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Indie Rock / Alternative Rock

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Naked Giants
Sluff

Naked Giants hail from Seattle, and Sluff is their debut album. Their sound flits between short bursts of propulsive indie rock, with catchy hooks and immediate guitar riffs which would see them destined for the big time, to longer, multifaceted, albeit indie rock, pieces which make them an interesting underground proposition. 150g coloured vinyl LP and CD on New West.

The Fall
I Am Kurious Oranj

In 1988 The Fall, in collaboration with the Michael Clark Company, staged an experimental ballet about William of Orange's ascension to the throne. Mark E Smith and co. handled the music side of things and the ensuing album was christened I Am Kurious Oranj. Reissued by Beggars Banquet to celebrate the album's 30th anniversary.

Cabbage
Nihilist Glamour Shots

It feels like Cabbage - pronounced like Farage, probably - should have left us alone long ago. As such, it’s quite a surprise to find out that Nihilist Glamour Shots (Christ) is their debut (!) LP. The ‘songs’ here come with titles like ‘Molotov Alcopop’ (ffs), ‘Reptiles State Funeral’ (wow) and ‘Disinfect Us’ (stop). Considering that they have so clearly decided to rip off Fat White Family you’d think they’d know better than making a song called ‘Gibraltar Ape’, which is basically just FWF’s ‘Special Ape’ and also has pretty much the same video. But this is Cabbage - and if there’s one thing they don’t know, it’s better.
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The Voidz
Virtue

Ed Sheeran don't read this. Ariel Pink... hello. Nemesis of mainstream music and also RCA signing Julian Casablancas releases his latest treatise on whether or not Jimi Hendrix was famous. Having dovetailed from a world of good garage rock into one of bad, unfounded opinions, he releases his second record under the Voidz alias.

The Saxophones
Aloha / Just You

The Saxophones, an Oakland trio containing just the one saxophonist, are ready to start the new year on an exceedingly gentle note. ‘Aloha’ on the A-side is a barely-there dream-indie plod that resembles a sort of sugary, summer-pop version of Zelienople. The sheer restraint is remarkable. Spot the background breeze of actual saxophone if you can!

Slow Riot
Voyeur / Burn In The City

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Vic Chesnutt
Drunk

The third of his damning and devastating records, Drunk sees Vic Chesnutt making sparse, economical songs with little contributing to his often meandering but extremely punchy lyrics. His early works will come as a surprise to anyone indoctrinated in the ways of classics At the Cut and North Star Deserter, but Drunk proves that Chesnutt's often hopeless but often affirming songs survive in any style. Reissue comes with a lot of b-sides and a Radio Holland performance.

Sonic Youth
Spinhead Sessions

Here is the sound of Sonic Youth when they were still a very young band (check out the group photo on the sleeve!), rehearsing in 1986. Spinhead Sessions has the band breaking away from the rock and post-punk parts of their early sound, instead pressing into semi-abstract guitar-haze… Never previously released, Spinhead Sessions is now out in the world, courtesy of Goofin’.

Erika Wennerstrom
Sweet Unknown

Erika Wennerstrom is the singer for the rock band Heartless Bastards, or at least she usually is. On this occasion, she is performing as a solo artist, allowing her songs to flow in precisely the way she wants them to go. Sweet Unknown is extra personal, extra intimate, and highly recommended for Heartless Bastards fans. On Partisan Records.

Preoccupations
New Material

Sisters of Mercy fans rejoice as ominous people Preoccupations delve further into the bowels of the early '80s goth-rock scene. Their previous album was the worst thing we've ever heard and after struggling to sit through lead track 'Espionage' hopes for this are low. However these are people who were once very great indeed so you never know. 

Sorry
2 Down 2 Dance

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  • Indie Rock / Alternative Rock

Jack White
Boarding House Reach

Jack is back. First new album for four years for the former White Stripes polymath. This time he holed himself up in an apartment and let his creativity run wild. Boarding House Reach explores rock and roll, punk, electro, gospel and everything in between. A tour de force of his abilities to experiment and surprise. 

Ty Segall
Freedom's Goblin

Freedom’s Goblin, the new album from Ty Segall, is a biggie. 19 tracks that eek out every emotion from the listener on the way. This time out, Segall’s fuzz wraps itself around elements of r’n’b, synths, horns and harmonies, but is still very much Ty Segall in identity. Engineered by Steve Albini and recorded in various places from LA to Memphis. Double vinyl LP, CD and Cassette on Drag City.

Car Crash Sisters
Sundance Sea

Car Crash Sisters are a four-piece band from Aguascalientes, Mexico. Their sound finds a sweet spot between ‘90s-style guitar noise, shoegaze and dream pop. Their debut album, The Sundance Sea, named after an ancient, receded sea, is testament to their ability to balance their sound perfectly. CD on Blackjack Illuminist Records.

Sunflower Bean
Twentytwo in Blue

Sophomore LP from New Yorkers Sunflower Bean, following up 2016’s Human Ceremony. The three-piece band return to their classic rock vibe, this time with lyrics influenced by the volatile political climate of the last couple of years. The sound of a young band getting stronger in an unstable world. On Lucky Number, and available in limited blue vinyl.

Palehound
YMCA Pool / Sea Of Blood

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Demob Happy
Holy Doom

Holy Doom is the second album by Demob Happy, the follow up to their 2015 debut, Dream Soda. The trio formed in Newcastle as a quartet, but now, one member lighter, call Brighton home. Going by the few snippets we’ve heard, whilst keeping the post-grunge indie rock of their debut, the band have added some vocal harmonies to their sound. LP and CD on So Recordings.

Helium
The Magic City + No Guitars

Nineties alternative-rockers Helium have had their catalogue out of print for longer than is really decent, but this wrong is now being righted with a run of vinyl reissues on Matador. 1997’s The Magic City comes served up on a 2LP platter along with Helium’s No Guitars EP, making this particular release a double whammy of quality.

The Jazz Butcher
In Bath Of Bacon

Well what would you expect from an act called The Jazz Butcher and an album called Bath Of Bacon? This record serves up a portion of playful (and only occasionally jazzy) vignettes with surrealistic lyrics and intriguing instrumental accompaniments. Its an alternative cult classic though, and this 1983 treasure is now reissued on vinyl by Fire!

The Flaming Lips
Scratching The Door: The First Recordings Of The Flaming Lips

In the press release for Scratching The Door: The First Recordings of The Flaming Lips, it credits them with two decades of musical boundary pushing, it’s nearer four decades, not that I wish to be pedantic, but credit where credit’s due, right? Anyway, this is exactly what it says it is, recordings from the earliest days (1983) of the Oklahoma experimental rockers. So early in fact that it's Mark Coyne and not his brother Wayne on lead vocal duties. Remastered by Dave Fridmann with help from Wayne Coyne and Michael Ivins. CD on Warner Bros.

Young Jesus
Young Jesus

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The Big Moon
Formidable

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Craig Brown Band
The Lucky Ones Forget

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Bichkraft
800

Ukranian noiseniks Bichkraft drop their third LP for Wharf Cat Records (Gun Outfit, Palberta). 800 provides a meatier rendering of the psych-y shoegaze that characterised their first two albums - singles like 'Yonder' feature vocals of the sneering chant school. Produced by Mechandise’s Carson Cox,

The Bunny Tylers
Chance Meetings

STOP PRESS: We have an actual worst band name of all time. Shame as their music sounds promising. They got together to try to remake MBV 'Loveless' and to discuss various guitar bowing techniques but have since gone on to explore texture, guitar drones and pedal techniques. They also come from Beirut and contain former members of Johnny Kafta’s Anti-Vegetarian Orchestra. 

Amusement Parks On Fire
Our Goal To Realise

It has been almost a decade since Amusement Parks on Fire have released anything; now they are back with a single that is brilliantly constructed. Shoegaze saturation and a clever use of meter help it sit above the music of their peers, and the sense of nostalgic, summery Ash-like pop rock is there, in buckets, and spades, and you can have it all.

The Fratellis
In Your Own Sweet Time

After the release of Costello Music in 2006 and the success of that song that everyone sings….er….*consults Google*….Chelsea Dagger, I thought Scottish lad rock band The Fratellis had disappeared. It turns out I had just stopped paying attention. They have now released four successful albums, with a fifth, In Your Own Sweet Time, here for your delectation. Expect more shouty, stomping anthems to soundtrack your night out.

Mansun
Wide Open Space

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The Magic Gang
The Magic Gang

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Soundgarden
Down On The Upside

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Dub Narcotic Sound System
Rhythm Record Vol. One

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Datarock
Face The Brutality

Watch out everybody: Norwegian fun-havers Datarock are now wearing black tracksuits, rather than red ones! But importantly, they are still having fun making exciting music, even taking the piss out of the black metal et al culture of Norway with album title Face The Brutality. They hope you enjoy it. Out on Young Aspiring Professionals.

The Monochrome Set
1979-1985: Complete Recordings

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Albert Hammond Jr.
Francis Trouble

Albert Hammond Jr is not only the one from the Strokes but also is the offspring of Albert 'You Can Thank Your Lucky Stars' Hammond. He has quite the life being a wealthy contented man but he just can't stop the rock and therefore this is his fourth album away from the Strokes. Plus there's all those Strokes albums you forgot about.  

Ed Schrader's Music Beat
Riddles

Ed Schrader’s Music Beat (which is Ed Schrader and his buddy Devlin Rice) decided to get serious with this record, enlisting pal and playful genius Dan Deacon as producer and close collaborator. Riddles benefits from a fleshed-out Deacon sound, which allows the Music Beat style to really shine and grow. On Carpark.

James
Gold Mother

A reissue of James’ third album, first released in 1990 in the wake of their big hit ‘Sit Down’ and responding to that success with a big epic pop-rock sound. Anthems was the name of the game on Gold Mother, as evidenced by the presence of violins and trumpets and the like. Double LP reissue, featuring the original 1990 tracklisting.

Editors
Violence

English glumsters Editors release their 6th album 'Violence' the follow up to the moribund 'In Dream'. Lead track 'Magazine' showcases a vibrant if poshly produced sound that is sure to bother alternative playlists everywhere. Less of the Interpol these days and more of the Killers widescreen rock I suppose.   

Nap Eyes
I'm Bad Now

Literally all members of this band come from Nova Scotia. One of them writes the songs in rural Halifax whilst the other two transcribe and arrange his ideas to produce allusive and ambitious music. Bit of Lou Reed here, bit of the Wave Pictures there.... you know the sort of thing. One of them is called Nigel. 

The Shifting Sands
Zoe / Run

This psych-pop two track was conceived in New Zealand and cut in Los Angeles. Dunedin trio The Shifting Sands prove they know their way around a tune here - ‘Zoe’ and ‘Run’ are the sort of lush, hazy summer jams that never go out of fashion. ‘Run’ sounds like a more focussed iteration of early-days My Bloody Valentine, while ‘Zoe’ is a blissed-out, Lemonheads-indebted number.

Mark Lanegan Band
Still Life With Roses - Gargoyle Remixes

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Heavyflow
Skinny Girl Diet

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Dwarves
Take Back the Night

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Titus Andronicus
A Productive Cough

Pretty much the world's most preposterous band 'A Productive Cough' could well be seen as the album Titus Andronicus went too far. These haughty singalongs sound something like the Pogues channeled through Bruce Springsteen but even more rambunctious than that sounds. Features an extremely pointless cover of Bob Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone' which was the moment we (finally) switched off.  

The Kills
List of Demands (Reparations)

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Buffalo Tom
Quiet and Peace

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The Breeders
Last Splash

Though the more discerning the Breeders fan may prefer tight and angular debut Pod, there's no arguing against the quality and commercial appeal of their second LP Last Splash. It was preceded by a line up shift that saw Tanya Donelly depart and a second Deal sister Kelley arrive. The change in the band's sound was marked with their unusual time signatures and quirky songwriting getting a more widescreen production treatment. You'll know lead single Cannonball but this is a quality album throughout. 

Soccer Mommy
Clean

Soccer Mommy, aka Sophie Allison, a 20 year old from Nashville, has previously made some lovely mid-fi music that would please fans of Boston bands of the 1990s, as detailed on her recent compilation, Collection. Her proper debut album, Clean, gives her a bigger stage and bigger production values, but the songs remain true to her roots. Clean was produced by War On Drugs/Deerhunter producer, Gabe Wax.

Rolo Tomassi
Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It

From humble roots as teenagers totally surprising audiences in small venues with their mature, brutal take on hardcore, this now legendary group show no signs of slowing. Further adding progressive and psychedelic elements to their bruising metallic core, this new album is a further progression of their enormous sound.

The Men
Drift

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Flying Horseman
Rooms / Ruins

Antwerp’s Flying Horseman set up shop as artists in residence in a Flanders venue, and followed up this process with a tour, allowing them plenty of opportunity to develop the material that would become Rooms / Ruins. These eleven tracks make up a vivid post-folkish suite, with the rich dark baritone vocals leading the listener deep into the compositions. Released by Unday Records.

XYZ
Artificial Flavoring

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Air Waves
Warrior

Third full-length from Brooklyn-based Air Waves, aka Nicole Schneit. A collection of melodious but powerful indie pop tunes, covering themes from Schneit’s mother’s battle with cancer to queerness and identity politics in the age of Trump. Out on Western Vinyl, on black LP, an indies-only coloured version and on CD.

Amaya Laucirica
Rituals

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Chupa Cabra / No Friendz
Split

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Postcards
I'll Be Here In The Morning

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Zed Penguin
A Ghost, A Beast

Debut LP from Edinburgh-based group Zed Penguin. Australian founder of the band Matthew Winter has been on the Edinburgh gig scene a while, but was knocked back after injuries from an attack. The strength and resilience of the recovery process is evident on A Ghost, A Beast, an emotional effort shot through with tender cello and fierce guitars. Out on Song, By Toad.

Bradford
Thirty Years Of Shouting Quietly

Bradford were a band from Blackburn (I know, it's confusing) who were once saddled with the 'new Smiths' tag that plenty of 80's bands had to endure. Sadly for Bradford the collapse of Rough Trade and the emergence of the more uplifting 'Madchester' scene did for their brand of mopey jangle. Oh yeah they also had a song called 'In Liverpool' just so they could squeeze another northern city into their history.     

The Lovely Eggs
Wiggy Giggy

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Insecure Men
Insecure Men

The Dr. Jekyll to Fat White Family’s Mr. Hyde, Insecure Men sees Fat White-ers Saul Adamczewsi and Nathan Saoudi try their hand at some sort of Lynch-ian sugar-pop. While the ultra-low-budget sound nestles this record next to FWF’s Champagne Holocaust, Insecure Men has a nice woozy feel that sees it fit nicely into the Fat Possum stable.

Screaming Females
All At Once

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No Age
Snares Like a Haircut

Been a while, hasn't it? Fuzz punks No Age have been dwelling in slumber since they released An Object, their last and most thoughtful record in a back catalogue full of discarding and distorting. Here comes the shred: they're back with Snares Like a Haircut and it sounds like they're gonna make one of their famous, churning rackets.

Olden Yolk
Olden Yolk

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Death Pedals
Death Pedals

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The Low Anthem
The Salt Doll Went to Measure the Depths of the Sea

The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depths Of The Sea is the fifth album by The Low Anthem. From their origins as folk revivalists through to their last album, Eyeland (2016), being wildly experimental, this is a subtle yet resolute effort that reins in the experiments. Here, they combine the folky sound of their early days with electronic instruments to produce a work that is as natural as it is visionary.

Palm
Rock Island

The nervously invigorating Palm have impressed us plenty already and return with an obnoxiously captivating record in Rock Island. It swerves away from their common, jangly lexicon and then points back towards it, offering a noisy, danceable, jubilant and melancholic record of stutter pop. They make loops sound like they're being played over and over, one at a time.
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Cinerama
Marc Riley Session

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FRIGS
Basic Behaviour

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Jawbreaker
Etc.

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Refrigerator
High Desert Lows

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Chemtrails
Calf of the Sacred Cow

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Mint Field
Pasar de Las Luces

Mexican duo Mint Field have been working on their album Pasar De Las Luces (Passing Lights) for two years. In this time they have honed their dream pop-meets-shoegaze sound which also takes in Krautrock and Yo La Tengo influences along the way. Double vinyl LP, CD and cassette tape on Innovative Leisure.

The Lovely Eggs
This Is Eggland

This Is Eggland, the new album from The Lovely Eggs sees the psych-punks working with a producer for the very first time, somewhat eschewing their DIY ethos. They haven’t chosen just any old producer either, they’ve gone for the man who remodeled the sound of The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev, Dave Fridmann. The title is a pun on This Is England, the Shane Meadows film, and a comment on the current state of Britain. Thematically, the duo preach how living a non-conventional, non-conformist lifestyle is the best way to be.

Thick Syrup
Living In Leeds

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Phobophobes
Miniature World

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Virginia Trance
Virginia Trance

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Rollerskate Skinny
Shoulder Voices

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Caroline Rose
Loner

With its combination of wry, caustic lyrics and zany synth-rockabilly instrumentals, the second LP from Caroline Rose is easy to like. Singles ‘Money’ and ‘Soul No. 5’ are clever, pepped-up and above all really fun, while Rose remains a simultaneously commanding and welcoming presence throughout. We’re somewhere between St. Vincent, The Gun Club and Colleen Green here, and it’s a very nice place indeed.

Dinosaur Jr.
Dinosaur

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Holly Miranda
Mutual Horse

Songwriter star Holly Miranda makes further vital strides in her sound with Mutual Horse, her fourth and most outwardly developed LP -- she's drawn in collaborators including TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone and My Brightest Diamond's Shara Nova. It's 2009 again and I feel fine! As ever, Expect Miranda to seamlessly blend high and wild textures and the sheen of a synth with reflective hush.

Public Access TV
Street Safari


Sophomore LP from New York four-piece Public Access TV. Singles Metrotech and Lost in the Game feature infectious funk-inspired basslines, signalling a widening of horizons for the rockers. Never Enough is largely inspired by the band’s tumultuous last couple of years - including battles with addiction and each other. On Cinematic Music Group.

Pinky Pinky
Hot Tears / Pinky Pinky

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Superchunk
What a Time to Be Alive

Although Superchunk leader Mac MaCaughan rightly says he would swap eight years of terrible music for having his country not run by a child, much great art is coming out of the Trump years. Superchunk have a lot to say but have tried to make an album that is uplifting and not depressing to listen to. It also features more guest backing vocalists than any other Superchunk record.  

U.S. Girls
In A Poem Unlimited

Canada-based noise-popper Meg Remy – AKA U.S. Girls – is set to release her 6th studio album on 4AD, her second for the London-based label, in February 2018, and in true Remy fashion, it's packed with personality. Exploring spiritualism, religion, violence and power, she weaves together evocative samples, slow-burning funk and emotionally charged synths into a railing political vision, even using disco as a rallying cry for pacifism (Mad As Hell). 

Ought
Room Inside the World

For their third album, Room Inside The World, Canada’s Ought have allowed previously alien elements into their tight post punk sound. Here, frontman Tim Darcy’s aping of Ian Curtis, and the spiky guitars and frantic drums are interspersed with the obligatory vibraphone, synths, drum machines and a 70-piece choir that bands apply when they get a bit of coin behind them. Will it spoil the brilliant sound of before? Time will tell though the band haven’t mellowed out, maybe things may have just got a whole lot more interesting? We doubt it.  
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Various
Static Waves 6

Texas based shoegaze/dreampop label Saint Marie Records release their sixth installment of their Static Waves series. Bringing tracks covering the length and breadth of their roster from previous releases, but most importantly, 15 of the 22 tracks are previously unreleased, including tracks from Loveblind, Static Daydream, The Capsules, Swoone and Amusement Parks On Fire.

Ride
Tomorrow's Shore

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The Replacements
EP

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The La's
1987

If not quite the holy grail, this looks like an essential release for all those frustrated the La's fans. It features sessions from 1987 (natch) recorded at the Flying Picket and at Echo & the Bunnymen's studio. There's also a few live tracks and rarities which may part satiate those still hoping for new material.   

This Kind Of Punishment
A Beard Of Bees

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Born Ruffians
Uncle, Duke & The Chief

Uncle, Duke and The Thief is the fifth album by Canadian indie-rock three-piece Born Ruffians. The album was produced by Richard Swift, a singer and songwriter in his own right, who has worked with the likes of Foxygen, The Black Keys, Tennis and The Shins. Two members of July Talk were creative directors for the album, a job that in this context, I don’t fully understand the need for! Despite this arguably unnecessary meddling, If it’s anything like its predecessor, Ruff, it will be a good ‘un.

Guided By Voices
See My Field

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Guided By Voices
Ogre's Trumpet

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