Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Modern Vinyl Review - The Bothers EP

The Bothers not afraid to embrace their rockabilly inspirations

When modern day rock entities are highlighted for their utilization of country and its related genres, a majority of listeners will now (and unfortunately) relate such comparisons to the Mumford & Sons or Of Monsters and Men brand of radio popularity. And while the material produced by such groups isn’t necessarily bad — a bit boring perhaps — there are others who are using these influences in ways that don’t just add a banjo to the proceedings. Take New York City-based The Bothers as an example. In their debut and self-titled EP, the 4-piece — based in the rockabilly traditions of the legendary Johnny Horton and the more recent Stray Cats — present an aggressive blend of genres, constructed for the beer soaked atmosphere of a barn dance, yet accessible to all fans of rock. More importantly, instead of cherrypicking aspects of their primary influences to cater to what’s commercially popular, The Bothers fully embrace the genres they love, such as the previously mentioned rockabilly, along with bluegrass and elements of jazz.
The EP begins with “Witchdoctor Woes,” a track that prides itself on being that aggressive brand of rockabilly. The raspy lead vocals of frontman Sean McNally are an immediate standout, the emotion pouring from his voice with every slight inflection left in through the production process. We’re not looking at an overcooked and perfect vocal performance here. Instead, with lines like ”I fix you real good/I’ll tune you up until you’re gone,” we receive a much more passionate rendition of the lyrical content. A series of hand claps add a bit of that “down home feeling” to the final chorus, while elements of psychedelic rock infiltrate the guitar work by McNally and Keith Cayea throughout the bridge. “Loose Lush” follows, dropping the frantic pace, instead driven by the bass line laid down by J.D. Fetcho. McNally sings the lines, “I want to take you home/Thought I made that clear/You better take your shot/Let’s make it out of here,” helping to present a darker, more sensual version of your standard “Get Lucky,” one-night-stand type of track.
The final song, titled “Dragonfly,” also serves as the EP’s standout, as it’s an instrumental marvel, with great guitar work on display from McNally and Cayea, along with a steady rhythm from Ben Heymann behind the kit. A track that again embraces those rockabilly roots, the frenetic picks of the guitar strings help the band build up to an excellent hook, with McNally singing, “She was my dragonfly/Oh my sweet dragonfly/She left me high and dry.” And instead of attempting to place it within several genres, the best way to describe the song would be that it’s a great rock n’ roll tune, plain and simple.
Sound Quality: Is there a way in which less than perfect sound quality can actually improve your listening experience? It could be true in this pressing, because despite a noticeable layer of “fuzz” or surface noise — not present in the digital version — the vintage sound actually meshes quite well with the band’s attitude and aim. I would have liked a bit more depth to the pressing, as a track like “Loose Lush” lost that bottom layer of bass, but I’m being pulled toward my emotional side with this one. It’s not very dynamic, but it’s a fun spin, despite its imperfections.
Packaging: The record is packaged in a standard 7″ jacket, along with a white inner sleeve. The art is minimalistic, but the individual photos of each band member are a nice touch on the back cover. Collective Confusion has also hand-numbered each copy. The red variant (described further in the “Extras” section) matches up well with the front cover title graphic. The only downfall comes with the lack of a lyric insert.
Extras: The record includes a digital download, which not only features the EP material, but also a series of live tracks from a May 2013 performance from the band. Showing off a frantic, energetic stage experience, the live cuts include one original, along with Johnny Horton and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins covers. Most of all, an instrumental precision is on full display, which really gives you an appreciation of what the group is capable of. Collective Confusion produced two variants for the release, with the red vinyl limited to 100 copies and the black variant limited to 200 copies.
Summary: The debut EP from The Bothers finds a group unwilling to compromise their exciting vision, with the genres of rockabilly and bluegrass given an aggressive, modern-day touch. While only three tracks, the material is enough to give fans a reason to return in the future. Collective Confusion has continued their string of strong releases, as the highlight of their vinyl pressing is an expanded digital download, featuring three live tracks.
Make Sure To Spin: “Dragonfly”
You can still pick up the record through Collective Confusion’s webstore.
(Thanks to Modern Vinyl for the kind words. Read the article here and be sure to check out Modern Vinyl for all of your vinyl news!)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Call To Arms: A Benefit For Sandy Relief is NOW AVAILABLE!

Collective Confusion Records is extremely proud to announce the official release of Call To Arms: A Benefit For Sandy Relief. The eighth release in Collective Confusion’s growing catalog, this compilation is filled with tracks donated by some of Collective Confusion’s friends and favorite independent artists and bands, including John Nolan, Geoff Rickly, and Miracle of ’86. 100% of the proceeds will go to Occupy Sandy, and NY/NJ based organization dedicated to rebuilding the communities hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy last October.

This digital-only compilation is comprised of mostly new, rare and previously unreleased material. Call To Arms is an eclectic mix of rock, indie, acoustic, pop and folk songs. Head to the Collective Confusion Records Bandcamp to make your $4 minimum donation and to receive your digital download.

1.   Miracle of ’86 – We Keep You Honest (2003 Demo)*
2. The Bothers – Beverly (Live At Arlene’s)*
3. The Motel Life – Alva (Acoustic)
4. The Ugly Club - All I Have To Do Is Dream (Cover)*
5. Les Vinyl - Excavate
6. Geoff Rickly - New Sympathies
7. John Nolan - I Don't Believe You (Demo)*
8. Brendan Rivera - See You Around*
9. The Republic Of Wolves - Turning Lane (Acoustic)*
10. It Ain't Easy - Workingman
11. Adam Rubenstein - Torch*
12. Tyler Bernhardt - Foreign Sweetheart
13. Cyrus - Traces* 
Bonus Tracks:
14. John Nolan - It Takes A Long Time (Demo)*
15. Cyrus - Reach
16. The Bothers - Greenback Dollar Blues*

*Previously Unreleased

A Special Thanks goes out to Dan Greer of dg.artistics for putting together the amazing artwork.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Bothers EP (CCR-007) Available 4/19!

Hey everybody,
After months of preparation and work, The Bothers EP is finally all ready to go! These will be hand-numbered, limited to 300 copies, with the first 100 on red vinyl. Each copy will come with a digital download of the EP along with a variety of bonus tracks, including a few covers.

It's going to cost $5.

Side A:
Witch Doctor Woes
Loose Lush

Side B:

These are now up in our webstore, but won't be available to order until this Friday, April 19th, at 3 PM.   You can hear the whole EP right here.

Also, you can hear The Bothers' blistering cover of Bob Dylan's "Tombstone Blues" right below this sentence.

Make sure you guys grab a copy along with all of our Record Store Day deals!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cassino - Kingprince Repress Now On Sale!

Hey guys!

As I'm sure most of you know, our repress of Kingprince is finally on sale and shipping now!

First of all let me thank all of you who placed an order already this week - the response has been overwhelming, and we really appreciate it. It has been so overwhelming, in fact, that I totally forgot to update this blog to tell you it was on sale.  So here is that update.

We currently are extremely low on all three variants, so if you're on the fence about placing an order, do it now!

The "Cream" variant is SOLD OUT at this point - a few more copies should be available in the coming weeks, so be on the lookout!

You can still pick up the Black and Green variant in our webstore. Scroll down to see some pictures of each variant.

WANT YOUR COPY FOR FREE? Go onto our Facebook page and click "Like." On April 1st, I will be refunding THREE orders from our pool of Facebook friends.

Monday, March 11, 2013

John Nolan Solo Tour Starts TOMORROW

 Hey guys! Don't forget John Nolan's SOLO TOUR starts tomorrow in Philadelphia. There are some great guest openers on this one - see all the dates and details below.

3/12 - The Barbary (Philadelphia, PA) w/ MODERN BASEBALL

3/13 - Maxwells (Hoboken, NJ) w/ BRIAN BONZ
3/14 - Revolution Bar & Music Hall (Amityville, NY) w/ GEOFF RICKLEY (of Thursday)

3/17 - Knitting Factory (Brooklyn, NY) w/ BRIAN BONZ

3/19 - Dorchester Center For The Arts (Cambridge, MD)

3/20 - Evening Muse (Charlotte, NC) LATE SHOW - DOORS AT 10 PM

I will be at the Knitting Factory - come hang out!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Friends of CCR Spotlight: Cyrus

As I’ve said in the past, Collective Confusion Records was founded to help out my friends and bands that I love get their music out there to ears like yours. So, to further this mission, I’ve come up with a little feature that I’m going to call the “Friends of Collective Confusion Spotlight.” I truly believe that all of the bands/artists that I will highlight in this feature deserve your streams, your attention, your downloads, your adoration and fandom.  They are immensely talented, and they are all working hard to make a name for themselves. The goal with this column is simple: to get you to listen. If you hate it, that’s okay – if you love it, that’s obviously better. But as  long as you give these guys a shot, it’s all good to me.

Without further adu, I give you Montreal’s Cyrus. Jarryd Torff aka Cyrus is a good friend of mine – we came up together playing gigs opposite one another in high school. Now based in Montreal, Jarryd has a crazy background in music – he is fluent in all things jazz, hip-hop, rock, you name it, he’s an expert. To give you an idea of what I mean, at sixteen while I was busy drumming off-tempo for a band that dabbled solely in pop-punk covers, Jarryd was playing saxophone, bass, writing and composing music for a jazz fusion band, along with dabbling in production and overall making everybody else look bad in comparison.

It’s with this background in mind that I bring you to the actual project, Cyrus. Known for his intensity on stage, Cyrus samples only drums while using his saxophone, keyboard, and bass to fuse instrumental musicality with his electronic influences, creating grooves that sound both modern yet familiar. Cyrus is a direct nod to his influences both past and present, with songs that dabble in jazz, blues, electronica, rock, hip-hop and more. The great thing about these songs is that you can really hear his influences from track to track. Cyrus also works directly with other artists, producing the grooves that go alongside other like minded artists (for an example, check out “Many Nights”). Cyrus truly is all over the map musically – and that’s definitely a good thing.

So, to make a long story short, I expect big things out of Cyrus. You can expect tour dates and an EP from him out in 2013. Collective Confusion will even be featuring a track or two of his on an upcoming project (stay tuned for that).  If you are a fan of jazz, hip-hop, rock, blues, I promise you you will find something you like in Cyrus. Give it a listen and feel free to let me know what you think. And if you’re in Montreal, keep your ear to the ground and check him out live. And if you're from America... don't hold his Canadian location against him. He was born into it, cut the guy some slack.


RIYL: Miles Davis, A Tribe Called Quest, Flying Lotus, J. Dilla

Check him out: CYRUSOFFICIAL.com

Saturday, January 26, 2013

New EP's, tours, re-presses... we have it all

Hey there! We've got a ton of news to get to, so here goes...

Collective Confusion Records to release debut EP by The Bothers

Here at Collective Confusion we love our friends, so it is with extreme excitement that I can officially announce that we will be teaming up with our buds in The Bothers to release their debut 7" EP! I really love this EP and I think you will too - if you're into Murder By Death, Chuck Berry, The Avett Brothers, rockabilly, Gary Clark Jr, or your dancing shoes, you'll dig these guys. You can hear the EP for FREE right here.

The Brooklyn based four-piece have started to make a name for themselves through their frenetic live shows playing a distinct blend of blues, rockabilly, surf and garage rock to create a sound that is both evocative of the past and unique to the present. In the summer of 2012, The Bothers were featured on Adrian Grenier’s wreckroom.tv and were among the few groups chosen to be on their recent Holiday sampler CD. 

If you're in the New York City area, come say hello and check out The Bothers at their upcoming dates: 

Sunday, January 27th - Pianos
Thursday, January 31st - Spike Hill
Wednesday, February 13th - Bowery Electric

These will be extremely limited with artwork designed by members of the band and hand numbered. Pressing info to come - there will be a few different variants, possibly a show-only color, etc. So be on the lookout for that.

John Nolan is heading out on a solo tour (w/ SPECIAL GUESTS)

You can pick up tickets for John's solo tour through the mid-Atlantic and tri-state area below. He'll be playing solo tunes as well as a few Straylight songs, and will have some special guests each night. A few more dates may be announced later, so keep in touch with John @THEjohnnolan for the most up to date information.

Tuesday, March 12 - The Barbary, Philadelphia, PA TICKETS
Wednesday, March 13 - Maxwells, Hoboken, NJ TICKETS
Sunday, March 17 - The Knitting Factory (w/ Brian Bonz), Brooklyn, NY TICKETS

I will for sure be at the Knitting Factory - so you guys should come out!

Cassino Kingprince Repress

Yes, this is happening. The first press long gone and I've been getting emails left and right about more copies - so we've teamed up with the guys at Cassino again and a few like minded labels to pull another pressing together. There will be a few new colors, different jackets, new center labels - I'll let you know about all that stuff as it gets closer to release.

Back Catalog Sale Still Going On!

Pick up some records, will ya? Almost everything is on sale


Friday, January 4, 2013

Welcome to 2013! ALL Vinyl ON SALE!

Hey everybody! I know it's been a while since the blog was updated, but the beauty of a new year is the chance to start fresh - so welcome to the new, improved, still-updated-sporadically-but-more-often-than-2012 Collective Confusion Records blog! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season and have stuck to your resolutions so far (I haven't).

First of all, I wanted to let you know I've already dug my teeth into CCR-007, and will have an update for you guys soon. The tracks are in the process of being re-mastered as we speak. You're going to like it, I promise.

Now, to kick off 2013, everything in the CCR webstore is now ON SALE!

- The fantastic John Nolan/Mansions Split 7" (on Red vinyl) is now available. These turned out great, and I strongly encourage everybody to check it out. I'm predicting a big year out of both John and Mansions (oooooh insider info), so get a copy while you can! These are now ON SALE for $5 apeice.

-We also still have limited quantities of John Nolan's The Acoustic Sessions on green and peach vinyl. These are moving fast, and are now on sale for $12.99.

Other records on sale include:
- Dustin Kensrue - Please Come Home $12.99 (THREE copies remaining)
- I Am The Avalanche - I Am The Avalanche $12.99 (FOUR copies remaining)
- They've Shot Flanigan - The Outlaw $12.99
- John Nolan - Songs I Wrote $9.99
- Hailey, It Happens - Aurora $4.99