Saturday, 11 June 2011

Super Vinyl Adventure Club

My record buying jaunt has been delayed this week. Things to do, people to see, all that jazz. In truth, I had planned to head down to Mono for Battles record signing and pick up a copy of their new album 'Gloss Drop', but I had to work. Luckily I roped my mate Donald into getting me a copy, which was nice! But, that just wouldn't do. That would be like, shopping online at Tesco and missing out on clashing trolley's with old ladies over the last pork pie. Not that I fight with old ladies when buying records, unless it's over the last Daniel O'Donnell LP, but you get the point.


As I was up that end of town anyway, I popped into LOVEmusic on Dundas Street to browse. I hadn't been in since Record Store Day, and my wallet began to tremble, as it remember the pounding it took that day. LOVEmusic, is formerly Avalanche Records, and it's a great wee record shop.  With a selection of new LP's, second hand LP from '60's onwards, and a section with genre specific titles, it's always worth a browse incase something new has popped in since the last visit. They also have a great selection of CD's, and specifically support local artists and stock their new releases. However, twas not a shiny CD I wanted, so I started to flick through the new LP's. It's noticable, that some of them are no longer 'new' as their plastic sleeve each LP is housed in are torn and battle weary. I suppose that's inevitable when so many people do the exact same things as me and flick those the selection. Having choose my LP for the day, I had a gander at the 7"'s to see if there was anything worth picking up there. Again, a good selection of local artist were represented, and LOVEmusic kindly display on the wall adjacent to the till a selection of the most recent releases.

Other aspects of the store worth mentioning is the availability of free music magazines, The Fly, The Skinny and Loud And Quiet. I know I certainly owe a great deal to free music magazines for keeping me relatively in touch with new music, so a record store that recognises that is great to see. And the store always has good music playing, which I suppose is almost a given for independent record stores, but it's still refreshing. I didn't actually recognise what was playing and I forgot to ask, but never mind!


After careful deliberation, I chose Wild Beasts album third album Smother. First things first; the artwork. The album cover is a striking diamond against a white background. The diamond is made up of red, green and purple feathers. Inside the sleeve is a lyrics booklet, certainly a rarity these days, a set of 5 postcards, which reproduce the album artwork in a series of different colours, my favourite being the green one. Also included is a larger replica of the two of the postcard designs and the record itself. But perhaps most importantly, and this is a point I've laboured before, free mp3 download codes. Wild Beasts are Hayden Thorpe, Ben Little, Tom Fleming and Chris Talbot. The music itself is striking. Thorpes vocals echo those of Jeff Buckley, falsetto, soaring in places, and aching and hauntingly beautiful. Guitars soar and swoosh throughout, but the album is also home to synth driven tracks such as 'Plaything' and 'Bed Of Nails'. The album drifts easily between the dreamy surrealism of 'Albatross' and 'Loop The Loop' and toe tapping beats of 'Reach A Bit Further'. Wild Beasts were nominated for the Mercury Music Prize back in 2009, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Smother make this years list.

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