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Retrieved January 19, Digital Spy. Coincidently, that was the last album they put our before the nineteen year gap that preceded Schadenfreude.
Listening to Schadenfreude, I think it is a great follow up to The Egg. While Allen Epley has stayed active over the years in his other band The Life and Times, they never spoke to me the same way Shiner did. Though my wife thinks they are great, for me they were just never loud enough. If there's one thing that Schadenfreude is, it's loud. It has those huge, crunchy guitar tones and massive energy that I want out of this kind of Jawbox-flavored rock and roll.
Now, when I say energy, I want to clarify that a bit. Shine is not playing fast punk rock songs. Their vibe is slower, but it still packs a mean punch. I tend to visualize molten lava flowing down a mountain. It's not going to fly through a town, but it's got an unstoppable inertia to it, churning and building as it wipes out everything in front of it.
It's a big sound and one that I am happy to hear again. When Shiner started playing some reunion shows and rereleasing their earlier records, there was always hope that new tunes might come to light. With Schadenfreude that hope became reality and fortunately Shine was also able to live up to the reputation they created for themselves twenty plus years ago.
In case you missed it, The Mr. T Experience and Sounds Rad have been reissuing albums over the past few years. Rumor has it that this will continue for the foreseeable future until every album has been reissued. This is a project that I have been following pretty closely and even though I have original pressings of most of these releases, I'm keen to see what's next.
Something I didn't see coming was a reissue of the Alternative is Here to Stay 7". I had figured and hoped that the Mr. T Experience singles would eventually be compiled onto an LP to go along with the two volumes of Shards compilations that have already been released.
I think that might still be a plan of theirs, but I guess we might see more of the individual 7"s as well. You'd be hard pressed to start with a better one than this. I believe that this was the first 'new' MTX record that came out after I discovered them back in the 90s.
I likely only had a few of their records to my name at the time, but this one knocked my socks off. Anyone with a partial pulse in could tell you how much we heard the word 'alternative' on an hourly basis. To see it sent up as a 60s inspired pop punk ditty extolling its virtues, well that was next level funny to me. The B side is "New Girlfriend. Frank relationship songs casting a wry eye at things. It's fast, it's catchy and there's some talking about breasts.
Just the sort of thing that made me chuckle when I was eighteen years old. And it still makes me chuckle today, to be honest, as it's not done in a mean spirited or cruel way. It's just a fun, well written and silly song and that's more than you can say for a lot of things these days. The CD version from back in also had a third song called "You Today" and an 'alternative' version fo "Alternative is Here to Stay" that I honestly have zero memory of. Surely this means they'll still have to do a singles comp, right?
The Mr. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.
I loved that song so much and was even more enamored with them once I had dug into the full Low End Theory album. While I have never liked it the album quite as much as Low End Theory, which to be fair is a tough comparison for album, this debut has its share of great moments.
I've often felt People's Instinctive Travels was something of an overlooked part of the Tribe discography and listening to my newly acquired copy on vinyl, I'm more sure of that than ever. The beats are just a step below what you'd hear on Low End Theory or Midnight Marauders, but again, that's a pretty high bar I'm comparing it to.
The same sort of jazzy samples and steady percussion is constant throughout the album and there's no doubt about it, you are listening to a Tribe Called Quest album. Lyrically, Q-Tip is every bit a great as he is on any other Tribe release and Phife is right there with him. The interplay between these two as they trade verses is something that has always been special.
They have very different styles, but they are incredible compliments to eat other and every song where they both make an appearance is something special. I'm thrilled to have this in the vinyl collection and I really need to pick up Midnight Marauders at some point. Here we go again, Snappy Little Numbers picking up a band I never heard of before, putting out a record by them and dropping it in my lap to great fanfare.
Their track record includes way more hits than misses and you can absolutely chalk up Jiffy Marx in the 'hit' category. Specifically it reminds me a lot of the song "Dirty Lives" with its laid back, breezy indie rock sound. There's a loose feel to the instrumentation and the vocals that gives it a quality of the sort of thing you'd hear hanging out with the friends that you've known your entire life.
On the B side we have "Warning Sign. I'm not sure if anyone reading this remembers those Space Wolves tapes I got a few years back, but this song makes me think about them quite a bit.
Both good songs, definitely worth giving a listen to. Randomly, out of nowhere I found an email from Fat Wreck in my 'promotions' folder on my Gmail account. It harkened the arrival of a few 10" reissues on limited colored vinyl. One of the items on the list was Guns n' Wankers, originally released on Fat as a 12", but now being condensed by inches and reissued.
The timestamp on the email said it was less than an hour old so I popped over to the Fat Wreck website to collect my prize. It was sold out already. I couldn't believe it. Dejected, I grabbed a copy on black vinyl and set up an eBay alert. I'm not as nuts as I used to be about owning every variant of a record, but there will always be a handful of bands where I'm going to get obsessive about things. Snuff and Guns n' Wankers are still on that list. This version of the GNW songs is not as complete as the one that 10 Past 12 put out recently.
I don't even think it's really called For Dancing and Listening, but it does get referred to as that fairly often. The three Metal songs and the two songs from the Silly 7" are not on this. You only get the eight songs that comprised the Pop 7" and the Hardcore 7". Now, those are the best songs of the bunch and spinning these hits at 45rpm as a 10", there's something that is just very cool about that.
The black vinyl is still up on the Fat Wreck site. Definitely worth a pick up of these songs aren't in your collection. Despite the fact that Del The Funky Homosapien is my all time favorite MC, there are still albums of his that I haven't tracked down on vinyl just yet.
Attractive Sin was one of the highest on that list but the cost of obtaining a copy a few years after it went out of print kept it at arm's length for a while. Luckily, eBay ended up saving the day. I followed the auction all week and for whatever reason, I was the only person to place a bid. It seems odd to me that records can be more expensive on Discogs than they are on eBay these days, but I'm just happy to have been able to get this for a reasonable cost.
As far as the music goes, Parallel Thought serves up some really interesting beats. They are bass heavy with jazz flourishes that set the mood for Del. As usual, Del's lyrics are borderline insane with complicated rhyme structures and diverse battle rap material. I really feel that no one can hold a candle to Del when he's got a great beat to rhyme over and this entire is no exception.
I didn't get a chance to do a proper review of this album before I ran out of time last year, but you may have noticed that the record did rank quite high on my list of the Absolute Best Records of I figured that it would make sense to start the year off getting this one written about. The Black Hole Understands is an album that the members of Cloud Nothings wrote and recorded under quarantine earlier in In some ways it's a pretty dramatic departure from their last few records, but in others it's exactly the sort of thing you would expect from cloud nothings.
First off, the differences. This record is in no way as loud and noisy as usual. The distortion is dialed way back giving way to cleaner and at times jangly guitar sounds. As far as the vocals go, there isn't much of the harsh howling that comes up from time to time.
These vocals are more restrained, almost delicate in the way they interact with the music. But despite these sonic differences, the songs have the classic Cloud Nothings mastery of putting just the right hook in just the right place. While they certainly have a weariness to them, they nevertheless have an unshakeable optimism. Just like everyone else, the band is pushing along to get through these times, because surely they'll get better eventually, right?
The one other comment I have is that when I ordered this record from the Cloud Nothings Bandcamp page, I had ordered the clear with black smoke colored vinyl variant. When I got this in the mail, it was a straight black vinyl version. Hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on the colored vinyl version. That said, we were lucky in that there were some really great records this year, despite the insanity. I know for a fact that I bought fewer new albums in than any prior year.
I know that there are good records that came out that I haven't heard yet. There are even records on this list that I wasn't able to get the vinyl for yet. On the docket for sure. What I can say for certain is that The Suitesixteen would have been my number one record just about any year it would have come out. I absolutely adore it and have listened to it more than anything else this year by a country mile.
That isn't to say the rest of the top 10 wasn't great, they were. Headsparks, Custody and Reverse really brought me back to those feelings I had in the mid 90s when I was obsessing about UK punk rock and Boat checked in with an indie rock record as good as anything that's come out in the past five years or so.
But, The Suitesixteen record is something truly special. If you get nothing else out of this year, give that record a listen. And as usual, I'm going to close out with a new Christmas album.
You Are My Destiny - Akira Ishikawa & Count Buffaloes, Takeshi Inomata & Sound Limited - ドラムの競演 (Vin, Brian Bonz And The Dot Hongs - From Sumi To Japan (CD, Album), Balladen Om Ett Munspel - Louise* - Stygg (Vinyl, LP, Album), People Are People - Various - Letting You Down Again, AKA Lo-FI vs Depeche Mode (CD), Lütfi Güneri - Holiday In Turkey (Vinyl, LP), If You Never Say Goodbye - Various - Middle Of The Road (Vinyl, LP), Redefined lines - The Mongoloids - Discography cassette (Cassette), Sunday Drivin - Dominic Frontiere - On Any Sunday (Vinyl, LP), Lets Do It - Various - Command Performance (Vinyl, LP, Album), Digital Communication - Various - Tribal Hard Trance & Hard House Essential 2013 (File, MP3) Fanfare For Military Band - The Band Of Her Majestys Royal Marines (Plymouth)* - The Band Of Her Maj