Tag: Sub Pop Records

New Audio: Sub Pop Records and Soundgarden Release Second Single Off Remixed and Expanded Re-Issue of Their Debut Album

Currently comprised of founding members Chris Cornell (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Kim Thayil (lead guitar), along with Matt Cameron (drums), who joined in 1986 and Ben Shepherd (bass), who joined in 1990, the Seattle, WA-based grunge/alt-rock quartet Soundgarden can trace its origins back to the formation and eventual breakup of an early 80s Seattle-based band The Shemps, which featured Cornell on drums and vocals, along with original bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Strangely enough, over the years what seems to have been forgotten is that the members of Soundgarden had started their recording career with Sub Pop Records; in fact, the renowned alt rock/indie label released the band’s first two EPs 1987’s Screaming Life and 1988’s Fopp, two efforts, which the label re-issued a couple of years ago through both vinyl and digital formats, marking the first time in about 25 years that the EPs were pressed onto vinyl — and the first time they were released digitally. Interestingly enough, Sub Pop Records helped distributed Soundgarden’s 1988 full-length debut, Ultramega OK.

And although they had some creative differences with the album’s producer Drew Canulette and the band’s overall dissatisfaction with the final mixes, their full-length effort was a commercial success as it garnered both a 1990 Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance and attention from larger labels — including A&M Records, who quickly signed the band. At the time, the band had intended to spend some time remixing the album for subsequent pressings of the album; but those plans wound up falling by the wayside, as the band went on to write and record their sophomore effort, and major-label debut, Louder Than Love.

Last year, the members of the band acquired the original multi-track tapes from the Ultramega OK sessions and they enlisted the assistance of renowned producer, engineer, long-time friend and frequent, old-time collaborator Jack Endino, who has famously worked with Nirvana, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Skin Yard, The Black Clouds and others to create a new mix of the album that would tie up what the band felt were persistent loose ends — while fixing the album’s overall sound. Interestingly, the band found six early version of album singles that eventually wound up on Ultramega OK and reportedly those early versions, which would eventually become staples of their live sets at the time, capture the band’s sound and songwriting in a much rawer, less polished form — and much closer to the sound on the Screaming Life EP.

Almost 30 years after Ultramega OK’s original release, Sub Pop Records will be releasing the remixed and expanded re-issue of the album, as a long-awaited “correction.” Naturally, for die-hard fans and completists, the re-mixed material will capture the band’s sound as they fully intended it, while the re-discovered early material will serve as a window into the development of the band’s songwriting approach and overall sound. Now, as you may remember, I wrote about the re-issue’s first single “Beyond The Wheel” and the re-mixed version possessed a crisper, cleaner sound, which helped to display Kim Thayill’s incredible guitar work and the interplay between Matt Cameron’s Bonham-like thundering drumming and Cornell’s Robert Plant-like wailing. The re-mixed and expanded Ultramega OK’s second single “Flower” much like its preceding single displays a cleaner, crisper sound, which gives the song the muscular insistence that the band became known for while interestingly enough, the song has moments that nod at Badmotorfinger and Superunknown.

There are bands, whose sound and aesthetic make such a forceful and immediate impression that you can instantly recall the first time you had come across them; in fact the first time I had ever heard Soundgarden, I was watching MTV‘s Headbanger’s Ball.  And what I can still remember more than 25 years later was how the show’s host at the time, Rikki Rachtman told viewers that they needed to be on the lookout for Soundgarden — mainly because of Chris Cornell, who Rachtman had described as being a little guy with an enormous voice. They promptly followed that with the music video for “Outshined” off Badmotorfinger — and I can remember being blown away.

Strangely, as the years have passed what’s been forgotten is that the members of Soundgarden had initially started their career with Sub Pop Records; in fact, the now long-renowned grunge label had released the Seattle-based band’s first two EP’s Screaming Life and Fopp, which Sub Pop re-issued a few years ago, marking the first time that both of those early efforts would be availably digitally, as well as through vinyl. But interestingly enough, the renowned Seattle-based label also help distribute  Soundgarden’s full-length debut, Ultramega OK.

On March 10, 2017, Sub Pop Records will be releasing a remixed and expanded reissue of Soundgarden’s full-lengtht debut, as a long-planned “correction” of their debut. Ultramega OK was originally recorded and released through SST Records in 1988 — and while the members of the band enjoyed working with the album’s original producer, Drew Canulette, they were dissatisfied with the album’s final mix. And as the story goes, the band had intended to remix the album for subsequent pressings; however, the band quickly had major label success and were signed to A&M Records and the band went into the studio to work on their major-label debut effort, Louder Than Love. And as a result, the Ultramega OK remix had fallen off to the wayside.

Last year, the members of the band finally acquitted the original multi-track tapes from the Ultramega OK sessions and they all decided to set some time aside to work on the remix. Naturally, the band enlisted the assistance of renowned producer and engineer Jack Endino, a long-time friend and former collaborator, who has worked with Nirvana, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Skin Yard, The Black Clouds and others to create a new mix of the album that would tie up some persistent loose ends and fixes the album’s overall sound. Interestingly, the members of the band also found six early versions of songs that eventually wound up on the full-length album, which they initially recorded in 1987 with Jack Endino and Chris Hanszek at Reciprocal Recording — and mixed by Endino last year. Reportedly, those early versions of songs, which were later staples of the band’s live sets, capture the band in a much rawer form — and much closer to the Screaming Life EP. Naturally for die-hard fans and completists, the rediscovered material will serve as a window into the development of the band’s songwriting approach and sound. The forthcoming re-issue’s first single is a crisper, tighter and much more forceful version of “Beyond The Wheel” which better displays Kim Thayill’s guitar work and its interplay between Matt Cameron’s Bonham-like drumming and Cornell’s vocals. And compared to the original, the re-mixed alternate version almost sounds like a completely different song.

New Audio: Pissed Jeans’ Furious and Pummeling Single “The Bar Is Low”

Comprised of Matt Korvette (vocals), Brad Fry (guitar), Randy Huth (bass) and Sean McGuinness (drums), the Allentown, PA-based hardcore punk/noise rock quartet Pissed Jeans can trace their origins to when the members of the band met while attending Allentown’s Nazareth High School. Bonding over their initial desire to create, as the band’s Matt Korvette has explained, “a different kind of punk focused on dead-ended carnal cravings, sexual depression . . . that sort of thing. Mainly, we just wanted to bludgeon the listener with dull, monotonous, droning rock music that just sucks the energy out of you, the musical equivalent to watching a toilet flush.” And over the course of their 13 years together, the band has released several 7 inches and four full-length studio albums, all which have cemented their reputation for crafting a sound that’s a sludgy, furious, and punishing cretin stomp that subtly nods at The Stooges, The Ramones and 80s hardcore punk and post-hardcore bands — while evoking deep primal urges.

With the band’s forthcoming fifth, full-length Why Love Now, which is slated for a February 24, 2017 release through renowned indie label Sub Pop Records, the Allentown, PA-based focuses on the mundane comforts and discomforts of modern life — from fetish welcomes to office supply deliveries; to the emptiness, confusion and dissatisfaction of modern relationships, contemporary hypocrisy and bullshit. As Korvette explains in press notes on the new album, “Rock bands can retreat to the safety of what rock bands usually sing about. So 60 years from now, when no one has a telephone, bands will be writing songs like, ‘I’m waiting for her to call me on my telephone.’ Kids are going to be like, ‘Grandpa, tell me, what was that?’ I’d rather not shy away from talking about the internet or interactions in 2016.”

Why Love Now’s incendiary and furious first single “The Bar Is Low” will further cement the band’s reputation for crating sludgy and bludgeoning cretin stomp-like anthems in which Korvette’s guttural, Lemmy Kilmister-like growling is paired with with pummeling drumming, a throbbing and insistent bass line, angular and blistering guitar chords to evoke a knuckle dragging, slack-jawed Neanderthal on the hunt. According to Korvette, the song is “about how every guy seems to be revealing themselves as a shithead.”

“It seems like every guy is getting outed,” Korvette continues, “across every board of entertainment and politics and music. There’s no guy that isn’t a total creep. You’re like, ‘No, he’s just a dude that hits on drunk girls and has sex with them when they’re asleep.’ Cool, he’s just an average shithead.” Throughout the song, Korvette and company point out that stereotypical concepts of straight male, masculinity is defeating and clownish.

New Audio: clipping’s Vicious Anti-Donald Trump Diss Track “Fat Fingers”

Recently, the trio participated in the 30 Songs, 30 Days project, contributing a vicious and scathing anti-Donald Trump diss track “Fat Fingers” in which Diggs references Nas’ legendary diss track “Ether” and the Canadian anthem “O, Canada” to a sparse yet forcefully minimalist production featuring a sample of people whislting the melody of the Canadian anthem, boom bap-beats, industrial clang and clatter. Fuck Donald Trump and everything about him and his family!

Live Footage: clipping Performing “Taking Off” at Moog Sound Lab

clipping’s latest effort “Splendor & Misery”, is a Sci-Fi dystopian concept album that is both futuristic and yet describes our increasingly frightening and bizarre time. And since the release of the album I’ve written about its first three singles “Baby Don’t Sleep,” “Air ‘Em Out” and “A Better Place” and each single manage to further cement the trio’s reputation for pairing minimalist and industrial productions with Diggs’ rapid fire rhyming — but at points the material reveals a subtle refinement of their sound in which at times the material is both melodic and radio-friendly, while evoking the impending apocalypse or the immensity, senselessness and indifference of the universe, the nature of man’s mind and so on.

Recently the trio was invited to Moog Sound Lab to perform “Taking Off” off Splendor & Misery and the video reveals how the trio creates their eerily fucked and hellish sonic vision live — in the case of this song clattering and clinking synths, stuttering drum programming are paired with Diggs ridiculously dexterous rhyming, in which he rhymes about gangstas riding rockets into the sky by getting fucked up in a parking lot, late at night, surreal, almost disconnected violence. And of course they do so while using a ton of really awesome Moog gear.

Although they’re known as a mysterious and masked collective hailing from the tiny and extremely remote Northern Swedish village of Korpilombolo, over the past couple of years, the members of  GOAT have become an internationally recognized act, as well as JOVM mainstays for an aesthetic, stage presentation and sound that draws from their tiny village’s unusual and lengthy history practicing voodoo, a tradition that according to an old Swedish legend can be traced back unabated to sometime before the Crusades. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the past couple of years, the members of the Swedish collective signed to renowned indie label Sub Pop Records, who released the act’s sophomore full-length effort, Commune and a couple of 7 inches to widespread critical acclaim internationally.

Earlier this year, I wrote about “I Sing In Silence” off the “I Sing In Silence”/”The Snake of Addis Ababa” 7 inch that Sub Pop released a few months ago. That single revealed that the mysterious Swedish collective was relentlessly and continually expanding upon and experimenting with their sound — going completely acoustic as a gorgeous and fluttering flute line is paired with a shuffling and elastic guitar line, gently propulsive drumming and chanted vocals in a song that sounded as though it were indebted to early prog rock — in particular think of Yes’ “Roundabout“–  and psych rock as the song possessed a trippy, mind-altering vibe.

Building on the growing attention they’ve received internationally, GOAT will be releasing their highly-anticipated third, full-length effort Requiem on October 7, 2016. And from the album’s first single “Try My Robe,” the band continues on a similar path to the singles they’ve released earlier this year, as the song reveals an acoustic, psych folk sound that at times seems influenced by African and Middle Eastern music — and as a result that particular single possessed a mind-bending and mesmerizingly hypnotic quality. The album’s latest single “Union of Mind and Soul,” is based around a looping flute line, layers of jangling and propulsive bass and guitar chords, a buzzing and trippy guitar solo and howled lyrics focused on opening one’s mind towards greater understanding of themselves and the universe. And while sonically drawing from 60s folk and psych rock, the song may arguably be the most urgent song they’ve released to date.

 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays GOAT Returns with a Gorgeous and Cinematic, New Single

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months you’d likely know that the mysterious Northern Swedish collective’s highly-anticipated, third, full-length effort Requiem is slated for an October 7, 2016 release and the album’s “Try My Robe” continues on a similar vein as “I Sing in Silence,” as the collective has gone for a stripped down, acoustic, psych rock vibe paired with chanted/shouted vocals, shimmering and dexterously looping guitar work, mischievously complex, handclap led percussion and a slow, shuffling bass line that manages to be deceptively propulsive in a song that sounds subtly influenced by African and Middle Eastern music. Requiem’s latest single “Alarms” is a gorgeous track consisting of African and Middle Eastern-like percussion, shimmering and gorgeous guitar lines and an ethereal melody that floats just above the instrumentation. Sonically, the song manages to sound both incredibly cinematic and as though it could have been released in 1966.

New Video: Check Out clipping’s Gravity Defying Visuals for Their Menacing New Single “Air ‘Em Out”

Splendor & Misery’s second single “Air ‘Em Out” features an ominous and menacing production featuring stuttering drum programming, industrial clinking and clanking, swirling electronic, brief bursts of twinkling synths that mischievously nods at trap hop while Diggs rhymes about what sounds like either an alien invasion, a zombie apocalypse or a civil war — all happening simultaneously perhaps, complete with roving gangs causing trouble, killing people and getting fucked up. Seriously, someone should make a movie out of that. And while being absolutely vicious, the song also manages to be the most melodic and (somewhat) radio-friendly song they’ve released to date.

Directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada, the recently released video features Diggs as a disinterested and bored security guard, who after taking medication finds the surrounding objects in his dark office trembling to the woofer and tweeter rocking beats just as they began to defy gravity.