It wasn’t easy. But in honor of Record Store Day, Christopher and Gauraa rummaged through several hundreds of re-pressings, re-imaginings and specialty colors and sizes at Urban Outfitters to bring you their top RSD releases. Here are ten of the sheen-est, meanest buys of 2016:
Jack White, White Album [12” Vinyl Ultra]
So you’re thinking, Why should I give a damn about Jack White, let alone about a whole record he obnoxiously titled White Album? Well, yes, it’s undoubtedly immoral to encourage this man after he “borrowed” the concept of 2014’s Lazaretto from Monty Python, but it’s also humanly impossible to resist this impulse-purchase when you’re possessed by a romantic alt-rock demon of novelty. Jack White’s White Album is a spectacular take on both Weezer and the Beatles. It is pressed on white soy wax vinyl which both smells and sounds earthy, like Nashville in the ‘60s. It’s pressed on 180 gram vinyl and has three sides, with songs that will be unlocked only as the wax melts, allowing the hidden grooves to meet the body of the song.
Wormstein, Brat Worst [10″]
The boys from 5 Seconds of Summer are growing up. More importantly, they’ve been working on a hardcore side-project, with Goldfinger leader/producer John Feldmann, called Wormstein. Well, this year, the boys finally hitched up to Ryan Adams’ Pax Am studio and recorded it. Brat Worst is a Bad Brains inspired punk record with a spectacular cover of X’s “Some Other Time.” Calum claims the L.A. band’s Wild Gift has really resonated with him since moving to Los Angeles. What makes Brat Worst a great album, though, is Adams’ lack of compression used during recording, mixing and mastering! A must buy for 5 Seconds of Summer fans as well as west coast punk enthusiasts.
Carly Rae Jepsen, Emotion [12″ Glittery Vinyl, Re-mastered]
Three words: pink, glitter, vinyl. This etched pressing of Emotion adds another jewel to Carly Rae Jepson’s crown! Also, Venus the Two Faced Cat from Instagram spins on this record as soon as you drop the needle.
The Moldy Peaches, County Fair/Rainbows [12” LP]
This is not a mere Rough Trade re-pressing. Moe Tucker of The Velvet Underground offers the anti-folk band her vocals. Moe strips their sound, making it sound raw and just the right amount of airy. There are a lot of cool things about this record (like how’s it the perfect shade of blue-black) but our favorite part yet is the inclusion of a Muppets House Band cover.
Grimes, Art Angel [7” Matted Vinyl]
Released on a special side 45, this ocean floor blue vinyl comes with handwritten lyrics in wobbly letters. The Art Angel draws inspiration from Yoko Ono’s Life With Lions as she talks about what it means to be a woman in the industry over a free jazz beat, which she claims is actually sampled from the heartbeat of her pet komodo dragon. Who would’ve thunk it?
All American Rejects, Move Along [Smoky Vinyl LP]
This one is self-explanatory. And if, for some godforsaken reason, you don’t dig “smoky” vinyl, this is also available on transparent swirl vinyl.
Frankie Cosmos, Art School 7″
Weezer, Pinkertess [12″ Vinyl Re-imagined]
Here is Pinkerton re-imagined by seven female singers who lend their vocals to Mr. Cuomos’ problematic words. Since the song still works when the genders are switched, we, after much deliberation, concluded they weren’t misogynistic after all. Pay special attention to the Sara Bareilles’ re-imagination of “Tired of Sex,” and the pink liner note thank-you to Ellen Willis.
Arcade Fire, The Wilderness Machine [12” RSD Exclusive Release]
This 12” comes adorned with 3D art which can pinpoint exactly where you are in the world when you’re listening to the record. There’s a palpable sense of doom and danger and the brassy tone of The Wilderness Machines overwrites the reluctant masculinity of the record.
Miles Davis, Bitches Brew Sessions [Cassette]