February 10, 2012

Today's Hotness: Johnny Foreigner, Old Bricks, Cats And Cats And Cats

Johnny Foreigner
>> We had seen the chatter and innuendo, and we had crossed our little indie rock fingers, and our prayers have now been answered: Birmingham, England-based guitar-pop titans Johnny Foreigner have confirmed that as soon as April Alcopop! Records will issue a double-LP version of the band's shattering, best of 2011 album Vs. Everything. According to this blog post, the original release will fill three LP sides, and side four will contain "all the b-sides from the singles and it'll have fancy BIG art and be generally super impressive." Alcopop! will take pre-orders beginning in March and the first 100 to commit get some not-yet-revealed bonus the very prospect of which fills us with delight. Speaking of March, Johnny Foreigner embarks on that first of that month on a nine-date tour of England; full dates and buy links are posted right here and the trio promises the London and Birmingham dates will rival in scope the epic original Vs. Everything album release shows. This is all awesome news. But wait, there's also a new track to revel in, the outtake "(Small Fraud)," apparently hated by bassist Kelly Southern, but we suppose that's her prerogative. It's one of Johnny Foreigner's bleepy, spoken word constructions, reminiscent of You Thought You Saw A Shooting Star...'s "Elegy For Post-Teenage Living, Part 2" or the "Criminals" b-side "Palace Fires," and we think it's quite lovely. Stream the embed below, and surf around to Saam's place to grab the .wav download, yeh? We reviewed Johnny Foreigner vs. Everything right here in November.

>> From Raleigh, North Carolina comes word of City Lights, the second full-length from Old Bricks. The hypnotic duo, comprised of Stuart Edwards and Andy Holmes, released the set just before the new year on Grip Tapes. City Lights trades in the slow-burning torch songs that one would expect from gentlemen who seem to be able to play anything with detail and patience. The spectral record features that kind of warm, carefully constructed indie rock that can only come about after months of thought on long, humid nights. It's not unlike the beautiful introversion of Austin's She, Sir and their Yens EP of 2010, which we reviewed here. Like the Carolina heat, the music surrounds like a thick blanket, with capo-guitar strums, distant delay sirens, and the dense analog bass presenting a sort of backwoods, organic dream-pop that is best evident on the steady "Gleam." The song, streamable via the embed below, sounds like a more sunburnt Ride, still trying to stomp through one of their classics despite the sting. City Lights is available to purchase right here in a limited edition of 300 LPs and as a digital download; the download comes with a nine-song bonus EP Pretty Black & White. Old Bricks released its debut full-length Farmers in 2009. -- Edward Charlton

>> While we didn't follow the band closely or for long, we are sorry to hear that Cats And Cats And Cats are calling it a day; the charmingly monikered band played one of its final shows tonight in London. Cats And Cats And Cats had been together for seven years and had logged two full-lengths along with a number of EPs, singles and compilation appearances. Tomorrow the band embarks on a final 14-date tour of Europe. Function Records is issuing a tour-support CD titled Catsalogue in a limited edition of 150, which contains 11 Cats favorites selected by the band and carries a download code providing access to additional audio and video. If you can't catch Cats And Cats And Cats in Europe, you can order the collection from Function right here. The quartet first crossed our radar with their cover of "Cut Your Hair," which opened Filthy Little Angel's Pavement tribute comp Show Me A Word That Rhymes With Pavement released in early 2010 that we wrote about here. Cats And Cats And Cats's song "Celebration," from its final LP Motherwhale, was featured in our playlist during New Music Night 1 last June. Godspeed, Cats And Cats And Cats. Take a listen.

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