Whether you’re looking for crisp reissues or albums that are brand spanking new, Long Live Vinyl is here with a comprehensive buyers guide for this week’s releases…

 

London Calling

01 The Clash – London Calling

There’s the exhibition at The Museum Of London (it runs until April next year) showcasing the bass Paul Simonon smashed on stage for the London Calling cover. The three surviving band members are also reuniting for an on-stage interview by Don Letts at the British Film Institute in December. Christmas stockings will, undoubtedly, be full of new memorabilia tome The London Calling Scrapbook. In among all the 40th anniversary celebrations, the album itself has been relatively ignored. Now, every generation of vinyl buyers knows London Calling is as good as double albums get. It’s such a freewheeling exploration, it deserves all the accolades it gets.

The band would start to believe their own hype and get lost in triple albums soon enough but, in 1979, The Clash really could fire out 19 songs and only get it wrong once: surely nobody rates Lover’s Rock? That sloppy jam apart, it’s a marvel just how much overlooked brilliance is contained here. While London Calling is celebrated as a whole, critics don’t mention enough that strong album tracks such as Hateful and Four Horsemen are the equal of its singles. On the 1% chance you don’t already own London Calling, kindly rectify that immediately. 40 years on, it’s still quite the ride. – 10/10

BAD WIRING

02 Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage – Bad Wiring

Mixing lo-fi, punk and anti-folk, the basic sound of Jeffrey Lewis albums rarely changes. And yet, because John Peel’s famous description of The Fall: “They are always different; they are always the same,” applies equally to Lewis, this isn’t a fault but a virtue. There’s always something about even the slightest Lewis record to make you return to it. As for his strongest offerings, and Bad Wiring falls into that category, they reward repeated listening.

Recorded in Nashville with Roger Moutenot (most famous for his work on Yo La Tengo’s LPs), it’s all assured enough for a track such as In Certain Orders to sound like the missing link between Pavement and The Cult, without ever sacrificing Lewis’s trademark rickety charm and lyrical wit. – 8/10

DOG IN THE SNOW

03 Dog In The Snow – Vanishing Lands

On her debut release for the Bella Union label, the prodigiously talented Helen Ganya Brown (also known as Dog In The Snow) slips further into a world of monochrome songs that shift from introspective tenderness to soaring intensity. Similar to an artist like Chelsea Wolfe, Brown has the priceless ability to move between deeply immersive and atmospheric explorations into terrain where her voice results in stirring and explosive charges.

Vanishing Lands reflects Brown’s deep love of cinema and this record is notable for the way it unfurls into deeply textural yet subtle waves. Icaria is a track that is as much industrial techno nightclub in tone as it is more typical singer-songwriter ground. It’s this multifaceted expression of tone, mood and pace that Brown has at her disposal that makes this delightful outing the rewarding record it is. – 7/10

Daniel Dylan Wray, Jonathan Wright, John Earls

 

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