Nasty

Upon its 1998 release, I grew to hold some nasty resentment towards my (then) favorite band’s Hello Nasty release (their fifth). For me, 1992’s Check Your Head and 1994’s Ill Communication were the perfect, bratty blend of aggressive punk and conscious hip hop that defined an era (my high school years). That era ended in 1998 with Nasty. She was released in the summer, and by the fall I’d already moved on to the likes of Crass and Anal Cunt (thank you Ear Wax Records in Madison, WI). I’d kept up with the boys Beastie through the end of their career (2011’s Hot Sauce Committee Part Two), but they’d certainly fallen from the pedestal I’d made for them. Now listening to the 4x LP box set from 2009, and I must admit that my stupid, younger self may have been a bit too harsh on Hello Nasty. It’s certainly one of my least favorite of their albums, but it certainly makes for an enjoyable spin.

The Definitive Reissue

BlackMonkReissueAlready the proud owner of the 2011 bootleg, Black Time, which consists of the exact same opening 12 tracks, I’d passed up many an opportunity for the 2009 official reissue of this 1966 merciless album, Black Monk Time. That was, until yesterday’s trip to Amoeba. With no worthy Kinks albums, absolutely zero anything from Dan the Automator, no Nautiluss (that wasn’t already owned), and no reasonably priced Minutemen, I felt it was high time to bring this puppy home. One record I should have purchased was the red vinyl version of On the Prowl by Rocket from the Crypt. $35 for two tracks slipped me up, but now I wish I’d have thought more clearly. As long as I have air in my lungs, the hunt continues.

Arthur, the Soundtrack?!

WhiteTo follow up the commercially unsuccessful, yet strikingly ultramodern, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, the greatest British Invasion act of all time met 1969 with Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). Arthur was originally slated as a soundtrack to a Granada Television play (thanks Wikipedia), which was later scrapped and never produced. Arthur reaches back to the band’s more rock-centric roots, and for a moment, abandoned the hazy-day, uncomplicated soundscapes of Village Green (or something to that effect). Arthur is a perfect bridge from the open-air concept album and the corporate, backdealing-rant that is Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One. This particular copy is a 2 LP, mono / stereo remastered European release from 2012. They released a remastered version of Village Green in 2011, but have yet to release Lola with such prominent and uncompromising quality. One day, perhaps…

Orange 97

Orange_97For its 20th anniversary, Old 97’s debut album, 1994’s Hitchhike to Rhome, was released on double translucent orange vinyl, which is painfully obvious after having already seen the photo on the left. I recently wrote about my esteemed excitement over this release, so I won’t ooze my giddy juice all over this post. What I will say, however, is that although this jelled mix of country and rock makes for a catchy, singalong classic, it is unmatched to the band’s third effort, 1997’s Too Far to Care. An album that, I’ll have you know, I’ve yet to find…

Begin Here, by Mr. Argent

Mr. ArgentFor reasons far beyond my level of feeble comprehension, here is the back (ass-cover) to The Zombies’ 1965 debut, Begin Here. Mind you, this is just a reissue (180 gram, half speed mastering at Abbey Road), but Mr. Rod Argent’s humbling write-up has all the makings for an entry worthy of withstanding the tests of time. Have a read, then a listen (if you’re already in the know). The Zombies : Begin Here

2014 Hillbillies

MuswellIt doesn’t take much for an avid Kinks fan to purchase an album (for the third time), when a bonus disc is involved. If you’re smart, you already own The Kinks’ 1971 masterpiece, Muswell Hillbillies. If you’re late to the game, do yourself a favor and pick up 2014’s remastered double LP with a vinyl pressing of this amazing “bonus disc” chock full of alt takes and BBC session what-have-yous. It’s a great way to experience a classic album with new, stereophonic ears, and that’s all I’m willing to say on the matter.

Let’s Be Honest

GrainThis is a picture of a recent (as of a few years) reissue of Bad Religion’s 1990 staple, Against the Grain. I’m certainly a fan of BR, even though I wouldn’t be the first to admit that once you hear one BR song, you’ve heard every BR song, but I’ve always tended to pass up BR releases every time I ran across one. Not entirely sure why, considering their history amongst my favorite genre, but perhaps BR’s role in my chronological music timeline has yet to come to true fruition. Time will only tell, but in the meantime I’ll simply forgo the spin, and admire Against the Grain for its aesthetic beauty.