Whenever possible I usually try to direct people to a bands website or their label to purchase their record. The reasons for this are pretty simple. One – the actual band gets money flowing directly to them, or at least to the people who work with them. Two – the coolest deals are to be found in these places.
This is the case with Last Gang Records.
The label started as a way to get the music of Metric out to the public and from that point on they’ve grown to support a virtual ton of great acts that include: Metric, Death From Above 1979, K-OS, The New Pornographers, Billy Talent, A.C. Newman, Lindi Ortega and many many more.
As a hunter for cool vinyl to go with the music I love, they usually offer outstanding wax for music fans.
On a post from a few months back, I mentioned The New Pornographers most recent release Brill Bruisers. Last Gang produced four vinyl versions of 175 copies each in different colours. They also included a 3D poster of the neon light cover and 3D glasses to make the thing leap off the page. It was very cool.
Then yesterday I’m checking out different web stores and BANG!
There it is, the lost Metric record on vinyl for the first time. Grow Up and Blow Away was recorded from 1999 to 2001 but due to record company bungles (not Last Gang – they didn’t even exist at the time) it never saw an official release until 2007. It took seven more years for this beautiful piece of wax to get produced. It is on blue marble translucent vinyl and once again, compared to the download, the vinyl sounds way better.
Check out the Last Gang line up here, and if you like, you might just want to get on their mailing list. AND (I almost forgot) If you live in the Greater Toronto Area you can opt to pick your purchase up and save on the delivery charge. Just make sure you make a quick decision as these offers do sell out pretty quick.
The New Pornographers
Last Gang Records
I’ve been a fan for a number of years, but I will admit to not having as much faith in the New Pornographers for a couple records now. So believe me, when Brill Bruisers first started spinning on my turntable, I was ecstatic. There is nothing hit or miss about this album in both the music and presentation. It all out RAWKS!
For lack of better explanation and categorization, I’d call this the best power-pop record I’ve heard by the band yet. The promise of their first three records comes to total fruition with a glorious record that doesn’t lean on any one sound for very long.
In the past it often seemed like some songs would come off as weighing a little too heavily on the sound of one instrument to drive their song while others stayed in the background. It would only be certain songs where the mix encouraged everyone to put it all out at once (think “Mass Romantic”). Brill Bruisers doesn’t do this. It is playful and gives everyone their due.
Think of this record like the 1970’s Montreal Canadians during their cup wins. The band is loaded with talent and now they’ve learned how to work beyond one or two people carrying the team at a time. Instead they are just one cohesive unit firing on all cylinders. It is just that frickin’ brilliant
Now don’t ask me why that is, perhaps being apart on other projects has given them a new found joy when they get together. Or maybe they’re letting some ‘nerdier’ 70’s influence seep into their music (think ELO who they have recently been covering, or the obvious reference to the Brill building itself). Whatever the case, it is working for them.
So by itself the music is outstanding on this record… but it didn’t stop there. Having ordered it in advance direct from their website (actually, the same edition is out in your local record stores, you just don’t get your choice of colour), it arrived at my home in a glorious 12” inch cover depicting multi coloured neon fun. Then I rip into it, and find cool 70’s style 3D glasses, a large poster of the album cover. Put on the glasses and the poster shimmers in glorious “ChromaDepth 3D”. Pull the record out of the sleeve and the vinyl is a translucent light blue and just looks damn fine spinning on my stereo. Add to that the down load card and you get one awesome package.
Brill Bruisers is the very definition of why I like my music on vinyl. It isn’t just the songs that stand out, but the entire experience is expanded to be a visual and tactile art as well. Now if only they could have packed a club sandwich in with this and I would really be jumping up and down with joy.