Part one of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new or reissued wax presently in stores for April, 2016.
The Adverts, Crossing the Red Sea with the Adverts and Cast of Thousands (Fire) Deserving reissues of the killer debut and underrated follow-up by these crucial UK punkers. Sharpened through gigs, Crossing is a rare punk LP that’s fantastic from start to finish, its highlights including their monster early 45 cuts plus album-only doozies like “On the Roof.” Brandishing more ambitious songs and execution, less punk orthodoxy and occasional non-toxic pop gestures (e.g. keyboards), Cast’s rep has steadily grown over the decades. Fire gives both spiffy new covers and bonus tracks. A/A-
Loren Auerbach with Bert Jansch, Colours Are Fading Fast (Earth Recordings) An eye-opening set surely appropriate for Jansch heavies, though amongst numerous contributors this is still firmly Auerbach’s show, rounding up her mid-‘80s albums Playing the Game and After the Long Night and adding an LP of unreleased material. The label notes the difficulty in fathoming the heretofore modest appreciation for her gifts as a vocalist, a point well taken as the music’s original issue on her own Christabel label undoubtedly limited her exposure. This loving collection sets things right. A-
Bardo Pond, Acid Guru Pond (Fire) One of the finest heavy-psych bands of the last 25 years joins up with prolific Japanese contemporaries Acid Mothers Temple and Krautrock survivors Guru Guru (the number of participants from each band isn’t exactly clear) for an extravaganza of expansiveness spread across four sides of vinyl. Studio meetings of this type tend to fall short of expectations, but the Pond’s style of pulse-drone psych fits well with a loose jamming atmosphere, and these five tracks never falter into aimlessness or self-indulgence. A-
Jaye Bartell, Light Enough (Sinderlyn) Wielding a voice not necessarily unconventional but certainly distinctive, Bartell’s background as a poet shines through (influences cited: Spalding Gray, Eileen Myles, Charles Olson) as the verses on his second album sidestep the commonplace with ease. Enhanced by a folky framework, the work of Leonard Cohen and to a lesser extent Bill Callahan does spring to mind on occasion, but Bartell’s ultimately up to something different here. The title track serves as a good entry point and “The Ceiling” expands things very nicely. Excellent cover, as well. A-