Jimi Hendrix, The Love Me Nots, and Panther

Kevin takes a look and listen at new vinyl releases from Jimi Hendrix, The Love Me Nots, and Panther in this latest edition of On The Record.

Jimi Hendrix
7" single
"Valleys of Neptune" b/w "Cat Talking to Me"
Experience Hendrix/Legacy Records

This single is a teaser from the Valleys of Neptune album releasing in early March, a bonanza for collectors that'll feature a dozen Hendrix cuts that have never been commercially available before. Many of the songs have been heard before though, in alternate takes, and such is the case with this single's A-side, "Valleys of Neptune." An extract of the demo for the song was available on the long out-of-print Lifelines album but this full-band version has never been released until now. "Cat Talking to Me" is an interesting cut that features Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell on vocals; this cut will not be on the Valleys of Neptune album. A suitably Neptune-ish painting by Hendrix provides the art for the single's picture sleeve.

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The Love Me Nots
Upside Down Inside Out
May Cause Dizziness Records

On Upside Down Inside Out's opening cut, "Do What You Do," front woman Nicole Laurenne at first sounds like she's issuing a warning when she sings of smoke pouring out of a peep-show and sidewalks "slithering with can-can kittens." But on closer listen she's just taking the vantage point of a girl who knows what her man may be up to and isn't overly concerned with his distractions. In fact, if the raunchy environment serves to heat him up that's just fine with her. Laurenne and guitar-slinger Michael Johnny Walker have perfected their version of garage rock, a trash-cans-burning-in-the-alley amalgam of all that was good about the scene in the '60s. Walker wields his ax like it's a switchblade: he practically draws blood with his solo on "The Kinda Love I Got," slices out James Bond-cool riffs on the trebly spy-rocker "Fire & Pride" and goes looking to kick the Reverend Horton Heat's ass during the rave-up "Not That Kind of Girl." Laurenne meanwhile waxes streetwise throughout, baring her claws both vocally and with organ fills that heighten the album's "let's rumble" vibe. Detroit-based producer Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Dirtbombs) has the Love Me Nots sounding fantastic here once again and their music is now known on the underground scene worldwide. It won't be a lucky break that gets them there---they've earned it every step of the way---but this band is just one sweaty dance away from garnering the bigger share of the spotlight that they deserve. Original pressings of Upside Down Inside Out are on red vinyl and subsequent presses are on red/black swirl.

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Kill Rock Stars

Stylistically Panther sound like what you might get if you took early Yes music and stripped it of its excess and then threw what was left in a blender set to "chop." Indeed that's a bit of a quirky idea but this duo of Charles Salas-Humara and Joe Kelly make a go of it, sounding especially cohesive on Entropy's highlight, the hooky "Love is Sold." Entropy is kind of an odd duck physically too; it's a 45 RPM 12" disc that falls somewhere between an E.P. and an L.P. There are five songs here and then two remixes; a second version of "Love is Sold" is gussied up for the dance floor with lots of extra organ, synth and percussion while "Birds That Move," originally a Supertramp homage, turns into a Depeche Mode-style B-side in it's remixed version. Panther collectors will want this vinyl version for the two remixes; each package also comes with a download code good for a version of Entropy with seven additional songs not included here.

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