Detroit three piece The Stools take the guts of garage rock and pull at them until some of the uglier elements of the genre are the dominant force. Despite its title and despite their location, you shouldn’t expect their 2018 cassette ‘Milk River Blues’ to be overly concerned with drawing from bluesy elements; nor should you approach them thinking that either the legacies of MC5 or The Stooges strongly apply. The Stools are slightly unhinged and are probably best approached with caution.
The members of Across The Burning Sky had been individually active on the death metal scene for some two decades at the time of this album’s release, but have only been a working unit for a very short time. It took just two years from forming to have settled upon a semi-accessible brand of death metal with which they figured would best represent them on their debut LP, ‘The End Is Near’. Although billed as “melodic death metal”, to be honest, this isn’t much more melodic than a lot of twenty first century death metal. The genre has come along leaps and bounds since 1988, so dropping clean lead guitars in between the huge growls and a barrage of pneumatics doesn’t make too much difference, especially if you’re not of an extreme listening persuasion. However, there are times when the appeal of the band’s angry and brutal stylings come across very well – especially when slowing down – so maybe, just maybe, this album will appeal to a certain listening demographic…“melodic” or otherwise.
The UK’s most celebrated reissue label Cherry Red are running a fairly decent Black Friday promotion. It’s easy to sneer about the UK hijacking what was essentially only a US calendar event, but it means that music fans can grab some very cool savings.
For lovers of classic rock and prog – which covers a good proportion of Real Gone’s readership – the sale is decent, with deluxe titles and box sets by Anthony Phillips, Tony Banks and Graham Bonnet available with a hefty discount.
Prog legends Marillion are getting in the holiday spirit. Following the release of their lavish ‘Clutching At Straws’ CD/DVD box set, the band have dug through their stocks and are offering a bunch of great stuff at dirt cheap prices for the Black Friday sales.
Between 2016-2018, Grapefruit Records released three excellent box sets exploring the nooks and crannies of the British psychedelia movement. The three anthologies featured in excess of over two hundred tracks and even included items which even the more devoted psych obsessive hadn’t heard before. Having almost exhausted that particular avenue, the same label’s ‘Come Join My Orchestra: The British Baroque Pop Sound 1967-73′ from November 2018 provides an interesting side-step. In the wake of numbers like The Beatles’ ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and ‘For No One’ and the Stones’ ‘Lady Jane’, baroque pop became in vogue and all manner of artists – obscure or otherwise – turned to applying strings and flutes a-plenty. Not quite straight pop, but never as ostentatious as prog rock would make the orchestra, the seven year stretch bridging the two decades turned up all kinds of treats. While often favouring the singer songwriter over the pop bands, ‘Come Join My Orchestra’ is a great celebration of these sometimes forgotten musical experiments – and with seventy eight tracks ranging from the cult classic to genuinely obscure, there’s a lot here to take in.