postal Service. In keeping with the nerd/sex/future theme, the standout track is “The Geeks Were Right.” And despite having what is perhaps my least favourite band name ever, Does It Offend You, Yeah? did a pretty decent remix.

More The Faint: myspace website

MP3: The Faint – The Geeks Were Right

MP3: The Faint – The Geeks Were Right (Does It Offend You, Yeah? remix)


Release notes: Destroyer, Trouble in Dreams

March 18, 2008

trouble in dreams

Destroyer‘s eighth album, Trouble in Dreams, could be the perfect album from the 70s that you never heard. Like John Darnielle‘s, Dan Bejar’s distinctive voice polarizes listeners; if you didn’t enjoy his previous album, Destroyer’s Rubies, you probably won’t like this one either, although the vocal acrobatics are less in evidence. But Bejar writes songs that are both listenable and interesting, both lyrically (inventive phrasing about time-honoured topics, like women) and musically, foregoing the traditional verse-chorus-verse structure, but still remaining – well, catchy is probably too strong a word – but certainly you’ll hear his songs in your head. This characteristic of his songwriting came home to me when I realized that, despite my devotion to the three-minute pop song, my favourite song on the album was the eight-minute long epic “Shooting Rockets (From the Desk of Night’s Ape). Bejar is widely compared to David Bowie, although I have to say that this album sounds more like early Roxy Music to me – in a good way, not in a boringly derivative way – especially “The State.” Trouble in Dreams definitely holds up to repeated listening and is worth checking out.

amazon emusic

MP3: Destroyer – The State