An absolute behemoth of a release week this week with some rather big heavy hitters coming out. New albums from Against Me, Blitzen Trapper, Ratatat, Delta Spirit, Nachtmystium, Tokyo Police Club, Teenage Fanclub, and Here We Go Magic are just a portion of what came out this week. Having said that, there are three releases that really caught our attention this week.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti is someone who had first popped on our radar with his 2004 release, The Doldrums. It was an absolutely beautiful mess of lo-fi pop that featured some killer tracks, such as “Good Kids Make Bad Grown Ups” and “For Kate I Wait.” Seriously, how could you NOT like this song…
Well, to get back on track, what Ariel Pink has done on their new album, their first for the legendary 4AD label, is clean up the lo-fi sounds and turn up the charm. We had become familiar with some of these songs a couple months ago, with “Can’t Feel My Eyes” popping up on a 7″ single for the Mexican Summer label and “Menopause Man” appearing on the 4AD Record Store Day compilation, Fragments From Work in Progress. But despite hearing those two songs, I am still not sure we were prepared for what Ariel Pink has delivered on Before Today.
From the A.M. Gold sound on “Can’t Hear My Eyes” to the standard 80′s fare on “Round and Round”, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti is a resounding success of a lo-fi pop album. Sounds like “Fright Night (Nevermore)” and “Butthouse Blondies” have this sort of spooky sound that reminds you of the fact this band is called Haunted Graffiti. “Bright Lit Blue Skies” is a cover of the Rockin’ Ramrods, and stays pretty true to the original.
All in all, this is one of our favorite albums to come through the store in awhile. An absolute blast to listen to and it reveals itself a bit more and more with each listen. If you are a fan of Kurt Vile, Washed Out, Neon Indian and the such, let it be known that Ariel Pink is one of the main inspiration for these bands. Absolutely essential.
Listen to “Round and Round” from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s Before Today
Listen to “Beverly Kills” from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s Before Today
Blk Jks, whom we absolutely LOVE around these parts, are back with a brand new EP just in time for the World Cup to take place in South Africa, their homeland. The title track, is a song about just that, soccer, and is one of the reasons they are being tapped to play the opening ceremonies of the World Cup. The songs is surrounded by 4 more killer Blk Jks songs and this is an EP definitely worth checking out.
Listen to “Zol!” from Blk Jks’ Zol!
Integrity has returned for what is probably it’s 100th different line-up but Dwid is still the creative force behind the band. Every time I see there is a new line-up, I go into the album with zero expectations. After all, Integrity 2000 did happen. Ugh. Well, The Blackest Curse was a huge surprise as the solo’s that were former guitarist Aaron Melnick’s specialty, are there in spades and the influential Cleveland metalcore band’s spirit remains intact. Killer album.
Listen to “Learn to Love the Lie” from Integrity’s The Blackest Curse