Mansions return with synthy ‘Deserter’ EP (listen to “Heel Theme”)

Mansions is/are back, baby. New tunes coming, one of which is streaming at the link.

via Brooklyn Vegan:

We’re premiering the EP’s first single, “Heel Theme.” which does have a noticeable electronic influence, but they haven’t fully abandoned their rock side or anything. It’s got some pretty heavy riffs, and it’s also a lot darker than the power pop of Doom Loop. Christopher still has his trademark boyish vocals, which sorta fall somewhere between Ben Gibbard and Andy Hull, and his naturally lighthearted sound makes for an appealing juxtaposition with the song’s darkness. Listen below.

I've grabbed my copies of the vinyl and cassette at Bad Timing, so you are now free to do so also.

Cartel Announce 'Chroma' Tour and Vinyl Release

Cartel Chroma Vinyl

When I last talked to Cartel, they were releasing a statement about the Enjoy The Ride Records release of Chroma, their acclaimed debut full-length. Now they are finally releasing a pressing of their own.

The pressing is limited to 1000, each hand-numbered. 500 will be available online. The rest will be sold during ticket pre-sale and on tour. This will be a 180g 2xLP release. First Pressing in White. Gate Fold Sleeve in a Die-Cast Slip Case. This will set you back $30.

They also announced the tour we discussed in a 2013 interview. Chroma is 10 years old and deserves a celebration. They’ll be taking Hit The Lights, TEAM, and Driver Friendly on the road with them.

The dates are below. Pre-sale tickets and vinyl go on sale Wednesday (2/4) at 3PM EST.


  • 3/20 – Dallas, TX @ South By So What


  • 4/09 – Minneapolis, MN @ Mill City Nights
  • 4/10 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave II
  • 4/11 – St. Louis, MO @ Ready Room
  • 4/12 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
  • 4/14 – Detroit, MI @ The Shelter
  • 4/15 – Columbus, OH @ Skully’s Music Diner
  • 4/16 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater
  • 4/17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of the Living Arts
  • 4/18 – Boston, MA @ The Middle East Downstairs
  • 4/19 – New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
  • 4/21 – Freehold, NJ @ GameChangerWorld
  • 4/22 – Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Sound Stage
  • 4/24 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
  • 4/25 – Orlando, FL @ Beacham Theater


  • 5/06 – San Diego, CA @ Porter’s Pub
  • 5/07 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
  • 5/08 – Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
  • 5/09 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
  • 5/11 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
  • 5/12 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
  • 5/14 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Murray Theater
  • 5/15 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre
  • 5/16 – Lawrence, KS @ Granada


  • 5/22 – London, UK @ O2 Academy
Cartel Chroma Tour Dates

Mansions' 'Dig Up The Dead (Acoustic)' Pressed on Vinyl

Dig Up The Dead Acoustic Cover Artwork

Bad Timing Records:

We feel comfortable expressing the opinion that Mansions’ Dig Up The Dead is one of the greatest emo records of the last decade. In his 2011 review,’s Drew Beringer called it “a refreshingly bold album in a scene that’s grown stagnant,” describing it as “beautifully desolate” and comparing frontman Christopher Browder to great songwriters like Jesse Lacey and Kevin Devine. Well, we agree with all that. 

The acoustic version of Mansions’ Dig Up The Dead rests permanently in my top 5 albums for all of time. Zack Zarrillo filled me in on this pressing around a year ago and I’ve been patiently waiting ever since. Tomorrow, I own my favorite album on vinyl. I never thought I would. I have Bad Timing Records to thank for that.

What's Not Good About intheclouds' 12 Lathes of Christmas

On Monday, intheclouds Records announced the 12 Lathes of Christmas. In which twelve releases would get a limited release with a count based on the day number in which it would be available. This is possible through label-head Dan Marter’s vinyl cutting lathe, a machine that cuts vinyl records one by one.

I’ve talked to Dan about this lathe several times and we both agreed before he traveled the world to get it that it was a cool idea. Now that the lathe is being put to use, I’m starting to notice the problems from a consumer standpoint and it’s leaving a sour taste in my mouth.

The idea is fun. For the first 12 days of December, the label will put up for sale records in extreme limited number. For example, on the first day, HOWWEMAKEMISTAKES (solo project of Athletics and Ghost House’s Howie Cohen) will get just one copy made. Just one. On the second day, a Control 7" will get 2 copies made, and so on.

There are a lot of problems here, but I’ll stick to the obvious. < 12 copies of each of these releases will be made. That means that The Receiving End of Sirens fans (of which there are a great number) will have to beat the button to get one of 12 copies of the Weightless Underwater 7". That’s insane.

Once these are done, they’re done. You missed it? That sucks. Set your eBay alerts and move on with your life. Maybe you’ll be able to grab it for $60 someday in a bidding war.

When these go online, it’ll be a matter of moments before they are gone. In my case, I foresee myself at work when day 11’s release becomes available. I don’t have a desk job. I won’t be able to get it if that’s the case. If I miss out on Squid The Whale’s first EP with Bradley Walden, I’m not going be thinking “Shucks, coulda woulda shoulda…” I’m going to be angry with Intheclouds for offering such a personally important record in such a ridiculously limited number. I’m also going to remember that forever. I’m not alone.

Squid The Whale was a well-loved band with a relatively small fan-base. Nothing like the scale of fans TREOS garnered in their years together and after. With the press this campaign hasgarnered, I don’t look at day 12’s release as /12 (record-out-of-twelve). I see it as the number of disappointed fans out-of-possible-hundreds. And while their marketing person might see bad press as good press, I certainly don’t. Being remembered for delivering a quality product is better than being remembered for teasing a quality product, which is the case for everyone after the first dozen purchase forms are filled.

I love this label. I have a vast majority of their releases and used to work for Dan at some capacity. I love his drive and creative endeavors. Those qualities make intheclouds THE coolest label in vinyl production. That doesn’t make this campaign cool, however. I think the negatives outweigh the positives on this one.

Releases, by day and count.

/1 - HOWWEMAKEMISTAKES - This Time Last Night 7" 

/2 - Control - Live Together, Die Alone 7" 

/3 - Why Bother? - Still Not That Great 10" 

/4 - KEYES - Wandermere 10"  

/5 - Nomads - Sunset on the Range / Walking By Lamplight 7"  

/6 - Ghost Parade - Foundation  

/7 - Hidden Hospitals - Controlled Chaos / CC VL RMX 7" 

/8 - NGHBRS - Golden Age / Small Talk 7" 

/9 - The Black and The White - Futures EP 12"  

/10 - Happy Body Slow Brain - Live EP 12" 

/11 - Squid the Whale - new war. 7"  

/12 - Receiving End of Sirens - Weightless Underwater 7"