Wyatt's Torch. It featured four songs from one of my favorite '90s indie standbys, Poole. It also included four songs apiece from three other groops: The Technical Jed and The Seymores, both of whom I had some familiarity with, and then there was one completely unknown quantity - Ultra Cindy. In a nutshell, I came for Poole, stayed for Ultra Cindy...and never quite left. Hailing from Virginia Beach, UC bore all the earmarks of top-shelf dream pop - woozy washes of tremolo, oodles of echo, and slightly murky vocals. Sure, there was a lot of that stuff going around in the early '90s, and virtually all of it was commendable to one extent or the other, but Ultra Cindy were shining their collective beam of light from a slightly askew direction. None of that heavy handed, wall-of-noise, Loveless muck - no, no, no, Ultra Cindy took their cues from such Eastern seaboard propositions as Smashing Orange, Fudge, and the Lilys. Perhaps even a little subtler than that Yankee trifecta I might add, and they were all the wiser for it.
In my post-Wyatt's Torch world, the next step was to locate their out of print full length, The Mermaid's Parade. After a few months of web browsing I secured a mint condition used copy, and in 2008 I shared it on Wilfully Obscure, along with the revelatory aforementioned compilation. Almost as soon as I absorbed Mermaid's Parade I was hankering for more, and after getting in touch with a couple of UC alumni, I was pleased to learn that indeed there was more, if only a little bit. The single I'm posting today contains a pair of songs that predate the other two recordings I've rambled at length about. "Whirlwind" and "Rollercoaster" depict a noisier, and dare I say untamed Ultra Cindy, teaming with swarms of distortion and other assorted effects, bringing influences like Ride and Chapterhouse to the table. Well worth the wait if you ask me. I'm afraid you're going to have to contend with a copious amount of vinyl noise, especially on "Whirlwind," but the songs are still very much discernible. A very big thanks to Josh for setting me up with this wax!
Russ Tolman "Down In Earthquake Town" 1988 - Russ Tolman is a singer-songwriter who came to international attention in the 1980s as guitarist, songwriter, and producer of True West, a band associated ...
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