Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Van Duren - Are You Serious (1978) & Idiot Optimism (1999) (2020 reissues, Omnivore) - A brief review.

2019 saw the release of Waiting, a documentary of an unlikely subject - "small of fame" singer/songwriter Van Duren, who came to prominence...well, never to be honest, at least as far as pedestrian ears were concerned.  Nonetheless that didn't stop two Johnny-come-lately Aussie film entrepreneurs from tracking him down decades after he made his most notable records. Van Duren is as renown for his connections with Big Star alum Chris Bell and Jody Stephens (and technically Big Star themselves when they were on their last aching legs in Memphis circa the mid-70s) just as much for his first two overlooked but genius solo disks Are You Serious? (1978) and Idiot Optimism, intended for a 1980 release, but only seeing the light of day nearly twenty years later via the Japanese imprint, Air Mail Records.  Accompanying Waiting was a quietly released soundtrack on Omnivore Records, drawing largely from the aforementioned albums, leaving out tons of key album tracks. Whether you were fortunate to be cognizant of Are You Serious? when it initially came out, or merely became infatuated with Van Duren's music by virtue of the film some four decades after the fact one thing is for certain - you wanted the whole picture.  You're in luck, because Omnivore has made both Van Duren solo records in their entirety available again.

Emanating out of the speakers like a wizardly and often soulful amalgam of Paul McCartney, Eric Carmen, Emitt Rhodes and Todd Rundgren, Van Duren's debut, Are You Serious? not only professed his influences on his sleeves, but functioned as a subconscious declaration that none of the prevailing trends of the day - disco, punk and increasingly staid album rock barely held a candle to well-composed, deftly crafted pop music, be it conveyed on guitar, piano or both.  Even if ...Serious? had been whittled down to a hypothetical single of two heartfelt ballads, say "Waiting" and "Positive (Wedding Song)" Van Duren's could have cemented his reputation right there based on his melodic strengths and romantic intuitions.  But he proves himself to be far more than a mere piano-pumping balladeer, with the remainder of his debut evidencing itself in a myriad of motifs and textures.  "Grow Yourself Up" is a buoyant uptempo feast of hooks and sass from the word go, sounding like the greatest thing the Raspberries left out of their repertoire, while "New Year's Eve" could have passed for an outtake from Big Star's Radio City had Chris Bell stuck around for a second LP.  In the forty year+ rear-view, Are You Serious? is a doggedly period sounding record, but despite a lack of studio innovation Van Duren more than gets by with a deliriously strong and capable selection of songs, any one of his higher profile contemporaries would have gladly staked as their own. 

...Serious was met with ample positive acclaim and a respectable amount of airplay upon it's '78 release, but it didn't cast a wide enough net to grab the audience it deserved.  If that record was a custom fit for the AM dial, it's follow-up, Idiot Optimism was it's FM-ready analog.  Tracked over the span of 1978 to 1980, IO, with it's bolder arrangements and loftier production values sounded like a veritable radio hit - and it likely would have been if it ever came to market. Slated for release in 1980 on the same indie label, Big Sound that was responsible for Van Duren's debut, Optimism languished on the shelves for a good two decades for some curious reasons laid out in the album's liner notes.  Nonetheless. it was to the detriment of not only the man in question but millions of potential fans. Despite sounding firmly rooted in the mid-70s, his should-have-been '80 sophomore effort was a doubly more lucid and state-of-the-art affair that it's predecessor, and boasting an even bigger sonic debt to Rundgren, Optimism offers sophistication in spades, and often flirts with functioning on a yacht-rock tier of aptitude (not necessarily a detriment in my book).  Armed with memorable numbers like "Tennessee, I'm Trying," and the muscular and McCartney-esque "Woman Needs Man Needs Woman," the album also manages to pay tribute to friend and collaborator Chris Bell, by way of "Make a Scene," a then-unreleased Bell composition - and boy, does Van Duren nail it!  Song for song, Optimism is both a marked progression from, and a fitting follow up to Are You Serious?  And at long last, both albums can finally be heard on a wide-scale basis in both digital and physical iterations, with Omnivore Records and Amazon being your most immediate and recommended options.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

...and tricks I could not learn in lava so hard.

From 1997.  A debut album that got absolutely everything right.  Sadly, the singer passed away late last month due to cancer.  This post is a tribute to him.  

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Saturday, November 21, 2020

The Phones - Blind Impulse (1984, Twin Tone)

What little I heard from The Phones I presented here about five years ago, namely an ep of outtakes.  This, the Minneapolis quartet's second proper album may as well be the work of a wholly different combo, and I'm not really complaining.  Seemingly having nothing in common with Mpls "big three" (Husker Du, Replacements and Soul Asylum) aim from a rhythmically-informed wavelength without bearing the tired cliches of so much ubiquitous, dancy new wave that permeated their era.  They don't futz with keyboards at all in fact, and opt to intermittently rely on saxophone a la the Psychedelic Furs instead.  The serrated, staccato guitar lines on the opening "Waiting on Patience" are a delight, but the band's  sophistication and finesse is more evident on side two, housing the pulsating title cut and "Angel of Money's" challenging guitar fills, gracefully incorporating some winsome post-punk angularities.  The overarching effect of the Phones vibe here is not unlike what Japan might have conjured up if they ditched David Sylvian and swapped him out for Peter Murphy.  An interesting and affecting record delivering some choice sonic maneuvers when the band is at it's most inspired.  

01. Waiting on Patience
02. Daylight
03. Civilization
04. Kiss the Earth
05. Blind Impulse
06. Rain
07. Besides the Facts
08. Angel of Money
09. Don't Take It
10. Chainsaw


Friday, November 20, 2020

Aztec Camera - (mostly) live ep (1985)

I guess sharing this one is a no-brainer, seeing how popular my previous Aztec Camera entries went with you.  Before going much further sorry for the unsightly splotch in the upper right corner of the sleeve, that's the state it was in when I purchased it for a mere $2.  This is actually a 10" record housed in folder, roughly the same dimensions of the kind you probably stuck in your backpack when you were in grade school (with "pockets" on the inside no less).  The sole studio offering here is a cover of Van Halen's "Jump," a version I really resisted hearing when it came out, because the combination seemed too ironic to feasibly work. In the rear-view, Roddy Frame's reading of that smash hit was downright smart and tasteful, recalibrating the meter, melody and tenor where appropriate to make it fit in an acoustic context.  

The remaining four cuts are sublime performances culled from a 1984 concert at London's Dominion Theatre, which followed up Aztec's most recent LP, Knife. Fittingly enough we're treated to two songs from that record, and equally from it's even more renown predecessor, High Land, Hard Rain.  For the purists out there who never got over the impeccability of High Land (classic and crucial as it was), and opted not to venture further into A/C's catalog, "Backwords and Forwards" and "The Birth of the True" make a really convincing case for investigating what followed.  By the way, this EP was appended to no less than two different CD reissues of Knife, both of which I regrettably slept on.  

01. Backwards and Forwards (live)
02. Jump
03. The Bugle Sounds Again (live)
04. Mattress of Wire (live)
05. The Birth of the True (live)


Sunday, November 15, 2020

How could I fall without a shove?

The 1982 debut solo album from a frontman who commandeered the most consequential dirigible in the history of rock and roll.

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Saturday, November 14, 2020

The Books - Expertise (1980, Logo)

Conducting a search for any relevant data on The Books proved a fruitless effort given that their moniker and album title are so ubiquitous by themselves (and just as much so paired together) that it wasn't long before I relented.  I don't own a physical copy (yet) so I can't even provide any biographical data a cursory set of album credits might have offered, including where they hailed from, but the UK or elsewhere in Europe is a virtually assured bet given the accents I'm picking up on.  Not quite as dark or noir as Expertise's album jacket might suggest, The Books were heavily reliant on keyboards, and deviate between an array of styles, hopscotching from the cheeky title cut and the even more high strung "Dusters," arguably running parallel to Devo, to the more conventional 'wave' inclinations of "Osterreich" and "Metaphysic."  As for "Rain" ballads don't necessarily suit them, albeit there are no outright missteps on this platter.  Recommended, and if you're really impressed Discogs enlightens us that three singles accompanied the surrounding era of Expertise.  

01. Spillage
02. Metaphysic
03. Hirohito
04. Osterreich
05. Rain
06. Expertise
07. Ballroom Debut
08. Dusters
09. I'll Be Your Friend


Thursday, November 12, 2020

TMA - What's For Dinner?/Beach Party 2000/Just Desserts Deluxe reissue (2020, Left for Dead) (rec. 1983-87) - An overview.

I made my acquaintance with New Jersey's long departed TMA for almost thoroughly superficial reasons - the eye-catching sleeve of their first album, 1984's What's For Dinner?  Ironically, not the album jacket depicted to the left, but the original cover which featured a full color illustration of a dinner plate (which could also pass for a turntable) with a curiously distorted fork and knife atop it.  The record in question, along with it's follow-up, Beach Party 2000, and an accompanying EP (Just Desserts) on top of that, have all been reissued digitally and on gorgeous splatter colored vinyl by Left For Dead Records as a limited edition box set, featuring radically retooled album art.

Beyond the sharp cover was music (imagine that!) - twenty songs to be specific...and given that a 12" side of wax usually housed five or six tracks WFD? stacked in a staggering ten on each partition.  In case you didn't see where I was going, TMA specialized in unadulterated hardcore punk, so flipping speedy and misanthropically bratty that the average timespan of any given song clocked in around ninety seconds - just enough time to get you into the kitchen to pop your "yellow-food" TV-viewing victuals out of the microwave and land you back onto the living room couch.  At this point in their tenure, TMA had little in common with their more renown contemporaries on SST Records or even their home state's recently defunct Misfits.  No, there wasn't really anything artful or visionary to TMA's shtick, but their blistering, slam-you-in-the-face ferocity made them a force of nature unto themselves, loosely drawing inspiration from virtually dozens of hardcore punters of the day, with vague resemblances to the Circle Jerks, and less so the Germs.  Dinner's songs were overtly topical in nature, philosophising not merely on what Mom's prepping on the stove come supper time, but on even worldlier concerns...like having the hots for Nancy Reagan, being perpetually broke, and romantic fantasies involving street urchins.  Heck, they even beat Husker Du to the punch by a good year via their cover of "Love is All Around" (the Mary Tyler Moore theme). The stuff of sophistication and charm for sure, all dished out in startlingly rapid and brusque fashion that manages to insert no small quotient of fun along the way.  Dinner's new black and white sleeve, commissioned by Bruce Carleton, is excruciatingly detailed to a fault, chockablock with an array of dysfunctional and exaggerated scenarios.

So what do you do for a follow-up if you're TMA?  How about ditch your original frontman (David Oldfield), reduce yourself to a trio, and adopt a more measured and poignant modus operandi that makes a break for nuanced post-punk some three years later?  Along with the band's acronym realizing it's true validity (a letter for each member: bassist Tom Emanuele, guitarist/mic fiend Mike Demko and drummer Al Rosenblum) TMA's sophomore disk and parting shot, Beach Party 2000, finds them making a discernible progression from hardcore, without abandoning the maladjusted subplot entirely.  Melody finally squeezes it's way into the picture frame, with sweeter guitars and vocals that approach a conversational level (if only intermittently).  "What Happened to You?" and "Feel Like Hell" aren't just a solid fit for slamming about to in some grimy dive, but double as a soundtrack for the half pipe as well.  Elsewhere, the dark hue of "Joe" occupies a unique terrain, and the post-hardcore sonic environs of "Hipster" smack of SST-era Husker Du guitar textures.  The overarching effect of Beach Party 2000 is similar to what 'reformed' punks like Agent Orange, The Zero Boys, MIA and Die Kreuzen were attempting at the same time, and TMA's broadening prowess really spoke volumes.  A damn fine way to go out.

Released in 2017, but tracked all the way back in '83, the Just Desserts EP (taking up a 7" in the vinyl incarnation of this set) functions more as an appetizer for the aforementioned What's For Dinner?, sporting six but short sweet bangers, with the relatively disciplined "Cylenol" rocking my boat the most.  

The entire three disk package (vinyl or CD) is available now through Bandcamp, but supplies of each are limited to 500 apiece.  A reasonably priced digital download is also at your disposal.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

The sun was burning down when I woke up yesterday.

Debut from 1993.  Still missing the frontman/songwriter/fulcrum of this once prolific band, who passed away prematurely in 2007.  Were he alive I have to wonder how many hundreds of releases he'd have for sale on Bandcamp. 

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Saturday, November 7, 2020

The Waxmen - s/t (1988, Purge)

Apologies for not getting anything to you sooner this week.  I'm lacking virtually any firsthand details on The Waxmen, however despite their moniker this New York trio was only 2/3 male, with Mary Domhan occupying the mic for a good 80% of this platter.  The tunes she fronts on are the most substantive and satisfying - "Hands That Speak," "No Easy Street," and the tension-addled "Lemmings," to be specific.  The most obvious signpost I can point to here is The Bangles, especially those L.A. luminaries' early output.  This trio aren't always a hook factory, but the brunt of The Waxmen is genuinely catchy with Domhan and cohorts not skewing to any particular flavor in excess.  And despite entailing synths, the Waxmen exude none of that starchy, over-produced, 80s glop to ruin one iota of this affair. 

01. Hands That Speak
02. Chameleon
03. Umbrella Life
04. I Don't Want Them
05. No Easy Street
06. Radio Limbo
07. Birds
08. Sparta
09. Lemmings
10. Street Sweeper
11. Secrets


Sunday, November 1, 2020

"It's an election year...

"...can you feel the changes coming?"  Keep your fingers crossed.

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Saturday, October 31, 2020

Silver Jet - Plastiqa ep (1996)

Silver Jet's only crime was signing to a major label (Virgin) too early in their career before having a chance to garner a reputation, and even more egregiously, credibility.  Funny thing was if you were one of the lucky few that got a hold of their lone album, 1997's Pull Me Up, Drag Me Down, this threesome proved they had the latter in spades.  Too high-strung to be adopted by the power-pop revivalist crowd, and not dangerous enough even for the low hanging "punk" minions, Silver Jet's album simply came and went.  The four song Plastiqa is a concise and convincing appetizer for Pull Me Up, hinging on two album cuts, plus a demo of another LP track ("Kid") and a cover of David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust era "Star."  If Redd Kross' Show World (also released in '96) and the first TSAR LP shook your world in the least, you'd be hard pressed not to enjoy these guys.

01. Plastiqa
02. Star (demo)
03. Meant to Be
04. Kid (demo)


Crashing Plains - Kamikaze Gospel tape (1988, Sticktime)

Even in the big bad old '80s when the DIY cassette album peaked (almost to be outdone by similar ubiquity in the early/mid '90s), it was rare to find ones of consistency by genuinely talented artists.  Ventura, CA's Crashing Plains are one of the relatively few bands I've featured that by and large managed to nail it on their 1988 cartridge, Kamikaze Gospel.  It helps to have memorable songs I suppose, and this now rarely mentioned and long departed indie rock trio boasted some really killer ones, in roughly the same vein of Twin/Tone-era Soul Asylum.  "I Dream of Structures," "History Starts Now," and the blistering "Reoccurring Dream," all pack a solid dollop of bite, verve and serrated guitar lines.  The Plains cool their heels on "Bury the Past," while "Holy War," is highlighted by a poignant, extended a cappella intro, before busting out into something more savage.  Kamikaze... infrequently lags here and there, but overall is a well above average keeper. 

Frontman Mike Schulte has assembled a lengthy YouTube playlist, predominantly of songs he's performed, including a handful of C/P tunes including this early rehearsal recording.  

01. Someone Else's Beat
02. Holy War
03. I Dream of Structures
04. We're All Sinners
05. Bury the Past
06. History Starts Now
07. Nothing at All
08. It Must Be the Heat
09. Nowhere to Go
10. Reoccurring Dream
11. When the Search is Over


Sunday, October 25, 2020

You threw the bricks that built this wall.

Four eps from four fairly disparate artists, with no less than three different decades represented.

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Mavelous Sauce - s/t (1991, Eureka)

Leading something of a double life, Marvelous Sauce hailed from Buffalo, but had a solid foothold a few hundredths of a latitudinal degree due north in nearby Ontario, Canada where their label, Eureka, was based, as was much of their following. The then-fresh faced foursome bore a loungy slant, falling far short of being mistaken for a "lounge act."  Overtly pop, with nary a grungy overtone or cavalcade of distortion pedals to fall back on, Marvelous Sauce were content to be their own animal, and a refined one at that. They vaguely resembled a more spartan Jellyfish on "The Amended Will," with some of their more piano-centric tunes suggesting what Ben Folds Five would have in mind later in the decade. "Sister Knows What to Do," wields a well-placed dash of blue-eyed soul, and if straight-up guitar pop is your hankering you'll find abundant charm ensconced in "Medium" and "On My Floor," the latter of which was accompanied with a pro-shot music video.  The band is known to reunite on occasion, and if you want more details on M/S this archived Buffalo News article is your best bet.

01. Sister Knows What to Do
02. Animals and Bicycles
03. The Amended Will
04. Medium
05. Strength and Sobriety
06. Talk About You
07. Move on Living
08. On My Floor
09. Underwater
10. Temporarily Aside


Thursday, October 22, 2020

L'etranger - Sticks and Stones ep (1986)

Per the bio on their Wiki page, Toronto's L'etranger began life as punks, before closing their career out with this four-songer, which found them sporting a modus operandi in tandem with the more pedestrian strains of the left-of-the-dial spectrum.  In short, Stick and Stones isn't the most distinctive record of it's era, but the quartet gets by with amply appealing and catchy tunes.  If you enjoyed what Crowded House, and to a lesser extent, the 415 Records contingent was up to in the mid-80s, you'll probably have a thing for L'etranger.  The danceable title cut features an extra funky bass-line, revealing a luscious guitar-pop center.  

01. Time and Place
02. Trail of Tears
03. Wrestling With the Nice Stuff
04. Sticks and Stones


Monday, October 19, 2020

Notes on new music: The Well Wishers and The Black Watch.

The Well Wishers's Jeff Shelton is among the first of several artists forced into involuntary quarantine this year to actualize the fruits of their labor during this inadvertent downtime.  In the five-month span Shelf Life was written, mapped out and executed, the man in question did not master any exotic instruments like an Alphorn or Sarrusophone, nor did he tap into his subconscious for a concept piece on nucleosynthesis, and heck, Shelf Life isn't even that long-promised album of Deftones covers he's had on the back burner for waaaaaay too long now (gonna keep us in suspense another year, huh Jeff?).  In the grand scheme of things, Shelton's eleventh entry into the Well Wisher's saga is essentially business as usual.  Thematically, Shelf Life isn't steeped in the trials and tribulations of the odious pandemica that is 2020.  Instead it's another airtight collection of linear power pop, teasing the Posies and what seems like a never ending wellspring of inspiration so many of us absorbed back when Not Lame mail order ruled our snail mail and in-boxes.  Plenty of crunchy delights here ("We Grow Up" & "Hide Away"), the occasional amped-out surge ("All the Same") and even a comparatively tranquil respite "Secrets and Lies."  Shelton's overall trajectory is a gracefully maturing one, but you'll no doubt mistake Shelf Life for anything other than a Well Wisher's album. You'll find it on Bandcamp, Amazon and Kool Kat.

Boasting a prolific stripe wide enough to give Robert Pollard a run for his money, this year, L.A.'s Black Watch are kickin' Covid's derriere as well, with Fromthing Somethat checking in as the band's second full length of 2020, following quickly on the heels of Brilliant Failures. So much of what I opined of that record I'm tempted to cut and paste here, but, I did something with Fromthing that I typically vow from doing with any current release that I'm dedicating press to - I read the accompanying bio.  

Frontman John Andrew Fredrick reveals that there were no rehearsals for the album. I would assume this isn't to say that not everything we hear is the first or second take, but dense, billowy constructs "Saint Fair Isle Sweater" and "Such Like Friendly Demons" sound gloriously labored over, and hardly bear the vibe of something knocked off in a couple hours.  Furthermore, this is one of the most diverse records B/W have spawned, skirting from "The Nothing That Is'" danceable, New Order-esque textures to the post-punk throb of "The Lonesome Death of Mary Hansen," to the melancholic but sonically bold strains of Fromthat's penultimate "For Always Then to Keep." As is almost standard for a Black Watch record there's no shortage of Fredrick's Anglophile-caressed connective tissue emanating throughout, upping the depth ante all that higher.  With their nineteenth album in the book, the Black Watch make the perfect case for a millennium-spanning, open-ended career.  Fromthing Somethat releases this Friday on Atom Records, and is also available physically and digitally through Bandcamp.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

And Jimmy's number 101, he knows one day he'll be one.

Debut from 1978.  Relatively speaking, a basic, then again I'm still surprised how many people haven't heard this record in it's entirety.  Nice crisp, tight production really helped this album stand out, and the band never conjured up a follow-up quite as consistent as this.

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Cool it Reba - Money Fall Out the Sky ep (1982, Hannibal)

On their lone ep this cheeky NYC bunch blended rhythmically sentient yet accessible new-wave flavorings with temptingly clangy guitar lines.  Known to frequent CBGBs, and even having the good fortune of landing opening slots for REM and Billy Idol, Cool it Reba struck me as being a phenomenally well kept secret.  It's difficult to base a band off of merely four songs, but to their credit, with such a lean oeuvre I have to hand it to CiR for making it a challenge to pick a favorite. If I was to remark on any of Money Fall Out the Sky's quadrant of entries, the title piece concerns a literal interpretation of it's premise, wherein millions pour from the heavens and such matters as say, inflation, are instantly relegated to sheer triviality.  Am digging the chiming chords in "I Saw Snakes" which briefly channels the aptitude of then-contemporaries Pylon.  Should you be so inclined, feel free to browse an archival blogsite of Cool it Reba memorabilia and such here.  

01. Money Fall Out the Sky
02. History of Love
03. I Saw Snakes
04. Out Where the Buses Don't Run


Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Mirrors - s/t (1987, Banger)

I had seen copies of this one floating around for awhile before finally taking the plunge, or more accurately examining my reflection in The Mirrors.  Thanks to usurping such a ubiquitous word for a moniker, researching this five-some made for a hapless task. From a sonic standpoint these alt-leaning, albeit demonstrably AOR grounded Huntington Beach dudes could have been riding high on the crest of a major MTV wave had they been blessed with major label validation.  No, you won't necessarily find boatloads of mystique as you fix your gaze into The Mirrors, but this affair is more inviting than you might expect thanks to frontman Brian Boru's heightened melodic chops and Paul Gilette's and Nick Random's assertive attack that threatens to propel "Black Slax" and "Roll Along" into rugged power pop terrain. The album can be previewed in it's entirety on YouTube.

01. Roll ALong
02. One More Kiss
03. Gp With Me
04. Angelina's Dream
05. Black Slax
06. WM. Mirror
07. Bracelets
08. The Only One
09. Cutting Through the Crowd


Sunday, October 11, 2020

If that's your girlfriend in the corner, why's she looking straight at me?

From 1994.  Another frontman gone way too early.  

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Saturday, October 10, 2020

New Marines - No Peace mLP (1985, American, Enigma)

So far as I know there's not one copy of this record in existence that doesn't skip all over the place.  That includes my two copies, the ones sent out to DJs and press people, or even the stray version of the New Marines No Peace that might be chilling in the used section of your local record dispensary.  This sadly, structurally flawed disk existed only on vinyl, enjoyed one initial pressing in '83, and evidently no gatekeeper at Enigma sat down for a mere half hour to scrutinize a test copy for any hiccups or irregularities.  An unbelievable set of circumstances, and given the now aged time frame of it's release there's no evidence the issue was officially addressed.  

So why am I going to the trouble of sharing it, warts and all?  A couple reasons, namely I found a rip of No Peace where a good half of the tunes play back relatively smoothly.  Secondly, audio imperfections aside, it's a stimulating concoction of new-wave and mainstream-ish pop rock, with catchy and incisive cuts like "No Peace Through Chemistry" and "When We Were Young," that maintain enough of a nervy edge to keep things interesting and warrant repeat listenings.  By the time you hit "J.O." that's where things get bumpy and the blemishes become glaringly obvious.  Some great music here, but as I've observed I have serious doubts that a properly functioning copy of this album ever made it's way to market.  If any of ya'll have any insight into what went awry with No Peace, or can offer a superior digitized version, don't be a stranger.  Thanks to whomever went to the effort of making the rip I'm presenting today.

01. No Peace Through Chemistry
02. She Won't Wear That Collar
03. When We Were Young
04. Style is the Way
05. J.O.
06. Lift Pad
07. Do it For Science


Thursday, October 8, 2020

Venus in Furs - Real Moral Fibre (1986, Backs )

I was nothing short of buoyed upon hearing the first track off this crackly slab of wax, "Love Lies," a wondrous six minute salvo of new romantic synth pop oozing a great Peter hook-style bass line, the rhythmic propensity of A Flock of Seagulls, all couched in the more accessible vestiges of Echo and the Bunnymen.  And then...I heard the remainder of Real Moral Fibre, and soon learned that said Venus in Furs jewel of an opener was very much the exception, not the rule.  It isn't that the rest of the LP isn't worth tuning into, so much as the going takes a turn for the difficult quickly.  ViF definitely had a Jones for insular prog ("Mashima's Sepukko") and more so goth ("New Terrorists" and "Verve").  Not the most unenviable plateaus for a band to be stranded on, but if you're salivating for anything resembling a hook, ...Moral Fibre may as well begin and end with the aforementioned "Love Lies."  Apologies in advance for the abundant surface noise on this record, which despite my misgivings really deserves to be remastered for a digital medium of some sort.  

01. Love Lies
02. Your Lover Just Called
03. Verve
04. Mishima's Sepukko
05. Terrorists
06. Wunderkind
07. The Hand That Squeezed The Heart


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Re-ups for Octoner.

Thanks for your patience on these.  Will try to get some new music to you this week as well.

V/A - Teen Line - Vols 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Mission of Burma - Electro-acoustic sessions

Tommy Keene - 1981 & '84 demos

Jason Falkner - rarities

Splitsville - Amateur Hour

Breaking Circus - The Very Long Fuse, The Ice Machine, Smokers Paradise

Rifle Sport - Voice of Reason and Primo & White

Nice Strong Arm - Mind Furnace and Stress City

milf - ha ha bus!, antidope, feasting on fried afterthoughts 1 & 2, rock salad, everyone should stop doing everything, split single with Tugboat Annie

Dole - The Speed of Hope

The Freshies - Rough 'n Ready tape

Chris Sievey - Big Ready LP + 7"

Titanic Love Affair -No Charisma ep, Their Titanic Majesties Requests and Ice Cream Funeral tape

fIREHOSE - ragin' full on demos

Bitter Pleasures
- Eat the Monument ep

Altered Images - Peel Sessions 

Summer Suns - Greatest

Ultra Vivid Scene - eps collection

Belreve - Nothing 7"

The Verge - Habitual ep 

Jawbox/Edsel - split 7"

The Heavy Blinkers - Hooray for Everything 

Delusions of Grandeur - Picture Perfect Martyr ep

Falling Stairs - That and a Quarter ep 

The Icons - Art in the Dark

Nub - 7"

Starvation Army - In the Red ep

Bring Home the Lobsters - tape

The Saints - Monkey Puzzle 

The Press - Fodder for the Critics 

The Shake - s/t ep

Taboo Zoo - s/t ep 

The Talk - Not Just Hearsay

The Lines - Statues ep 

The Visitors - No Sign of Intelligent Life

The Surf - Out of Step 

Customers - Green Bottle Thursday

Alien Crime Syndicate - ep & single 

Sour Landslide - Friends of Dracula and They Promised Us Jobs

Grand Champeen - Out Front by the Van & Soul Asylum tribute concert

The High Speed Scene - s/t ep

The Mice - Who Cut the Cheese?

Say-so - tape

Dirty Face - I Can Hurt Myself... 

Wooden Igloo - s/t LP

Deep 6 - Garage D'or

Rolls Rocks - s/t LP 

White Cross - When the Fabrics Torn ep 

V/A - Loud Ugly Pop 

V/A - The View From Here

Alarming Trends - You Make Me Live in a Trailer 

Wobble Test - trixinickybambibo tape 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

… but this is hopeless I’m handing in my notice, giving my four days…

A b-sides and rarities compilation from 1997 from one of my Aussie go-to bands of this era. Tons of covers to indulge in as well.

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Away...to return soon.

Hiya. Won't be able to share any new tunes this week kids, but I might be able to revive some of the dead link requests this Sunday night (yes, I've been seeing your comments and emails).  Thanx.