New Radiant Storm King - Singular, No Article

Darla
(DRL284: 708527028421)



Limited edition of 300 CD in mini-gatefold eco-wallet from Discmakers.

Darla Records presents a newly remastered and expanded reissue of Singular, No Article (1998), the fifth full length album by indie rockers New Radiant Storm King who grew a sizable international fan base but never achieved the success of contemporaries they shared stage and/or split 7" singles with: Rodan, Grifters, Sebadoh, Guided By Voices, Pavement and Nirvana.

Singular, No Article, not so subtly titled to clarify the band name as they were often called The New Radiant Storm Kings, was intended for release on major indie Grass Records who dropped interest in the fiercely independent New Radiant Storm King and refocused all attention solely on new signing Creed. Rights reverted back to the Artists who then negotiated release via Rainbow Quartz; for the UK only. This is the first time Singular, No Article has been released in the US.

Loose, full of chime, with playful and interlocking guitars a la Tom Verlaine/Richard Lloyd or Thurston Moore/Lee Ranaldo, it is both foreboding and lighthearted simultaneously. Its creative drivers Peyton Pinkerton and Matt Hunter are truly beloved insiders who brought their little band from Western Mass' fertile, Pioneer Valley, starting as freshmen at Hampshire College, to the world stage and now remain at the very heart and soul of Northeastern US indie rock lore and history.

Two bonus tracks from the period have been added. "Mrs. Baird's Bread", 1998 and "Blood for a Vase (Kramer Version)" a 1995 demo recorded by Kramer of Bongwater, Shimy Disc, were previously available on the unreleased tracks compilation Leftover Blues 1991-2003 (Contraphonic).

All material has been lovingly remastered from the original master tapes by longtime New Radiant Storm King Engineer Mark Allan Miller at his Sonelab Studio, Easthampton, MA.

1. The Correct Liar, 2. Barium Springs, 3. Founder's Day, 4. Occidental Florist, 5. Carry My Chin, 6. Secrets To Better Skin, 7. The Right Scream, 8. Pocket Greek Chorus, 9. Miranda, 10. Leftover Blues, 11. Contentedly...The Era Died, 12. Mrs. Baird's Bread, 13. Blood for a Vase (Kramer Version.

"Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices has credited NRSK as a major influence on his songwriting, and listening to the title track, “Winter’s Kill,” one can imagine that it is GBV." -- Barbara Manning, Sacramento News and Review

"I can see how this album is a consciously constructed 'grower.' It's not the work of a band trying to capture some quick attention with clumsy stabs at the latest trends, and in some ways, with its lack of laptop glitchery and primal screaming, it does come off somewhat conservative. But maybe it's for this very reason that this album could prove to hold up better than the recent work of some other members of indie rock's illustrious Class of '92." -- Pitchfork

"One of the most consistent groups to come out of the crowded alternative rock scene of the early ’90s." -- Blurt

"New Radiant Storm King had hit its stride in 1996 with Hurricane Necklace, its fourth and most mature album to date. However, the indie rock band went downhill from there, struggling to find a drummer and struggling with the realities of life -- marriage, money, career opportunities, geographic locale, and so on. It was perhaps no surprise then that Singular No Article (1999), the band's fifth album, failed to reconnect with New Radiant Storm King's fan base and went relatively unheard. And that's too bad, since Singular, No Article was a respectable album; granted, it was no Hurricane Necklace, but it still met an undeserving fate. It's perhaps fitting, then, that Winter's Kill follows suit in terms of style. On this album, released in 2002, the band seems to have put extra effort into making sure that Winter's Kill wouldn't meet the same unfortunate fate as Singular, No Article. The songwriting is similar -- incredibly varied and informed by indie rock precedent -- but the production is far more considered: these guys obviously devoted substantial effort in making sure these songs sound as wonderful as possible. And, thankfully, they do indeed sound wonderful; this is a beautiful sounding indie rock album, lo-fi yet a crystal-clear sort of lo-fi where none of the instruments -- guitar, bass, Rhodes piano, Hammond organ, synth -- sound the same from song to song. New Radiant Storm King have done everything possible to make Winter's Kill the best album it can possibly be, and the results are undoubtedly glorious. The only thing really lacking here -- besides the band's one-time fan base and critical following -- is the naïvete that masterminds Matt Hunter and Peyton Pinkerton had in the early to mid-'90s. Back then you could sense the duo's passion and enthusiasm; they were coming of age as indie rockers. Here you can sense their experience and patience; they know how to make a perfect indie rock album at this point in their career. It's this aim for perfection that ironically prevents this album from being the true masterpiece it perhaps should. After all, can you -- or, perhaps, should you -- perfect indie rock? Part of its beauty is its sense of accident; you can't create spontaneity and you can't revisit naive discovery, two of the qualities that still make Hurricane Necklace New Radiant Storm King's crowning achievement, even if Winter's Kill is indeed a near-perfect indie rock album. Either way, though, it's great to see this band pull itself back together after its late-'90s turmoil." -- All Music Guide

New Radiant Storm King signed to Homestead/Dutch East India in 1993. The indie label/distributor shared office and staff with sister label Grass. When Homestead couldn't pay for recording of NRSK's third record August Revital (1994) Grass could, acquired rights and released the record. CD One Stop Owner Alan Meltzer purchased Grass in 1996, which changed Grass' modus operandi as the Meltzer-owned Grass set out to be a major indie. Grass released NRSK's most popular and most critically acclaimed record Hurricane Necklace (1996). This title and August Revital unfortunately remain out-of-print.

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