Road Records Album of the Week

Two Albums of the Week from Dave & Julie this week folks. See their reviews below...

Coconut by Archie Bronson Outfit.

The Archie Bronson Outfit return with their first new album since "Derdang Derdang" from 2006 (also on Domino Records).

The album was recorded in London and Benton Harbour in Michigan with production by Tim Goldsworthy (DFA). This is a truly superb slice of modern psychedelic garage pop/rock from this much under-rated English three piece. The band come across like some updated version of a long lost late sixties psychedelic pop band, full of wah wah laden guitar sounds and all manner of weird sound effects. At its heart is a collection totally infectious rock songs, one or two even bordering on something akin to psychedelic punk funk. the album is just full of short sharp blasts of guitar heavy psyche pop, managing to be both totally retro and highly original at the same time. Try to imagine some totally fuzzed up new wave take on the sounds of the late sixties with a little bit of early punk rock and a hint of bluesy swamp rock thrown in. features ten songs clocking in at 40 minutes, this is probably one of their most direct albums to date. This limited edition version will come with a free bonus dvd featuring videos for every track on the album, most of them made by the band and some by artist friends and collaborators.

Order the album, currently €13.99 from Road Records here.

Not one for doing things in small measures, Joanna Newsom returns with her brand new album, her first since the lush orchestrated epic that was "Ys" in 2006.

This new one is a triple album, one for each year since "Ys" (apparently). The band features "Ys" street band members Ryan Francesconi and Neal Morgan again. It would be fair to say after the lush orchestral washes of the Van Dyke Parks scored last album this album has much more in common with her debut album ("The Milk Eyed Mender). It's very much a stripped down sound again with Newsom playing both piano and harp throughout. It's nice to see her going back to the sounds of the debut album, this one is all about her truly stunning voice again with just the barest of musical accompaniment. It's an album deeply rooted in traditional folk sounds, both English and American with plenty of nods back towards an old english victorian kind of vibe. If you are a novice to this womans overall sound then try to imagine a slightly more rustic sounding Kate Bush playing a harp, if anything Newsom is even more kooky than that. This woman possesses one of the most distinctive voices around at the moment, there is no mistaking who you are listening to right from the first note. As ever it's full of dramatic bursts of strings and piano, there is little else going on musically which really allows you to enjoy the truly wonderful lyrics this woman writes. Her songs are more like miniature short stories, there is nothing simple about the kind of songs this woman writes and that has always been something that makes you come back to her albums all the time.

This is nothing short of beautiful, and believe me it's not short but for such a long album its does seem to pass rather quickly. It's not often you can say this about a triple album but this is nothing short of perfect, just over two hours of pure bliss. The album comes packaged in a rather lavish heavy card box, each cd is individually packaged in a miniature card sleeve inside. There is also an extensive booklet with lyrics for all the tracks.

Order the 3-CD album, currently €18.99 from Road Records here.

*Julie and Dave's Road Records, the amazing independent Dublin record store situated on Fade Street, survived a closing down scare at the end of 2009 but, thankfully, with the help of alot of friends, music-lovers and local musicians the shop is now over the worst of it.

One idea that has helped the lads through these times is a very simple one. An album of the month subscription. Basically the customer pays a membership fee and Road Records post out their album of the month every month.

Check it out here.