A sporadically-updated music collection blog. Send questions to twitter or email me.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Frightened Rabbit - Sing The Greys

I actually managed to forget I hadn't posted about this yet. It was, unsurprisingly, an instant buy from Avalanche as soon as I knew it existed. I can't even remember how much it was. Oops. This is the first time the first Frabbit album has been pressed on vinyl, which now means I have a complete collection of Frabbit albums on vinyl. This is something I am very happy about. Not entirely sure why it's been pressed in all honesty, but I'm okay with that.

This is probably one of my favourite album covers. Ever. It's so beautifully simple, and it feels perfect for the album it contains. Even better as a 12 inch square.

This inner sleeve prompted an audible gasp from me as I first pulled it out. Beautiful. There's a t-shirt with this design on it, I feel that may be a purchase in the near future.

One day Frabbit will release some coloured vinyl and I will be overjoyed. I mean come on guys, Sing The Greys on grey vinyl would've been just too perfect. Alas, it wasn't to be. Plain black this time, but with a lovely multicolour label to reduce the disappointment. It goes without saying that this label matches the design of the CD version of this album because Frabbit understand the importance of consistency. Love them.

You probably already realise that I love this album, but let's talk about it anyway. I find myself getting annoyed by the lack of appreciation this album seems to get, people only seem to go backwards as far as The Midnight Organ Fight and then stop. Maybe they get distracted by how utterly incredible TMOF is (as I've explained before), but it's really worth diving further backwards. Sing The Greys serves as more than just to show someone "how the band began", it easily stands up against the rest of the band's output. The lyrics on this album are, as with every Frabbit album, absolutely sublime. The whole thing begins with the line "what's the blues when you've got the greys" which is a pretty good indicator of what is to come. I'm not going to talk you through every song, because Scott Hutchison himself has already done that and mine would be far less informative. All I can tell you is that I love it, I really do. The highlight for me is the shuffling melody of Behave! and its talk of not knowing how to act around someone. That being said, it only rises marginally above the title track, Go-Go Girls, Snake and Be Less Rude in terms of enjoyment. And then we've covered almost half of the album.

To leave you with, here is the altered version of the Fat Cat logo that appears on this record (and, I have since noticed, the CD version too). Man, I adore this band.

Purity Ring - Shrines

Continuing from the previous post, here's another part of that Norman order. This was something I'd been meaning to get for a long while, the reduced price just made it an unavoidable purchase.

Weird cover. Why is that girl covering the lamb with her hair? Why has Rayman lost his arms to this picture? Not a clue.

It's a gatefold, so there's more of the same drawings inside. I don't really have anything more to contribute about them because I do not understand.

I've slightly sped through the artwork that I don't understand to get to something I do understand - and that is how gorgeous this record is. My word. The dark black of the outer sleeve is contrasted nicely by the lime green inner, and the pale record itself. The lyrics being printed on the inner sleeve is, as always, a bonus for me. Also appreciated is the free CD copy of the album, thanks 4AD.

I really, really like this album. It's a throbbing, moody electronic beast coated with sweet-sounding female vocals that belie their lyrical content (sample: "cut open my sternum and pull my little ribs around you"). Writing about this feels a bit like when I tried (and failed) to write about Donuts - this isn't within the range of things I usually write about but I absolutely love it anyway. It's got an unmistakeable groove about it, which my body doesn't fully know how to respond to. I lack the capacity to dance, so I just nod my head in quiet appreciation but that doesn't feel like enough. Need to sort this out, evidently. My favourite track on the album is Fineshrine, which is most responsible for these feelings. The chorus is just too catchy and I can't deal with its rhythm. This probably ranks as one of my top albums of last year, and it's good to finally own it especially when it looks so nice.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Collections Of Colonies Of Bees - GIVING

Right, quick jump backwards here. This is another record I picked up when I got Donuts from Norman, and was also fairly cheap in the sale so it's all good.

That weird deer/man thing (at least, those are the things I think are being combined here) is actually made of porcelain. Some actually made that. Moreover, someone owns that. I think I'm kinda jealous, it's quite cool. The contrast of the white sculpture on the black background is PRETTY NICE and I'm a big fan of the pink strip.

As a nice extra touch, the sleeve has the song names printed on the inside. Also, it's bright pink. It's okay, that.

Bloody hell that's nice, isn't it? I love records that match the colour of their artwork, and this is superb. The swirl is really lovely, and black and pink is a nice colour pairing. There's also a single-sided insert with the record that has some thanks and stuff, nothing excessive there.

This release, I suppose, is a long EP. The four tracks clock in just short of 30 minutes, a relatively short burst of jerky instrumental tracks. COCOB are a lot of fun, but counter that slightly by being annoyingly difficult to categorise. Little hints of math-rock mix with lashings of post-rock, and yet neither term feels appropriate. They lack the grandiosity of post-rock, and are missing the reckless pace of math-rock. Instead they straddle this middle ground beautifully, producing an EP that is very listenable and very catchy. The first track, Lawn, is probably my favourite and is pretty representative of the EP. I should probably try and buy an album now but crikey, there is no way it will look as nice as this. Great work.