Posts Tagged ‘Temporary Residence’

This record was released to much fanfare and, sadly, mixed reviews a couple of months back by Temporary Residence.  I must admit I don’t absolutely love this record either, but one thing we can all agree on is the exquisite, lavish artwork and packaging for the vinyl version — ‘A Super Deluxe 2 x LP featuring stunning quadruple gatefold packaging with a massive fold-out poster, postcard, vinyl etching & free mp3 download.  See for yourself in the pics below

Four years is a long time to wait for a new EITS album, and we’ve pulled out all the stops to make it as worth the wait as possible. Aside from being a strong contender for their best album, it’s packaged in the most outrageously deluxe artwork we’ve dared since the Eluvium box set. Housed (literally, it’s a house) in a 10-panel quadruple gatefold cardboard jacket, with an enormous 18-panel full-color double-sided poster, and a full-color double-sided postcard – then all of that is tucked neatly inside of a full-color double-sided slipcase! The CD and vinyl versions are packaged identically, only differing in size. Both CD and vinyl come in THREE different artwork variants – the interiors of artwork are different colors. While supplies last, there are 3 different colored vinyl variants that match the corresponding colors of artwork. There’s also a killer engraving on Side D. Words can’t express how over-the-top beautiful this thing is, so soon enough we’ll have to make a video to show everybody. Trust us, it’s bananas.


Check these pictures out to see for yourself



I’ve been enjoying the latest Young Widows record ‘In And Out Of Youth And Lightness’  quite a bit recently.  It was another that received regular rotation while I was on holiday.  Signed to Temporary Residence, in good company with the likes of Grails and Explosions in the Sky, this Kentucky three-piece are sure to find their way onto plenty of end of year lists come December, with their blistering  new LP  There are hints of Grandfather especially in the thundering basslines that anchors several of their compositions, but I also detect notes of Grinderman and Apse in a sound that’s firmly rooted in Post-Hardcore aesthetics, think Jawbox or a less abrasive The Jesus Lizard.

‘Future Hearts’.mp3

‘If music was a lady, we would fuck anything that moves’, so says Grails founding member Emil Amos in a recent interview. And he’s not wrong, despite the crude sentiments of that statement, he certainly has a point; these guys are not only keen students of strange music, they’re top of the class. Indeed, this Portland quartet are one of those rare breeds of bands that effortlessly progresses in tandem with each release from their discography, without deriding from the quality of their output.  From the smouldering blues-rock of ‘Black Tar Prophecies’ series to devastating acid-drenched sounds of 2008’s ‘Doomsdayer’s Holiday’, Grails are a band that like to keep us on our toes.

‘Deep Politics’ finds the quartet in their finest form yet, a multi-layered, eclectic affair where the band explore occult culture and a history of film music, mining and cultivating a landscape of weird musical colours and textures, while dabbling in cut and paste techniques frequently used by hip-hop producers. This is most evident on the haunting, electronic psychedelia of ‘Corridors of Power’ where fragments of sound clips wave their way through meditative middle eastern instrumentation and razor sharp beats.  There’s also certainly something cinematic in the spaghetti western stylings of ‘All the Colours of the Dark’ too, which closes in on a sun-bursting melody reminiscent of ‘Apache’.

The piano-led title track is another joy to behold, arguably the band’s most poignant, if not beautiful, moment, where the ivory notes mingle with distant guitar wails, not too far South of a certain Pink Floyd, before being swallowed by heart-breaking orchestration that soars when you need it to most.  From there we’re treated to the epic and bucolic ‘Almost Grew My Hair’ which could have worked excellently with the exciting parts of video game ‘Red Dead Redemption’, given its dusty riffs, rustic vocal howls and flourishing percussion. ‘I Led Three Lives’ follows kicking off with a pulsing drone that wouldn’t be out-of-place on an early Tangerine Dream record, before veering off into another tangent via some superbly executed acid-rock riffs and more mournful string arrangements.

Which leaves the acoustic-led ‘Deep Snow’ to round off this career-best album from Grails, with the band again choosing a psychedelic route.  It’s a path that suits them very well and it’s easy to see why magazines such as Rock-A-Rolla are only too happy to bestow ‘modern day Pink Floyd’ accolades upon them.  A superb and engaging album from start to finish.  An LP that, for me at least, will take some beating for 2011’s album of the year.

Order Deep Politics

Deep Politics was conceived during the lengthiest gestation period between Grails albums, and reflects a deeper, more educated level of concentration. In their ongoing exploration of occult/fringe culture and the rich history of film music, they have cultivated a unique environment that inspires both an eternal sense of longing and an indelible sense of dread. Produced by the band, as always, the most immediately noticeable advances are the lush string arrangements (courtesy of acclaimed composer Timba Harris) and increasing use of the same kind of fetishistic cut-and-paste production techniques that made producers like RZA and MF Doom hip-hop legends. It’s a seemingly unlikely twist to the Grails aesthetic, but not unusual given the size of the pot in which they’ve stirred just about every genre imaginable. Through tireless exploration and awe-inspiring execution, Grails have found their true calling as purveyors of a new kind of library music, to be discovered by future generations of crate diggers and curious forward-thinkers.


Reviews of Explosions in the Sky’s 6th LP (if you count ‘The Rescue’) have been wildly fluctuating.  The Skinny has this record pegged as a career-defining best, while The Organ claims that it’s an album that they will ‘probably never ever have the urge to ever go back to it when there’s so many other things we could pull down from the shelf and partake of’.  Drowned In Sound have chimed in too, inexplicably comparing it to strawberry ice cream, or something equally as stupid.

To be fair, the accompanying press notes don’t do any favours either mentioning body pecrussion and Japanese singing bowls, while claiming that the band have taken giant creative leaps with this record.  Which is quite ironic, given the fact Explosions have backed themselves into a corner with their inherently pretty, but one-dimensional instrumental sound, over the course of their career.  On ‘Take Care…’ this Texan quartet has, at least, come out fighting and are taking chances, rather than rehashing older ideas — which I found to be a problem on their last LP ‘All of a Sudden, I Miss Everyone’.

‘Trembling Hands’ (available for free download) is their attempt at some sort of commercial single and it works for the most part, with its fast-paced staccato percussion, obscured but infectious vocals and driving guitars,  it’s certainly different from what’s gone on before.  ‘Be Comfortable, Creature’ is also alive with new ideas, with the band purposefully taking their time and letting the song breathe amidst some gorgeous guitar interplay between Munaf Rayani and Michael James.  ‘Human Qualities’, though, errs on the side of caution, sticking a lot more closely to their tried and tested sound, but adds some haunting, muted chants and electronics amongst the beautiful guitar parts and pitter-patter drums, before wasting such progress with one of those tiresome crescendo’s so typical of the instrumental music scene.  Likewise, closing number ‘Let Me Back In’ shows off some progressive moves and more excellent guitar work  before hitting yet another cul-de-sac of tired quiet/loud dynamics.

If  ‘Take Care… is your ‘ first time experiencing Explosions in the Sky, I would imagine this would be quite wonderful, but if you’ve grown up with them particularly during their classic ‘Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever’ and ‘The Earth Is Not A Cold Place’ periods, then this won’t sound all that much different.  It’s pleasing to see them taking chances, but that ‘giant creative leaps’ statement proves to be a false dawn, this is more a step in the right direction.

As a side note, the vinyl edition of ‘Take Care, Take Care, Take Care’ features some of the most fantastic packaging ideas I have yet come across. Order it here