Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Pet Shop Boys - Yes [2009]

Yes was produced by Brian Higgins, songwriter and producer who works under the name Xenomania. Past collaborations include work with 90’s disco-revamped Cher, Kylie Minogue and Girls Aloud. Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr also plays on several of the 11 newly recorded tracks.

The Thermals - Now We Can See [2009]

Thermal mainstays Hutch Harris and Kathy Foster recorded Now We Can See as a duo, as they did on 2006's The Body, The Blood, The Machine. Foster performed all drums and bass (and sang for the first time on a Thermals record), while Harris sang lead and played guitar. They returned to Oregon City's Supernatural Sound (where TBTBTM was tracked), with John Congleton (Explosions In The Sky, Polyphonic Spree) producing. The result is the widest, loudest piece of alternative/indie/punk rock The Thermals have yet unleashed.Lyrically, The Thermals have managed to move past religion and politics (having just about over-done them on TBTBTM), yet remain joyously obsessed with love and death. Though the subject matter may be dark at times, the lyrics, as well as the melodies, remain as catchy and uplifting as ever.

01. When I Died
02. We Were Sick
03. I Let It Go
04. Now We Can See
05. At the Bottom of the Sea
06. When We Were Alive
07. I Called Out Your Name
08. When I Was Afraid
09. Liquid In, Liquid Out
10. How We Fade
11. You Dissolve

- Download *new link*

The Wooden Birds - Magnolia [2009]

Andrew Kenny is a native Texan who, after nearly six years in Brooklyn, NY, has returned to beautiful Austin, TX. He's best known as the singer/songwriter behind mellow indie favorites the American Analog Set. He's also performed as a guest artist with the Album Leaf, Her Space Holiday, Styrofoam, Arthur and Yu, Ola Podrida, and most recently the Broken Social Scene.
His latest project is called The Wooden Birds, and it is his best effort to date. The Wooden Birds' first album is Magnolia. Fans of the AmAnSet will recognize his voice and songwriting immediately, but the arrangements on Magnolia are more vocal and percussion heavy than anything Kenny has done before. The Wooden Birds also includes Ola Podrida songwriter and David Gordon Green film score composer David Wingo, along with co-producer, Chris Michaels. Vocalist, guitarist, and AmAnSet guest artist, Leslie Sisson, and Lymbic System drummer, Michael Bell, round out the line-up.

Thee Oh Sees - Help [2009]

It’s good to be from San Francisco. At least, that’s true if you’re Thee Oh Sees, who continue to be one of the best underground bands in the bay area, home of the musically diverse scene including Deerhoof and Why? Venerated as the head of garage rock in not only San Francisco but also in the nation, Thee Oh Sees derive definitive influence from 60's Phantom Surfers garage rock, but break loose from the simple power chord definition of many basement jams. Perhaps it births from frontman John Dwyer’s noise rock backgrounds with the Coachwhips and Pink and Brown, the female-male vocal head-on collisions, or the band’s thick spring-reverberated bombastic tunes. Thee Oh Sees’ latest album, The Master's Bedroom is Worth Spending a Night In , on Tomlab Records (home of David Shrigley’s Worried Noodles and previous releases by aforementioned Deerhoof, Xiu Xiu, Tussle, and more), sees the band’s most accomplished release yet. Now a quartet, the alternating coed vocals give the band vibes of the B-52s vocal interplay when the latter found themselves at their least cheesy and most epic (think Mesopotamia). The album weaves Dwyer's distorted quivering yelp—signature of predecessors Suicide and The Wipers—Brigid Dawson's elegant and haunting harmonies, punk-paced guitars, and guttural drums (at times in pairs).