Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chris Mills and Pyramids Release New Albums Today!

Today ruled for a release day! Two amazing albums from two of our favorite labels:

Chris Mills
Releases New Album, Living in the Aftermath, Today on Ernest Jenning!

Living In The Aftermath finds Mills, instrumentally, in a rawer, tighter and dare I say, rock & roll space. Lyrically riffing on a blur of whatever subjects comes to mind, Mills cites horror movies, four-color ash-can adventures, and the black and white reflections of late night re-runs, as inspiration (and it shows). - Aquarium Drunkard

His fragile, emotive voice (akin to Will Sheff or Ryan Adams) fits the maudlin lyrics like a puzzle piece pairing light-hearted humor with country roots-rock. - Filter Magazine

It’s wonderful. - Absolute Punk

Chris Mills' Living in the Aftermath is the latest collection from one of America's most wandering-est of wandering troubadours. After almost a decade of rave reviews and countless shows in stadiums and shoeboxes (the past 2 years alone have seen him alongside Ben Folds, Bishop Allen, Lucero, Limbeck, and many more), Mills, once again, threatens to break free from seemingly perpetual obscurity, by providing some of the most unaffected, and yet emotionally affecting work of his career.

Harvesting music and lyrics from headlines, horror movies, four-color ash-can adventures, and the black and white reflections of late night re-runs, Mills returns from the recent orchestral majesty of his critically lauded The Wall to Wall Sessions with a raw and ready collection of true rock n' roll numbers, each one peppered with knowing asides, and unencumbered poignancy.

Songs like Untitled No. 1 and Calling All Comrades spin epic tales of lovers on the run from aliens, a-bombs, and vampire insects, while more personal moments unfold in the dream-like imagery and subtlety of Such a Beautiful Thing, Blackbirds, and the "Twilight Zone" inspired Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.

But its not just the songs that make this Mills' strongest record to date, it's the art and immediacy of their execution. Recorded and mixed in eight days, Aftermath benefits from the visceral performances of Mills and a crack cabal of New York City co-conspirators: bassist Drew Glackin (The Silos, Willard Grant Conspiracy, Graham Parker, The Hold Steady), drummer Konrad Meissner (Teddy Thompson, The Silos, Matt Nathanson), keyboardist/arranger David Nagler (Nova Social, Camphor, Chris Lee), and engineer/co-producer Tony Maimone (Pere Ubu, They Might Be Giants).

* Additional players include trumpeter Dave Max Crawford (Sea and Cake, Poi Dog Pondering), violinist Jean Cook (Jon Langford's Ship and Pilot, Beauty Pill, Ida), and steel guitar/banjo virtuoso Jon Rauhouse (Nico Case, Calexico, Giant Sand).

Company aside, it is the ever-impressive evolution of his craft that firmly places Chris Mills alongside peers like Okkervil River's Will Sheff and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy as one of the foremost authors of the 21st Century American songbook.

Tracklisting for Living In The Aftermath
1. Calling All Comrades
2. Living In The Aftermath
3. Nightmare At 20,000 Feet
4. Untitled No. 1
5. Such A Beautiful Thing
6. Blackbirds
7. Atom Smashers - download here!
8. I Guess This Is Why (They Invented Goodbye)
9. All's Well That Ends
10. Can't Believe

Chris Mills Live!
Apr 25 2008 Regent Street Retreat w/ Anders Parker Madison, Wisconsin
Apr 26 2008 Schubas (CD release show) Chicago, Illinois
May 3 2008 The Pour House (TRIBUTE TO DREW GLACKIN) Raleigh, North Carolina
May 10 2008 Union Pool (NYC CD RELEASE SHOW) Brooklyn, New York

For more information, visit:

Release and Stream Debut Self-Titled Album Today on Hydra Head!

Pyramids are a Denton, Texas-based band alternating between guitar-driven ambient pieces and a hazier approximation of Hydra Head labelmates Jesu's slow-diving metallurgy. I put on "Sleds", the opening track from Pyramids' self-titled full-length, thinking I was supposed to be hearing a metal record, but this one's squarely on the ethereal side of the dichotomy. As multi-layered guitars crumble and burn out, a high, incomprehensible male voice reverberates and decays, bringing to mind Deerhunter's more ambient moments, such as "White Ink". - Pitchforkmedia.com

It starts in the upper atmosphere, in that rarefied air where silence sings and time is little more than an abstraction. As it makes its way down through the tree line, to sea level, to the ear canals, elliptical windows and auditory nerves of the great unwashed, the shapes begin to shift. The sine waves become more distinct: swarming, swirling guitars, drums like a churning steam press, a chorus of celestial voices.

Instruments collude and collide in a roiling shoal and then dissipate, leaving a cavernous hole, a ghost town, the vestiges and echoes of a brief terrestrial existence. Out in Dallas and “other parts of the country,” where seemingly mild psychotropic disturbances can have vast and sinister implications for certain elements within the local populaces, Pyramids conjure the cacophonies of the great unknown, one song at a time.

Stream all of Pyramids self-titled debut HERE!

Pyramids Tracklist:

CD 1:
1. Sleds (3:12)
2. Igloo (3:19)
3. The Echo of Something Lovely (3:23)
4. End Resolve (3:44)
5. Hellmonk (3:16)
6. This House is Like Any Other World (3:03)
7. Hillary (3:18)
8. Ghost (3:30)
9. Monks (2:31)
10. 1, 2, 3 (2:35)

CD 2: Remixes
1. The Echo of Something Lovely [Toby Driver/Ted Parsons/Colin Marston] (5:34)
2. 1, 2, 3 [James Plotkin] (4:30)
3. The Echo of Something Lovely [Jesu] (6:18)
4. Sleds [loveliescrushing] (3:49)
5. Ghost [Birchville Cat Motel] (9:54)
6. Sleds [Blut Aus Nord] (3:35)
7. The Echo of Something Lovely [James Plotkin] (3:15)
8. The Echo of Something Lovely [loveliescrushing] (3:27)

For more information, visit: