01.21.19

Coming March 22 From CSTB’s Entertainment Division : USA/Mexico’s ‘Matamoros’

Posted in General, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 9:51 am by

As a young person I frequently heard tales that high-end stereo shoppes used Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ as a demonstration disc, in order to fully document the prowess of their impossibly-expensive wares.

I rarely frequented any of these establishments but always took these stories on faith. I’m no audio guru, but it seems to me that someone attempting to do the same thing in 2019 could do a whole lot worse than adopting USA/Mexico’s long-awaited 2nd album, ‘Matamoros’ for similar purposes. The trio’s first album 2017’s ‘Laredo’ might’ve been a worthy candidate for a test-spin in the Bang and Olufsen showroom, but the successor is the sort of record that really makes sense if you’re the sort of person who can appreciate the BACKES MÜLLER BM 100 loudspeaker (list price $500,000.00 USD)

Once you’re comfortably settled in, you’ll find that the all-star team of guitarist Craig Clouse (Shit & Shine) drummer King Coffey (Butthole Surfers) and Nate Cross (Marriage, When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth) have done everything possible to help you expand your sonic palette — some might say they’ve even done too much! Either way, these guys are as unselfish as they are loud. Or perhaps they’re as selfish as they’re quiet — i do hope you’ll agree their motives are less important than the results, and in this instance, those results are nothing less than a staggering sensory overload.

George Dishner (Spray Paint) and Kevin Whitley (Cherubs — on a rendition of his band’s “Shoofly”, as previously heard on 1992’s ‘Icing’) make cameos. The entire affair was engineered by budding genius Ian Runndell (he of every other great record recorded in Austin) and is available via the 12XU and Riot Season record labels in North American and UK/Europe respectively.

(US/Canada preorders :
12XU / bandcamp)

(UK/EU preorders :
Riot Season / bandcamp)

credits

Bass – Nate Cross
Drums – King Coffey
Guitar and vocals – Craig Clouse
Vocals on “Shoofly” – Kevin Whitley
Extra Guitar on “Matamoros” – George Dishner

Recorded by Ian Rundell
Mastered by James Plotkin

01.16.19

CSTB’s Entertainment Division Presents Dark Blue’s ‘Victory Is Rated’, Coming February 22

Posted in 12XU, record collector disease at 12:46 pm by

‘Victory Is Rated’ is the 3rd studio album from Philadelphia’s Dark Blue, following 2014’s ‘Pure Reality’ and 2017’s widely acclaimed ‘Start Of The World’. Over the course of the last half decade, the ensemble —helmed by Clockcleaner / Puerto Rico Flowers founder John Sharkey III, have walked a thin line between defiance and fatalism, often trading in the anthemic with equal doses of the sardonic and the melancholy. That all of it is increasing informed & influenced by the real goddamned world probably helps.

 

(photo by Angela Betancourt)

There’s some cruel irony in Sharkey’s (second) self-imposed exile from the USA occurring right after completing the recording of ‘Victory Is Rated’ with conspirators Andy Nelson (Ceremony), Michael Sneeringer (Strands Of Oak, Rosali) and B. David Walsh given that this is by far, Dark Blue’s most fully realized statement — in some alternative universe where this band toured consistently, they’d be way too big for this label (frankly, they already are), but really, what has America done to actually deserve their brutal honesty?

Sharkey says the album’s main themes are class war and mortality. I’m not entirely sure there are other themes (not simply on ‘Victory Is Rated’, either) , but we’re very fortunate he’s so skilled at writing about those two. He also likens the record to “if Blitz went Brit pop” and while that ticks off a couple of crucial boxes for me, let’s get something rather thorny out of the way. However many allusions you’ve seen to some subculture you either dislike or can barely be bothered to skim the surface of on a Dark Blue flyer, this is not a high (?) concept series of mannerisms disguised as a gloriously powerful rock band. Dark Blue is a gloriously powerful rock band. For all time.

John Sharkey III – vocals, guitar
Andrew Mackie Nelson – bass & piano
Michael Sneeringer – drums
B. David Walsh – guitars

with additional support from
Kurt Vile – trumpet
Sara Schimeneck – keys

Recorded & Mixed by Jeff Ziegler
Produced by 2 Young Attorneys

preorder ‘Victory Is Rated’ from 12XU or Bandcamp
stream “Waterford Crystals” at Spotify, Apple Music or Bandcamp