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Vinyl

Vinyl love: Middle Kids “Today we’re the greatest”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Middle Kids
Album Title: Today we’re the greatest
Year released: 2021
Details: Limited edition, tangerine vinyl

The skinny: Just over a week ago, I counted down my top ten favourite albums from 2021. This last year’s list was full of surprises for me but I still managed to procure many of these records for my collection before they flew off the shelves so I plan on featuring these purchases for my Vinyl Love series over the next little while. I’m starting off with the number ten album but won’t necessarily stick to the ranked order. Australia’s Middle Kids put out a very excellent sophomore release in March of last year. I had loved their debut but wasn’t expecting to be as blown away by this one. Still, I pre-ordered a copy of the ‘indie only’ tangerine pressing from one of my favourite independent record stores and was pleasantly surprised. “Today we’re the greatest” isn’t as immediate a rocker as “Lost friends” but it still has anthemic written all over it.

Standout track: “Today we’re the greatest”

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: The Rentals “Q36”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: The Rentals
Album Title: Q36
Year released: 2020
Year reissued: 2021
Details: Limited edition run of 500, reissue, 2 x LP

The skinny: The Rentals’ fourth album, “Q36”, took me by surprise and managed to come in at number six on my Best albums of 2020 list. Funny thing is, if I had to redo the same list, this album would probably land even higher on it. I had previously known about the Matt Sharp (ex-bassist of Weezer) fronted band from their ubiquitous 90s alt-rock hit “Friends of P.” and then, much later on, I had become fascinated with their third album, 2014’s “Lost in Alphaville”. However, the self-produced concept double album, “Q36”, really captured my imagination and my heart with its retro futuristic, David Bowie glam rock verve and splendour. The problem for me was that I came very late to party and the original run of 500, pressed to translucent gold vinyl, sold out well in advance of its oft-delayed release date last year. When that original run was finally mailed out, Matt Sharp took to social media vowing that a second, regular black vinyl run would be forthcoming. However, what with the much publicized vinyl production delays, it took almost a full year for him to make good on his promise. Of course, I was right on it and am super happy with my purchase. It sounds amazing.

Standout track: “Conspiracy”

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Vinyl

Vinyl love: Happy Mondays “Pills ‘n’ thrills and bellyaches”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Happy Mondays
Album Title: Pills ‘n’ thrills and bellyaches
Year released: 1990
Year reissued: 2015
Details: 25th anniversary, reissue, 180 gram, yellow, RSD exclusive

The skinny: A few weeks ago, I shared photos of my translucent yellow, 20th anniversary copy of Coldplay’s debut album, “Parachutes”. For this edition of ‘Vinyl Love’, I decided to keep with the same colour scheme and another anniversary edition, of yet another classic alternative rock album. Picked up on Record Store Day 2015, this Rhino Vinyl reissue of Happy Mondays’ seminal third album wasn’t even on my radar when I ventured into one of my favourite independent shops that day. Indeed, I didn’t even know it was on the list of releases ahead of time but when I saw it on the shelf, the snap decision was made. And it’s one for which I’ve been thankful I’ve made ever since. Not only is the 180 gram slab of yellow vinyl quite pretty and the original album art as confusing and as arresting as ever, but the sound is amazing. “Pills ‘n’ thrills and bellyaches” is one of the greatest examples of what made Madchester so much fun: a swirling conundrum of punk DIY, druggy psychedelics, and dance floor ready beats. “You’re twistin’ my melon, man!”

Standout track: “Step on”