The Rationals: The Rationals (1970)

Sometimes you take a chance. It’s not quite like the old days when you would stroll through a record store and something would catch your eye: a name, some art. But it’s close, and as I was flipping through the Record Store Drop releases at my local shop I saw the reissue of the sole record from Ann Arbor’s The Rationals. The hype sticker drew me in as much as the colors on the album art: you put the words “Detroit R&B Garage Band” on your sticker and you’re going to hook me. I’m glad it did because it turns out The Rationals delivers precisely on the sticker’s promise: down and dirty rhythm and blues that has a foot firmly in the 60s while calling out to the more rock-centric power the 70s would deliver.

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snake mountain revival - everything in sight

Snake Mountain Revival: Everything In Sight (2021)

On paper there’s nothing I shouldn’t love about Snake Mountain Revival, the Virginia Beach psychedelic/stoner trio who after two successful EPs released their debut full length Everything In Sight back in November of 2021. Late one night before the release I listened to the available singles and made a judgement call, preordering the vinyl. Almost seven months later I finally got that vinyl, and listening now I can hear things that are appealing, but there’s a sameness to the tracks that, when taken as a whole album I’m finding frustrating. Was this always the album, or was the frustration of waiting contributing to my less than enthusiastic attitude toward the band and album? I decided to listen again song by song and see if I could get to the bottom of it.

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black midi - schlagenheim

black midi: Schlagenheim (2019)

Day 24 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for an impulse buy: a record you just had to have. For me there aren’t a lot of albums I relentlessly crave or “have” to have, but I impulse buy a lot. The most recent example of this was when I was listening to “Welcome to Hell” the new single from UK post-everything black midi. Being so caught up in older music it’s always great to hear something new that strikes a nerve, and as I was listening to the new song I realized I didn’t own the band’s 2019 debut Schlagenheim. That was a problem quickly rectified, and so here we are to talk about it.

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Dischord-Box-Set

Dischord: The First Six Records (2022)

Day 23 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for a limited edition/signed/numbered or otherwise rare album. I’ve been talking a lot about my love for the Dischord label, and was lucky enough to get in and order their limited edition box set of the First Six Records back when it was $40 and not the $250+ it’s going for now on Discogs. Covering the entire spectrum of music from bands I’ve never listened heard before now to bands that were a formative part of my youth, there’s a lot to unpack here, and that’s besides the great booklet, original liner notes and lyrics/posters, not to mention the careful job of sleeve and colored vinyl recreation, so let’s jump in here with some thoughts.

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nechochwen - kanawha black

Nechochwen: Kanawha Black (2022)

Day 22 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for your most recent purchase. I’m fairly particular when it comes to metal on vinyl, and black metal specifically. There’s little chance of a sonic upgrade over CD or digital when you’re talking about the production of a lot of classic metal (my beloved Darkthrone included), but as the genre continues to absorb influences and break away from the rigid tenets of its beginnings the production beefs up and can get downright nice. Nechochwen have quietly been showing folks in the know for over a decade they had the chops and commitment to craft some intense and thoughtful black metal focusing on their Appalachian roots, and on Kanawha Black, their first album in seven the duo of Nechochwen (Aaron Carey) and Pohonasin (Andrew D’Cagna, also of Ironflame) show just how far their sonic palate has expanded with an epic, progressive album that breaks their own mold.

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#mayvinylchallenge Day 21: Dischord

Day 21 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks to feature an independent music label. As I’m still trying to catch up I decided to return to an old favorite – one I’ve been covering here at the site for a while. So rather than write up another album from the fierce and impeccable Dischord label, I’m going to link to a few I’ve already written for the site. Because sometimes you’re exhausted and it’s 90 degrees and you just need a good lie down, you know?

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