Kevin Bryan reviews the latest album releases.
Other Lives: Tamer Animals ****
THE second full length album from this enigmatic Oklahoma quintet should help to cement their growing reputation as purveyors of Americana at its most subtle and beguiling.
The band's meticulously crafted sound has been influenced by the likes of Sigur Ros and Godspeed You Black Emperor but also possesses a wistful charm that you rarely come across these days, as you'll discover for yourself if you lend an ear to prime cuts such as Old Statues, Dust Bowl III and For 12, with cellos, violins, trumpets and clarinets all contributing to the expansive and multi-textured musical landscapes conjured up by their singer and creative driving force Jesse Tabish.
Released on August 29 (Play It Again Sam Records: £8.99)
The Spencer Davis Group: Keep On Running ***
THE Spencer Davis Group were one of Britain's most potent R&B outfits for a relatively brief period during the mid-60s, but their prospects of long term chart success were dealt a near fatal body blow when teenage frontman Steve Winwood decided to leave the band in 1967.
The first half of this entertaining anthology is taken up by a choice selection of live recordings and radio sessions from the Winwood era, including fine renditions of Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man and a stunningly soulful Georgia On My Mind, captured live in Finland in 1966.
Out now (Cherry Red CDMRED 250: £9.95)
Debussy & Saint-Saens: Complete Chamber Music for Woodwinds ****
THIS absorbing anthology explores the work of two composers who heartily detested each other, but also succeeded in making a profound impact on French musical culture during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Works for a variety of woodwind instruments are given an airing during the 2-CD set, including several world premiere recordings and the contents strike a fine balance between the free flowing impressionism of pieces such as Debussy's Syrinx and the creative outpourings of the staunchly traditionalist Saint-Saens, including his Caprice on Danish and Russian Airs, Op.79 for flute, oboe, clarinet and piano.
Out now (Cala CACD 1017: £14.99)
U K Subs: Complete Punk Singles Collection ****
THIS lovingly assembled package brings together the A-sides of every single that punk legends the U K Subs have unleashed on an unsuspecting public since their formation in 1976.
Charlie Harper's rough and ready outfit have gone through a whole host of line-up changes over the years but their committment to the original punk ethos has remained admirably undimmed throughout the past three and a half decades.
Tracks such as Stranglehold, Tomorrow's Girls and Party in Paris all made an impact on the singles charts during the late seventies and early 80s and they're also the highlights of this muscular collection.
Out now (Captain Oi AHOY DCD 312: £11.99)
Greenslade: Live 1973-1975 ****
A FASCINATING live set from Angel Air, showcasing the only available live recordings from Greenslade's creative heyday in the early 70s.
Dave Greenslade formed this keyboard dominated prog-rock outfit in the aftermath of Colosseum's sad demise in 1971, joining forces with former colleague and bassist extraordinaire Tony Reeves to create a sound which fused elements of jazz and rock to often stunning effect, as illustrated here by inventive offerings such as Joie de Vivre and the title track of their second studio album, Bedside Manners Are Extra.
Released on August 29 (Angel Air SJPCD 347: £9.86)