Opaque Yellow LP. Spinning the raw emotions and unfettered delivery of power pop and emo, California outfit JOYCE MANOR emerged in the late 2000s with a blistering punk sound on their eponymous debut (2011) and follow-up Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired (2012). Developing restraint and slowing things down, they took cues from pop-punk and indie rock on their Epitap hlabel debut Never Hungover Again, which drew upon influences Weezer and Jawbreaker, a maturation that continued on 2016's Cody and 2018's Million Dollars to Kill Me. Based out of Torrance, California, JOYCE MANOR got it's start in late 2008, conceived as the acoustic pop-punk duo of Barry Johnson (vocals, guitar) and Chase Knobbe (guitar). That idea didn't last long, however, and the band ultimately expanded, with friends coming and going until the lineup settled down a year later. JOYCE MANOR return with Songs From Northern Torrance: a collection of b-sides and alternate versions of fan favorites pulled from the band's personal archives. The album kicks off with "House Warning Party, " a one-minute blast of lo-fi good-ness that offers a glimpse into the band's humble beginnings as a two-piece folk-punk outfit. Lyrics of suburban angst forge with upbeat drums and swift, jangly guitars that make it impossible to not bounce your head along to. As a band who have come to define West Coast indie-punk, JOYCE MANOR remains one of the most popular bands in the genre and this track is a rarity their fans will surely love.
Dream Wife (Alice Go, Bella Podpadec and Rakel Mjöll) are back with their second album and just like the title suggests, this is a record brimming with adrenaline and playful excitement ('It's an invitation, a challenge, a call to action,' says Rakel). From the jagged, CSS-like guitar of 'So When You Gonna'' to the hooky brightness of album opener 'Sports!' and the whip-smart lyrical asides of 'Validation', these are moreish, pumped up, sparkling tracks that feel like newer, dynamic evolutions of debut standouts, like 'F.U.U.' and 'Hey Heartbreaker.' But they often lean into sweeter, softer, more emotional moments too. 'Temporary' and 'After the Rain' in particular ' songs about miscarriage and abortion, respectively ' are complicated, painful stories told through a soft and hopeful lens. These were difficult subjects to write about, but Dream Wife think it's important to bring these conversations into the public sphere, to refuse to brush things under the rug, to empower and support others in the process. Dream Wife have always been outspoken about holding up other womxn and non-binary people in the creative industries, but these aren't just words or sentiments. With a gender divide in music production currently estimated at around ninety-five percent male to five percent female, the band are proud to have worked with an all-female recording team for So When You Gonna..., including producer and mixer Marta Salogni (Björk, Holly Herndon, FKA Twigs) engineer Grace Banks (David Wrench, Marika Hackman) and mastering engineer Heba Kadry (Princess Nokia, Alex G, Beach House). 'It was a way of us practicing what we preach,' says Alice, 'It felt like an honour to be able to deliver this baby with these three amazing midwives.' 'Put your money where your mouth is!' adds Rakel, quoting the lyrics of 'Sports!'
Without a doubt, 1989's NO CONTROL is one of Bad Religion's best releases. This was one of the albums that helped bridge the band's more reckless earlier direction with their more focused (but just as pissed-off) '90s-era. If you're just discovering the band, NO CONTROL is a wise first purchase, on the strength of such cuts as 'Big Bang,' 'Automatic Man,' the title track, and 'I Want to Conquer the World.' NO CONTROL is one of punk's greatest all-time albums and a quintessential purchase for fans of the genre.
Bad Religion: Greg Graffin (vocals); Mr. Brett (guitar, background vocals); Greg Hetson (guitar); Jay Bentley (bass, background vocals); Pete Finestone (drums). Recorded at Westbeach Recorders, Hollywood, California in June 1989.
Bad Religion's first record for a major label (Atlantic Records) opens with two guns blazing and doesn't stop firing until both sides of "Recipe for Hate" are played out. Battling it out for more than a decade in L.A.'s punk scene with their own label, the big money finally came calling for this 1993 album. Instead of toning down their act due to mainstream support, Bad Company came out with their most inventive and original album in years. Speaking truth to power as all true punks should, lead singer Greg Graffin and his mates continued turning the punk scene on it's ear. Ultimately, this album rose to #14 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Own this original 1993 release on vinyl today. Atlantic.
Terminal Tower is #23 on Rolling Stone's Top 40 Punk Albums of all-time and one of the only remaining punk rock gems yet to return to vinyl. This collection of non-LP and B-sides is long out of print in both CD and LP and interestingly has never been released digitally. Releasing 16 albums over a 40+ year career and continuously helmed by singer/songwriter, David Thomas, the band has been one of the foundations of Avant Garde and Punk Rock in the U.S. and overseas.