New Releases - 7/7/17

Albert King – Born Under A Bad Sign [Reissue/1967] LP (Atlantic)
Vinyl reissue of the second studio album by Albert King. Born Under A Bad Sign became “one of the most popular and influential blues albums of the late '60s.”

Black Lips – Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art? 2xLP (Vice)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Atlanta, GA flower punk pioneers Black Lips return with their first album in three years. Produced by Sean Lennon at his studio compound in upstate New York throughout 2016, Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art? is the group's most musically evolved to date, while still staying true to their original blistering take on fuzzy, dirty rock ‘n' roll. The album features contributions by Saul Adamczewski of Fat White Family and guest vocals by Yoko Ono.

Booker T. & The MG’s – Hip Hug-Her [Reissue/1967] LP (Atlantic)
Vinyl reissue of the fifth studio album by the Southern soul band, originally released on Stax Records in June 1967. The title track was the band's most successful single since their debut, “Green Onions.”

Broken Social Scene – Hug Of Thunder CD/2xLP (Arts & Crafts)
On Hug Of Thunder the 15 members of Broken Social Scene – well, the 15 who play on the record, including returnees Leslie Feist and Emily Haines – refract their varying emotions, methods, and techniques into something that doesn’t just equal their other albums, but surpasses them. It is righteous but warm, angry but loving, melodic but uncompromising. The title track on its own might just be the best thing you will hear all year – a song that might become as beloved as “Anthems For a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl” from their breakthrough album, You Forgot It In People. The album’s title, Kevin Drew says, captured what he wanted people to feel about the group’s comeback, and how they sound playing together again: “It’s just such a wonderful sentiment about us, coming in like a hug of thunder.” In troubled times it offers a serotonin rush of positivity: “Stay Happy” lives up to its title, with huge surges of brass that sound like sunshine bursting through clouds. “Gonna Get Better” makes a promise that the album is determined to deliver. That’s not to say it’s an escapist record: Broken Social Scene is completely engaged, wholly focused, and not ignoring the darkness that lurks outside. But there is no hectoring, no lecturing, but a recognition of the confusion and ambiguity of the world.

Carla Thomas – Carla [Reissue/1966] LP (Atlantic)
Carla Thomas was to Memphis' Stax Records what Aretha was to Atlantic: the label's reigning matriarch, able to wrap her glorious voice around “B-A-B-Y” and “Let Me Be Good To You,” chart-toppers from the precocious songwriting team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter, as well as R&B standards like Willie Dixon's “Little Red Rooster.” Backed by the Stax house combo, fronted by Booker T. and Steve Cropper, Carla also shows off her storied versatility with knockout renderings of “I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry” and “I Fall To Pieces.”

Flatfoot 56 – Odd Boat CD/LP (Sailor’s Grave)
Playing a positive-natured brand of hardcore-tinged Celtic punk, Flatfoot 56 has been unleashing itself upon America and the rest of the world for over 16 years. “The tallest man in punk rock music, Tobin Bawinkel and his band of merry Celtic brethren have done it again. Towering at 6’10“, the gentle giant of punk rock comes out swinging with the first track, ‘Ty Cobb.’ His signature gravelly, husky voice continues to stand tall amidst his Celtic punk rock counterparts. The song starts with a clip of a baseball game announcer that mixes smoothly with the guitar and then, alas, the bagpipes jump in. The second track keeps up the tone and doesn’t disappoint. A lead guitar part is thrown in and is a bit of a departure from their prior albums, but it seems to blend perfectly. Indeed, Odd Boat is yet another jewel in the Flatfoot catalog. I can’t really find anything wrong with this album. It has solid production, amazing bagpipe and mandolin parts that are all mixed perfectly with the rest of the band.” – Indie Vision Music

Haim – Something To Tell You CD/2xLP (Columbia)
Something To Tell You is the sophomore album from Haim. When the time came to record the album’s eleven tracks, Haim decided to “go in and record as a band, keeping it a little more organic. That was kind of a mission statement for the album” offered Danielle Haim. The group first announced the release of Something To Tell You with an in-studio video version of album track “Right Now,” which was shot and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, Boogie Nights). Haim then released the single “Want You Back,” which Rolling Stone described as having “a Hot 100 ready sheen.” Pitchfork gave “Want You Back” its coveted Best New Track saying “Haim are pulling the rug out from under our feet in the run-up to releasing their second album.” Entertainment Weekly declared “Want You Back” sees HAIM returning to their sonic roots as a funky, pop-inspired trio, complete with groovy strings, sprightly percussion, a soulful chorus, and a spritz of electronic sheen.”

Jay-Z – 4:44 CD (Roc Nation)
Jay-Z’s first album since Magna Carta ... Holy Grail in 2013 — 4:44 features 10 intensely personal and provocative tracks that include a few references to the marriage-baring “Lemonade” album by his wife, Beyoncé, and the recent birth of their twins.

Melvins – A Walk With Love And Death 2xCD/2xLP (Ipecac)
Melvin’s first double-album find the trio of Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover, and Steve McDonald showcasing two distinct sides to the band’s music: Death, a proper Melvins’ release, and Love, the score to the Jesse Nieminen directed, self-produced short also titled A Walk With Love And Death. “This was a huge undertaking,” explained band ringleader Buzz Osborne. “All three things: the album, the soundtrack, and the film are benchmarks for us.” Drummer Dale Crover added, “A Walk With Love And Death is one giant, dark, moody, psychotic head trip! Not for the faint of heart. You'll sleep with the lights on after listening.” The albums, which include guests Joey Santiago (The Pixies), Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes/Crystal Fairy) and Anna Waronker (That Dog), were self-produced with engineer Toshi Kosai. [Limited pink vinyl pressing also available.]

Otis Redding – The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads [Reissue/1965] LP (Atlantic)
Otis Redding – The Soul Album [Reissue/1966] LP (Atlantic)

The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads is the third studio album by American soul singer-song writer Otis Redding, released in 1965. The album was one of the first issued by Volt Records, a sub-label of Stax Records, and Redding's first on the new label. The Soul Album followed a year later.

Public Service Broadcasting – Every Valley CD (PIAS America)
Every Valley is Public Service Broadcasting's third album. The album's theme is focused on the industrialization decline of south Wales: It's centered around coal mining but it’s a story which has been told around the western world and is particularly relevant given the current political climate. Known for their use of narrators from historical footage played over music, Every Valley, finds Public Service Broadcasting expanding with special guests vocals from James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers and Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura. “At first, Public Service Broadcasting's music scans as a lighthearted gimmick: A stripped-down band — led by a guy billed as ‘J. Willgoose, Esq.’ — performs dramatic instrumentals over voiceovers from old newsreels, documentaries, propaganda and public-service materials. But as the U.K. group releases its third album, it's striking how sturdy and versatile that sound has become.” – NPR

Radiohead – OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017 3xLP (XL)
OKNOTOK features the original OK Computer twelve track album, eight B-sides, and the Radiohead completist’s dream: “I Promise,” “Lift,” and “Man Of War.” The original studio recordings of these three previously unreleased and long sought after OK Computer-era tracks finally receive their first official issue on OKNOTOK. [Vinyl edition includes a C90 cassette mix tape taken from OK Computer session archives and demo tapes and a notebook containing 104 pages from Thom Yorke's library of scrawled notes of the time. Limited colored vinyl pressing due July 21.]

River Black – River Black CD (Season Of Mist)
“River Black is an emotional reaction; an answer to the call of today’s heavy music. It is a creative process that journeys to the heart and soul; purging all the good, the bad and the ugly along the way. River Black was formed by guitarist John Adubato and drummer Dave Witte after the dissolution of Burnt By The Sun. The duo felt the need to keep the spirit and energy behind that going, pushing it a darker and heavier direction than anything in their collective past, and enlisted long-time friend and bassist Brett Bamberger. After working through a few different line-ups, the trio brought vocalist Mike Olender into the fold. Witte explains, ‘I’ve always had a strong connection with John and his riffs. Somehow, he’s able to pull things out of me drumming-wise that no one else can. I found a rhythm partner and brother in Brett over the years, so those two together are the ultimate wing men for me so-to-speak. Adding Mike back into the fold was the puzzle piece that had been missing the whole time we’ve been working on this project.’” – New Noise Magazine

Sam & Dave – Double Dynamite [Reissue/1967] LP (Atlantic)
Perhaps no act epitomized soul music as the secularization of gospel more than Sam & Dave. Double Dynamite was the second Sam & Dave album to enjoy significant crossover appeal.

Toro y Moi – Boo Boo CD (Carpark)
“After 7 years of touring and recording, I found myself becoming self-conscious about my position in life as a ‘famous’ person, or at least my version of whatever that is. My dreams had become my reality, yet I was somehow unable to accept this new environment. I couldn’t help but fall into what might be described as an identity crisis. A feedback loop of fearful thoughts left me feeling confused. I felt as though I no longer knew what it was that I actually wanted and needed in and out of life, and at times I felt unable to even tell what was real. During this time of personal turmoil, I turned to music as a form of therapy, and it helped me cope with the pain that I was feeling. I’d listen to the same ambient song over and over again, trying to insulate myself from reality. I fell in love with space again. By the time I felt ready to begin working on a new record, I knew that this idea of space within music would be something that propelled my new work forward. The artists that were influencing what I was making included everyone from Travis Scott to Daft Punk, Frank Ocean to Oneohtrix Point Never, Kashif and Gigi Masin. I recognized that the common thread between these artists was their attention to a feeling of space, or lack thereof. I decided that I wanted to make a pop record with these ideas in mind. That idea for a record is what eventually became Boo Boo.”

Whitehorse – Panther In The Dollhouse CD (Six Shooter)
On their new album, Whitehorse takes a place of wholesome, conventional life and sets loose a wild animal to stalk, shred and smash its way through ideals of adult life and social conditioning. Whitehorse turns a microscope on domestic life to reveal a writhing, tangled biota of dreams and desire, despair and degradation. With Panther In The Dollhouse, the duo’s songwriting makes a clean break from autobiography to fully embrace cinematic fiction in sleek, stylized collages of neo-noir drama and high-gloss showmanship. From the grindhouse ballad of “Die Alone” to the peroxide burn of “Trophy Wife,” the new songs are full of flawed characters, foiled plans and anti-fairytales. To make this record, Whitehorse expanded their studio team with the addition of Likeminds, a pair of hip-hop/R&B producers and musicians. The beat-makers joined the returning crew of Gus Van Go and Werner F, who produced the band’s previous album, Leave No Bridge Unburned. The results bring vintage drum machines, samplers and analog synths into duo’s space twang sound.

Daniel Drinkard