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2007-04-14New and free (and awesome) album from The Crimea due in May

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I've pre-ordered, and can hand-on-heart recommend people do likewise because I've heard it. Review as soon as I a) get time to do it justice, and b) clear it with the band. With this and what's reported to be an Earth Vs -challenging album from The Wildhearts at the end of this month, plus The Hot Puppies putting out a rarities disc to complement their first album, it's shaping up to be a better year for music than I ever expected.

As noted by Culture Deluxe this release strategy by bands can be expected to become more common. Unless there's a very favourable label deal, artists don't see much — if anything — from recording sales, their subsistence comes from performances, merchandise and work in other fields. It worked particularly well in 2005 for Harvey Danger and hopefully will work well for one of my favourite bands shortly — I trust they'll have torrents worked out ahead of time so that direct downloads don't land them with a huge bill for bandwidth. If that were to happen on top of poor treatment by Warner (who dropped them whilst continuing to put out already-recorded material) it would be hideously unfair.

Fortunately they have a heck of an album going for them, and a self-confidence that runs from the opening lyric If we don't believe we are all-conquering, how shall we conquer? to charging tracks such as Light Brigade and Lucky Stars. Plus vocal assists from Regina Spektor, a barrel of old favourites polished by performance, fresh gems mixed in, and production the band was fully in control of.


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