One of the occasional musical joys of Lockdown Life is receiving new music on vinyl in the post. Yes we've all been able to over indulge on digital music over the past weeks and months, but there's something special about getting new sounds on proper records. So it's time to turn (the) tables on Spotify and create an audio revolution - 33 or 45 RPM.
Ironically enough with its own Spotify Playlist too...
James Dean Bradfield - Even In Exile
Sometimes it's thought trendy these days to say that art can't have an impact on society. James Dean Bradfield's new solo album harks back to a time when this certainly wasn't true; poets and writers were seen as such threats to the American backed Chilean Fascist regime that many of them paid with their lives.
This album not only celebrates Victor Jara's life and work, it also shows that art can continue to have a positive impact in Society. Not just through the ever resilient words of Patrick Jones, whose inspiring writings continually subvert power and privilege, but also the powerful instrumentals. James himself may occasionally come up with silly statements about socialism being dead and resistance being futile, but this album shows that both are very much alive and kicking.
It can be done!
The Chills - Soft Bomb and Submarine Bells
Not new releases, but beautiful new reissues on vinyl of these two classic heavenly pop (should have been) hits. The Chills' sound is magical, unique, compulsive and gripping; strawberry cloaked with a twist of bitter lemon at its secret beating heart, to take you to places that most music can't begin to touch. Beautiful.
Bob Vylan - We Live Here
To underline my point that new music can still be an agitational, passionate, confrontational, ground breaking DIY call to action, here's this incredible album. Full review here and see what records they've got left here
Fontaines DC - A Hero's Death
Gaffa Tape Sandy - Family Mammal and unnamed cassette with Beach Riot
'Obviously' I bought Family Mammal the first time it came out last year; however, if you missed out, you'll soon get a chance to buy it again on lovely coloured vinyl. And both bands' tracks on the pink cassette are pretty cool too. Both available, I imagine, from Alcopop Records here
Manic Street Preachers - Gold Against The Soul
Perhaps I never properly took this album to my heart, sandwiched as it was between two of my favourite ever records, in Generation Terrorists and The Holy Bible. However, the vinyl reissue has really brought the tracks to life, highlighting its painfully honest lyrics, the powerful melodies and intricate yet relevant guitar work. Definitely worth gold plating in your soul.
IDLES - Ultra Mono
Bit of an obvious one this, and the vinyl version doesn't even yet exist, but it will be on my turntable as soon as it does. Another strident, committed band to remind you that music can make a difference.
The Darling Buds - Valentine
Preparing for my interview with the band (which you can hear again
online), I had a listen to some of their back catalogue and remembered
how incredibly powerful their records are. Maybe it's something about
the way they recorded which accentuated what are for me the vital elements
of rock and roll: the kick in the guts from the bass drum, the snap
in the head from the snare, the joy of a fuzzed up three-chord guitar
and the delight of a powerful, infectious well sung melody. Never forget
the power of a good song.
CJ Wildheart - Robot
They Want Us To Die - Tundra with BUH, Kulk, Seymour
Quigley and Gaffa Tape Sandy
What's the point of running both a fanzine and a label if you can't give yourself a plug every now and then? And honestly, I don't think I know a track more relevant to the current times than this. Every new move the government makes underlines the sickening but inevitable truth, that they want us to die...
Available now on revolting blue flexi disc