Vinyl love: The Exbats “Kicks, hits, and fits”

(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 Exbats
Album Title: Kicks, hits, and fits
Year released: 2020
Details: standard black vinyl

The skinny: Like the subject of last week’s ‘Vinyl love’ post, this record is an album that finished just outside of my top ten favourite 2020 albums list*. There aren’t many photos in this gallery, given that the release is pretty bare bones, but it’s still pretty special in that it’s the first studio album the band has pressed to vinyl. Its simple aesthetic also falls in line with The Exbats’ no-nonsense sound. The trio, led by Inez McLain (drums/vocals) and her father Ken (guitars), flip between garage rock and punk, all brightened by 60’s sunshine/bubblegum pop, name-checking The Rolling Stones, The Ramones, The Stooges, and The Monkees.”Kicks, hits, and fits” is angry and fun at the same time. Yeah, The Exbats might just be a band worth watching out for.

Standout track: “I got the hots for Charlie Watts”

*I am still putting the finishing touches on said list in the hopes of beginning its roll-out in just under one week’s time.

Vinyl love: Gateway Drugs “PSA”

(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: Gateway Drugs
Album Title: PSA
Year released: 2020
Details: standard black vinyl, booklet included

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The skinny: In a couple of weeks time, I plan to start counting down my favourite albums of 2020 and though I am still finalizing things up – crossing my Ts and dotting my Is – I know that there are a couple of albums that are definitely going to finish up just outside of my top ten that still bear special mention. And you guessed it, this might be one of them. In my opinion, it’s a travesty that Gateway Drugs’ sophomore album, “PSA”, aren’t likely to be on too many radars. I first met up with these indie rockers when I saw them open up for Swervedriver back in 2015 and was completely taken in by their sleek and sexy and pure rock and roll performance. The quartet is three siblings, Noa (guitar), Liv (bass), and Gabe (drums) Niles*, all of whom share and trade vocal duties between them, and a second guitarist in Blues Williams. This sophomore record picks up where the debut, “Magick spells”, left off, playing dirty poker for their very souls at the same table as Jesus and Mary Chain and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Here, they’ve upped the ante, though, handing over the production to The Ravonettes’ Sune Rose Wagner. This pressing is bare bones black with a pretty sweet mini-booklet included but the sound is built for your best noise cancelling earphones.

Standout track: “Wait (medication)”

*They may be tired of us mentioning it by now but the father of these three siblings is Prescott Niles, bassist of The Knack. Rock and roll might just be second nature here.

Vinyl love: The Tallest Man on Earth “I love you. It’s a fever dream.”

(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 Tallest Man on Earth
Album Title: I love you. It’s a fever dream.
Year released: 2019
Details: Limited edition, Green translucent, Gatefold

The skinny: Much like Piroshka’s “Brickbat”, an album I posted for this series just over a week ago, The Tallest Man on Earth’s latest didn’t quite make my top ten favourite albums when I finalized my list but it bore mentioning nonetheless and I snuck it in the banner photo at the top of that introductory post. Funny thing about this record, though, is that its purchase was almost by accident. Indeed, I was at one of my local record shops just before this year’s Bluesfest, looking for the latest album by Colter Wall, so that I could properly prepare for his set at the festival, and I saw this copy of “I love you. It’s a fever dream.” sitting on the shelf. I had almost forgotten that the Swedish indie folk singer/songwriter was releasing his fifth album this year but when I saw it, I remembered his own set at Bluesfest from a few years before and knew I had to buy it. It’s plenty more excellently written tunes, sown from much the same plot as his previous two albums, but the sound just never seems to get old. And just check out that colour! It reminds of the old glow-in-the-dark frisbees, so much cool that I had to post an extra photo of it.

Standout track: “What I’ve been kicking around”