Sunday, April 21, 2019

And in that infinite place, you'll see a smile on my blank face...

An expanded reissue of a 1983 UK debut that deserved a better fate.

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

Hear

Easter re-ups.

Your requests and then some.  Dig in.

Hüsker Dü - Zen Arcade demos, parts 1, 2 & 3
Hüsker Dü - Psychepowerpopapunk
Finger - s/t LP and singles
Ground Round - Memories Better Left Behind
Jawbox - Another Scrapbook of Even More Fatal Accidents
The Love In - s/t ep
Sometimes Y - One Fell Swoop
Wink - s/t LP
Tictoc - Where the Picnic Was
Scott Wilk & the Walls - s/t LP
Steve Naive - s/t LP
Lost Luggage - Synchronous Ownership... ep
Ward 8 (Winter Hours) - tape
Red House - There is a Window
Sebadoh - Oven is My Friend ep & split single w/ Azalia Snail
84 Nash - Band For Hire
Reeve Oliver - three eps
Change of Heart - Soapbox
Creeper Lagoon - rarities & live 1998
Viola Peacock - This Way to the Alley...
Fluffy - 7"
V/A - 415 Music
V/A - Why Do You Think They Call it Pop?
Kashmir - 7"
Papas Fritas - Friday Night 7"
The Caroline Know - 7"
Sea Hags - demo 
Propaganda - Calling on Moscow ep
New Musik - Straight Lines ep
Gigolo Aunts - Learn to Play Guitar ep
Brave New World - The Law of Series ep
The Primevals - Sound Hole

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry - demos and such (early/mid '80s)

Just when I thought I had everything by my favorite post-punk gloomersters, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, this surfaces, thanks to the magic of the internet.  I've had access to the Leeds quartet's five albums and a bazillion singles for roughly three decades now, not to mention dozens of live bootlegs, but virtually nothing in the way of studio rarities.  I found this unauthorized collection of early(ish) demos and alternate takes on my file sharing platform of choice last year, but it was derived from an apparently defunct music blog that his since been wiped from the internet.  Truth be told, you need to be an aficionado of the Lorries to really get the gist of this, considering a good half of it is composed of instrumentals.  Even for die-hards it's not quite an epiphany, but unless Chris Reed & Co decide to officially relinquish their archives it's as close to a grail as we're likely to get.

Things commence with "Monkeys on Juice," the source of which is uncredited, so most likely an early/working version.  A bit of a deviation on the chorus melody makes this one interesting.  The tape leads into a mid-tempo instrumental, with one of Wolfie's quintessentially serrated guitar lines.  We're then treated to a handful of BBC sessions, that have been widely circulated heretofore, but slot in nicely given the era that's presented. A cavalcade of delightfully raw four-track demos arrives next, previewing their first album Talk About the Weather and it's surrounding singles.  The arrangements of some are revealingly spartan, with vocals absent on several tunes...and the employment of a drum machine.  We're treated to two consecutive versions (on the same track no less) of my favorite Lorries anthem, "Generation," and another untitled instro piece.  The tail of the tape offers two spins of their '85 single, "Chance."  A couple of anomalies to bear in mind.  Some of the demos end abruptly, but this may have been intentional.  Also you'll notice the track list is missing a 3rd selection, and unfortunately I'm not at all privy to what it was.  Lorries fans have to take what we can get, and I'm hardly complaining, because this was quite the find.

01. Monkeys on Juice
02. untitled
04. This Today (BBC session)
05. Sometimes (BBC session)
06. Hand on Heart (BBC session)
07. Talk About the Weather (4-track demo)
08. Feel a Piece (4-track demo)
09. Hollow Eyes (4-track demo)
10. Hand on Heart (4-track demo)
11. Generation (two vers - 4-track demo)
12. Spinning Round (4-track demo)
13. Feel a Piece (inst) (4-track demo)
14. untitled (4-track demo)
15. Chance (inst)
16. Chance

https://www108.zippyshare.com/v/8NNps23x/file.html

Friday, April 19, 2019

Droogs - Stone Cold World (1984, Plug-n-Socket)

Sorry it took so long to get some new tunes to you this week!  So here we have the Droogs, a long misbegotten L.A. quartet who seemed to have a robust cult following at the time.  On this Earle Mankey-produced full length, the foursome in question are more sophisticated than your average bar rock set, and boasted more versatility than your garden variety garage toilers.  In a nutshell, the Droogs were a cut above average, albeit not always distinctive. The band's penchant was nervy, but linear enough to have translated to pedestrian ears, specifically on the title cut and the rugged "Change is Gonna Come."  "Mr. Right" takes on the world's power brokers, "From Another Side" is a brisk banger with some spicy guitar leads, and the Droogs even take on the Sonics classic "He's Waiting," (though truthfully I had more fun with the Fastbacks versions).  I apologize in advance for all the vinyl noise, especially on side one.

01. Change is Gonna Come
02. Set My Love on You
03. For the Remaining Days
04. Stone Cold World
05. Mr. Right
06. From Another Side
07. He's Waiting (live NYC)
08. The Only Game in Town

https://www44.zippyshare.com/v/9fLe2Im2/file.html

Sunday, April 14, 2019

But the records never sold, and that was bad...

Another one from 1993.  My apologies if I've shared this one before.

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

Hear

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Record Store Day retro - Bored Games (1982/2014, Captured Tracks) & Big Dipper (2013, Almost Ready)

Welcome to Record Store Day!  True, this ain't no record store but for some of you music blogs are the next best thing.  Thankfully brick and mortar music dispensaries still exist, and on the second or third Saturday of every April the powers that be concocted a way to usher the proles into shops with a really cool (albeit expensive) incentive - hundreds of seriously limited vinyl releases all hitting the racks in one fell swoop.  I think I'd be jumping the gun to throw one of today's new Record Store Day releases out there for public consumption, so how about two items from RSD's past?

If you've been a longtime follower of this page, you know that I've all but come out and said the Straitjacket Fits are my favorite New Zealand export.  Through the late '80s right up until a good portion of the Clinton-era the band only gave us three albums of distortion-addled indie rock before they got tired of that whole bit.  Anyway, I'm the type that likes to excavate precursor, or "prequel" bands as it were, and as luck would have it there was indeed life before the Fits by way of frontman Shayne Carter's earlier punk outfit, Bored Games.  Only problem was, their only release was a 1982 EP that only saw the light of day down under on Flying Nun Records, and only a few die-hard Kiwi obsessives in North America imported a copy.  In fact, I assumed the record to be so scarce I quit looking for it before I even started.  To my utter good fortune and amazement, in 2014 Captured Tracks Records decided to repress that record, Who Killed Colonel Mustard, for that year's hallowed RSD, and I was more than delighted to snatch one up. Per the album sleeve, BG were a quintet, yet no one in the lineup other than Carter carried over to the Fits, or even his in-between combo, The DoublehappysColonel Mustard was the product of high school-aged kids wise beyond their years (at least a couple years anyway).  It's four meagerly recorded, mid-tempo cuts are in the mold of early-Buzzcocks (and I mean the Howard Devoto years folks) which entails a certain amount of sass and dare I say even a modicum of melody.  "Joe 90" is the number that carries this disk over the finish line, a driving, deftly crafted ditty that's appealing as anything the Saints or Scientists ever devised.  Colonel Mustard may not be the most crucial artifact of it's era, but unarguably a keeper.  I've got it for you below in both MP3 and lossless FLAC.

Onto to something a bit less archival.  If the name Big Dipper rings a big bell you probably go back aways, say 25-30 years ago.  This Beantown college rock staple was incorporated in the mid-80s out of the ashes of Volcano Suns.  The Suns Steve Michener and Gary Waleik hooked up with ex-Embarrassment axe slinger Bill Goffrier and drummer Jeff Oliphant who came courtesy of some less renown projects.  Big Dipper managed to differentiate themselves from those aforementioned antecedent bands, and created a unique noise-pop excursion of their own on an ep and a pair of lauded albums for Homestead Records (check out Heavens and Craps).  They made the jump to Epic Records in 1990 and issued one record, Slam, that found the quartet streamlining their approach before abandoning things altogether.  They reunited in 2012, minus Michener, and delivered a new LP, Big Dipper Crashes on the Platinum Planet, that helped reestablish their indie cred.  When I picked this 45 up in 2013 I assumed it consisted of exclusive material (or at least a non-LP b-side).  Ultimately both songs were swiped from ...Platinum Planet, but the rather oblique sleeve was designed by Guided by Voices' Robert Pollard, making it worth the price of admission alone.  If you're new to B/D, or at any rate their last album, consider this 45 as a taster of sorts.  The tense "Joke Outfit" makes for a frenetic and dissonant three minutes, while the more subdued "Market Scare" traipses along on it's own wavelength.

Bored Games - Who Killed Colonel Mustard ep
01. Happy Endings
02. I Don't Get It
03. Joe 90
04. Bridesmaid

MP3  or  FLAC

Big Dipper 7"
A. Joke Outfit
B. Market Scare

https://www1.zippyshare.com/v/yNEhEjLL/file.html

Friday, April 12, 2019

Neurotic Blondes - s/t tape (1988)

A couple months ago a friend handed me a sack of old local demo tapes that he wanted me to digitize. Thought it would be fun to share this one even though I'm hardly over the moon about it.  I can't tell you much about the Neurotic Blondes other than they resided in the Buffalo, NY area and were fronted by a female singer.  Unpretentious homegrown indie pop with some occasional punky vibes, that amazingly doesn't sound like an obvious product of the '80s.  No keyboards/keytars or anything remotely excessive.  Can't say these folks resembled anyone in particular.  Song selection is a little uneven, especially at the beginning, but the Blondes catch fire midway on the tuneful "Burning Down the Bridges" and "Close."  A couple throwaways too, but nothing egregious, and a bratty reading of a John Denver classic closes this affair out.  Make what you will of Neurotic Blondes.

01. On the Bus
02. Locked Within
03. Anonymous Friend
04. Burning Down the Bridges
05. Close
06. The Words Escape Me
07. In Pursuit
08. Buster
09. Average Guy
10. Jet Plane

https://www3.zippyshare.com/v/KgI9wEBj/file.html

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Tictoc - Twenty Questions 12" (1983, Dallcorte)

Eleven years is a long time for a follow-up post.  Not that I intended it that way.  Back in 2008 when I shared Tictoc's lone album, Where the Picnic Was, I knew there really wasn't much more where that came from.  Like a lot of wave/new romantic outfits in the '80s who didn't score a monster hit out of the gate, this Toronto quartet probably didn't think sticking around for a second act was a feasible option.  And while Picnic was a commendable effort, the album as a whole seemed to be overshadowed by the irresistibly vibrant single "Twenty Questions."  Brandishing an infectious punctuated synthesizer riff, the song oozes with the visceral immediacy and excitement of any intelligent dance-pop number of its era, often striking me as what a mutation of Duran Duran and Kajagoogoo might have amounted to.  This extended single is one of a couple iterations, but mine (which I found sealed a few months ago, no less) features a nicely extended remix on side one.  On the flip they hand us the album version, plus a non-LP cut that starts life out as an instrumental, before inexplicably segueing into a cover of the '40s standard "One For My Baby."

A. Twenty Questions (extended)
B1. Twenty Questions (LP vers)
B2. The Village~One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)

https://www62.zippyshare.com/v/gk0W2VS9/file.html

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

For Against - Aperture (1993), Mason's Califiornia Lunchroom (1995), Shelf Life (1997) - 2018 reissues on Saint. Marie - a brief overview.

How can I legitimately call this a 'review' when I'm entirely partial to the subject I'm talking about?  For arguments sake let's call this a write-up - and a tardy one at that seeing that these reissues have been available for almost half a year already.  Lincoln, NE's For Against have been a monumental favorite of mine, and IMO stand as one of the most essential late-twentieth century trios alongside The Police and Husker Du.  However for the three-piece this entry concerns, their lineup was remarkably fluid by comparison.  Frequently lauded in small circles For Against's first two LPs, Echelons (1987) and December (1988) were the product of frontman/bassist Jeff Runnings, guitar wielder Harry Dingman III, and drummer Greg Hill.  Groomed on the likes of Joy Division, early Cure and myriad 4AD and Rough Trade imports, the initial F/A template was marked with a chilly, insular demeanor and an omnipresent post-punk wail, not to mention an air of cool so dense the sharpest Ginsu knife in the world wouldn't breach it.  Yet these austere sonic environs were surprisingly approachable thanks to Runnings melodic vocal aplomb, countering Dingman's slicing, echoing chords and Hill's snare-heavy backbeat.  Even on a collection of nascent demos (corralled on a 10" record, In the Marshes) For Against's formula was deliriously intoxicating and advanced...not to mention a curious one at that given their deep-red state locale of Nebraska where they must have stuck out conspicuously.

The '90s saw the departure of Dingman and Hill for other endeavors, but thankfully, a revamped incarnation of For Against materialized, and from a creative standpoint thrived exponentially.  Runnings not only retained his singer status but abandoned bass for a six string.  And instead of bringing aboard a full time bassist he opted for a new lead guitarist in the guise of Steven Hinrichs, whose former jangle pop contingent, the Gladstones I've featured previously on this site.  So, no bassist it was for F/A mach II, but new drummer Paul Engalhard filled in Greg Hill's stead capably. The renovated trio arrived with a new album, Aperture, and a veritably different modus operandi to accompany it.  1991's Aperture alongside it's Clinton-era follow-ups, Mason's California Lunchroom and Shelf Life have been lovingly reissued as a lavish vinyl box set on Saint Marie Records.  They're also available separately on wax and CD, and even a modest CD bundle.

The new and arguably improved For Against bore plenty of resemblances to the template Runnings established in the 1980s.  But the new lineup brought some attendant and demonstrable developments.  First and foremost the stilted and often rigid demeanor that prevailed on Echelons and December had been relaxed considerably by the time Aperture was rolled out.  Thematically, F/A were still mightily downcast, but an empathetic steak was emerging, and the abstract and existentialist concerns of before were diminished in favor of romantic 'grievances,' for lack of a better word.  You see, despite Aperture's malcontent-driven agenda, the band's sonic motifs, including Runnings' unflappably chill parlance are enough to make you oblivious to all the inherent tension.  No assailing shards of power chords this time around, rather ethereal, chiming leads akin to the Cocteau Twins (sans the extraneous dream-pop gauze).  This album is a utopian merger of progressive, forward-thinking indie pop with an irresistibly palatable exterior.  Nonetheless, Aperture is still one bitter mofo of a record, with sentiments like "Do you think the worst of me, I'm thinking the worst of you" (from "Don't Do Any Favors") exuding a healthy dose of righteously indignant schadenfreude.  Perhaps not the epitome of For Against, standout cuts like "You Only Love Twice" and "Nightmare Life" just might make you opine that Aperture is just that.

Whether you're a casual For Against-er or are devoutly For Against (like moi), it would be hard to argue that the afore-critiqued Aperture and it's two subsequent follow-ups, Mason's California Lunch Room and Shelf Life weren't trimmed from the same sackcloth. Not only were all three constructed by the same lineup (Runnings/Hinrichs/Engalhard) they shared a very similar aesthetic.  In fact, the most accurate way of differentiating this trio of albums is by their gradations of melancholy.  Thoroughly oblivious to the seismic grunge/alt rock reverberations of the era, F/A's 1995 entry, Mason's... curtails Aperture's cathartic tensions ever so mildly. Hinrich's unremittingly clangy guitar fills woo with sweet jangly persuasion, plied with Runnings sharp melodic chops, which seem to heighten with every successive F/A record.  "Seesick," "Tagalong" and "Coursing" swell with ambivalent to downright regretful themes, but amidst these forlorn ruminations resides a musical formula so absorbing and heady, that any overarching pessimism invariably stops short of overpowering the songs themselves.


'97's Shelf Life caps this near-perfect trifecta, and while it thankfully does little to alter the band's established formula there's at least a modicum of yin and yang at play.  "Lost" offers such quintessential one-liners as, "Doing what I do best/going nowhere," fully in keeping with F/A's downer ethos.  And while that tune has plenty of company on Shelf Life, it's countered by the comparatively buoyant and dare I say optimistic opener "Shadow." What's more, the band covers their then-contemporaries East River Pipe's downright sprite "Times Square Go-Go Boy," making for a refreshing change of pace.  Virtually anywhere the needle lands here yields a hook-fest that's impossible to dodge.  Yes, you can say that about virtually hundreds of For Against's peers (past or present) but this remarkably consistent and gratifying marvel from the Cornhusker state bore an indigenous stripe so vibrant these records haven't lost an iota of their potency or relevancy in the ensuing decades.

As mentioned all three titles are available separately or as a vinyl box set/CD bundle straight from Saint Marie Records.  Digital options are available at your fingertips via Amazon, iTunes and Spotify.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

I try to walk in a straight line. An imitation of dignity.

From 1993.  Their first album caught a lot of us off guard.  The third was one for the ages.  So how did their not-as-talked about sophomore LP stack up?  You be the judge.

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

Hear

Saturday, April 6, 2019

The Howl - A Handshake and a Kiss (1987, Dresser)

I'll cut to the chase.  This is a damn uneven record...but I don't think it was intended as such.  Maybe it's because these Rochester, NY suburbanites never really stayed on the same page from one song to the next.  The Howl's overarching shtick can accurately be deemed noir alt-rock, but there's too much fluidity amidst A Handshake and a Kiss that even a broad parameter such as that doesn't always conveniently apply.  Credited as a duo on the album jacket (though sounding suspiciously more like a quartet) you might say the Howl were about as "goth" as Gene Loves Jezebel.  In fact, you'll pick up on some vague Gene-esque angularities on "Disconnect" and "Give Your Heart to Me."  The real keeper on Handshake is undoubtedly "Red on Red," an appealing, mid tempo post-punk salvo with a discernible hook and guitar-work recalling vintage Comsat Angels.  And whaddaya know, the Howl are even generous enough to give us six minutes of this primo piece.  I can't always speak highly of the remainder of the record, which houses some real oddities like "Abduction," that commences with boilerplate blues guitar licks before abruptly segueing into an unlikely hardcore punk throwdown.  Anyway, eight cuts total and you might say each one has it's own flavor.  Find out which one(s) are right for you.

01. Disconnect
02. A Handshake and a Kiss
03. Marble Walls
04. Abduction
05. Red is Red
06. I Love - You Hate
07. Give Your Heart to Me
08. Judgement Day

https://www1.zippyshare.com/v/XklB9Jn7/file.html

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Decline of the Reptiles - The Hammer Speaks ep (1985, Waterfront)

Not to be confused with another similarly named down under band, Reptiles at Dawn, Sydney's Decline of the Reptiles hurled a couple lawn darts at the proverbial musical map, and decided to decamp in environs not far removed from the likes of the Birthday Party and Lime Spiders, at least for a good chunk of The Hammer Speaks ep.  The wailin' and hepped up "Peel Out" is a sassy slice of unadulterated rockabilly, that's no doubt the most raucous thing this record has to offer.  Nonetheless, my song of choice of here is the rather anomalous, "Time Stand Still," a near-five minute pop nugget filled out with that ringing guitar stuff I’m such a sucker for.  The remainder of the ep dabbles in some garagey, organ driven forays that are as well suited to the Decline's acumen as any other motif that comes to mind. 

01. Peel Out
02. Time Stand Still
03. The Visitor
04. You're Lost
05. The Hammer Speaks

Sunday, March 31, 2019

What your perversion?

A phenomenal label compilation highlighting British (with a few exceptions) indie pop that was too damn good for the mainstream.

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

Saturday, March 30, 2019

People Have Names 7" (1986)

More mystery rock 'o the 80s.  Just the stuff of Wilfully Obscure dreams.  The only contact info provided for People With Names was an oblong leaflet tossed in with this 45 providing a Buffalo, NY contact address.  If indeed that's where this combo hails from they didn't have squat to do with the likes of the Goo Goo Dolls.  Instead, PWN subscribed to a synthy aesthetic more in league with coldwave.  The A-side "Entertainer" isn't your typical radio-friendly keyboard fodder, rather sleek and cerebral with minimalist undercurrents bearing an irresistible concaved rhythm.  The vocals, predominantly spoken, may not jibe with everyone, but they do vaguely recall Neil Tennant's parlance in the Pet Shop Boys "West End Girls." The flip, "Another Florence Nightingale" ups the melodic ante a tad without sacrificing mystique.  Deliciously subterranean with DIY sophistication for miles.  My copy of the sleeve has a rather obtrusive radio station decal that I was mostly able to Photoshop out.

A. Entertainer
B. Another Florence Nightingale

https://www99.zippyshare.com/v/5zLjBlzr/file.html

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Bone Symphony - s/t ep (1983)

I was the under the assumption that one Scott Wilk had no other claim to (not-so-much) fame than the eponymous record he recorded with his band The Walls way back in 1980.  Turns out that wasn't his only musical foray, as I learned quite belatedly of his subsequent stint as frontman for Bone Symphony.  Sure enough, by 1983 Wilk had traded in the Walls Elvis Costello homage for B/S's de rigueur new wave, albeit not the serious variety, say like OMD or even Duran.  Instead, Bone Symphony loosely opted for Oingo Boingo as their template.  Amidst this ep's five numbers were patently cheesy keyboard maneuvers aplenty, with the band all but insisting they had proficiently absorbed the latest '80s studio affectations lock, stock and barrel.  Thing is, parts of the record are genuinely catchy and warrant repeat spins, namely "It's a Jungle Out There" and "Dome of the Spheres."  Unfortunately nothing on the record made it beyond early-AM MTV playlist status, however Wilk and Co. earned minor notoriety with Bone's contribution to the first Revenge of the Nerds soundtrack, "One Foot on Front of the Other."  Not for nothing, The Hustle podcast did a fairly in depth interview with the man in question not too long ago. 

01. It's a Jungle Out There
02. Everything I Say is a Lie
03. I'll Be There for You
04. Piece of My Heart
05. Dome of the Spheres

https://www113.zippyshare.com/v/zQpy5AP3/file.html

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Your excellence is almost scientific.

The bonus disc, and only the bonus disc of this expanded reissue of a 1979 classic.

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

Hear

PS I Love You - Heart of Stone (2002, Rocket Girl)

If you weren't able to get enough of Majesty Crush's lone LP, Love 15 and spate of short form releases, you'll be happy to know there was an epilogue of sorts via the late David Stroughter's subsequent project, PS I Love You.  M/C were consistently pinned with the shoegazer tag, at least by the press, but their heady dream pop inclinations were only half the story.  Beneath that gauzy glaze was sincere songwriting and a somewhat clandestine melodic undercurrent.  In a nutshell, Stroughter eschewed much of Majesty's extraneous noise, and treated PS I Love You as something of a glorified solo entity, and a comparatively breathable one at that. Ironically, one of my favorites on Heart of Stone, "Amsterdam," is none other than a blatant rewrite of M/C's "Penny for Love."  Considering how much I loved the original incarnation of that song, I'm hardly complaining!  Elsewhere we get shout-outs to a certain My Bloody Valentine frontman ("Where the Fuck if Kevin Shields") and the Beatles ("Set the Controls for the Heart of Liverpool"), alongside ruminations on far less iconic topics. 

If the achingly bittersweet "Unless I See You Again" sounds vaguely familiar, it's likely because you downloaded it here, on Majesty Crush's exceedingly scarce mini-LP, P.S. I Love You, the title of which foreshadowed Stroughter's second act.

01. Irish Fuzz
02. New York
03. Where the Fuck is Kevin Shields
04. Amsterdam
05. Burnout Girl
06. Camel Toe
07. Anna
08. Love Will Find a Way
09. Hail Mary
10. Unless I See You Again
11. Set the Controls for the Heart of Liverpool
12. No Sharks Allowed

https://www59.zippyshare.com/v/PZ5ZqTX0/file.html

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Re-ups.

My apologies for being so slack in getting these links restored.  Thanks for your requests.  Hopefully this will you amused for awhile.  

milf - feasting on fried afterthoughs 1 & 2, rock salad, everyone should stop doing everything
Titanic Love Affair - No Charisma ep, Their Titanic Majesties Request
Sneetches - Lights Out, Starfucker ep, Think Again ep
Paul Collins Beat, 20/20, Sinceros and Bruce Wooley - live 1979 power pop special
Dreams So Real - Nocturnal Omissions 
Zeitgeist - Translate Slowly
The Reivers - Translate Slowly
Gladstones - Jeremy
Dramarama - The Days of Wayne and Roses
Psych Furs - Interchords
The Fixx - Live 1983 promo ep
Helmet Boy - s/t LP
Steve Blimkie and the Reason - s/t LP 
The Germs - G.I. rough mixes
V/A - Scalping the Guru - Guided By Voices tribute 
I Love You - Live ep
Everready - Fairplay
Metal Pitcher (pre-Superchunk) - 7"
Pollyanna - Hello Halo
Truly - Leslie's Coughing Up Blood ep
Reeve Oliver - three eps
Mod Lang - Where Your Heart ep
Fields Laughing - 7" ep
A Picture Made - Past ep
Newkeys - Acts of Love
The Volcanos - s/t LP
Doll Congress - s/t ep
Aunt Helen - Nephews...
100 Flowers - 21st Guessing
Revelons - Anthology
Stuntman - s/t 
Muler - The State of Play
Trunk - La-ugh
Summer Suns - Greatest
Viola Peacock - The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter
Baby Tooth - Rare Book Room ep & 7"
Riff Doctors - tape
Mockers - Culprit and the King
The Piersons - Appleberry Wine
The Gerunds - Our Son 
God's Reflex - Shifting 7" ep

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Subdueds - s/t (1987, Subdued)

My best guess is this West Haven, Connecticut quartet didn't make a huge name for themselves outside of their local enclave, because I hadn't heard so much as a mere mention of them before happening upon this record a couple years ago.  Then again, the Subdueds weren't at all indebted to the gaudier and gimmick-ier temptations of their era, instead adhering to a linear power-pop modus operandi.  Loosely in league with the likes of the Spongetones and Romantics (but really exhibiting a more pedestrian bent than either) these cahps were most effective when they indulged in the vibrant power chord splay of "I Feel Good" and "Too Many Things."  The going gets a little too optimistic on the feel-good concluding cut, "I Love Living," but I guess it beats misery.

01. The First Step
02. Too Many Things
03. One More Time
04. I Feel Good (Hey So)
05. Song for Darryl
06. Ginny Mae
07. I Love Living

https://www1.zippyshare.com/v/z2a6xhSW/file.html

Regarding Zippyshare in accessibility in Britain.

I meant to post something regarding this matter last week, but had really hope it has been resolved.  My file-hoster of choice, Zippyshare is apparently blocking access to users in the UK without having provided any explanation.  Initially, when this matter was brought to my attention last week it was reported that Zippyshare was blocked by Britain's largest service providers: Sky, BT, Vodafone and Virgin.  Per a recent article on TechNadu however, Zippyshare itself is denying access to download links.  Frustratingly, there has been no official statement from Zippyshare HQ.  Upon arrival to the site through one of my download links, readers are greeted with a "403 Forbidden" error, or something to that effect.  Thus far I have learned of two potential workarounds.

1) Access Wilfuly Obscure thorough a proxy server.  One that some visitors have had success with is: 

https://www.hidemyass-freeproxy.com/proxy/en-ww/aHR0cDovL3dpbGZ1bGx5b2JzY3VyZS5ibG9nc3BvdC5jb20

2) Go though a virtual private network (VPN).  I don't really understand the mechanics of VPNs or how to establish one, so if you are as new to this concept as I am, please poke around the web for a better explanation/tutorial.

If you're in Britain, please keep me posted if anything develops on his matter.  Additionally I will look into the possibility of changing file hosters, however I've already made migrations from two others that have gone dark, Radpidshare and Netkups, and as you might imagine with the amount of content on W/O I am reluctant to go down that road again. My apologies for any inconveniences. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Looking for the house that dad built.

Pristine, melodically endowed jangle 'n strum greatness from 1989.

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

Hear

The Garden Path - 5 Reasons (1986, Greasy)

Here's another gem of a record that I don't own the physical vinyl of...but I'm working on it.  Adelaide, Australia was home base for The Garden Path, a sterling indie pop five-piece who recording for the equally sterling and rewarding Greasy Pop imprint.  Regarding their debut, 5 Reasons, it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine that these guys had encountered a Rain Parade or Dream Syndicate record or two.  Their psych-inclinations, while evident, aren't heavy handed, and like home-country contemporaries done good, the Church, the Garden Path aren't maneuvering for any cloying throwbacks to the the sixties (though I have to admit, the keyboards augmenting "What Do You Want to Hear" faintly exude a farfisa organ).  A balance of subtly and dynamics characterize 5 Reasons, and I'm curious as to how they progressed on subsequent releases.  A double CD archive of their recordings, Take it All Back, was released in 2011 and appears to be sold out.  After the jump, take a gander at TGP taking on the Soft Boys "Kingdom of Love," and executing it with as much perfection as the original.




01. This Place
02. Into the Clouds
03. Times (Out of Mind)
04. 5 Reasons
05. What Do You Want to Hear
06. Strangers
07. 5000 Miles
08. Little Pieces

https://www47.zippyshare.com/v/5myma53M/file.html

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Episode I - Young and in Debt (1987, Bam Boo)

Up for a new wave cold case?  Here's yet another record that I'm only fortunate enough to possess files of, so I don't even have something as basic  a back cover to refer to.  Episode I's seemingly lone album has a supposed issue date of 1987, but the accoutrements this outfit (presumably a duo) employed strike me as being backdated by a good four or five years.  Anyway, these guys plucked out a raft of synthy 80's affectations like they were going out of style (true that).  They had a couple of saving graces.  First, they didn't go overboard on any particular tune, but better yet they actually came up with a few genuinely memorable ditties - "Maggie," "America Loves You," "Time After Time," among others.  Heightened pop sensibilities abound, albeit nothing slick - which is just the way I happen to like it.  Enjoy (you will).

01. Guido
02. Time After Time
03. Favourite God
04. Ecstasy
05. Equal Balance
06. America LovesYou
07. Calling Day-o
08. Maggie
09. Brotherhood
10. Lastsongsecondside

https://www83.zippyshare.com/v/Favxs4up/file.html

Sunday, March 10, 2019

You're exploding everywhere.

From 2004.  Sounds like these guys were channeling Guided by Voices, say Mag Earwig-era.

Hear

Cockeyed Ghost/Adam Marsland - Rarities Vol. 1

The name Cockeyed Ghost might ring a bell if you took a liking to a bevy of fresh-faced power pop acts emanating from the Los Angeles-era circa the mid-90s like the Wondermints, Baby Lemonade, The Negro Problem and The Sugarplastic among a dozen or so others.  Starting in 1996, four Cockeyed Ghost albums came, and sadly largely went without much fanfare, but it wasn't for lack of trying or competence.  CG weren't the monochromatic, three chord variation on power pop that was all too ubiquitous back then, thanks to frontman Adam Marsland, an adept singer songwriter who wielded sophisticated motifs, layered arrangements and a dynamic vocal range to boot.  After pursuing multiple Cockeyed Ghost lineups, Adam launched a solo venture in earnest the next decade, yielding diverse and often visceral records like You Don't Know Me, Go West, and The Owl and the Full Moon.

By the late-90s he had already racked up a significant body of work, so much so that all of it couldn't be corralled onto proper albums.  Two compilations of unreleased and under-released CG (and related) songs were issued as limited edition CD-Rs and made available through his website.  Today I'm presenting Rarities Vol. 1.  Copious and informative liner notes accompany the album, all of which I've scanned in with the artwork, but if you're looking for a shortcut, here's a little synopsis of what's on here.

Oddly enough, CG Rarities Vol. 1 doesn't delve straight into Cockeyed Ghost jams, rather Marsland's preceding endeavor, Adam Marsland's Band, who were responsible for a short run of local tapes and ep's in the early 90s.  Some of the six AMB nuggets featured are the ambitious "Here Comes Eric," the rather rockin' "A Manner of Speaking," and the slick but sublime ballad "Where's My Heart."  Even from the get-go Marsland had a deep-seated penchant for harmonies, and the hooks, while present, would be evidenced exponentially in the not-too-distant-future.

Two respectable. albeit finely polished solo recordings from 1993, "The Empty Room" and "Do Something" follow next.  After that it's an album's worth of scarce Cockeyed Ghost goodies, including some of the band's earliest studio attempts, including punky riff rocker "Cut and Run," the melancholic "Leave Her Alone" and Get Me Out of Here," a demo of Keep Yourself Amused's "Keep the Sun" and a Japanese-sung version of "Special," a tune which originally appeared on CG's 1997 album Neverest.  Faithful renditions of Badfinger's should-have-been classic ballad "Name of the Game" and the Raspberries "If You Change Your Mind" also make an appearance.  The set concludes with Adam's solo acoustic take of "Falling Down the Hill," yet another deep album track.

If you enjoy what you were hear, lay your ears on some of the proper Cockeyed Ghost albums. I'm afraid CG don't have much of a presence on Spotify, but some of his solo albums do, and there's always his homepage's store where physical CDs and such can be purchased including his latest, Bulé.

The last I heard, Adam was traipsing around some exotic outpost in the eastern hemisphere.  Perhaps you can get a feel for what he's been up to here

Adam Marsland's Band (1991-93)
01. Here Comes Eric
02. Young + Stupid
03. Don't Laugh at How I Feel
04. Where's My Heart
05. Talking About Myself
06. A Manner of Speaking

Adam Marsland (1993)
07. The Empty Room
08. Do Something

Cockeyed Ghost (1994-98)
09. If You Change Your Mind
10. Cut and Run
11. Love, Art and War
12. Get Me Out of Here
13. La La La La La La (Manic 5-0)
14. Leave Her Alone
15. Keep the Sun
16. Name of the Game
17. Someone You Know
18. Special (Japanese)
19. Falling Down the Hill (Adam acoustic)

http://www20.zippyshare.com/v/IBO1Jnx0/file.html