Monday, August 03, 2020

New Music: Psychedelic Furs, Deep Purple, Blue Öyster Cult, the Go-Go's

Several of rock's groundbreaking artists have new and forthcoming releases available. There are essential new full-length studio efforts from the Psychedelic Furs and Deep Purple, as well as a multi-format concert title from New York-spawned rockers Blue Öyster Cult. Also worth celebrating is a new Showtime documentary and inspired single from Los Angeles' the Go-Go's.

Artist: The Psychedelic Furs
Title: Made of Rain (Cooking Vinyl)
You might like if you enjoy: The Psychedelic Furs, The Church
Tell me more: With the release of their eighth studio album Made of Rain  their first new album since 1991  the Psychedelic Furs remind the world why the band remains one of the elite modern rock heroes to have emerged in the early 1980s.  The London-spawned troupe's 12-song set is brilliant; this is a masterwork filled with cascading rockers, heaven-sent dream fields and golden sonic blasts that burst without faltering into hapless noisescapes. Singer-songwriter Richard Butler and his brother bassist Tim Butler, saxophonist Mars Williams, drummer Paul Garisto, keyboardist Amanda Kramer and guitarist Rich Good have an otherworldly ability to connect amidst the luxurious wall of sound, that approach aided by the stellar co-production of Richard Fortus (formerly of Richard and Tim Butler's mid-1990s band Love Spit Love, and a current member of Guns N' Roses). But a cool sound, top-tier musicianship and great production wouldn't mean much without great songs; thankfully fantastic tracks fill Made of Rain. The riveting "The Boy That Invented Rock & Roll," surging "Don't Believe," hypnotic "Wrong Train" and poignant "Ash Wednesday" help lead the charge on the first half of the LP. The decidedly raucous "Come All Ye Faithful," yearning rocker "No-One," tranquil "Tiny Hands" and disc ending arc of the ambitious "Stars" are among the standout on the last half of the LP. Information:

Artist: Deep Purple
Title: Whoosh! (earMusic / Edel)
You might like if you enjoy: Deep Purple, Rainbow
Tell me more: Coming Friday, Aug. 7, Deep Purple's forthcoming Whoosh! marks the 21st studio album from the hard-rocking British legends. Those wondering if the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have lost a step need not fear. Part of the so-called "unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal" (along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath), Deep Purple continues to defy the ages on its latest full-length release. It's remarkable to hear how forceful and compelling the outfit's timeless approach sounds in 2020; the 13-track album kicks off with the majestic "Throw My Bones," a great melodic rock rock track bolstered by Ian Gillan's signature vocals and Steve Morse's astonishing guitar work. The magic doesn't end there; Deep Purple (whose lineup also includes founding drummer Ian Paice, bassist Roger Glover and keyboardist Don Airey) thrill with songs that earn a place alongside bona fide band classics like "Highway Star," "Perfect Strangers" and "Knockin' at Your Back Door." The rocker "Drop the Weapon" is an assertive call for at-risk teens to step away from the dangers of crime in the big city  adorned with prog rock-worthy musicianship, lush vocals and an artfully plaintive ending. The probing "Nothing At All" is a true baroque rocker, with super enveloping vocal layers that lift the lofty choruses and buoyant keyboards. Another stellar original is the "The Power of the Moon," which blends goth rock stylings in the verses that perfectly offsets the more positive pull of the instrumental breaks and dynamic choruses. Listening to the album it's obvious the band  working for the third time with producer Bob Ezrin  continues to follow its rightful path to propel its sound to new depths. The striving "Long Way Round," purposeful "Man Alive" and apt album closer "Dancing In My Sleep" reflect that adventuresome wide ranging spirit. Elsewhere the quintet delivers winning straightforward rockers, notably "No Need To Shout," the old time rock 'n' roll-flavored "What the What" and blistering blues-tinged instrumental "And The Address." Whoosh! is another must-hear album from one of rock's enduring great bands. Information:

Artist: Blue Öyster Cult
Title: 45th Anniversary - Live in London (Frontiers Music)
You might like if you enjoy: Blue Öyster Cult, Deep Purple
Tell me more: In 2017, legendary rockers Blue Öyster Cult celebrated their 45th anniversary with a tour that took them throughout Europe and the U.K. One of the obvious highlights of the trek was the band's performance of all 10 tracks from their 1972 Columbia Records debut album in celebration of its 45th anniversary, a show at indigo at The O2 in London, England staged in June 2017. The band performed energetic and powerful takes on its early material, including a flawless take on the progressive rock opener "Transmaniacon MC," the lofty "Then Came The Last Days of May" (featuring spectacular lead guitar solos from Buck Dharma and Richie Castellano), genre-bending "Screams" and country-meets-blues rock "Redeemed." In addition to performing the tracks off their debut at that event, other classics from the band were delivered including the instrumental showcase "Buck's Boogie," energetic crowd-pleasing "Godzilla" and exhilarating "(Don't Fear) The Reaper." The full show was recorded and videotaped in 4K UHD. Live in London is available via CD+DVD, a 2LP vinyl version and via Blu-ray. The release looks and sounds amazing. Information:

Artist: The Go-Go's
Title: Club Zero (UMe)
You might like if you enjoy: Music documentaries, the Go-Go's, the Bangles
Tell me more: On July 31, Showtime premiered the outstanding new Alison Ellwood-directed documentary "The Go-Go's," a revealing and entertaining look at the groundbreaking Los Angeles group that has the notable distinction of being the first and only all-female band to write their own songs and play their own instruments on a #1 album (1981's Beauty And The Beat). A bonus watching the members of the seminal band talk about their music and historic rise in the '80s is the new Go-Go's single "Club Zero," their first new recording in nearly 20 years. The infectious power pop-mining melodic track is worthy of the legacy of the band  singer Belinda Carlisle, guitarist Jane Wiedlin, guitarist Charlotte Caffey, bassist Kathy Valentine and drummer Gina Schock to be sure. Information:

Editor's Note: For an in-depth review of the new documentary "The Go-Go's," check out writer Lizzie Manno's piece in Paste. Her review is mostly accurate, although she doesn't appear to know that the members of the Monkees were recruited to play a band for a TV show, and on their own decided to actually pursue a real-life effort to embark on a music career outside of Hollywood. You can read her article here.

Robert Kinsler


Brian Hazard said...

Several blasts from the past here! What a time we're living in.

Unknown said...

Agreed! What's old is new again!

newwavegeo said...

The new Psych Furs album is one of my favorites of the year so far.