Feature ·

[July 18, 2006] Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.

Our writers highlight a handful of notable records scheduled to hit the shelves this Tuesday. Plus, check the full list of this week's releases:



Scott H. Biram

Graveyard Shift


Scott H. Biram is the musical equivalent of a vestigial tail. To create his melancholic dirges about love, loss, and the nomadic lifestyle he celebrates, Biram implements the thought-to-be extinct one man band. Seated, Biram riffs on a monstrous, slack-tensioned archtop guitar, while pounding out one of several toe-tapping rhythms as he alternates between a tambourine and a kick drum. Meanwhile, thanks to an array of microphones George Wallace would envy, Biram's voice takes several guises -- from that of a truck driver on a crackling CB to a scorned Southern bride -- as he fully embodies the characters that populate his picturesque narratives. Often mislabeled as a "roots artist," Biram is best described as an archaic hillbilly entertainer whose recordings share the intensity of the best fire and brimstone preacher in town. As he once shared, "I don't like to say I play bluegrass shit anymore, 'cuz the shit they call bluegrass now is just shit ... so tell 'yer mama I said that." I will, Scott. ~Zach Hothorn
Artist: http://www.scottbiram.com/
Label: http://www.bloodshotrecords.com/
Audio clips

The Bronx
The Bronx
White Drugs/Island Def Jam
The follow-up to 2003's self-titled release, The Bronx (2006) shows a number of new
influences affecting the band members and their songwriting. The under-a-minute blast
that is "Small Stone" seems to reflect the Bronx that was, but Latin influences
creep into "Dirty Leaves," and closer "White Guilt" echoes the glam
rock of the '80s. This release marks the major-label debut of a band that has
played its cards right from the first hand, obvious in the fact that the band's own label, White Drugs, is co-releasing this record. (That was also the case with 2003's
The Bronx, which was jointly released
with Ferret Records.) The Bronx is touring all summer to promote the new release; expect to hear plenty from, and about, the band this year. ~
Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson
Band: http://www.thebronxxx.com
White Drugs site: http://www.whitedrugs.com
Island/Def Jam site: http://www.islandrecords.com
Streaming audio: http://www.myspace.com/thebronx

Golden Smog

Another Fine Day

Lost Highway

In the last six months, Jeff Tweedy has toured, released a live Wilco album, shed some Loose Fur and now pitches in with his other super-group Golden Smog. This "side-project" with Gary Louris (Jayhawks) and Dan Murphy (Soul Asylum) has been running since 1992 and Another Fine Day will be the band's third full-length. It's spacey Midwest jams, barroom rockers, a Kinks cover ("Strangers"), pop that channels decades past and Americana that channels decades way past -- or, exactly what these guys do for their bill-paying groups, only laid down in a looser atmosphere. ~Jonathan Easley

Band/label (streaming audio): http://main.losthighwayrecords.com/

Streaming audio: http://www.myspace.com/goldensmog 

The Minders

It's a Bright Guilty World

Future Farmer Recordings

Here isn't the place to delve into the depths of the Elephant 6 legacy (here was). Suffice it to say Robert Schneider is an underappreciated figurehead. He's the de facto leader of El6, was one half of Neutral Milk Hotel on Avery Island, he's an Apple in Stereo, and was a Minder. Was in the beginning. Hasn't been for a few albums now. But he returns to the fold on It's a Bright Guilty World. Minder mainstay Martyn Leaper met Schneider at an Apples concert in Denver when the Schneidster moved there to get some distance between him and the rest of the Collective in Athens, Georgia. Leaper picked up some fellow travelers and moved to Portland, where they palled around with Elliott Smith and other Pacific Northwestern musical minds (Jick Joanna Bolme was a Minder for a short time). Anyhoo, enough biography; on the album, expect pop hooks and harmonies so sweet they'd give A.C. Newman a toothache. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://theminders.com/

Label: http://theminders.com/

"Accidental Joy" MP3


The Looks

Last Gang

Wow, the cool kids are gonna have a tough time with this. Death from Above 1979's Jesse F. Keeler's side project MSTRKRFT drops the punishing, near-metal, bass-heavy assault of his main band for straight ahead robo-jive dance music along the lines of Daft Punk. In MSTRKRFT, Keeler teams up with producer Al-P. (He, too, has the mandatory "Is it meant to be ironic?" 'stache. And they're fuckin' Canadian. That takes the chintz to a whole other level.) The two have done a slew of remixes for the likes of Annie, Bloc Party, and the Kills. Now they've got The Looks. But do they have the ability to make the hipsters actually move those hips? Remains to be seen. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.mstrkrft.com/

Streaming audio: http://www.myspace.com/MSTRKRFT

"Easy Love" video

The Wildhearts

Geordie in Wonderland


The Wildhearts is one of those quirky bands that repeatedly self-destruct just as its poised for superstardom. The band's lead-singer and principal songwriter, Ginger (last name withheld), has crafted some of the most impressive rock anthems you've never heard. His forte is blending Metallica's snarl with Cheap Trick's melody, thus creating songs hooky enough for your girlfriend and heavy enough for your older brother. This live recording from 2005 should be perfect for the uninitiated. It contains songs from the Wildhearts' 1993 debut (Earth vs. The Wildhearts) and material from the band's most recent domestic release (1994's Riff After Riff). Let's just hope Ginger and the boys stop acting like Sisyphus and finally get their act together. ~Zach Hothorn

Band: http://www.thewildhearts.com/

Label: http://www.secretrecordslimited.com/Home.asp

Streaming audio: http://www.myspace.com/thewildhearts

A Flock of Seagulls: We Are the 80's [DualDisc] (Jive)

Alien Ant Farm: Up in the Attic (New Door)

The Bangles: We Are the '80s (Sony)

Barry White: Forever Barry White (Madacy)

Big Sty: Stycology         

Black Stone Cherry: Black Stone Cherry (Roadrunner)

Bone Crusher: Release the Beast (Body Head Ent)

Boot Camp Clik: Last Stand (Duck Down Music)

The Bronx: Bronx (Island)

Cocteau Twins: Four-Calendar Cafe (Universal International)

Da Real Choppa: Comin Back Home (Body Head Ent)

Eighteen Visions: Eighteen Visions (Sony)

Eri Yamamoto: Cobalt Blue (Thirsty Ear)

Evil 9: Fabriclive.28  (Fabric)

Fats Domino: Fat Man's Frenzy (Rev-Ola)

Feist: Open Season [French Pressing] (Interscope)

French Kicks: Two Thousand (StarTime/Vagrant)

Golden Smog: Another Fine Day (Lost Highway)

Green Day: 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hour (Epitaph Import)

Green Day: Kerplunk (Epitaph Import)

Guns N' Roses: Collector's Box (United States Dist)

Helmet: Monochrome (Warcon)

Jimmy McGriff: Big Band of Jimmy McGriff (Blue Note)

Johnny Adams: The Great Johnny Adams R&B Album (Rounder / Umgd)

Kiss: Ace, Gene, Peter and Paul (Solos Box Set) (Lilith)

Kokane: Back 2 Tha Clap (SMC Recordings)

Leadbelly: Last Session, Vol. 3 (Universe Italy)

Lily Allen: Alright Still (EMI)

Lisa Germano: In the Maybe World (Young God)

Los Lonely Boys: Sacred  (Sony)

Mac Dre: 16's Wit Dre (Mixed by DJ Backside) (Thizz)

Mac Dre: Bay Bosses (Thizz)

Mark Farina: Sessions (Ministry of Sound UK)

The Minders: It's a Bright Guilty World (Future Farmer)

Mike Vallely: Alone

Mike Vallely: Weekend in Pittsburgh         

MSTRKRFT: Looks    (Last Gang)

Muse: Hullabaloo Soundtrack       

My Robot Friend: Dial O (Soma)

Neil Gaiman: Where's Neil When You Need Him? (Dancing Ferret)

O.G. Ron C.: Chopped Not Slopped, Vol. 2 (Oarfin)

O.G. Ron C.: OG Ron C. Presents...Mr. Kaila - Supersize (Oarfin)

Original Soundtrack: Lady in the Water (Decca)

Original Soundtrack: You, Me and Dupree [Original Soundtrack] (Lakeshore S)

Particle: Transformations Live for the People (Shout! Factory)

The Philistines: Free the P (Raptivism)

Raekwon: Davinci Code Vatican Mixtape, Vol. 2   

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus: Don't You Fake It         

Sasha: Instant Live: Avalon - Hollywood, CA, 6/24/06 (Instant Live Rec.)

Scott H. Biram: Graveyard Shift (Bloodshot)

The Sinking Ships: Disconnecting (Revelation)

State Property: Gang Is All Here

Steve Miller: Fly Like an Eagle: 30th Anniversary (Capitol)

Third Eye Blind: Greatest Hits [CD/DVD]            (Rhino)

TV on the Radio: Return to Cookie Mountain (4AD)

Willie Nelson: Collection (Madacy)

The Working Title About Face (Umvd Labels)

*Release dates may change. E-mail brandon@prefixmag.com with corrections or additions.  
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