The Mars Volta – Noctourniquet
The Mars Volta make music the same way a dog humps a table leg: instinctively and for self-gratification. Some people are appalled at the sight of it; others find it immensely entertaining. Either way, they’re pretty oblivious. That’s not to belittle the band, or to slander their fans as the sort of people who break out in hysterics when they see dogs humping inanimate objects (they’re so, so not), but simply to illustrate why the Volta are so user-unfriendly: because the user never enters into the equation. Omar and Cedric’s desire to self-indulge was a key factor in ATD-I’s demise, and frankly, what other people think of them is low on their list of concerns. Read full review on NME
Meshuggah – Koloss
As the nights get shorter and spirits lift, nothing can warm the cockles like a new long player from rambunctious, intense, claustrophobic, polyrhythmic industrial-strength thrash metal from Meshuggah.
But beware: these metallers can’t just play guitars and drum at lightspeed, they’re also good at maths, meaning Meshuggah’s apocalyptic soundscape comes at you in strange time signatures. Lumped in with a math metal movement with the likes of Mastodon and Dillinger Escape Plan, they have been around since long before both bands, busy inventing a sound many others have imitated for the last 20 years. Read the full review on Drowned In Sound
Tanlines – Mixed Emotions
Opener and lead single “Brothers” is as good a place to start as any, with the amniotic warmth of its bass and New Order-styled synth flourishes. “Brothers” takes its name from the first studio Tanlines ever recorded in, but it also works when translated as a reflection of a friendship over the years. “I’m just the same as I ever been/ But I’m the only one who doesn’t notice it,” goes the chorus. A lot of Mixed Emotions contains similar thematic elements in its lyrics, full of vague, open-ended questions that seem most applicable for people verging on a mid-mid-life crisis. But because of their opaqeuness, the simplest turns of phrase– when left open for interpretation– give the album a sort of emotional adaptability. For such a rhythmically-oriented affair, these smears of melancholy offer necessary balance. Read the full review on Pitchfork
The Shins – Port of Morrow
A deep breath, then: James Mercer has returned to Earth. Port of Morrow, the Shins’ fourth studio album in 11 years, is a triumphant return from a project that once risked being reduced to an indie-went-mainstream tagline. It’s the perfect distillation of the Shins’ back catalog– the jangly, wistful airs of Oh, Inverted World, Chutes Too Narrow’s genre-resistant playfulness, Wincing the Night Away’s expansively detailed production. But in other ways, its colorful, detail-oriented approach sets it apart from anything Mercer’s done before. Read the full review on Pitchfork
The Hunger Games – Soundtrack
What’s the appropriate soundtrack for kids killing kids? That’s one of many tough questions that Grammy-winning producer T Bone Burnett had to answer while overseeing this set of songs inspired by the movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel about tweens and teens forced to fight to the death. Fans of the book might imagine its bow-hunting heroine, Katniss Everdeen, slinging arrows to the strains of something decidedly punk-rock. Personally, I’d like to think of her blasting Bikini Kill’s ”Rebel Girl” while she takes out Cato, Clove, Glimmer, and anyone else who underestimates her talent for ripping out tender teenage hearts and entrails. But what puts Burnett in the mood for some good old-fashioned child sacrificing, apparently, is…folk. Read the full review on Entertainment Weekly
Odd Future – The Odd Future Tape Vol. 2
The O.F. Tape Vol. 2 is a retrenchment, a return to the anarchic and nauseous lo-fi snarl-rap that introduced the group. No rappers or singers or producers from outside the group show up; the whole thing (aesthetically, at least) could’ve been recorded in Syd’s bedroom studio two years ago. The beats, mostly from Tyler and Left Brain, are queasy stumbling lurches that some out funky almost in spite of themselves. Tyler, obviously the crew’s mastermind and most visible member, doesn’t act as frontman on the album; instead, he’s happy to come off as just one important member of the collective. Hodgy Beats, actually, emerges as the MVP in some ways; he raps on 10 of the 18 tracks, more than anyone else. Read the full review on Sterogum
We’ve got our shipment in!
Over 100 of the regular 3lp & over 25 of the Pollock edition.
$49.97 for regular.
$79.97 for Pollock edition.
See you all Friday night at Midnight!
A heads up to all you Phisheads and vinyl collectors in general out there – Phish will be releasing, for the first time ever, Junta on vinyl. Two versions of it to be exact. Below are the details.
DELUXE GATEFOLD VINYL 12″ 180 GRAM X3
POLLOCK EDITION INCLUDES: A Signed & Numbered Limited Edition, Hand-Carved, Hand-Printed, Linoleum Block Poster by Artist Jim Pollock.
BOTH VERSIONS INCLUDE: 3-LPs pressed on 180g Audiophile grade black vinyl – lacquers cut at Bernie Grundman Mastering from the original Stereo 1/4″ Master Reels – Foil Stamped first pressing of 5,000 – Individually numbered and only 2500 of each version – include a download code for free MP3s of the Entire Album, from the new vinyl remasters.
Also! Most importantly – We will be doing a special Midnight sale of these two releases Midnight (Friday night, Saturday Morning of April 21st.) So if you want to get your hands on one of these limited releases, stay up late. (or get up early.)
PS. No other record store day special releases will be available until normal store hours. However, if you want to browse around, Record Store Day sale prices will be in effect. You’ve been warned. See you there!
Pure Pop has partnered with our sister indie record
store in Austin TX, Waterloo Records, to web stream their 30+
exclusive live in-store performances this Wed-Sat on our website with
a 4 camera hi-def video and stereo audio feed. Please log on and join
us. Here is what Pure Pop has in store for you…
5pm Delta Spirit (inside) (During SXSW Interactive)
1pm Foxy Shazam
2pm Bass Drum Of Death
3pm Spoek Mathambo
4:30pm Ricky Jean Francois (inside)
12pm Blitzen Trapper
1pm Little Willies (featuring Norah Jones)
2pm Icky Blossoms
4:30pm Ruthie Foster (inside)
12pm Say Anything
1pm Talib Kweli
2pm Jimmy Cliff
3pm Of Montreal
4pm Howlin’ Rain
4:30pm Father John Misty (inside)
5pm Gary Clark Jr.
12pm Youth Lagoon
1pm Nada Surf
2pm Kid Congo
3pm Strange Boys
4:30pm Chuck Ragan (inside)
5pm Chuck Prophet
6pm Love Inks
The Decemberists – We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (live)
There is a nostalgic kick to hearing “Leslie Anne Levine” and “Oceanside” in this live setting, with Chris Funk adding flourishes of weepy pedal steel, and damned if all three parts of “The Crane Wife” (which were separated in the tracklist to the 2006 album) don’t sound newly compelling as one 16-minute story-song showstopper. It may be the most naturalistic marriage of lyrics and music the Decemberists have yet devised: Colin Meloy may be too often dismissed as a winking actor, but there’s an eloquent, even dignified melancholy to his lyrics and melodies, which are bolstered by the band’s sensitive accompaniment. Drummer John Moen even comes across as a protagonist, stitching the song together rhythmically and propelling it along its narrative arc. Only the proggy keyboard riffs break the spell. They might as well be in quote marks. Read the full review on Pitchfork
Delta Spirit – Delta Spirit
The album’s first single California continues Delta Spirit’s trek alongside its newfound indie influences, but similarly maintains the band’s Americana rock identity. Ethereal yet pulsing with energy, California mimics Empty House’s open feeling with Vasquez singing of setting free someone he loves, despite knowing what pain it will cause him: “And though my heart will fight until its dying breath / You’re not for me.” Read the full review on Antiquiet
The Magnetic Fields – Love At The Bottom Of The Sea
Stephin Merritt has always favored a theatrical mode of address, and Love At The Bottom Of The Sea often sounds like a collection of lesser songs from notional musicals. Single “Andrew In Drag” is built from tones that could be sound effects as easily as they could be synthesizer presets, the likes of which haven’t graced a Magnetic Fields record since 1999’s beloved 69 Love Songs. Merritt has fully embraced the character and uniqueness of his technically limited voice, ascending in the song’s chorus from a self-aware deadpan into a faux-soaring self-aware deadpan. When it strikes a balance between exuberance and obsessive formalism, Love At The Bottom Of The Sea is irresistible. Read the full review on the AV Club
Anais Mitchell – Young man in America
The title should give you some sense of the scale of this album’s lyrics. It’s an appellation that wouldn’t be out of place on a thick novel by Faulkner or Steinbeck. The scale of the songs isn’t quite that ambitious, but Mitchell does set a wide-angle lens on the scope of modern American history. She uses the recurring image of the trust that children put into the hands of their fathers as an allegory about the lower and middle classes putting their futures in the hands of our government. The story of Abraham and the near-sacrifice of his son becomes a bitter view of the current recession on “Dyin Day”. She repeats the idea on the gorgeous “He Did” (“Your daddy didn’t leave a will/he left a shovel and a hole to fill”). Read the full Review on American Songwriter
Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself
Break It Yourself, his latest album, opens with a song that jumps right into these kinds of concerns. “Desperation Breeds” wrings more than a little haunt out of the precipitous loss of bee populations, and from there, we’re off to the races, winding through ruminations on the way death’s promised end point can inject meaning into life’s mundane moments (“Near Death Experience Experience”), to “Sifters”, whose point that the “moon plays the ocean like a violin” works both metaphorically and literally. Certain themes recur. One is the slipperiness of truth and memory– “Lazy Projector” throws itself straight into wondering how much of our memory is our own, while “Lusitania”, a duet with St. Vincent, transposes the thought to collective memory, capping a verse that touches on events from World War I and the Spanish-American War with the line, “We don’t study these wars no more.” Read the full Review on Pitchfork
Various Artists – New Multitudes (New Songs w/ lyrics by Woody Guthrie)
Recorded in 2009 with Centro-Matic’s Will Johnson and Varnaline’s Anders Parker, the album is part of a year-long centennial celebration of Guthrie’s birth that includes tribute concerts in all 50 states and an expanded boxed set release of Billy Bragg and Wilco’s Guthrie-derived Mermaid Avenue albums released more than a decade ago. Read the full article on Rolling Stone
Here’s some new stuff in our metal section. Come down and give it a listen!
Napalm Death – Utilitarian
Napalm Death has been around forever, although their lineup nowadays includes no original members and they sound quite different. Utilitarian is the closest they’ve moved to their early grindcore sound in years. It is solid, crushing, intense death metal with little punk-isms here and there. John Zorn also makes a little appearance.
Check this out if you like Carcass, Cattle Decapitation, and Obituary
Eluveitie – Helvetios
Eluveitie is Eluveitie and always will be. Hailing from Switzerland, these guys weave the traditions of their native land into their music using folk instruments, traditional melodies and structures, and re-telling of the myths and tales endemic to the alpine world the band comes from. If you’ve heard any of their albums, you’ve pretty much heard them all, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t sound good.
Check this out if you like Tyr, Korpiklaani, and Ensiferum
In Flames – Sounds of a Playground Fading
In Flames is one of the most successful groups to come out of Sweden since ABBA. Accordingly, their sound has shifted from straight up melo-death early on to now a more pop-oriented alt sound. In this new niche, they excel, and Sounds of a Playground Fading is yet another solid outing from these Scandinavian legends.
Check this out if you like Dark Tranquility, Children of Bodom, Soilwork