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Vinyl

Vinyl love: The Charlatans “A head full of ideas”

(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 Charlatans
Album Title: A head full of ideas
Year released: 2021
Details: Limited edition, indies only opaque white vinyl, 3 x LP, includes “Live _ Trust is for believers”, and signed art print

The skinny: One of my favourite bands for most of my life, The Charlatans (or The Charlatans UK in North America), were all set to celebrate their 30th anniversary last year. Of course, COVID derailed that, just as it did everything. Instead, the group announced plans to celebrate their 31st anniversary earlier this year, including a tour in their native England and a career spanning compilation. Of course, I jumped right on the pre-order for this white opaque, three disc version and it just arrived in the mail a few days ago. The first disc glosses over the highlights of their heyday in the 1990s. The second disc collects everything that has come from this surviving and thriving group since the turn of the century. And the bonus disc includes live cuts of tracks that haven’t appeared on the first two, recorded at a number of different shows throughout their whole existence. It’s a great collection that illustrates the group’s resiliency and chameleonic evolution, a nice trip down memory lane, and well, the autographed photo insert is just a nice touch.

Standout track: “The only one I know”

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Vinyl

Vinyl love: The Rural Alberta Advantage “The wild”

(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 Rural Alberta Advantage
Album Title: The wild
Year released: 2017
Details: Yellow vinyl, limited to 200, signed by the band, OBI strip

The skinny: So this impromptu mini-series showcasing the vinyl releases of Toronto-based indie folk rock trio, The Rural Alberta Advantage, comes to an end at four posts (so far). In 2016, it was announced that founding member Amy Cole was replaced by Robin Hatch and the group immediately went on the road to tour new material. “The wild” is the result of these road-tested tunes and though you can hear more polish, with Nils Edenloff’s raucous strumming and hollering and Paul Banwatt’s ever present drum-pounding, these ten tracks are no less ‘wild’ than the band’s previous work. I admit that I was a bit apprehensive at the personnel change but found that Hatch was a worthy replacement when I heard advance singles on YouTube so I jumped all over this second pressing by Paper Bag Records. As usual, the Canadian label’s packaging is fun, complete with an OBI strip, a signed cover, and a pretty yellow disc. (As a post-script: It’s been four years since this album was released, Amy Cole has returned to the group, and given the activity on social media, I expect I’ll have to add a fifth instalment to this series at some date in the not-too-distant future.)

Standout track: “White lights”

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: The Rural Alberta Advantage “Mended with gold”

(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 Rural Alberta Advantage
Album Title: Mended with gold
Year released: 2014
Details: Black vinyl with gold flecked splatter, limited to 300

The skinny: Without planning it, I kind of started a mini-series on one of my favourite Canadian indie rock bands, The Rural Alberta Advantage. Over the last two weekends, I have given their first two records, “Hometowns” and “Departing”, the Vinyl Love treatment, mostly because I was in a mood to listen to them, but now that I’ve started, I might as well go the whole way. The Toronto-based trio released their third record on Paper Bag Records in 2011. I somehow missed out on pre-ordering the first pressing in black and gold striped vinyl that was limited to 300 units. Yeah, that one sold out super quick but I managed to get in on the second run, this one also limited to 300 and pressed to what looks at first glance as plain black vinyl, but if you look real close, you catch the glints of flecked gold streaks. And much like the first two, I fell for music on “Mended with gold”, pretty much on first listen. The production on this one is amped right up, giving the trio a real rocking sound, especially showcasing the spellbinding drumming of Paul Banwatt, whose work has always put this band in a class of its own in the indie folk realm.

Standout track: “Terrified”