SHAKIN’ IN THE ‘80S: I was totally pleased to get the news last week that the old Kilkenny Cats catalog is getting some nice reissue treatment. Lead singer Tom Cheek let me know what’s been up. First up, and out now, is the band’s debut 7-inch from 1984, “Attractive Figure” b/w “Of Talk.” Because old reel-to-reel tapes begin to “shed” after a time and get sticky to boot, they generally have to undergo a baking (as in an oven at very low temperature) process to be usable. It can be delicate work. In this case, the baking was handled by David Barbe, and the remastering work was done by Jason NeSmith at Chase Park Transduction. The tracks were originally produced in 1983 by Michael Lachowski (Pylon) at Atlanta’s Songbird Studios. Cheek reports that the process is already well underway to re-release the band’s 1986 LP Hands Down, originally recorded at Minneapolis’ famed Nicollete Studios and released via Coyote/Twin Tone, and both Barbe and Nesmith are involved with that in the same way described above. Also on deck is the original version of the band’s song “Nightfall,” which it’s fair to say most of the world was exposed to (via a live version) in the film Athens, GA: Inside/Out. Find the debut single now on Spotify and other major streaming services. I’ll keep you posted as other items are released.
SUMMER CHILLER: I’d been thinking it was about time for another record by Razzi King to happen and, what do you know, late last month he released the 11-track Inna World Crisis. For the most part, this is a pretty casual album, but its dub tracks are distinctively faster-tempo than previous King works. A couple of the tracks are pretty blown-out, too, and go solidly into the red. Notably, “Out Of Bondage” will scorch your speakers. Not a whole lot going here that’s different from previous releases, but King never has a problem exploring different styles or producing, nor releasing, multiple collections per year. So if he decides to cool his heels a little bit with a more casual release, he’s earned it. As always, head to echobassrecords.bandcamp.com and see what you think.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?: Former Granfalloons member Matthew Williams releases mellow Americana-ish music under the name Brefmint now, and just released a collection of six songs recorded between 2009–2011. The tracks are reportedly songs that were destined to be on the second Granfalloons album, but that record never came to fruition; the band’s Songs To Sing was released in 2010. I never really listened to them back then, so I can’t say anything about them. But I can report that this set of newly released tunes by Brefmint is inoffensively middle of the road with moments of surprising sweetness. In particular, “Right or Wrong” and the pop-oriented “200 Yards” are highlights here. You’re never gonna sell me on the name Brefmint, though. At any rate, check this out at brefmint.bandcamp.com.
WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY: Longtime Athens rock photographer Chris McKay enlisted an all-star set of players for his topical new single, “If You Don’t Wear A Mask (You’re Showing What An Ass You Are).” The subject matter is exactly what you’d imagine, and was inspired by an unthinking coworker of McKay’s wife who wouldn’t follow office safety protocols. The tune itself has hints of McKay’s signature power pop, but mostly grooves along in a somewhat shabby-glam style à la Stones-style honky tonk. Indeed, he cheekily incorporates the signature line from the chorus of The Rolling Stones’ “Dead Flowers,” too. While I’m not convinced this declaration will really, you know, change hearts ‘n’ minds, I can certainly appreciate its frustration. The three-version release features both a “clean” version and an instrumental version. This is credited to Chris McKay & The Masketeers, and you can grab it at chrismckay.bandcamp.com.
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