Manchester’s The Underground Youth have built an impressive back-catalogue of seven full-length albums showcasing a hazy cocktail of neo-psych, post-punk, shoegaze and chillwave, of which every copy of each album has been long sold out. Now for the first time ever, we're giving their highly sought-after album Mademoiselle a physical release, alongside reissues of their sold out 2013 and 2015 albums The Perfect Enemy For God and Haunted.
The story of Mademoiselle is a testament to the power of great music being able to reach an audience, regardless of the fact the artist might be unsigned, underground and almost unheard of. Originally released in 2010 and only available online, Mademoiselle has piled up millions of views on YouTube, and has seen The Underground Youth acquire a cult following at a ferocious pace.
The album has continued to endear audiences with its bluesy psychedelic leaning, based on beautifully crafted lyricism and a sculpted sound. Layers of reverb-drenched, folk-indebted guitars and forlorn vocals bleed over hypnotising, monolithic drums to create a record that is 46 minutes of lethargic, lo-fi psych mastery.
To celebrate the release of the album, The Underground Youth will be headlining Fuzz Club’s new monthly London event Under The Arches on 5th March, followed by shows at Manchester’s Cosmosis Festival, Lisbon Psych Fest and the group’s fifth European tour.
The standard edition is pressed to heavy 180g white vinyl (1000 copies), and the deluxe edition is on black and white, heavy vinyl presented in a printed inner sleeve and hand numbered gatefold cover shown above (300 copies). Mademoiselle is also available on CD and cassette.
With represses of Haunted and The Perfect Enemy For God underway, we discuss how each album fits within The Underground Youth's impressive discography, and take a look at the vinyl artwork for each.
Haunted is the seventh LP from Manchester’s The Underground Youth and the latest in an extensive discography that has earned Craig Dyer cult stardom within the underground music community, as well as clocking up millions of listens and a global following.
In no way less insatiable than the six records and three EP’s previous to it, Haunted drifts from the neo-psych and folk sensibilities of The Underground Youth’s earlier releases and instead offers up his renowned psychedelia with a more brooding taste of hypnotic post-punk and a murky gothic undertone.
Haunted feels dark and melancholic as dreamy vocals croon over shoegaze and post-punk indebted guitars. Simplistic drumbeats bleed through to make the record feel desolate and entrancing.
Albeit a gloomy affair, Dyer still exercises his ability to write some of the catchiest pop melodies in psych. It’s not very often you find a record that feels eerily introspective and immersive while equally as infectious and difficult to get out of your head.
2013’s The Perfect Enemy for God is the sixth studio LP from The Underground Youth. Showcasing a clear influence of neo-psych, post-punk and shoegaze, the record feels lethargic in the best way as reverb-soaked vocals and whimsical harmonies blur over jangly, shimmering guitars to tell a bittersweet story.
It’s easy to get lost in this record as you find yourself being thrown between the dark, longing corners of one track – such as “Tokyo Blue’s” forlorn guitars and eerie harmonies – and the upbeat pop sensibilities of others – like “Rodion’s” jingle-esque melody.
Produced by Dyer himself, the incredible production of this album heightens its allure as copious amounts of reverb, harmonies, and perfect use of dynamics send you into a dreamy haze from the first listen.
The Haunted repress is limited to 500 standard edition copies on 180g heavy black vinyl, and just 100 copies of the deluxe edition on colour-in-colour coke bottle and ultra-clear vinyl, each coming with a printed inner sleeve using photography featured here, and a hand-numbered gatefold cover.
The Perfect Enemy for God is being repressed onto 180g heavy ultra-clear vinyl (700 copies) and the deluxe edition will be on coke bottle clear vinyl with black splatter (300 copies), again with printed inner sleeves and a hand numbered gatefold cover.
- Jack Palfrey
We’re very happy to announce the repress of Dead Rabbits’ stunning debut album The Ticket That Exploded, originally released in 2013.
Through phaser-heavy production, storming drums and warped keys, The Ticket That Exploded captures the bleak reality of growing up in modern Britain. It’s a record that captures a time and a place, portraying brute honesty and melancholy through a talent for song writing that many artists chase. Fuzzed-up chords ring out seemingly at their own leisure and organs drone on beneath them as frontman Tom Hayes’ frustration and despair pierces through.
Looking back on the album, Hayes muses: “If the record was a film it would be a film based on my life at the time. Basically a film that depicts a man walking in the rain purposely jumping in front of every vehicle that goes past.”
Dead Rabbits were one of the earlier Fuzz Club signings and took the closing spot of the first Reverb Conspiracy compilation, where the mantra-like lyric ‘It’s only just begun’ seemed the perfect summary of both Fuzz Club and Dead Rabbits at the time.
The Dead Rabbits sound takes the Brian Jonestown Massacre-inspired psychedelic rock sonic aesthetic and crashes it head on with Lou Reed’s simplistic guitar work and Jason Pierce’s absurd yet painfully human poetry.
The album’s centrepiece, ‘It’s All in Her Head’, has never lost its place in the band’s live set, and with good reason. It stretches its way across uncontained six minutes with a hypnotically repetitious organ melody crafted by keyboardist Paul Seymour, and Link Wray-influenced raw guitars, which create a surreal backdrop to Hayes’ despairing vocals.
Perhaps the best summary of the band’s ethos, however, is the skeletal yet effortlessly ornate ‘It’s You’. The line ‘you’re losing yourself, you’re finding yourself” sums up almost too perfectly what the band are. They’re the gradual realisation that youth slips away and people change, but it doesn’t have to be for the worst. They’re the sound of finding something new by stepping away from preconceptions and old ideas: a perfect summary of a new band finding its position in a fledgling scene.
We’re thrilled to have The Ticket That Exploded available again for all the old fans and new fans alike to be able to own.
The Ticket that Exploded is now available for pre-order on vinyl in standard and deluxe edition. Standard edition is 180g heavy black vinyl and deluxe edition is 180g transparent red vinyl with gatefold cover featuring a hand-drawn illustration of the band by Olya Dyer of The Underground Youth. The album is also available on CD and cassette.
- Marty Hill
We've just received some stock back from one of our US stockists and it's full of sold out releases! Some of these are fetching very high prices on Discogs so we're lucky to have them back in store. Here they are...
Sonic Jesus blew away audiences earlier this year with the unrelenting sonic intensity of their debut album, Neither Virtue Nor Anger, giving the Italian duo near-deity status among psych enthusiasts, and creating a mild frenzy among vinyl collectors.
Due to demand, we've repressed the album including a run of deluxe editions. Deluxe editions come with a special edition of Sonic Jesus's Locomotive 7" which is due for release on the same day, 20th November 2015.
A four sided epic of industrial darkness, Neither Virtue Nor Anger rippled through the underground gaining critical acclaim from Consequence of Sound, The Quietus, Drowned In Sound, Clash Music, and Exclaim!
Sonic Jesus say the album represents 50 years of music, and critics have noted many influences among the guitar laden electronica and fuzz: industrial noise, post punk, folk, glam rock, heavy metal, calypso and more ‘traditional’ new psych sounds such as psychedelia, blues and shoegaze.
But rather than sounding like a schizophrenic pastiche, Neither Virtue Nor Anger has been praised as a rich and masterful creation, made by talented artists who combined their influences then left them to simmer and dissolve together to form an entirely new entity, which is something much more interesting and complex than the sum of its parts.
This is something that has been praised in reviews of the album such as by Drowned In Sound who say 'Neither Virtue Nor Anger goes above and beyond the realms of your average psych record. Sonic Jesus can lay claim to releasing one of the scene's – and this year's – finest collections.'
The Quietus says ‘Its uncompromising dedication to pursuing its own singularly dank metaphor lifts this record above its peers towards the flagellant intensity of Current 93 or Swans...Sonic Jesus have conclusively proved themselves the contemporary masters’.
Clash Music put it well when they said ‘If you decide to name your band Sonic Jesus then you're going to need to back it up with something special.’ Indeed they did.
Sly Vinyl wrote 'This album will become a holy grain within no time. This is one you'd better not sleep on.'
If Sonic Jesus are the unbridled new future of underground rock and roll - modern, raw, experimental and forward looking - then it's a future we want to be part of.