Alternative - Grunge - 90’s
Weezer (The Black Album) was produced by TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek, with whom the band worked for the first time. The album's songs were entirely written on piano by frontman Rivers Cuomo for the first time in Weezer history, creating some of the most satisfyingly awesome songs in the entire hits-filled Weezer catalogue. With band members switching up instruments in the studio, and choruses filtered through Sitek's own encyclopedic musical references of everything from Gorillaz to Can to Pink Floyd, Weezer (The Black Album) is the bold next step in the winning streak of acclaimed albums they've released since 2014.
• 18 brand new tracks from The Muffs. • First new album in five years. • Available on CD, Digital, and double-LP. • Vinyl features a laser-etched fourth side. After reissuing The Muffs’ three acclaimed first titles (The Muffs, Blonder And Blonder, and Happy Birthday To Me), it’s only fitting that the brand new Muffs album makes its way out into the world via Omnivore Recordings. No Holiday, The Muffs’ first new album in five years, is a celebration of everything the band has always stood for, and continues to be. Bassist Ronnie Barnett says “I think this new album represents the depth of our band like none of our others. It could have easily been aptly called The Many Moods Of The Muffs. All of our strengths: melody, big rock, sweetness, nastiness . . . All on display and readily apparent. The three of us, after all these years, are a family. The love between us is well represented here. We laid it all out there on this one.” Kim Shattuck (songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist) adds “I wrote the songs between 1991 and 2017. We decided to have a long album and use songs that had been in my arsenal but were weeded out for super concise albums. They were all great songs and we didn’t want them to go to waste. No way!” No Holiday contains 18 tracks on CD, Digital, and a 2-LP set (with laser-etched fourth side). Drummer Roy McDonald: “I think No Holiday is the most unique album we’ve ever made. 18 songs that run the spectrum from full blown productions to intimate home recordings. This was a labor of love for us and I think that comes out in the record. We wanted to create something lasting and special. I, for one, couldn’t be happier with the results.” Welcome back Muffs!
The album arrives following years of anticipation and speculation, which reached a fever pitch as the outfit helmed by Maynard James Keenan and Billy Howerdel launched their Fall 2017 tour with the release of “The Doomed”. The band then ushered in the new year with the debut of the contemplative song, “Disillusioned”.
“Although I’m extremely excited to finally be completing this album after a 14-year hiatus,” explains Keenan. “I’m actually more excited that its intentional release date is serving a greater purpose. The 20th of April is Carina Round’s birthday. She is a dear friend who is extremely difficult to shop for. Pressure off. Of course, I must also note that the potheads are gonna be thrilled that this album comes out on 4-20. May it serve as a glorious soundtrack to accompany all of the giggling and vexing sounds of nibbling and snacking. Fingers crossed, Cheech & Chong will be proud.”
“Demos are these precious ideas that you love in their initial state,” adds Howerdel. “Then you collaborate, invite other ideas, and watch them progress. That’s the dynamics and growth of a great record. I feel we’ve made a great record.”
Eat The Elephant, which was co-produced by Dave Sardy (Autolux, Slayer), is being released in multiple formats including digital, CD, and double gatefold 180 gram vinyl. In advance of Record Store Day, a limited-edition independent retail exclusive version of the LP on white 180 gram vinyl with alternate cover will also be available.
Since the late '80s, Mudhoney – the Seattle-based foursome whose muck-crusted version of rock, shot through with caustic wit and battened down by a ferocious low end – has been a high-pH tonic against the ludicrous and the insipid. Thirty years later, the world is experiencing a particularly high-water moment for both those ideals. But just in time, vocalist Mark Arm, guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Guy Maddison, and drummer Dan Peters are back with Digital Garbage, a barbed-wire-trimmed collection of sonic brickbats. Arm's raw yawp and his bandmates' long-honed chemistry make Digital Garbage an ideal release valve for the 2018 pressure cooker. "My sense of humor is dark, and these are dark times," says Arm. "I suppose it’s only getting darker." Digital Garbage opens with the swaggering "Nerve Attack," which can be heard as a nod both to modern-life anxiety and the ever-increasing threat of warfare. The album's title comes from the outro of "Kill Yourself Live," which segues from a revved-up Arm organ solo into a bleak look at the way notoriety goes viral. Arm says: "people really seem to find validation in the likes—and then there's Facebook Live, where people have streamed torture and murder, or, in the case of Philando Castile, getting murdered by a cop. In the course of writing that song, I thought about how, once you put something out there online, you can’t wipe it away. It’s always going to be there—even if no one digs it up, it’s still out there floating somewhere." Appropriately enough, bits of recent news events float through the record: “Please Mr. Gunman," on which Arm bellows "We'd rather die in church!" over his bandmates' careening charge, was inspired by a TV-news bubblehead's response to a 2017 church shooting, while the ominous refrain that opens the submerged-blues of "Next Mass Extinction" calls back to last summer's clashes in Charlottesville. Mudhoney's core sound—steadily pounding drums, swamp-thing bass, squalling guitar wobble, Arm's hazardous-chemical voice—remains on Digital Garbage, which the band recorded with longtime collaborator (and Digital Garbage pianist) Johnny Sangster at the Seattle studio Litho. The anti-religiosity shimmy "21st Century Pharisees" builds its case with Maddison's woozy synths, which Arm says “add a really nice touch to the proceedings.” Digital Garbage closes with "Oh Yeah," a brief celebration of skateboarding, surfing, biking, and the joy provided by these escape valves. "I would’ve really just loved to write songs about just hanging out on the beach, and going on a nice vacation," says Arm. "But, you know, that probably doesn’t make for great rock." Mudhoney, however, know what does make great rock—and the riffs and fury of Digital Garbage will stand the test of time, even if the particulars fade away. "I've tried to keep things somewhat universal, so that this album doesn’t just seem like of this time—hopefully some of this stuff will go away," Arm laughs. "You don’t want to say in the future, 'Hey, those lyrics are still relevant. Great!'”
In October, The Breeders announced their return to 4AD, along with a new album, All Nerve, released this Spring. We are also happy be reissuing their previous four albums on vinyl. Pod is the bands 1990 debut and is continually ranked as one of the best albums of the 90s. Recorded by Steve Albini in 10 days, it was released to critical acclaim and Kurt Cobain called it one of his favorite albums of all time. In 1993, they released their breakout album Last Splash, which brought the band into the forefront with the runaway hit “Cannonball”. The song made it to #2 on the charts, and was followed by a tour supporting Nirvana, a spot on the Lollapalooza tour and in 1994, a platinum certification. Nine years later, after an indefinite hiatus, The Breeders returned with Title TK. The Guardian UK called it "a welcome return to punky pop that knows how to flex some melodic muscle.” In 2008, The Breeders released their eclectic fourth album in 18 years, Mountain Battles. Spin gave the album 4 stars, and the NME called it "a joyfully lived-in and boundary-free album.”
“How does brokenness walk? Or move through the world?” says guitarist/vocalist Carrie Brownstein about The Center Won’t Hold, Sleater-Kinney’s tenth studio album. “We’re always mixing the personal and the political but on this record, despite obviously thinking so much about politics, we were really thinking about the person – ourselves or versions of ourselves or iterations of depression or loneliness – in the middle of the chaos.” The Center Won’t Hold is Sleater-Kinney’s midnight record on the doomsday clock. After twenty-five years of legendary collaboration, rock’n’roll giants Brownstein, Corin Tucker, and Janet Weiss rise to meet the moment by digging deeper and sounding bigger than we’ve heard them yet. Here are intimate battle cries. Here are shattered songs for the shattered survivors. The Center Won’t Hold drops you into the world of catastrophe that touches on the election,” says guitarist/vocalist Tucker of the title track. “We’re not taking it easy on the audience. That song is meant to be really heavy and dark. And almost like a mission statement, at the end of that song, it’s like we’re finding our way out of that space by becoming a rock band.
Brainiac began in 1992 as the basement experiments of Dayton, OH natives Tim Taylor (vocals, synth), and Juan Monasterio (bass), who first met playing cello in fifth grade. Upon completing the lineup with Michelle Bodine (guitar) and Tyler Trent (drums), they released two full-lengths and toured vigorously, establishing themselves as the latest peg in Ohio's diverse musical timeline. In 1994, Michelle left the band and was replaced by John Schmersal. After recording a 7" with Steve Albini for Sup Pop, the band recorded a handful of songs with Kim Deal (of The Pixies), which became their Touch and Go debut single Internationale. 1996 saw the release of their Touch and Go debut, Hissing Prigs in Static Couture, and saw the band use less Moog and more random electronic gadgets and noisemakers. Jim O'Rourke produced 1997's Electroshock for President EP, in which Brainiac continued their transition into a more electronic rock band. They began to receive serious interest from major labels. On May 23, 1997, however, only weeks after the EP's release and the band's return from a European tour supporting Beck, Tim lost his life in a car accident in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. He was 28. A feature length documentary exploring Brainiac's music, legacy, and loss, entitled Transmissions After Zero and directed by Eric Mahoney, is expected to be released in early 2019.