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The Big Takeover #84
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Various Artists - 1977 The Year Punk Broke (Cherry Red Records)

24 June 2019

Released through Cherry Red Records this coming Friday, the essential guilt punk pleasure of 1977:The Year Punk Broke

Silent Forum - Safety In Numbers (Libertino)

22 June 2019

Silent Forum release “Safety In Numbers” which offers another dimension to what the band are capable of.

Beauty In Chaos - Beauty Re-Envisioned (33.3 Music Collective)

21 June 2019

Michael Ciravolo’s Beauty In Chaos return with a new release, Beauty Re-Envisioned. A follow on from 2018’s Finding Beauty In Chaos

PJ Harvey + Various Artists - The Virtues Soundtrack (Invada Records)

20 June 2019

PJ Harvey releases new music as part of The Virtues Soundtrack

The Venus Fly Trap - Mars (Glass Modern)

19 June 2019

The Venus Fly Trap album Mars is a classy release, not just a reissue but a reminder of the reactive sound of late-eighties post-punk.

Empire of Light - Let There Be Light (self-released)

19 June 2019

Back in the nineties, singer/songwriter Peter Hutchison led Subduing Mara and (with Miracle Legion guitarist Mr. Ray Neal) Lucas Shine, a pair of alternative rock powerhouses that never caught on with more than a small cult audience. Talent and passion persevere, however, and now Hutchison has a new band called Empire of Light.

The Allegations - Non-Neutered 1% (GP Stripes)

18 June 2019

The Allegations have created an album that swings between straightforward seventies-based rock and sun-drenched avant-garde.

Salt - The Loneliness of Clouds (Beehive)

18 June 2019

Arising from the sessions for Supercalifragile, the final, posthumous Game Theory album, Salt turns on the collaboration of Posies co-frontman Ken Stringfellow, singer/songwriter Anton Barbeau and French guitarist/songwriter Stephane Schück.

Theatre Royal - Singles 2010 - 18 (Medlar Records)

18 June 2019

Medway band Theatre Royal release a powerhouse-compilation of mouthwatering goodness with 22-tracks

Anton Barbeau - Berliner Grotesk (Pink Hedgehog/Beehive)

17 June 2019

The umpteenth album from the ever-prolific Anton Barbeau, Berliner Grotesk is a tribute of sorts to the Sacramento native’s adopted city.

The Claim - The New Industrial Ballads (A Turntable Friend Records)

14 June 2019

After a gap of almost twenty-seven years, British band The Claim release a new album, an insightful and enjoyable listen.

The Black Watch - Magic Johnson (Atom Records)

13 June 2019

The Black Watch release Magic Johnson, twelve tracks of conceptual adoration, along with further releases spanning the career of the band.

Slowness - Berths (Schoolkids Records)

13 June 2019
Slowness release a new album Berths, a mix of California cool and New York grit

Gangstagrass - Pocket Full of Fire (Rench Audio)

12 June 2019

Get Pocket Full of Fire as a primer of band’s prowess through a collection of its best songs recorded live, but don’t miss a chance to see this compelling culture clash in person.

Jerry Garcia Band – Electric on the Eel (Round Records)

8 June 2019

This live set will be warmly received by Deadheads and fans of intuitive and skillful jam band playing. Not many songs are duplicated among these three shows spanning five years, but there are a handful of opportunities to hear how the band flexes and twist songs in different moments.

The Divine Comedy - Office Politics (Divine Comedy Records Limited)

8 June 2019

The Divine Comedy are captivating with confidence on their latest, delightful long-player called Office Politics

Electrical Language: Independent British Synth Pop 78-84 - Various Artists (Cherry Red Records)

7 June 2019

The Electric Language compilation released by Cherry Red Records gets a review by Kevin Burke.

Michele Rabbia, Gianluca Petrella, Eivind Aarset - Lost River (ECM)

6 June 2019

Once upon a time the term “contemporary instrumental” got thrown around a lot, mainly as a euphemism for the saccharine sounds of new age or fuzak. But if any album deserves this literal description, it’s Lost River, the debut by the speechless trio of drummer Michele Rabbia, trombonist Gianluca Petrella and guitarist Eivind Aarset.

Matthew Edwards & the Unfortunates - The Birmingham Poets (December Square)

5 June 2019

Like any good record by a thoughtful, experienced writer, The Birmingham Poets covers a lot of emotional ground, from self-loathing to detachment to compassion – sometimes all in the same tune. And like any forward-thinking artist, Matthew Edwards builds on his past successes, continuing to evolve as a performer and a tunesmith.

Joan As Police Woman – Joanthology (PIAS)

4 June 2019

Joan As Police Woman releases Joanthology, a reflection of her work which is long over due.

Andy The Crocodile - Scars & Wounds EP (Self-Released)

3 June 2019

Scars & Wounds, which is out June 8th, is a tiny but wonderful glimpse at a burgeoning new songwriter who has everything it takes to find a completely original voice of his own.

Duff McKagan - Tenderness (Universal Music Enterprises)

1 June 2019

Kevin Burke reviews Tenderness by Duff McKagan, which offers a new dimension to the Guns N’ Roses bassist.

Where We Sleep - Experiments In The Dark Ep (Self-Released)

31 May 2019

Kevin Burke reviews the debut Ep by Where We Sleep, entitled “Experments In The Dark”.

Kevin West - Story Of My Life (Self-Released)

30 May 2019

Story Of My Life is out June 15, and although short, it might just be West’s finest and most mature statement as an artist yet.

Sleater-Kinney - Hurry On Home Single (Caroline)

30 May 2019

Kevin Burke reviews the new single “Hurry On Home” from Sleater-Kinney,

Cellista - Transfigurations (Self-Released)

30 May 2019

Due for release Friday the 31st of May, the latest from Cellista, Transfigurations gets a review from Kevin Burke

Buck Owens and the Buckaroos - The Complete Capitol Singles: 1971-1975 (Omnivore Recordings)

30 May 2019

This third and final set in Omnivore Records’ series of Buck Owens’ Capitol Records singles is a treasure for fans of the Bakersfield sound, and a testament to the power of Owens’ friendship and collaboration with guitarist/fiddler Don Rich.

The Waterboys - Where the Action Is (Cooking Vinyl)

28 May 2019

Where The Action Is swaggers with the very wit and talent of Mike Scott.

Frank Zappa - Zappa In New York: 40th Anniversary Edition (Zappa Records)

25 May 2019

The Frank Zappa reissue campaign hits a high-water mark with this lavish 40th anniversary presentation of the bandleader’s 1978 live album recorded over seven concerts between Christmas and New Year’s Eve in 1976 at New York City’s Felt Forum and the Palladium.

Scissor Sisters - self-titled (UMC/Polydor): LP reissue

25 May 2019

Scissor Sisters was the best-selling album of 2004 and a dance-pop smash in the UK, but failed to reach gold-record status in the band’s native USA. This high-quality LP reissue provides fresh opportunity for reevaluation.

Badari - Dream Journal (Self-Released)

24 May 2019

Dream Journal may not be a masterpiece, but it is the long overdue return of an artist who has the talent and vision necessary to someday soon produce one.

Nimo & The Light - Don't Feed The Pigeons (Self-Released)

24 May 2019

Nimo & The Light are clearly inspired by a disparate, wide-ranging group of influences, but it’s quite innovative how they take them all and combine them into something fresh and new.

Morrissey - California Son

24 May 2019

Released today, Morrissey’s California Son lacks far too many of his unique qualities sadly to make it a great album

Lord Sonny the Unifier - FINAL NOTICE! (Self-Released)

19 May 2019

FINAL NOTICE! isn’t revolutionary although it calls for revolution, but it’s a perfect listen for any fan of classic ’70s glam rock with a modern twist.

Simon Bonney - PastPresentFuture (Mute)

17 May 2019

What makes Bonney’s work special is his outsider take on Americana. Though his music works with familiar elements – acoustic guitars, violin, steel guitars, folk- and country-derived melodies – it maintains an exotic feel.

Dig Two Graves - Deathwish (Self-Released)

14 May 2019

As the epic seven-minute closer “So Below” proves, the band is full of the desire and innovation necessary to push the boundaries of their genre.

Ashrr - Oscillator (self-released)

13 May 2019

Like an undiscovered artifact of the original new wave days, Oscillator sounds fresh and exciting, including signposts of its era while still coming off as iconoclastic.

StrangeJuice - Raising Cannibals (Self-Released)

12 May 2019

Raising Cannibals is not unlike the work of *The Magnetic Fields*—inextricably attached to the music traditions of the past and yet could only possibly be the product of one singular artist.

Outerfield - Pleasant Grove Hotel (Self-Released)

11 May 2019

For an album that has risen from the ashes, Pleasant Grove Hotel doesn’t sound like it at all and Outerfield have crafted a coherent, strong collection of songs.

Albert Ayler & Don Cherry - Vibrations/Cecil Taylor - Silent Tongues/Art Ensemble of Chicago - Tutankhamun (ORG Music)

10 May 2019

The source of some of the most daring and even intimidating sounds in popular music, free jazz flourished in the sixties thanks to the innovations of Ornette Coleman and the endorsement of John Coltrane, among others. While plenty of classics have stayed in the racks over the decades, there are great records that have also fallen out of print, as with any other genre. Fortunately, ORG Music has begun rescuing many of these gems, reissuing them in new vinyl editions that are facsimiles of the originals.

Brutus - Nest (Hassle/Sargent House)

8 May 2019

With its debut LP Burst, the mighty Brutus exploded out of Belgium two years ago to redefine the term power trio. Now the band returns with its much-anticipated follow-up Nest. To say that the young threesome meets and exceeds its promise is practically an understatement.

Annamay - F*ck You (Self-Released)

4 May 2019

F*ck You_ is both subtle and surprising in its charms, and it bears repeated listening to fully uncover the meanings behind Annamay’s evocative lyrics.

Leon Seti - Cobalt (Self-Released)

3 May 2019

Cobalt has been an immediate success in the electronic charts in his home of Italy, and it certainly is strong enough to possibly be Seti’s breakthrough in the States and internationally.

Ray Charles - Modern Sounds in Country and Western (Concord Records)

1 May 2019

It’s difficult to understate the influence that Ray Charles’ Modern Sounds in Country and Western had upon its initial release during the Civil Rights Movement. This reissue welcomes fresh listening to an acknowledged treasure of American music.

Versal - Versal (Self-Released)

30 April 2019

Versal is a highly accomplished and original statement from an artist who clearly puts his entire soul and personality into his work.

Patrick Ames - All I Do Is Bleed (Self-Released)

29 April 2019

Prior to recording the EP, Ames visited Buenos Aires, and the songs have a strong Latin feel but rather than an opportunistic novelty as is often the case, it’s a natural and respectful incorporation.

Sundogs - Legends In Their Own Minds (Self-Released)

28 April 2019

Legends In Their Own Minds might not be a complete reinvention of Sundogs’ influences, but they created something which could have easily existed in the stacks of vinyl somewhere alongside Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton.

Alya - Ten Years of Solitude (Self-Released)

27 April 2019

Ten Years of Solitude is a genre-bending, deeply personal one-of-a-kind statement from an artist with as much vision as individuality.

Imperial Wax - Gastwerk Saboteurs (Saustex)

25 April 2019

Guitarist Pete Greenway, bassist Dave Spurr and drummer Keiron Melling – AKA the longest-running version of The Fall – knew they couldn’t just replace Mark E. Smith when he died last year. The Fall without Smith would be a parody of itself. At the same time, the trio had developed a chemistry and rapport that couldn’t just be abandoned. So they did the smart thing: added vocalist/guitarist Sam Curran, reconstituted as Imperial Wax and didn’t even try to sound like their old band.

The Pearlfishers - Love & Other Hopeless Things (Marina)

19 April 2019
On Love & Other Hopeless Things, the band’s eighth album, Scott clearly draws inspiration from the Burt Bacharach/Zombies/Paul McCartney/Laura Nyro side of the pop world, but he doesn’t sound like he’s merely regurgitating bits of his favorite records.