Published Sep 29, 2015Now that the former members of R.E.M. have set the record straight on whether or not they want Donald Trump using their music at political rallies (spoiler: they don't), guitarist Peter Buck is putting the focus back on his ongoing solo career. The beloved jangler announced today (September 29) that he's about to deliver a new album called Warzone Earth.
A post on R.E.M.'s official website has Buck noting that the record will be available via Portland's Little Axe Records. While the label has yet to confirm the release on its end, Stereogum reports that the record is due to land October 16. Buck describes the set as his "magnum opus," adding in his post that that the vinyl-only release is "the best solo record I have made, and I'm excited for it to be out in the world."
Though a tracklisting has yet to arrive, Warzone Earth reportedly features contributions from Jeff Tweedy, Nirvana's Krist Novoselic, Scott McCaughey, Bill Rieflin, Kurt Bloch, Chris Slusarenko, Annalisa Tornfelt, Chloe Johnson and Kristin Tornfelt. McCaughey, Rieflin and Bloch also perform with Buck and Sleater-Kinney founder Corin Tucker in super-Earth.
Despite the lack of a tracklisting thus far, two alternate album covers have been revealed for Warzone Earth. Buck explains that both were illustrated by "folk art legend" Mingering Mike. You'll find a version that seemingly features a Zorro-esque version of noted mandolin strummer Buck up above, while the helicopter-heavy alternate cover is down below.
Warzone Earth is Peter Buck's first full-length solo release since 2014's I Am Back to Blow Your Mind Once Again.
In addition to his solo album, Buck's post confided that he'd been working with Portland producer Tucker Martine (Laura Veirs) on the new Jayhawks record. In addition to calling the alt-country vets' latest, as-yet untitled album a "stunning tour de force," he noted that his "good friend Mike" added "some Millsian glamour to the proceedings." Reading between the lines, it'd seem that the Jayhawks record will feature former R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills in some capacity.