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Last Call | Eight Great Albums To Check Out Before It’s Too Late

Get up to speed on discs from Daniel Donato, Dying Trades, Era Bleak & more.

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Like every Friday from now until the end of time, tomorrow brings another onslaught of new albums, new songs and new artists to sample and savour. Unfortunately, that also means that countless worthy releases from last week will inevitably get lost in the shuffle. With that in mind, here are eight albums to check out before it’s too late. You’ve got everything from indie-rock and instrumental thrash to freewheeling jazz and rootsy guitar heroics. Get ’em while they’re still hot.

 


Brandon Seabrook Trio
Exultations

THE PRESS RELEASE:Brandon Seabrook is a guitarist, banjoist, and composer living in New York City where he has established himself as one of the most unique and volatile guitarists of his generation. He has also made a name for himself as a powerful banjo innovator. His work focuses on the juxtaposition of fragmented soundscapes, angular composition, and a massive dynamic range that can change in a nanosecond. He has released seven albums as a leader covering everything from pulverizing art-metal to chamber jazz. His latest release Exultations features living legends Gerald Cleaver on drums and Cooper-Moore on diddley bow.”


Daniel Donato
A Young Man’s Country

THE PRESS RELEASE:A Young Man’s Country, the debut album from 25-year-old Nashville guitar ace, songwriter and vocalist Daniel Donato, serves as an introduction to a gifted, young artist who merges his extraordinary guitar chops with traditional outlaw country, Americana and Grateful Dead influences to bring his brand of cosmic country into the 21st century. A Young Man’s Country features eight original songs and three covers that offer a glimpse into the barely tapped potential of Daniel Donato. His renditions of Waylon JenningsAin’t Living Long Line This, The Dead’s Fire On The Mountain and John Prine’s Angel From Montgomery (recorded before his passing) find Donato as a distinctive interpreter. His own songs, such as album opener Justice, the infectious Always Been A Lover and the epic rocker Meet Me In Dallas showcase the promise of an ambitious young artist with no ceiling in sight.”


Dying Trades
Fantasia In Orange

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Members of Ex-Gods, The Fucking Eagles, Gold Teeth, Blind Guides, Assertion. Trucking in Noise Rock, Post-Hardcore, Punk, Anxiety Sludge, yada yada yada…buncha noisy, heavy stuff from the City of Density. Officially over it.”


Double Grave
Goodbye, Nowhere!

THE PRESS RELEASE:Double Grave is a band from Minnesota. Not that heavy but kinda loud. (Goodbye, Nowhere! was) performed and recorded at home by the band over the first half of 2019 (by) Jeremy – guitars, vocals, songwriting, Seth – drums, engineering, mixing, Bree – bass, artwork.”


Ellis/Munk Ensemble
San Diego Sessions

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Denmark’s Jonas Munk (Causa Sui) joins forces with San Diego native Brian Ellis (who’s not only a prime mover in the psychedelic scene, but has also been active in California’s jazz and funk circuits for several years), and an assemblage of prime musicians from the area, including members of Astra, Psicomagia, Monarch, Radio Moscow and Sacri Monti. The result is an intoxicating brew that’s hard to put a label on. Fueled by the furious drumming of Paul Marrone, and led by Munk’s fuzzy lead guitar and the multicolored keys of Brian Ellis, there’s an unmoored, floating quality to the music the large ensemble was creating at these sessions. It’s the kind of record you can put on and just let it wash over you. The closest references would be Miles Davis circa Bitches Brew, Hendrix at Woodstock, or perhaps Can at their most blazing and levitational. The music flows like an electric river of vintage keys, percussion and fuzz guitars. And it’s glowing with life. Vinyl comes in gatefold sleeve with art by Alan Forbes and liner notes by Munk. For fans of Causa Sui, Earthless and Psicomagia, this set is not to be missed!”


Era Bleak
Era Bleak

THE PRESS RELEASE: “As manifestos go, it’s difficult to argue with a statement as darkly straightforward as: ‘Things get shittier every week / No hope for the future in this era bleak’. That’s from the opening verse to Era Bleak’s theme song, which also happens to open up their debut album — it’s as accurate a summary of 2020 as you’re likely to find, made all the more emphatic by a frantic spasm of nervy guitar jerks and a 100mph rhythm section that knows the best way to get you there. Whether you’re looking for a soundtrack or antidote to — or even simply a distraction from — the horrors of the age, this record has most assuredly got your back. Comprising members of Dark/Light, Piss Test and other punk/post-punk outfits who really should be filling out your record shelves right now, Era Bleak are one of those bands where every ingredient is key. If you really wanted to, you could draw comparisons with present-day heroes like Nots, Nylex or White Lung, but this Portland, Oregon quartet are comfortably and confidently ploughing their own furrow, pulling as many tricks from 1980s hardcore as they do from the awkward crunch of the weirdos who defined the Ron Johnson label. It’s a helluva racket, and it’ll make you feel like dancing drunk at a foam party inside a vat of toxic waste. (For clarity, OF FUCKING COURSE that’s a good thing).”


Fermentor
Continuance

THE PRESS RELEASE:Fermentor is a San Diego-based two-piece instrumental metal band formed in 2008 by drummer Dylan Marks (Eukaryst, Beekeeper) and guitarist Adam Wollach (Beekeeper, TrashAxis). From its perch between death and thrash, Fermentor twists and breaks metal conventions for a fresh take on the genre. Fermentor has steadily been releasing EPs over the past 10 years. Their first full-length Continuance sees the duo pushing their abilities to their limits, resulting in a punishing and intoxicating blend of metal.”


The Lucky Losers
Godless Land

THE PRESS RELEASE: “San Francisco’s finest male/female fronted band, The Lucky Losers, release their much-anticipated fourth album, Godless Land. and continue their winning streak with acclaimed producer/engineer and multi-instrumentalist Kid Andersen. After having won Best Blues-Soul Artist Indepent Music Award in 2019 for their previous album Blind Spot, vocal duo Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz (backed by an all-star band) take you on a sumptuous musical journey through the bawdy, jazzy blues of the late 1920s, the jump swing era of the late ’50s, Chicago and Tin Pan Alley music of the ’60s, and finally, the sweet R&B/soul of the early ’70s. Berkowitz’s bright tenor voice and big, rich sounding harp punctuates Lemons’ haunting vocals, while serpentine guitar lines, funky organ, and wah-wah riffs bring each song to life. Of its 12 tracks, nine are originals (six by Lemons, and three by Berkowitz and collaborator Danny Caron) and three are rare gems made for the vocal duet. There is a bewitching balance between Berkowitz’s seductive, introspective songwriting and Lemons’ stark, revelatory commentary on today’s challenging times.”