Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Alarm Continue Their Triumphant Return With "Sigma"

The Welsh alternative rock band, The Alarm want to make 2019 their biggest year ever. Earlier this year, they reissued their 1985 album "Strength" as a deluxe 2-CD edition. The album gets remastered from the original master tapes and includes the rare B-sides "Majority" and "Caroline Isenberg." It also includes the 7" single versions of their hits "Strength" and "Spirit of '76," along with an acoustic version of "Absolute Reality." An additional 25-track disc of bonus material is included and is filled with studio sessions and outtakes recorded during the making of the "Strength" album. Highlights include covers of "Communication Breakdown," "Maggie May" and "Maggie's Farm" along with an improvisational jam session.

Also happening this year is the release of The Alarm's brand new studio album titled "Sigma." It features a dozen tracks and will be available on June 28th through Concord Bicycle Music on CD and on vinyl. The album kicks off with the sonic blast of "Blood Red Viral Black," which features a contribution from The Cult's Billy Duffy, giving the song that edgier guitar sound. The energy continues with flow with the classic Alarm sound of "Can You Feel Me?" and "Love And Understanding." Sandwiched in-between is the more melodic pop tone of "Time" and the politically charged build-up of "Equals," featuring The Alarm's original guitarist, Dave Sharp.

The album closes with the new wave-type rocker "The White Count," which is only included on the CD edition and the nostalgic eighties sounding "Armageddon In The Morning." The Alarm will be spending the summer on the road with fellow alternative rockers Modern English and Gene Loves Jezebel. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about their new album "Sigma," please visit thealarm.com.

Friday, June 14, 2019

New Craft Recordings Vinyl Reissues From R.E.M., Much The Same and James Taylor

Rock and Roll Hall Of Famers, R.E.M. called it quits almost a decade ago, but it feels like their music is as timeless as ever. Back in 2003, Warner Bros. Records released the platinum selling greatest hits set "In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003." It featured 18-tracks (two previously unreleased) that established the band as one of the biggest musical acts in the world.

Now, for the first time since its initial release, this greatest hits set will be released on vinyl on June 14th through Craft Recordings. It includes the exact same line-up as the original release and will be pressed on 180-gram vinyl in audiophile quality. A special translucent blue vinyl edition will be available exclusively through Barnes & Noble.

The music sounds stellar on this new pressing of the album, as songs like the all-out rock assault of "What The Frequency Kenneth?" and "Orange Crush" will make your speakers shake when the volume is cranked. Plus, you can also appreciate the delicately of "Daysleeper" and "Nightswimming," as the instruments sound so pure. To find out more about the new double-vinyl release of "In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003," please visit store.remhq.com

Chicago punk-rock band, Much The Same climbed their way up the alternative rock ladder, beginning as an opening act on the Vans Warped Tour, but constant line-up changes would eventually derail the band. They would release of their biggest album to date, "Survive"  in 2006, before disbanding for eight years. Then, in 2015, Much The Same regrouped and is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year with a new studio release this summer and for the first time ever, a vinyl reissue of their album "Survive." 

The band's sound on this album was as strong as ever and still feels relevant almost fifteen years later. Much The Same deliver pure energy on the tracks "The Greatest Betrayal" and "What I Know," while also showing that they are more that just speed and energy on the well crafted hymns "Gut Shot" and "For Those Left Behind." To find out more about this new vinyl release of Much Of Same's album "Survive," please visit the band's Facebook page at facebook.com/muchthesame.

Iconic singer/songwriter James Taylor has had an illustrious career that has lasted over 50 years. He may be best known for the songs "Carolina In My Mind," "You've Got A Friend" and "Fire And Rain," just to name a few. He only released a handful of live albums throughout his career, with "One Man Band" being his most intimate. The show was recorded at the historic Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA in 2007, and was released later that year on CD/DVD under the title "One Man Band."

Now for the first time, on June 7th, the show will be released on vinyl, as a double-LP set. It features Taylor with an acoustic guitar and only accompanied by Larry Goldings on piano and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus on occasion. The setlist touched upon Taylor's entire career up to that point, opening with "Something In The Way She Moves" from his 1968 self-titled debut album. The stark, acoustic nature of the performances allows you to focus on Taylor's timeless vocals and meaningful lyrics. He gets jazzy with "Mean Old Man,"  bluesy with "Slap Leather," and then brings in a gospel sound with the backing choir of "My Traveling Star." He uses the rhythm from the audience for "Chili Dog," before quieting down for the lullaby ballad "Sweet Baby James." He closes his show with the timeless sounds of "Fire And Rain" and "Copperline." To find out more about the new vinyl release of James Taylor's "One Man Band," please visit craftrecordings.com.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Eagle Vision Uncovers Classic Live Set From Carole King "Live At Montreux 1973"

American recording artist Carole King has had an illustrious musical career that has latest over six decades. She released her first single in 1958 and topped the U.S. album charts three times with the records "Tapestry" (1971), "Music" (1971) and "Wrap Around Joy" (1974). On June 14th, Eagle Rock Entertainment will add another notch to this amazing catalog with the newly discovered concert "Live At Montreux" from 1973.

It features Carole King at the height of her popularity as she performs an hour long, eighteen-song set that begins with the number one single "I Feel The Earth Move." She is only accompanied by a piano as she graces the audience with the lovely "Home Again" and "Beautiful." She is then joined onstage by a horn section for her original composition of "Up On The Roof." Her full band finally comes out (in St. Louis Blues shirts), as they perform songs from their new album at the time, "Fantasy."

The energy really picks up with the funky sounds of "You've Been Around Too Long" and the jazzy groove of "Haywood," as you can appreciate King conducting the full band through these new numbers. It seems like Carole King really enjoys herself during this performance as she always has a smile on her face as she performs "Believe In Humanity" and "You've Got A Friend." This new live set titled "Live At Montreux 1973" will be released as a CD & DVD set, along with just a stand-alone CD and on vinyl. To find out more about this great new release, please visit eagle-rock.com/carole-king-us.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Shinyribs Develop Their Sound With "Fog & Bling" and Singer/Songwriter Pete Muller Gives Us "Dissolve"

Returning from Austin, TX is the award-winning band, Shinyribs with their new album titled "Fog & Bling." This "supergroup" brings together music genres, like R&B, rock, funk and folk music to create a unique sound which is especially heard on the album's opening track "Sing It Right." They settle down for the more laid-back, seventies folk vibe of "Highway Of Diamonds," before playing around with the jazzy, swamp-rock rhythm of "What A Man." The nostalgic tone of "I'm Clean" is undeniably addictive and "Crazy Lonely" feels like it came from the pages of the Al Green's songbook. Shinyribs wrap up their new album with the swagger of "Good Times And Bad" and the mellow R&B groove of "Doin' It (With Ya)," which will have you hitting repeat on this album. To find out more about Shinyribs and their latest release "Fog & Bling," please visit shinyribs.org.

American singer/songwriter Pete Muller recently released his latest album "Dissolve" back in May. It was produced by Emmy Award winner Rob Mathes (Sting, Rod Stewart) and features some of Muller's most emotional songs to date. The new 14-song release showcases Muller's rise to one of the top financial minds in the country, before following his dream of performing music. The song "Like A Dream" centers around his journey, as his stellar vocals find support from the song's gentle, melodic tone. Muller delivers an upbeat country/pop tone with "Back To Nothing," before slowing down for the folk-style ballad "This Ain't Me." The album continues with the jazzy, swinging rhythm of "Scraps Of Your Love" and the fun, Americana feel of "Another World," as Pete Muller seems most comfortable in this setting. He wraps up his new album with the grand, orchestral rock of the title-song "Dissolve" and the fun, upbeat delivery of "San Diego (When You Coming Home)." To find out more about Pete Muller and his latest release "Dissolve," please visit petemuller.com.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

"Rise" Up For New Albums From Hollywood Vampires And Poland's Premier Metal Band Batuska

Hard rock supergroup the Hollywood Vampires return with their second full-length album titled simply, "Rise." It will be released on June 21st through earMusic and the band continues with the explosive trio of Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp. Unlike the band's 2015 debut album, this new release features the band's first set of original material, with a few covers thrown in for good measure.

The new set begins with the seven-minute energetic blast of "I Want My Now," which finds the perfect blend of Cooper's vocals and the dual guitar attack supplied by Perry and Depp. The band gets down and dirty on the gritty rock tone of "Who's Laughing Now" and show a little tribute to the classic British blues sound of "Welcome To Bushwackers," which features support from Jeff Back and John Waters.

The first of three cover songs that appear on this album is Johnny Thunder's "You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory," sung by Joe Perry. The song's raw "grungy" tone fits Perry's deep vocals perfectly. Next, Johnny Deep takes on David Bowie's "Heroes" with a flawless execution, as it sounds almost identical to the original. The Hollywood Vampires close out their new album with the pounding rhythm of "New Threat" and the album's final cover song, "People Who Died," which feel like a modern punk anthem. To find out more about the Hollywood Vampires and their latest release "Rise," please visit hollywoodvampires.com.

Arriving later on July 12th, through Metal Blade Records, is the latest release from Poland's premier metal band, Batushka. Their new album titled "Hospodi" features ten tracks, all sung in their native language. While you may not understand any of the lyrics, the music's intense rhythm during "Wieczernia" and the extreme heavy metal attack of "Polunosznica" is enough to appreciate the passion Batushka have for their music. The thrash-like metal attack continues with the chugging guitars of "Utrenia," before finishing with epic, progressive metal assault of "Tretij Czas" and the slow-moving sonic blast of "Liturgiya." To find out more about Batushka and their latest release "Hospodi," please visit the band's Facebook page at facebook.com/Batushkaband