No lies: I’m sleep deprived after taking a red-eye flight across the country, and there’s basically, err, fuck-all for even half-decent new releases this week, so let’s try and get through this without it being too painful, okay?
First, just because I thought their name was slightly amusing: Reinventions, by Wigelius. It’s always 1980 with these AOR (“adult oriented rock,” yes that term exists)-loving Swedes! Too bad Journey/Toto/Survivor etc. sucked hard the first time around — do I even need to remark on how much this sucks in 2012? EMI seems to be in a heavy symphonic prog bend, releasing both Wigelius and a new record from the ’80s British prog band Asia (titled XXX) this week, so you know they’re totally serious about staying relevant.
A bit closer to home, Toronto’s Gentleman Reg has a new EP called Leisure Life Part 1, which is the first of three EPs that are intended to cohere as a full album. That most of the press I’ve read for this one gushes over its “complex release strategy” is laughable, but I do sympathize because it’s tough to find much else interesting to write about Leisure Life. “Tailor-made for CBC Radio” probably isn’t the press quote Reg is looking for, but that’s all I can say about this paint-by-numbers display of nondescript synth-pop competence.
Teenage Bottlerocket’s newest, Freak Out!, also sees release this week. I’m not sure if it’s impressive or just lazy that the Laramie, WY-based pop punkers have used essentially the same cover art for five LPs in a row now, but I suppose change isn’t what people listened to the Ramones for (or Ramones-worshipping three-chord pop punk, for that matter), so why not have the art reflect the music?
Oh goodness, I’m really going to have to scrape the bottom of the barrel this week. Some band that was on Punk Goes Pop 4 (yeah, I’m amazed Fearless is still putting these Punk Goes ____ comps out, too) called Sleeping With Sirens has released an EP titled, If You Were A Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack. To call this release “contrived” would be polite — it may as well have been titled, Please License Our Songs for Your New Teen Movie. Blech. Even mentioning this one makes me feel terrible.
I can at least try to leave you with something good, right? Well, let’s step back a bit: Thrill Jockey is continuing to reissue many of its best out-of-print titles this year, with the newest batch coming from long-running Chicago indie pop vets The Sea and Cake. Both Nassau (1995) and The Fawn (1997) are getting re-pressed, and I’m especially fond of the former — with songs like the breezy “Parasol” and “Lamonts Lament,” it’s the perfect accompaniment for an afternoon of lounging in the sun.