Amoeblog

The Cure Celebrate 20 Years of Disintegration

Posted by Aaron Detroit, June 16, 2010 05:45pm | Post a Comment

“[On
Disintegration] they thought I was being 'willfully obscure', which was an actual quote from the letter [received from the band’s label at the time, Elektra]. Ever since then I’ve realized that record companies don't have a fucking clue what The Cure does and what The Cure means."
- Robert Smith, from the book Never Enough: The Story of the Cure by Jeff Apter

Twenty (and some change) years later we know that The Cure’s label bosses were indeed wrong; Disintegration is celebrating its 20th anniversary (a year late actually – the album was released in May 1989) with the release of a remastered 3-CD deluxe edition and remastered 2LP. Today, the album remains in the unique position of being both widely considered the group’s masterpiece among fans as well as their most commercially successful LP (containing their biggest US hit, “Love Song," which peaked at #2 on the Billboard chart).

There haven’t been a multitude of complaints over the years about the mastering of the album, so no surprise here that the main disc is just a bit louder than the original. The real appeal of the 3-CD set is the bonus material…and there is a lot of it! The second disc of rarities is compiled by Robert Smith himself (who was the only original member left in the band by the time Disintegration was released --Lol Tolhurst having been booted by group consensus before its completion) and is largely made up of his instrumental home demos and band rehearsals for the album. It seems like a superfan-only venture with these lo-fi takes sans vocals, but these tracks reveal themselves to be a cohesive and seamless vision even in their infancy; The vocal-free band demo for the title track reveals an even more urgent forward flow than the album cut, with drops of synth gently shimmering in an ocean of flanged-out bass. “Esten,” a previously unissued demo of a never-before-released song (of which there are 4 here), is a bit more lively and feral than its siblings that eventually found a home on the album, perhaps a bit more like their 'willfully poppy' tracks from the Head on the Door-era. The absolute stand-out from the Rarities disc, however, is a solo home demo by Smith covering Wendy Waldman’s “Pirate Ships.” It is a gorgeous lilting sea shanty-like lullaby with ocean sound effects, harmonium and a lovely understated vocal from Smith. With the refrain of “Far away/Far away child,” the track could be culled from one of the several rumored-but-never-surfaced children’s albums Smith has allegedly recorded.

The third disc of the set is an expanded, remixed and remastered version of Entreat, a live mini-album recorded at Wembley Stadium in July ’89 and features renditions of songs culled from Disintegration. Entreat Plus (as it is titled here) is a very different beast when compared to the original version; the mixes on the 12 track Plus disc reveal a fatter sound with some studio spit-shine, whereas the 1990 8-song release’s mix had more of the brisk, airy quality one might expect from a live stadium show recording. The fan and the completist alike can happily hold onto both releases without any guilt.

The truly most exciting thing about this anniversary re-release is that the album finally has a proper vinyl edition. The original 1989 vinyl LP release had songs excised from the tracklisting  supposedly in order to fit onto one LP, however the running time of the original press still clocked in well over the recommended and standard limit of 19 minutes per side, thus completely ruining the quality of the finished product. Rhino’s 2LP remaster, just released this week, wonderfully restores the full 12 track sequence and stretches the tracks over two LPs for remarkably improved sound.

For the überfans for whom 3 discs is just not enough, Smith has compiled a set of  20 "Alternative Rarities," featuring even more demos and alternate outtakes, that is streaming for free via a special website for the reissue. Now please, in celebration, enjoy all four of the album's singles in video form.










Amoeba Music Hollywood has quantity of both the Disintegration 3-Disc set and 2LP.

It's Cheaper Used: Classic and Out-of-Print Goth & Industrial Titles in Stock at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Aaron Detroit, June 9, 2010 05:03pm | Post a Comment
Looking to stock back up on some dark classics? Maybe looking to try something you overlooked long ago? Well, if you’re a fan of classic Industrial or Goth, or just looking to be adventurous, we’ve got some great deals on some hand-picked, used and out-of-print titles for you in our little dark corner of the Goth/Industrial section at Amoeba Music Hollywood*.

Front 242 Tyranny >For You<
Ten years after the group’s genesis, Front 242 released their most commercially successful album with their 1991 major-label debut, Tyranny >For You<. Though not as solid as the band’s 1988 essential Front by Front , Tyranny is a relentless and charged slab full of EBM bangers including “Moldavia,” “Tyranny (for You),” and the club hit “Rhythm of Time, “ which some may recall from a memorable scene in the 1992 camp classic film Single White Female. The album has surprisingly aged very well and sounds pretty damn great nearly 20 years later -- the slow-burn “Sacrifice,” the minimal pulse and melodic sway of “Soul Manager,” or the chaotic blasts of hidden track “Untitled” (there are 3 unlisted ‘hidden’ tracks here –every bit as intense as the rest of the album). Listening to this album now, really makes me wish some youngins would mine these sounds again. Tyranny >For You< is currently out of print on CD but Amoeba Music Hollywood has it in stock used for just $4.99!*



The Creatures Boomerang
Siouxsie and Budgie returned to The Creatures in 1989 after putting the project on hold 6 years prior as The Banshees' popularity sky-rocketed. Boomerang was the result of sessions in a secluded barn in the capital of Flamenco music– Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. The album was probably The Creatures' most successful and includes some of their most well known songs, such as “Standing There” and “Pluto Drive.” Boomerang sweeps between dark breezy exotica with heavy brass arrangements to minimal bluesy crawls to the more atmospheric and chilly. The CD is out of print, but Amoeba Hollywood has several used copies in stock now for just $9.99*




Skinny Puppy Twelve Inch Anthology
A singles collection of sorts or an early ‘Best Of’, Skinny Puppy’s out of print 1990 compilation Twelve Inch Anthology brings together several tracks from their multiple ‘80’s 12 inch EPs. It includes full extended versions of “Dig It,” “Addiction,” and “Testure.” The jewel of this compilation, however, is the Tom Ellard-assisted remix of “Assimilate,” easily the best version of one of the band’s best songs. The collection highlights my favorite period of Puppy and nobody since has quite as successfully combined the sinister with the psychedelic and the groovy like Puppy. Amoeba Hollywood has several used copies of this now-deleted gem in stock for just $9.99*




Nitzer Ebb That Total Age
Relentless pounding and floor-filling aggression are the sounds to be found on this 1987 classic debut from the DAF-inspired Brit duo Nitzer Ebb. Punkish in attitude, That Total Age features the monster club hit “Join In The Chant,“ as well as the beloved, shouted singles “Let Your Body Learn” and “Murderous.” The band lost their way down the road, but this album remains a strong piece of work over two decades later. Amoeba Hollywood has used quantity of That Total Age in stock for just $7.99*.


*prices listed are valid for a limited time only and quantities are limited.

Forget Chillwave; Wild Nothing's 'Gemini' is Heartfelt Dream Pop

Posted by Aaron Detroit, June 3, 2010 02:00pm | Post a Comment
Wild Nothing Gemini
Chillwave” in 2010 is as embarassing a genre tag as “Shoegaze” or “Grunge” was in 1991. It sounds more like a vile blue-colored slushy drink from a convenience store than a musical genre. I feel bad for the contemporary Dream Pop bands that have to endure being cast as such. Chillwave is the new Nu-Rave, i.e., nothing more than loosely similar bands being forced into corners by lazy bedroom bloggers. While many young bands, as of late, have been heavily borrowing sonic textures, recording aesthetics, and ideas from those bleary bands of the late ‘80’s and early 90’s, Virginia’s one-man band of Jack Tatum, aka Wild Nothing, has succeeded in making a record that pings the right amount of lilting and forlorn nostalgia via its familiar Dream Pop haze yet is complex enough not to fatigue attentive ears. Gemini, released this week, has all the shimmer of early Cocteau Twins, the bounce of mid-era Cure, and the rough charm of a C86-era mixtape. This is the sort of record I wish Beach House would make.

Gemini’s success as a great Dream Pop album is also highlighted by what it is lacking. Tatum avoids the cloying cutsey tweeness of last year’s retro-darlings The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and instead delivers a breezy melancholy. Sincerity is a breath of fresh air here as well -- while essentially postmodern because of its pastiche, Gemini obviously springs from Tatum’s heart, carefully avoiding the irony so many young bands rely on and hide behind. On the slow-crawl of “Pessimist,” Tatum wears it on his sleeve with the line “Boys Don’t Cry/They Just Die” without a hint of a grin. However, the album is never oppressive or dreary, even when Tatum is bummed out; it truly is a great feat to make a record that plays perfectly on a summer drive to the beach or home alone on a rainy day.


Wild Nothing’s Gemini is available from Amoeba Music Hollywood now on CD, with hopefully some LPs forthcoming. Make sure to pick up Wild Nothing’s 7” single Cloudbusting as well for Tatum’s heartfelt lo-fi rendering of the Kate Bush classic.

Amoeba Hollywood's New and Featured Goth / Industrial Releases

Posted by Aaron Detroit, May 26, 2010 05:15pm | Post a Comment

Rome
Nos Chants Perdus[Trisol] CD


Over a series of remarkable concept albums, the Luxembourgish band Rome has developed a totally unique ‘poetry of longing’ which rings out from the dark melancholic mist of rootlessness and which gives expression to a comprehensive feeling of modern forlornness. The protagonists of their music are the unintentional ‘rebels’ of Camus (L’Homme révolté), contemporaries from the turbulent epochs of the 20th century: the banished and the hunted, the despised and the misunderstood – ceaseless enemies of dictatorship. This is what the songs of Rome frontman Jerome Reuter are about, rooted firmly in the tradition of his declared heroes Jacques Brel, Léo Ferré, Tom Waits and Nick Cave. With regard to content, Rome derives inspiration from world literature and an observant listener will be able to detect references to Camus, Proust, Sartre and Jean Genet. Following hot on the heels of their EP L’Assassin, the band assiduously develops its sound further on a minimalistic yet richly textured, simple singer-songwriter album Nos Chants Perdus -- slowly leaving the apocalyptic realms behind them. Catchy melodies impress themselves on the memory and Reuter’s gothic tenor is currently peerless. Apart from the French song titles the lyrics are primarily performed in English, while the music is constructed primarily with acoustic instruments: piano, guitar, touches of strings, accordion. They have largely relinquished electronic elements, which marks Nos Chants Perdus out as a further and remarkable stride in the work of the band. Check out samples of Rome’s previous efforts here and here

Listen: Rome "L'Assassin" from Nos Chants Perdus



TriORE Three Hours [Cold Meat Industry]CD

Christian Erdmann (Triarii) and Tomas Pettersson (Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio) have given birth to a love child they call TriORE. Both participants go beyond themselves and step out of normal character, but TriORE is nonetheless the embodiment of all that which is Triarii, and all that which is Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio. The bombastic touch of Triarii is still there; the string sections, the choirs, the martial drums and much more; alongside the eloquence of Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, musically, melodically, as well as lyrically. This is what all lovers of both bands have been waiting for, a complete forty minutes of downer-but-gorgeous Art Deco Industrial Pop.

Listen: TriORE "Pleasures & Tortures" from Three Hours

 

Combichrist Noise Collection, Vol. 1 [Out of Line] 2CD

Raw, brutal and forceful! Combichrist burst into the dark Electro scene in 2003 with a massive blend of Techno, Noise, EBM and harsh Industrial sounds that were as fresh as they were brutal. Noise Collection Vol. 1, a comprehensive 2 CD anthology, explores the wild early years of one of the most loved acts in modern dark club music. Disc one contains the now-deleted debut album The Joy Of Gunz, while disc two unites the ultra-rare Halloween release "Kiss The Blade," the long-deleted Sex, Drogen & Industrial EP, two tracks from the collectible Blut Royale 12 inch-single and an exclusive song from the Industrial For The Masses Vol. 2 compilation. Noise Collection Vol. 1 is the ideal opportunity for new fans to complement their Combichrist library and serves as a nearly complete insight into the first phase this most influential band.

Listen: Combichrist  "You Will Be The Bitch Now" from Noise Collection, Vol.1

 

Tying Tiffany
Peoples Temple [Trisol] CD


Italian Electro-Goth-Pop from the perspective of contemporary decadent lifestyles. True to the roots of the Goth-Pop genre, this vampy siren delivers a lesson in Punkish attitude, revolutionary gusto and a lot of electronic reinforcement with Peoples Temple and strengthens her reputation as an exceptional tunesmith and performer.

Listen: Tying Tiffany "Show Me..." from Peoples Temple




Still Fresh…

Thomas Nola et Son Orchestre
Très Pathétique [Disques de Lapin] CD


New release from Thomas Nola featuring rich and moody tracks with a French bent. Très Pathétique comes in a handmade sleeve with lyrics booklet. Each sleeve is made from Indian recycled cotton rag paper with random multi-colored swirls, making them all unique. Bring it to the dancefloor or the funeral parlor.

Ruby Throat Out of A Black Cloud Came A Bird [Sleepslikewolves/ The Lovers’ Will] CD

Black Cloud finds KatieJane Garside's (Queenadreena, Daisy Chainsaw) unsettling and psycho-sexual fairytale-stylings covered in ethereal-psychedelic dream-wrap courtesy of Chris Wittingham's instrumentation. Her voice is equal parts PJ Harvey, Alison Shaw (Cranes), and Hope Sandoval -- though sometimes a bit of Diamanda's babelogue madness creeps in.

Christ Vs. Warhol's Impressive Debut Disc

Posted by Aaron Detroit, May 20, 2010 01:15pm | Post a Comment

Although the members of Los Angeles-based Christ vs. Warhol all sport mohawks and/or various body modifications, there’s nothing scrappy about the quartet’s debut full-length disc, Dissent. Instead, one will find this well-oiled 4-headed beast firing on all cylinders on 13 solidly produced and politically-minded tracks.

There has been a glut of silly, style-focused and, frankly, dumb Deathrock bands vying for attention for the last few years and for a genre that isn’t all that crowded, that’s a pretty sad state. Christ vs. Warhol avoids these pitfalls by mostly avoiding navel-gazing and instead delivering incendiary, topical and thoughtful lyrics bathed in cascading riffs and wet bass lines. Vocalist and lyricist Eveghost (formerly of Scarlet’s Remains) aims her firing sights at a multitude of topics, like blind consumerism, media-manufactured beauty standards, talk radio windbags and their corporate bosses as well as those
“tossing tea into the harbor/…masquerading as the voice of the working man.” 
Her voice alters between a witchy affected howl to an occasional but impressive Liz Fraser-esque swoop.

Dissent was produced by Faith & The Muse’s William Faith, which probably explains some of the shimmer and gleam the album carries. His presence is certainly felt on the opening track, “A New Model of the Universe,” a dirtied Dream Pop instrumental, all tribal drums and soaring guitar effects bookended by chiming finger cymbals. “And If You Forget,” one of the few tracks concerning personal issues (here it’s a damaged lover) has a similar dreamy-lean with a swirling arrangement and Eveghost hitting the notes in her lovely upper register. The band excels on these airier tracks; it’d be interesting to see the band focus on and hone these elements for future efforts.

Classic Deathrock albums are not complete without an anthem, and Dissent has one. “Fool’s Gold” captures the urgency of O.G. Gothic Rock Anthems like the Skeletal Family’s “Promised Land” and JuJu-era Siouxsie. Christ Vs. Warhol is a cult band in the making for sure.


Amoeba Music Hollywood has quantity of Christ Vs. Warhol’s Dissent and it is a featured pick in our Gothic / Industrial section this month.


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