New & featured releases, updated May 20, 2016
Linden "Rest And Be Thankful"[LP » $13.00] [CD » $9.00] [more info]
Linden Rest And Be Thankful LP/CD
From The Boy Hairdressers, to The Groovy Little Numbers, to BMX Bandits, Superstar and even guest spots with Teenage Fanclub, Joe McAlinden has long been one of the key figures in the Scottish pop scene. Now he's back with his second album under the name Linden, and it's a peach. Like 2012's Bleached Highlights, the new album features Edwyn Collins behind the mixing desk, to help tease out the nuances in these gorgeously soulful pop songs. Joe is absolutely at the top of his game, making warm, melodic, emotionally literate music of the sort we just don't hear enough of anymore.
The Mantles "All Odds End"[LP » $13.00] [CD » $9.00] [more info]
The Mantles All Odds End LP/CD
The Bay Area's finest folk/pop/psych/garage band returns with "All Odds End," another understated, marvelously-textured guitar pop album featuring a tweaked line-up that now includes the swirling keyboards of Carly Putnam and the rock-solid bass of Matt Bullimore. "All Odds End" is full of folky, garagey flavors that echo the Paisley Underground and the best of New Zealand's underground pop. The lovely, sympathetic production by Jason Quever (Papercuts, The Donkeys, Elisa Ambroglio) only serves to underline the timeless nature of the tunes, songs that are at once familiar and fresh and place The Mantles into a category all their own.
Joanna Gruesome "Peanut Butter"[LP » $13.00] [CD » $9.00] [more info]
Joanna Gruesome Peanut Butter LP/CD
Finally, Joanna Gruesome are back with their very eagerly-awaited second album! Rival groups will be disappointed to learn that the record is a further experiment in combining hyper melodic pop music with sonic violence. Officials have confirmed that the album contains a record number of hooks, traces of nut and elements of jangle pop, British hardcore punk, atonal music, screaming and drone organs. Yet they have issued warnings of "a marriage of radical politics with peanut butter spread." One authorized statement reads: "Weighing in at a concise 25 minutes, the album hurtles through its ten songs, each one a succinct, powerful gem."
Expert Alterations "Expert Alterations EP"[12" vinyl » $10.00] [more info]
Expert Alterations Expert Alterations EP 12" vinyl
Baltimore’s premier indiepop trio Expert Alterations have one eyebrow arched as they survey the surrounding pop landscape -- they know they can do better. Strip it down, keep it lean, sweat off the fat. Despite their propensity for reducing the elements of pop to its essential core, Expert Alterations are minimal, but not skeletal -- their bones are strong and their songs linger long after the music is over. The band's influences range from the well-trod (TVPs, The Wedding Present) to roads less traveled (Yeah Yeah Noh, Close Lobsters) and they process them into songs that can stand side-by-side with such standard-bearers. We loved their cassette demo from 2014 so much that we somehow finagled the band into letting us press this limited vinyl EP. One-sided with hand-stamped labels and a silk-screened jacket, it's a perfect pop artifact and one that won't be around for long.
Young Guv "Ripe 4 Luv"[LP » $12.00] [CD » $7.00] [more info]
Young Guv Ripe 4 Luv LP/CD
We've been fans of Toronto's Young Guv for a mighty long time, and are very pleased to bring you this fantastic mini-LP. Coming on like Big Star produced by Prince, this record smoothly covers everything from the rhythm box pop of "Crushing Sensation" to the power-pop classicism of "Crawling Back To You," from the brilliant jangle of "Living The Dream" to the Tears For Fears-tinged 80s vibe of epic closer "Wrong Crowd." Young Guv has been releasing singles, EPs and tapes for several years now (not to mention his work with Fucked Up, The Bitters and his Bad Actors label), but with Ripe 4 Luv he's finally fully realized his pop vision.
The Mantles "Memory"[7" » $5.50] [more info]
The Mantles Memory 7"
The Bay Area's garage-pop greats The Mantles are back with their first new recordings since Long Enough To Leave and a tweaked line-up featuring the swirling keyboards of Carly Putnam and the rock-solid bass of Matt Bullimore. Memory is an upbeat song that recalls some of the finest of the Paisley Underground bands. Buoyed by Justin's twangy lead guitar and Carly's organ, "Memory" boasts the kind of easy lope and indelible melody that The Mantles make seem so effortless. On the flip we have "Undelivered," a rootsy tune whose psychedelic keyboards and moody demeanor align it firmly with the best of New Zealand's Flying Nun label.
The Aislers Set "Terrible Things Happen"[LP » $13.00] [CD » $9.00] [more info]
The Aislers Set Terrible Things Happen LP/CD
The Aislers Set began as a vehicle for the songs of Linton, who had most recently co-led San Francisco's legendary Henry's Dress and drummed in Go Sailor with her pal Rose Melberg; this is their debut album from 1998. Not content to merely (!) write some of the most sublime pop tunes this side of Ray Davies, Linton got busy in her garage studio and recorded and produced almost the whole record by herself. It's a remarkable feat, and a love for such producers as Phil Spector and Brian Wilson shines from each and every groove. It's a beautiful, multi-layered record and a genuinely great achievement of home recording. 2014 reissues available now!
The Aislers Set "The Last Match"[LP » $13.00] [CD » $9.00] [more info]
The Aislers Set The Last Match LP/CD
Where The Aislers' debut Terrible Things Happen's synthesis of 60s mod-pop, 70s punk and 80s/90s indie flavors provided an end-of-the-century summation of where pop had been and where it was heading, 2000's The Last Match upped the ante even farther. More ambitious in conception, The Last Match expanded the band's sound into more orchestral areas. While the songs are still driving and catchy as a fish hook, the arrangements are far more sophisticated. It's a must-listen album, one that fueled fond memories, sparked love affairs, set off spontaneous dance parties, and reminded us all of the power of song-craft and melodies and POP. 2014 reissues available now!