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Gordon Smart's Choice Cuts

Presenting a vivid snapshot of indie rock during the last 20 years,

Gordon Smart's Choice Cuts offers a broad selection of albums by artists who are noted for their edgy non-conformism and uncompromising artistry.

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About This Box

Gordon Smart is our Head of Music at VinylBox - he has lived and breathed music all his life, hosting shows on Radio X for 10 years between 2011 and 2020. He is also a partner of This Feeling, a music platform covering the indie scene.

What you’ll be listening to...

Your box will include a handpicked selection of two or three albums from this collection of eight:

Future Dust

The Amazons

Future Dust

The Amazons

The Amazons return bigger, bolder and with more riffs on second album, Future Dust

There are songs on Future Dust that are largely content to ride their groove-laden riffs, but there are also plenty of embellishments, from the falsetto backing vocals to sleek rhythms that shimmy and twist like a slightly less slippery Queens Of The Stone Age.

Matt Thomson’s crystalline vocals are a high point, and are put to particularly good use on the more melodic moments. Dark Visions is the finest of these, not least because of the juxtaposition between the dark lyrics and the shiny pop hooks. Elsewhere, the rampant 25 comes complete with an acoustic reprise, while Georgia breaks out the classic rock solos like a mini-Freebird.

This is smart, sexy and it rocks like a wild thing. When the Future Dust settles, The Amazons might just stand as a band worth all the hype and more.

Tracklist

A1 Mother

A2 Fuzzy Tree

A3 25

A4 The Mire

A5 Doubt It

A6 All Over Town

B1 End Of Wonder

B2 Dark Visions

B3 25

B4 Warning Sign

B5 Georgia

Power

Twin Atlantic

Twin Atlantic - Power

Twin Atlantic

Glasgow sons Twin Atlantic return with a bold reinvention on Power…

Indeed, Power is an album that covers a lot of emotional ground, which is all the more impressive given its short run time.

From the bass-led grooves of Volcano, to the elastic synth-pop of lead single and album high point Novacaine, Power finds Twin Atlantic relishing the freedom to be daring, and becoming the band you suspect they may have wanted to be for some time.

The reward is a group of songs that feel big and important at almost every turn, and, if the album doesn’t prove to be too much of a left turn for fans, it points towards potential exciting times ahead for a band recharged and reborn.

Tracklist

A1 Oh! Euphoria!

A2 Barcelona

A3 Novocaine

A4 Mount Bungo

A5 I Feel It Too

B1 Ultraviolet Truth

B2 Asynchronous

B3 Volcano

B4 Messiah

B5 Praise Me

This is Your Life

Augustines

Augustines - This is Your Life

Augustines

A big, emotionally naked, and relentlessly melodic blast of anthemic indie rock that does everything but ask the audience to go ahead and pump their fists, This Is Your Life aims so far past the nosebleed seats that it may as well be bouncing off of a satellite.

The third outing from the spirited Brooklyn-based trio formerly known as We Are Augustines, TIYL bristles with unabashed earnestness and Springsteen-inspired colloquialisms.

Fevered frontman Billy McCarthy, whose heated delivery invokes Glen Hansard, Craig Finn, and Eric Bachmann by way of Neil Diamond, is constantly imploring wild-eyed lovers to hold on, wait, fuck, fight, and get the hell out of Dodge, "Thunder Road" style.

Recorded in Los Angeles and New Orleans with Peter Katis (Frightened Rabbit, Interpol), the ten-track set is a simmering cauldron of stadium rock cliches that more often than not, rises above its myriad trappings by sheer force of will.

Tracklist

1 Are We Alive?

2 When Things Fall Apart

3 The Forgotten Way

4 Running In Place (featuring Pape & Cheikh)

5 May You Keep Well (featuring Pape & Cheikh)

6 Landmine

7 Hold Me Loneliness

8 No Need To Explain

9 This Is Your Life

10 Days Roll By

Love, Death & Dancing

Jack Garratt

Love, Death & Dancing

Jack Garratt

Garratt’s latest offering is a triumphant return. It is an album that does not ask you to relate to his pain, nor tells you to dance over your problems. It is an album that tells a story and ultimately, holds no fear.

Garratt’s second album, Love, Death and Dancing, is the tale of what happened between then and now, in every brutal, excruciating detail. There are songs that take your breath away through their production. A level of production that effortlessly and effectively sways between a manic energy and euphonious beauty.

Garratt’s musical talent and eye for a sensational pop melody has only strengthened. First single “Time” felt like an anthemic return upon first release, a subtle grandeur to ease Garratt in that also sits well in the track nine placement of the finished product. Follow-up single “Better” acts as the beating heart of the party, a track to dance to and one that bleeds light and embraces life.

Tracklist

A1 Return Them To The One

A2 Get In My Way

A3 Better

B1 Doctor Please

B2 Mend A Heart

B3 Anyone

C1 Mara

C2 Circles

C3 Time

D1 She Will Lay My Body On The Stone

D2 Old Enough

D3 Only The Bravest

The Centre Won't Hold

Sleater Kinney

The Centre Won't Hold

Sleater Kinney

This is an album full of friction: between bodies, generations and, it turns out, the band themselves.

Propelled by sharp, angular sounds, ‘The Center Won’t Hold’ craves connection above everything else in a world that can often seem desperately lonely. Each dirty and distorted throb (unlocked to full potential by Annie Clark’s gift for making guitars sound positively devilish) seems to yearn for another body to hold onto.

Tracklist

A1 The Center Won't Hold 

A2 Hurry On Home 

A3 Reach Out 

A4 Can I Go On 

A5 Restless 

B1 Ruins 

B2 Love 

B3 Bad Dance 

B4 The Future Is Here 

B5 The Dog/The Body 

B6 Broken

Language.Sex. Violence.Other?

Stereophonics

Language.Sex. Violence.Other?

Stereophonics

‘Language. Sex. Violence. Other?’ is an excellent modern rock record. Dense, intelligent, user-unfriendly and challenging, its sparse artwork and one-word titles give it the feel of an early Factory release.

There’s no gentle easing-in, either. ‘Superman’ is jarring and bilious. An opening line of, “You don’t know what it’s been like/Meeting someone like you” signposts from the off that cuddly Rod Stewart covers will not be with us this evening. Ugly guitar slashes and agonised falsetto take their place, and they sound fantastic.

‘Language…’ finds the Stereophonics sexy, angry, hungry, focused and (generally) intelligent. And, wonder of all wonders, it finds them seriously good.

Tracklist

A1 - Superman 

A2 - Doorman 

A3 - Brother 

A4 - Devil 

A5 - Dakota 

B1 - Rewind 

B2 - Pedalpusher 

B3 - Girl 

B4 - Lolita 

B5 - Deadhead 

B6 - Feel

Open Up Your Head

Sea Girls

Open Up Your Head

Sea Girls

Melancholy and realistic about the modern youth's struggles, Sea Girls' debut does enough to avoid indie's usual hedonistic pitfalls

Rather than play up to the eternal teenage escape that is being in a band, Sea Girls try to twist that tragic trope into something more meaningful. “I’m not going to live forever, why would I even try?” asks Camamile ‘Forever’. “Kill the past, forget the future,” he demands on the desert runaway of ‘Weight In Gold’ as the band try to embrace the present, while ‘Ready For More’ laughs at rose-tinted nostalgia (“Learning to drive, first time getting high…best time of your life, how shit if that’s right?”).

‘Open Up Your Head’ is an accomplished debut that takes Sea Girls’ brand of indie-rock on countless new adventures, and leaves plenty of doors ajar for further exploration for a genre in dire need of a kick up the backside.

Tracklist

A1 - Transplant

A2 - All I Want To Hear You Say

A3 - Do You Really Wanna Know?

A4 - Lie To Me

A5 - Call Me Out

A6 - Closer

A7 - Forever

B1 - Weight In Gold

B2 - Ready For More

B3 - Violet

B4 - Shake

B5 - Damage Done

B6 - You Over Anyone

B7 - Moving On

What is in the box

What's in the Box

2-3 albums delivered direct to your door
Track walk-through for iconic albums in your box
Sleeve notes detailing the story behind each VinylBox
Start your vinyl journey with Gordon Smart's Choice Cuts
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