The Endtables
The Endtables
Drag City

Reissues of localized punk scenes from the late ’70s have become a dime a dozen, with only a handful ever deserving reverence past their expiration date. On the surface, Louisville’s Endtables were guilty of hawking in their new-wave tendencies for Cleveland’s primitive sound and Black Flag’s velocity, but deeper investigation finds the tandem of transgendered vocalist Steve Rigot and guitarist Alex Durig as inventive as it was cathartic. The LP captures everything the band recorded during their short flame of significance (a scant two 7-inch EPs), including the outcast fringe anthem “The Defectors” and the garage-fuzz, choogling psych hybrid of “They’re Guilty.” Though influenced by all the punk touchstones circling them in the Midwest, the Endtables created a germ of adolescent angst that was uniquely their own doing. KJE

The Shape of Punk to Come

Was it the shape of punk to come? Unfortunately, not really. Ironically, this album/musical treatise from 1998 by Sweden’s Refused stands alone as a testament to what heavy, guitar-driven screamcore music could be if we could only take punk out of the shopping malls and back into the hands of some worthy idealistic musicians. On this deluxe edition, the band’s swansong is augmented by a live album and a DVD of Refused Are Fucking Dead, a film documenting the band’s last hurrah. PG

The Parabolic Rock 1975–1982

S-S Records has put together a stellar track record of essential releases from under-the-radar bands over the years, but the Sacramento label one-upped itself in issuing this double LP featuring its hometown’s previously overlooked Ozzie. Collecting the band’s recorded output along with a number of previously unreleased tracks, The Parabolic Rock is loaded with songs that sound like ’70s radio hits from another planet. This set rightfully brings Ozzie’s quirky rock brilliance—which sounds like a classic-rock Devo—into a brighter light. RW

Various Artists
Good God! Born Again Funk
Numero Group

Numero has developed a reputation for compilations of archeological-like musical finds, but this album is one of its finest. Unlike other releases, which have mostly focused on specific labels, Born Again Funk, like its predecessor, A Gospel Funk Hymnal, spans the decades, as well as many regional labels of varying sizes, coalescing into a selection of songs bound by just an aesthetic and an adherence to the gospel vernacular. As it is, our curators have put together a record that is less of a story and more a straight shot of unbridled grooves found in 18 choice cuts of heavenly funk. The best tracks on the record know no bounds, cutting a divine groove as visceral as anything found on Motown, Stax or elsewhere. This is the kind of album that will have you thanking god, whether you believe in one or not. SS

Ron House
Blind Boy in the Back Seat
Columbus Discount

Technically, this is the first pressing of Ron House’s Blind Boy in the Back Seat on the black plastic slab we love so much, but it is a reissue of a 1986 Old Age/No Age cassette. For local Columbus rockers, Ron House isn’t a rare sight, nor is his music all that hard to find at local shops and live at rock clubs. This is why Blind Boy is mind-blowing—we take it for granted that House essentially defined Columbus’ lo-fi, shitgaze, indie rock, whatever you wanna call it. It’s easy to forget—especially when he’s making fun of you and your hipster friends—that it takes one to know one. Blind Boy is the proof. MPO

Iggy and the Stooges
Raw Power: Deluxe Edition

Who would have imagined that Iggy and the Stooges’ Raw Power would become the Blade Runner of music. The original 1973 issuance was famously mixed by David Bowie, but many felt that it lacked punch. In 1997, Iggy got the chance to remix the record and “correct” the weaknesses of Bowie’s mix. The result was violently loud, and many felt it stripped away the subtleness. Now the Deluxe Edition restores the Bowie mix but in a remastered form that meets the ’97 version halfway. It’s now a knife fight of a record that has its pinkie up. Add to that the bonus live show and it’s a vital revisitation of the Stooges’ legacy. DSH

The Rolling Stones
Exile on Main Street

Sticky Fingers is their most consistent, Let it Bleed has the most hits and Beggar’s Banquet has “Sympathy for the Devil.” But it’s Exile on Main St., the Stones’ grimiest and rawest record, that most consider to be their finest moment. The album was met with indifference upon its original release, but loose jams like “Casino Boogie” and “Ventilator Blues” continue to age well alongside more epic tracks like “Tumbling Dice” and “Shine a Light.” The bonus material on the reissue’s second disc is fairly standard, compiling outtakes and alternate versions from the original sessions, but any excuse to revisit Exile on Main St. ends up being a good one. DH

Gibson Bros.
Build a Raft
Columbus Discount

The Gibson Bros. have long represented the Columbus archetype of crosswired country and “college” rock influx. The rickety ruckus they created during their brief spell in the ’80s meshed everything from Blind Lemon Jefferson to the Minutemen to Public Enemy with a wry bent that was humorous without being ironic (the plague of the 21st century). Build a Raft was originally issued as a cassette in 1986 by Mike Rep, who also helped engineer the album, on his Old Age label. Here it is fleshed out to a double-album with outtakes and tracks from a 7-inch. To the untrained ear, the band might come off as hicks playing it cool or, the opposite, hep cats fucking with the Appalachian idioms that are unavoidable in Ohio if only you train your ear for them. But the Gibsons were neither, just true-blood aficionados able to translate the musical strains running through Central Ohio like the great Olentangy. SS

The Cure

Most fans have a favorite incarnation of the Cure from the band’s three-decade-plus history, and for many, it’s 1989’s Disintegration that is synonymous with Robert Smith and company. The seminal record is the second of the dark trilogy that began with 1982’s Pornography; the moody, intricately beautiful album also was one of the Cure’s most commercially successful. For this reissue, Smith remastered the tracks himself, enhancing the nuanced sound quality, from the first chimes of the grandiose intro to “Plainsong” to the playful guitar of “Lullaby” and the classic bassline of “Lovesong.” The reissue also comes with “Entreat Plus,” an expanded version of a live release from the time, as well as some previously unreleased tracks and rough instrumental mixes. JR

Orange Juice
Coals to Newcastle

Domino Records’ loving and resplendent set is massive enough and immersive enough to make you believe that the young Scots of Orange Juice were responsible for everything from Talking Heads to Yo La Tengo. These six discs are overflowing with treasures. Some are valuable mainly as curiosities (have you heard the French version of “Poor Old Soul?”), but others, like the full disc of BBC sessions, are perfect for those who fancy wading hip-deep into this post-punk, pre-twee moment. Even the later works, usually considered inferior, become more stirring and inspired in this celebratory context. MS