First Look: 05.17.05 (C Rayz Walz, Deathray Davies, Melt Banana, Orange Juice)

    C Rayz Walz

    Year of the Beast
    Definitive Jux

    Album samples
    On the heals of Aesop Rock’s Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives comes another release from a fellow Definitive Jux boyo, C Rayz Walz. With Year of the Beast marking only his second full-length, Rayz has still got a few leaves on his branches, but his big-chested flow suggests years soaking up the warms rays of hip-hop’s most respected talents with his underground crew, Stronghold. If this effort has any of the whiplash strut of “The Essence,” from his great debut, Ravipops, we should be in for one of those sun-roof-open, windows-down, stereo-blastin’ kinda summers.


    Deathray Davies
    Kick and the Snare

    Album samples
    The ’60s remain vital soil for indie-rock’s pick-ax, and John Dufilho and his Dallas-based Deathray Davies have been steadily sharpening their blades over the course of four albums. With Kick and the Snare the boys are set to release their Kinks cum Pixies pop on the world once again. Thankfully, Dufilho has managed to pack a three-chord wallop with new tunes like “Plan to Stay Awake” — a soundtrack as fit for the Wonder Years as for your iPod.


    Melt Banana
    13 Hedgehogs

    Album samples
    There’s something about Japanese noise-punk that just screams limited pressings, but pick up Melt Banana’s 13 Hedgehogs and the only scream you’ll hear will be Yasuko O.’s banshee vocals blowing through 57 tracks of rare — in some cases out-of-print — singles from their days with Mxbx. If you’ve already got them on vinyl you can rest on your elitist laurels. For most of us, though, “re-release” or “compilation” aren’t four-letter words. So bring the noise and rejoice.


    Orange Juice
    The Glasgow School

    Album samples
    Twee, it seems, did not begin with Moz. The art of mixing playful sexual ambiguity and a biting wit may have started a bit farther north — in Glasgow, around 1976. Fronted by Edwyn Collins and his impressive pompadour, Orange Juice’s four full-lengths garnered them an impressive following among those kids who favored a bit of satire in the face of punk’s over-ripe aggression. The Glasgow School mines the back catalogue to compile the quartet’s early singles for Postcard Records, including the much sought-after “Blokes on 45,” recorded with John Peel at the helm.


    System of a Down

    Album samples
    Whether squeezing in an expletive on Saturday Night Live our railing against the prison system in the studio, System of a Down keeps it brutal and to the point. Though everyone’s kid brother may have picked up 2001’s Toxicity, the Armenian quartet has managed to fill the hole left vacant when Rage Against the Machine self-destructed by making music smart enough and passionate enough to squash the irony out of major-label leftism. Thankfully, Daron Malakian’s mile-a-minute riffage and Serj Tankian’s operatic wit on lead single “BYOB” shows that System has kept its eyes on Marx’s prize.


    Adriano Canzian: Pornography (Gigolo)
    Al Beezy: Fully Blown (Urban Life Music)
    An Angle: We Can Breathe Under Alcohol (Sanctuary Records)
    Bane: Note (Equal Vision)
    Blue Monday: Rewritten (Bridge Nine)
    Bobby Lewis: Tossin’ & Turnin’ [Collectables] (Collectables)
    Born 2wice: Boss Playboy (Bigga Entertainment)
    Breaking Point: Beautiful Disorder (Wind-up)
    The Brian Jonestown Massacre: We Are the Radio (We Are the Radio)
    Chief Kamachi & Juju Mob: Black Candles (Eastern Conference)
    Clearlake: Wonder If the Snow Will Settle (Domino)
    C-Rayz Walz: Year of the Beast (Definitive Jux)
    Deathray Davies: Kick and the Snare (Glurp)
    Def Leppard: Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection (Mercury)
    Disbelief: 66sick (Nuclear Blast America)
    DJ Rap: Bulletproof (System Recordings)
    Don Omar: The Last Don (Universal)
    The Doors: L.A. Woman/Morrison Hotel/The Doors (WEA International)
    The Epoxies: Stop the Future (Fat Wreck Chords)
    The Escaped: Escaped (TKO)
    Fall Out Boy: Evening Out With Your Girlfriend (Militia)
    The Forecast: Late Night Conversations (Victory)
    Gang of Four: Entertainment! [2005 Bonus Tracks] (Rhino)
    Georgie Auld: You Got Me Jumpin’ (Sounds of Yesteryear)
    Huey Lewis and The News: Live at 25 (Rhino)
    Idiot Pilot: Strange We Should Meet Here (Warner Brothers)
    Insane Clown Posse: Calm (Psychopathic)
    John Lee Hooker: Complete, Vol. 6 (Body & Soul )
    Juliette & the Licks: You’re Speaking My Language (Fiddler)
    Junior M.A.F.I.A.: Riot Musik (Mega Media)
    Kem: Album II (Motown)
    Kill Memory Crash: American Automatic (Ghostly)
    Leadbelly: Bourgeois Blues 1933-1946 (Fremeaux & Associes)
    Lil Boosie/Webbie: Gangsta Musik (Asylum)
    Mac Dre: Back ‘N Da Hood (Thizz)
    The Marshall Tucker Band: Dedicated (Shout Factory)
    The Marshall Tucker Band: Running Like the Wind (Shout Factory)
    The Marshall Tucker Band: Tenth (Shout Factory)
    Melt Banana: 13 Hedgehogs [Mxbx Singles 1994-1999] (A-Zap)
    Memphis Bleek: 534 (Roc-A-Fella)
    Mercury Rev: Secret Migration (V2)
    The Moments: Not on the Outside, But on the Inside, Strong!/Sha (Collectables)
    The Nein: Wrath of Circuits (Sonic Unyon)
    Nehemiah: Lenore (Militia)
    Nitin Sawhney: Philtre [IMPORT] (V2)
    Nobody: And Everything Else (Plug Research)
    Oasis: Lyla [CD Single Import] (Big Brother)
    Orange Juice: Glasgow School (Domino)
    Original Television Soundtrack: Angel: Live Fast, Die Never (Rounder/Pgd)
    Paul Westerberg: Besterberg: Best of Paul Westerberg (Rhino)
    Paul Westerberg: Besterberg: Best of Paul Westerberg (Rhino)
    Pet Shop Boys: Back to Mine [Import] (Dmc)
    Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation: First London Invasion Tour 1987 (Cornerstone)
    Richard Thompson : Live from Austin, TX (New West)
    Rippingtons: Wild Card (Peak Records)
    Robbie Fulks: Georgia Hard (Yep Roc)
    The Rocket Summer: Hello, Good Friend (Militia)
    Saxon Shore: Be a Bright Blue (Burnt Toast Vinyl)
    Smashing Orange: 1991 (Elephant Stone)
    The Starting Line: Based on a True Story (Universal)
    System of a Down: Mesmerize (Sony)
    Troubled Hubble: Making Beds in a Burning House (Lookout)
    Van Morrison: Magic Time (Geffen)
    Various Artists: African Guitar Summit (CBC)
    Various Artists: American Idol 4 (RCA)
    Various Artists: Bridge Nine: First Four Years (Bridge Nine)
    Various Artists: Cameo Parkway 1957-1967 (Abkco)
    Various Artists: The Muppets: Wizard of Oz [Soundtrack] (Disney)
    Wakefield: Which Side Are You On? (La Face)
    Why?: Sanddollars (Anticon)
    Yellowman: This Is Crucial Reggae (Ras)
    *Release dates may change. E-mail with correction or additions.