Cool records I have gotten in the mail in recent days:
Sly and Robbie, Strictly Drum and Bass: The Roots of Sly and Robbie (Trojan): a compilation of early recordings featuring these two titans in the back. Mostly stuff I don't already have, and my iPod has an assload of old school reggae in't. So very cool.
G.B.H, Race Against Time - The Complete Clay Recordings (Sanctuary): a 3CD box containing City Baby Attacked By Rats, City Baby's Revenge, various singles and EPs, and the contemporaneous live album No Survivors. I saw these guys open for the Ramones in 1989 or so and was totally unimpressed, but these albums kinda smoke. Surprised how much the vocalist sounds like Cronos from Venom; also surprised how much better these records sound than Venom's stuff from the same time period (1981-84). I thought punk was supposed to be the low-budget stuff, and metal the glossy arena-ready stuff. These guys could have taken it over the top given the right marketing.
Cruachan, The Morrigan's Call (Candlelight): fourth CD by a band mixing Irish folk with thrash metal. I might like this even more than Korpiklaani (a band who mix Finnish folk with thrash metal), and that's saying something.
Other things that have shown up recently: the new Fall album; the debut CD by Mark E. Smith's new side project, Von Südenfend; the solo debut by Reyli, former vocalist of Mexican alt-rock band Elefante; and Monarch!'s Dead Men Tell No Tales (Crucial Blast).
Monarch! (punctuation in original) are a French doom band reminiscent of Khanate and Corrupted who tend toward the epic—their debut 2CD set had three songs on it, and they followed that by glomming a full hour of a split CD (the band they shared it with, Eluvium, was forced to pack four songs into six minutes, which I gather was okay with them). This set compiles two vinyl-only releases, Speak Of The Sea and Die Tonight, and reportedly represents the band's farewell. I hope not. Their mastery of the underwater monster chord, not to mention vocalist Emilie's way of sounding like she's being skinned alive starting at the ankles, is a compelling thing indeed, and doom could use their goofy sense of humor (their symbol is a cartoon heart with two cute li'l upside-down crosses flanking it).