Review: 213 was something of a supergroup formed in America's west coast soul scene. Powerhouses such as Bill Meyers, Guy Thomas and Neil Stubenhaus were all involved in the making of this album from 1981, which never actually saw the light of day at the time, but is now presented for the first time by Norwegian record label Preservation. It's sentimental material for lazy Sunday mornings, with emotive vocals backed by soaring strings and uplifting chords. There are more reflective moments like "Good Friends" next to swaying singings like "Ohio" and together they add up to a smooth listen.
Review: Second time around for former Slits guitarist Viv Albertine's debut solo album "The Vermillion Border", a set that was initially released in 2012 following a successful crowd-funding campaign. This Record Store Day reissue replicates the original pressing, with 19 urgent, energetic and punky tracks stretched across two slabs of red vinyl. Albertine is a singular artist with a singular vision, offering entertaining, amusing and sometimes outrageous songs delivered with relish using heavily accented vocals. Her punk roots shine through from start to finish, not only via the DIY, unpolished sound of the tracks, but also via contributions from some legendary musicians (the Clash's Mick Jones and Cream member Jack Bruce included).