James Mercer's Pre-Shins Band Getting a Reissue

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella
James Mercer of Broken Bells performs onstage during day 1 of the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 11, 2014 in Indio, California.

Flake Music's debut is the Shins album you've never heard.

Before the Shins, there was Flake Music. No, it's not a great name for a band by any stretch of the imagination, but don't let that throw you. Their sole album, 1997's When You Land Here, It's Time to Return, is basically the Shins' debut album with another band's name on it.

Actually, calling Flake Music "another band" is a little misleading. The group was the classic lineup of the Shins, more or less: James Mercer, Neil Langford, Jessie Sandoval and Marty Crandall.

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So listening to Flake Music's debut is like hearing a less-polished, but still sinfully tuneful, Shins album. And thanks to Sub Pop and Aural Apothecary, you can listen to a newly mixed version of the album this fall.

"We worked pretty hard on that band and we really went nowhere, you know? We went nowhere in Albuquerque. It didn't do anything nationally," James Mercer told The Oregonian recently. "It never was mixed properly… [now] it sounds like a fresh new record."

Keep an eye open for the remixed When You Land Here, It's Time to Return album this fall, dropping just in time for Black Friday, i.e., Record Story Day. In the meantime, you can listen to the rough version of the record below.


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