Zack Keim “Canyon” / “Alice” 7" (AW033-SG)

Zack Keim can find inspiration nearly anywhere. The Pittsburgh singer-songwriter hatched the hook for his new single, “Canyon,” while driving around Washington, D.C. making food deliveries. “I was delivering Uber Eats, and I wrote that on my phone—just a voice memo,” Keim recalls. An insistent vocal refrain (“Can-yonnn!”) was all it took; Keim started strumming the melody on his guitar, and pretty soon the song blossomed into a buoyant folk-pop gem of a tune. Keim’s first solo single since his 2017 debut First Step, “Canyon” is both a monumental leap forward and the first taste of Keim’s forthcoming sophomore effort, Battery Lane. B-Side “Alice” feat. Laurel Wain of String Machine.

“Canyon” is a perfect as pop song as it´s possible to conjure up. From the whistle that kicks the song off, it´s simple and stripped-down, seemingly effortless, joyous and yet steeped in a kind of bitterseet nostalgia. Imagine the best pop hooks Lou Reed or Jonthan Richman ever managed overlaid with Zack´s singular, plaintive voice and you´re close.” - Shindig Magazine

“Canyon” is an impressive show for Keim as someone in the midst of a redefining moment.” - Pittsburgh City Paper

"Opening with a pounding percussive stomp followed by joyous layers of jangling guitar and buoyant melodies, “Alice” feels both heartfelt and endlessly charming, crafting jangly folk pop with lush complexity." - Under The Radar Magazine

“Fresh from touring Europe with his band Nox Boys, Zack Keim releases a brand new solo single of Laurel Canyon-inflected country psych.” – Louder Than War

“If you’re looking to indulge in some sunburnt desert-psychedelia this summer, then look no further than “Canyon.” – Look At My Records Blog

“New single ‘Canyon’ represents Keim’s first solo work since, emerging from some major life changes as well as the usual global turmoil with a newfound freshness and confidence. A bright-eyed refusal to back down from his passions and will to create, and perhaps the first time he has really started to develop his artistic voice.” – Various Small Flames (UK)

“We’ve heard Zack Keim in garage-rock mode with The Nox Boys and stripped-down folk mode a la early Dylan on his Get Hip solo album, but “Canyon” is something new.” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Produced by Jake Hanner (Donora) + Animal Scream

Recorded by Jake Hanner at Social Hill

Mastered by Dave Gardner (Infrasonic Sound)

Artwork by Adia Taimuty-Loomis

Portrait photo by Zian Meng

"Canyon" registered under


"Alice" registered under


Official Website: zackkeimmusic.com



The Routes “Mesmerised” LP (AW031-LP/Colour LP/CD)

“Mesmerised” is the newest LP by The Routes, the group helmed by Scots-born, Japanese-dwelling guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Chris Jack. This alsohappens to be the eighth long-playing record to bear the group’s name; one that has been steadily growing in stature and stamina since their earliest outpourings more than ten years ago. The recordings were undertaken in both Japan and England, and mixed and mastered by Chris Jack. As Chris is a major fan of Guided By Voices, Courtney Latta (who designed GBV’s “Mirrored Aztec” album cover) was brought on board to create the cover for “Mesmerised”.

 “Mesmerised” is also one of the most powerful statements of sixties-influenced, modernistically executed garage beat rock’n’roll.On this brand new collection Chris is joined by two names familiar to Routes aficionados, drummer Bryan Styles who can be heard on 2019’s Tune Out, Switch Off, Drop In (and also on Miles To Go the exceptional solo LP Chris recorded most recently for Action Weekend) and bass player Toru Nishimuta who, aside from also appearing on Tune Out… played on the group’s 2007 debut Left My Mind.

‘Broken Goods’ kicks the proceedings into play in fine DIY garage style with added moves redolent of late 70s legends the Fall and Wire. ‘Society’ then takes us back to perhaps more familiar territory; ie US teen punk from the sixties, but here in collision with a more British-sounding freakbeat-style attack. As the set progresses it’s this kind of ping-ponging between the two eras as defined above which will most clearly be heard in the listener’s head – the mid-sixties garage beat rush that The Routes are renowned for… crashing headlong into the immediately post-Pistols scene indicated by the generous stramash of indie-punk noise making that’s heralded by such serrated-edge cuts as ‘Two Steps Ahead’, ‘I’m Sorry’, ‘Used To’ and not forgetting the Television guitar leads and Soft Boys meets Syd Barret-era Pink Floyd vocals of the gorgeously wide-eyed title track. All this and more takes its main inspiration from the likes of the Chocolate Watchband and the Calico Wall on the one hand and – apart from the already mentioned names – Spacemen 3, Guided By Voices, the Pastels and Country Teasers on the other.

With “Mesmerised” Chris, Bryan and Toru have made a remarkable album that’s as high on energy as it is routed in verve and vitality. The songs tackle a variety of sounds that are fresh on their minds and they utilise a variety of different styles, all to good effect; the subject matter for one or two will no doubt be apparent in what for us all has, obviously, been a year like no other; lockdowns, loneliness, isolation, rules and unprecedented restrictions. But now let Japan’s the Routes take you off into a real fun place with this great, truly memorable new album, driven by the triple-barreled attitudes of garage, beat and punk!. - Dexter Buzz 

"So, what we have here, is 10 tracks, 32 minutes of High Energy Garage-y Rock n’ Roll, it’s guitar-based dynamic music inspired by 2 of the greatest decades of music, the 60s, and the 70s, of course! “Mesmerised” kicks off with “Broken Goods”, Garage-Rock powered by an early 70s Stooges punky aesthetic! “Society” is a super Groovy punkadelic tune, that could easily have been taken straight out of a Punk Unknown 60s comp! “Two Steps Ahead” is drenched into late 70s American punk-rock with an Anglo touch while “I’m Sorry” is a brilliant amalgam of US teen punk and UK freakbeat! The self-titled “Mesmerised” is another superb track where 2 worlds collide! American Garage meets English Beat, but outside the 60s, in the 70s territory! “The World’s At Fault” is a punk-rocker coming straight out of The Psychedelic Stooges first days while “Leave My Bed” is a modernized punk-rocker. “Used To” is one hell of a tune! A torturously US Garage anthem with a punkish hazy attitude! “Foot In Mouth” stands at the edge of the early 80s post-punk scene while eventually, the album closes with a killer track called “Blink Of An Eye”, late 70s punk meets the late 60s freakbeat, a mesmerizing combination! “Mesmerised” is a cool blender LP, mixing Garage, Punk, Beat, British Invasion, Hard Blues, and Rock n’ Roll! Get your copy now!" - TimeLord Michalis (Time Machine Productions, GR)

All Songs Written and Recorded by The Routes
Mixed and Mastered by Christopher Jack
Illustration by Courtney Latta (@tincanfran)
Design by Carlos Espejo

Co-edition with Bickerton Records



Chris Jack “Miles To Go” (AW030-LP)


Born in Kirkcaldy Fife (Scotland), Chris Jack has lived on the island of Kyushu, Japan for almost half of his life. Whilst in Japan, he released several albums with his garage band The Routes, ranging from rhythm and blues to garage punk, from surf to psych. “Miles to Go” started life as a no-frills acoustic 4 track demo, consisting of 3 home recorded songs. 

The songs were written and recorded spontaneously, without overthinking. The idea behind the recording was to create an audio document of a particular moment in time, rather like an entry in a diary. The songs were recorded purely for personal pleasure, taking influence from bands such as Felt, The Pastels, Galaxie 500, Guided By Voices, The Velvet Underground, and The Lemon Drops, amongst many others. Upon the interest of Action Weekend Records, the audio document idea was extended to 10 songs over the space of 10 nights. Drums, percussion and glockenspiel were provided by Bryan Styles (a bandmate of Jack’s from 25 years earlier). 

The songs, the melodies and the recording are simple and restrained. The acoustic compositions are accompanied by organ, Rhodes, melodeon, vibraphone and more, with production that is rich and warm. “Miles to Go” sees Chris Jack moving beyond the snotty, cynical vocals and lyrics, the fuzz guitars and rough-edged production aesthetic of garage rock, and emerging into something as bare, vulnerable and intimate as a solo album should be. 

"A slowly piercing series of meditative cycles, ‘Miles To Go’ presents 10 tracks that channel Galaxie 500’s spider-like minimalism, the warmth of early Low, or even the twilight introspection of the Velvet Underground’s bummed out third album. It’s all fuelled by this desire to communicate, something that allows the opening title track to truly get under your skin."

"A record about growth and self-knowledge, ‘Miles To Go’ is the sound of the UK born songwriter finally looking in the mirror. Shorn of vintage tropes, it buzzes with minimalist invention, with songs such as ‘Thought’ and ‘Elephant’ betraying a unique kind of delicacy".

"‘Miles To Go’ is Chris Jack at his most allusive, yet curiously also his most direct. One to seek out."  Robin Murray (Clash Magazine 27-10-20)

Chris Jack – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Organ. Fender Rhodes, Vibraphone.
Bryan Styles – Drums, Percussion, Glockenspiel.
All songs written by Christopher Jack. Arranged by Christopher Jack and Bryan Styles.
Recorded at the Jack residence, the Styles residence and Soy Studio.
Mixed and mastered by Andy Shartle at Black Diamond Recording Studios, OR.
Cover painting by Alexander Shosuke Ono. Design by Carlos Espejo.