Some new albums that have been enjoying regular rotations at I Prefer Their Old Stuff towers over the last few weeks, as usual Spotify links in the title where available.
Baroness – Yellow & Green
This double album from the Savannah, Georgia band had been one of my most anticipated albums of 2012 since first hearing them early last year. I could not resist when it started streaming on the internet a week or so before its release and by the time Yellow was three quarters of the way through I was thinking my anticipation had been truly rewarded, but the latter few tracks and a couple of tunes on the Green side had me worried, they were very, how can I put this, mainstream. A lot of the heaviness of the earlier Red and Blue albums seemed to have gone and the melodious singing and ballads did initially pull me up short.
I am happy to say that on repeated listens I have got past my initial reticence, but I’m still not totally enamoured with about half of Green, whereas I’m in love with about 90% of Yellow! So, all in all, not the all conquering year’s best I was, perhaps naively, waiting for, but a bloody good album nonetheless (just as well as I’d spent quite a lot on a pre-ordered coloured vinyl book edition from Relapse!)[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V0N1x675FQ]
Beach House – Bloom
The new album from Baltimore’s dream pop duo Beach House is a lovely album that washes over you in relaxing waves. Their predecessor 2010’s Teen Dream, for some reason didn’t make an impression on me at the time despite the press adulation and on first listen to Bloom I wasn’t completely convinced. But, as is often the way, repeated listens have ensured it’s got under my skin. It’s gentle tones were a delightful contrast this morning to last night where I subjected myself to two hours of punishing black metal courtesy of Winterfylleth![youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfzFVbkutFE]
BEAK> – >>
The new release from the side project of Portishead’s Geoff Barrow is a woozy, disconcerting album of krautrock inspired motorik beats, eerie dissonant synths and barely there vocals. Fans of Can or Neu! will find plenty to like here.
VCMG – SSSS
Another easy to pronounce album title! This album is a collaboration between Vince Clark (Depeche Mode, Erasure, Yazoo) and Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore. Reuniting for the first time since Clark’s departure from the ‘Mode in 1981 and despite having over 100 hit singles between them, this is no attempt at chart success but an album of meaty European techno made for themselves, pass me that bottle of water and smiley face t-shirt and let’s go![youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mftogj-eS0]
Ghosting Season – The Very Last of the Saints
Two lads in Leeds called themselves worriedaboutsatan and in 2009 produced Arrivals, an album of minimal, ambient spooky techno that was very well received, spin on three years and they have upped sticks and moved to Manchester, changing their name on the way to Ghosting Season. The Very Last of the Saints is their debut under their new moniker and although having a similar spooky aesthetic, involves dancier, more beat driven elements. It is still a truly late night affair and not on the same ravey wavelength as VCMG above, more of a close your eyes and nod along to the hypnotic beats type of thing![youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsTn6mbkp4c]