Second installment of JUNO Award‐nominated project deals 1950s blues bops, hellfire gospels and sexed‐up cuts.
Itches, urges, dirges and scourges: welcome back to The Northern South. Whitehorse makes their return to the early days of electric blues with the second installment of a project that melds original grooves and melodies with the duo's steamy, swampy, squalling approach. There's foreplay, foreboding, fever and Fenders, plenty of them, from top to bottom, with cuts from Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, Jimmy Reed and Slim Harpo and more. "Blues gave rock n roll its nerve. It breaks, bends and distorts rules. This sense of abandon, emotional and musical urgency trickled into all forms of modern day music," offers Melissa McClelland, one‐half of the duo. "There would be no Cardi B without Lucille Hogan. There would be no Tom Waits without Howlin' Wolf and there would be no Stones without any of it."
Opener "Who's Been Talkin'" (1957) is pure love and respect for Howlin' Wolf and his right‐hand man, guitar hero Hubert Sumlin. With "Who's Been Talkin,'" Whitehorse serves up a big juicy White Falcon slice, with melodica and Wurlitzer wound around the deft dance of the lyrics. "The nuance of simultaneously accepting responsibility and accusing a lover of doing him wrong was very subtle," says Doucet, "it's rabbit‐hole of contrition." From there, Whitehorse gets loose and languid with a Jimmy Reed via JJ Cale take on "Baby What You Want Me To Do" (1959). With a few Gretsch squelches for good measure, Whitehorse's tribute to Reed's laid‐back minimalism and melody mastery moves along no faster than a Sunday morning. An exercise in subtlety it is not, Whitehorse's version on Slim Harpo's "Baby, Scratch My Back" (1965) is a lap dance, unapologetically erotic, a red‐hot take on the stale ‘male wants it bad' story. With McClelland on lead vocals upending the original dynamic, Whitehorse's version is one of female desire and pleasure. Less girls gone wild, more sexual intellectual.
Next up is "I Just Wanna Make Love To You" (1954), a Willie Dixon original given a Jon Spencer Blues Explosion‐inspired treatment, McClelland's idea. "It would be impossible to top Etta James' steaming vocal, so I suggested we turn ourselves into a garage rock band, a little scrappier, punchier and live off the floor."
From a turbulent, direful crackling rapture to a haunting, minor key requiem, The Northern South Vol. 2 goes further back in time with two traditional gospel blues selections, "John The Revelator" and "St. James Infirmary." The latter features one of the EP's highlights, a righteous noisescape outro from McClelland, played on Doucet's Les Paul. "John the Revelator was an interesting song to delve into," says McClelland. "We liked the intensity of the end of times bible story, but we wanted it to tell a more current, relevant tale. With some new words, we touch on the end of days issues that feel pressing to us: global warming, the Trump presidency, consumerism, and religion itself."
Both snapshot and slingshot, The Northern South Vol. 2 cycles back and careens forward, taking a twelve‐bar trip through the chart‐toppers of the era. "These aren't deep cuts, they are the Top 40, the pop hits of the blues world, what was happening at the time," explains Doucet of the song selection process.
OFFICIAL 2018 album on Decca Records featuring Buddy Holly classics embellished with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Includes 'True Love Ways', 'Everyday', 'Oh Boy', 'Peggy Sue', 'That'll Be The Day' & more.
*Vinyl release date: January 25, 2019
'Before we learn to hate. Love is our Native Tongue.' - Jon Foreman. For their new album Native Tongue, alternative rock band SWITCHFOOT step beyond their trademark epic soundscapes and explore new textures and themes that genuinely reflect this fraught cultural moment. From the hard-hitting anthemic title-track to more reflective songs such as 'Prodigal Soul,' 'Joy Invincible,' and 'Voices,' co-written and produced with their friends in One Republic, the band interlace empathy and introspection, urging us to 'use our lungs for love and not the shadows.'
SOILWORK has been around, in one form or another, for twenty years now. Some people say that they haven’t made anything worth listening to after “Steelbath Suicide”. Some have only heard “Stabbing The Drama. Some think “The Living Infinite”, the band’s 2013 double disc release, was quite epic. It’s all good. At this point in a band’s career, you can either choose the nostalgia route, playing old albums in their entirety, because that makes an easy package for promoters to sell. Verkligheten, the title of Soilwork’s latest offering, is the Swedish word for reality, the entity that we’re all trying to escape from. Verkligheten is their attempt to try and go somewhere else, to express all those things that are born in between hypnagogic states and frenzies of hyperrealism. SOILWORK is a band that has been through a lot. They don’t have to try and tidy things up by using clichés like personal and/or musical differences. It has been hell. They are not young anymore, and their reality these days is the hellhounds on their tails, the ghosts in their subconscious and the coldness of existence that starts eating at the soul the very day that you leave the womb. We can no longer escape the fact that we’re vulnerable to the shortcomings of life itself.
First new music since 2013- A Pale Horse Named Death is the brainchild of Brooklyn, NY native Sal Abruscato (Type O Negative, Life Of Agony)- Band also features Johnny Kelly (Type O Negative, Seventh Void) on drums and Joe Taylor (Lita Ford, Doro) on guitar- Artwork by Sam Shearon (Rob Zombie, Fear Factory, Cradle of Filth etc.)
Beauty often blossoms at the root of darkness. A Pale Horse Named Death siphon strangely blissful melodies from apocalyptic heavy metal awash in swells of cavernous gothic keys and grunge songcraft. The New York quintet - Sal Abruscato [vocals, guitar], Eddie Heedles [guitar], Joe Taylor [guitar], Eric Morgan [bass], and Johnny Kelly [drums] - continue to excavate vulnerability from venom on their anxiously awaited third full-length album When The World Becomes Undone. A delicate dichotomy drives the avowed and acclaimed “Brooklyn Lords of Doom.”
Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? is the new album from Atlanta’s Deerhunter. It follow’s 2015’s Fading Frontier and is preceded by the lead single, Death in Midsummer. As thrilling and unpredictable as anything in Deerhunter’s near 15-year career, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? was recorded in several strategic geographic points across North America and produced by the band, Cate LeBon, Ben H. Allen III and Ben Etter.
Forgetting the questions and making up unrelated answers, Deerhunter’s eighth LP is a science fiction album about the present. Exhausted with the toxic concept of nostalgia, they reinvent their approach to microphones, the drum kit, the harpsichord, the electromechanical and synthetic sounds of keyboards. Whatever guitars are left are pure chrome, plugged straight into the mixing desk with no amplifier or vintage warmth.