Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Doleful Lions - Song Cyclops outtakes

I've been a fan of the Doleful Lion's brand of crooked, Merseybeat-indebted pop for a good ten years or so now. A duo consisting of Robert Scott and Jonathan Scott (the latter being the ringleader), the Lions have yielded five proper studio albums and two compilations of 4-track home recordings, Song Cyclops Vols. One and Two, released in 2000 and 2006 respectively on Parasol Records (also home to the remainder of the band's catalog). These two sets of doggedly lo-fi and often hissy tapings comprise Jonathan Scott's most affecting musical offerings to date, outdoing the bulk of his sonically advanced Doleful albums like Motel Swim and Shaded Lodge and Mausoleum. The effect of these raw recordings is not unlike Bee Thousand-era Guided By Voices, rife with supernatural references and genius melodies that are prematurely clipped right at their very apex. Here's what Big Takeover magazine thought of Song Cyclops Vol. One:

Will Chapel Hill, NC ever run out of inspired, literate rock bands? The Doleful Lions are yet another sparkling example of the already bountiful musical harvest spawned by that unlikely spot on the map. On their third LP, which at over 70 minutes is in essence a double album, the Lions wizardly pack in nearly two-dozen lo-fi stunners. Imagine if Robert Pollard and Tobin Sprout went camping and toasted marshmallows with the Olivia Tremor Control while listening to worn-out Bob Dylan 8-tracks in the background, and you’ll get an appreciation for the Lions homebrew. The band’s deliberate inclusion of surface noise, and other home-recorded embellishments adds even more weirdness to Song Cyclops supernatural musings and surreal charisma. A totally absorbing listen.

Presented in this upload are fourteen outtakes from the Cyclops sessions, including alternate takes and some really smart covers. Not a bad way to acquainted to the Lions, but no substitute for the two-part main course. Word has it the next Doleful Lions release will be a Jonathan solo-endeavor, cut on his Tascam 4-track recorder. Can't wait. In the meantime, check out the Doleful Lion's Myspace hovel for more tuneage.
01. She's a Wallflower
02. Judy is a Punk (Ramones cover)
03. Witchseason and Madrigal
04. O Martyr Atlantis (alternate take)
05. America the Beautiful
06. Analucia (John Cale cover)
07. I Love Living in the City (Fear cover)
08. Sunshine Spartacus
09. Ghost Town in the Sky
10. Siamese Twins (Cure cover)
11. untitled instrumental # 1
12. untitled instrumental # 2
13. The Warrior's End Table (alternate take)
14. I Can Take You to the Sun (alternate take)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Squalls - Rebel Shoes (1987, Dog Gone It)

With their main claim to fame being their appearance in the Athens, GA Inside Out bio-pic of the burgeoning college town music scene, the co-ed Squalls weren't exactly wont to follow in the footsteps of state-of-the-art hometown icons REM and Pylon. If any local comparisons are to be drawn, contemporaries Love Tractor might be a safe bet. Occasionally, there's a rollicking air to Rebel Shoes, but never rebellious. Quite linear at times in fact.
Trouser Press rekid guide espouses the notion that the album is "unaffectedly artless in its polite pop-folk-rock to strongly resemble any of their musical neighbors." Now if that doesn't just whet your ever lovin' appetite, I don't know what will. Perhaps the copious vinyl static? More Squalls goodness can be experienced by clicking the hyperlink above.

Speaking of Georgia rock 'n rollers, does anyone have that oh so scarce RF and the Radar Angels album?
01. Rebel Shoes
02. Night Train
03. Uh!
04. Dreamer
05. Cindy
06. Safe
07. The Price of Wails
08. Pretty Blue
09. Waiting
10. Actor
11. New Past
12. Waltzing Mathilda

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Buzzcocks - live 1993-2001 (2002 web only cd)

It may be a bit before I have the chance to rip any more vinyl, so here's another one from my considerable CD trove. This is a live Buzzcocks CD, sold exclusively through the band's website in 2002. Adorned in a stickered, cardboard sleeve, and limited to 2000 copies from what I recall (and surely sold out by now), it features 21 songs from a multitude of concerts performed around the globe between 1993 and 2001. Superb soundboard quality throughout the entirety of the disk, including many of their signature tunes, plus oldies rarely performed live like "Paradise" and "Are Everything." It's also not a bad place to sample some material from their oft unheard studio albums recorded during this period. Enjoy (or not).

01. you say you don't love me / theatre barbey, bordeaux, france / february 1993
02. why compromise? / irving plaza, new york city, usa / october 1999
03. turn
of the screw / le bikini, toulouse, france / march 2000
04. kiss 'n' tell / finsbury park, london, england / june 1996
05. paradise / pirate radio ship, london, england / september 1999
06. sitting round at home / bowery ballroom, new york city, usa / december 2000
07. operator's manual / the music centre, dublin, ireland / september 1999
08. are everything / zodiac, oxford, england / september 1999
09. don't let the car crash / pirate radio ship, london, england / september 1999
10. totally from the heart / irving plaza, new york city, usa / october 1999
11. soul on a rock / fillmore west, san francisco, usa / october 1999
12. unthinkable / theatre barbey, bordeaux, france / april 1995
13. harmony in my head / le bikini, toulouse, france / march 2000
14. love battery / effenaar, eindhoven, holland / may 2000
15. nothing left / bikini test, chaux-de-fonds, switzerland / february 1993
16. what am i supposed to do / storstoyran festival, sweden / august 1997
17. doesn't mean anything / so what, oslo, norway / may 2000
18. everybody's happy nowadays / bikini test, chaux-de-fonds, switzerland / february 1993
19. choices / pirate radio ship, london, england / september 2000
20. you know you can't help it / bowery ballrom, new york city, usa / december 2000
21. what do i get? / 'do-jo' tv show, sao paulo, brazil / june 2001


Friday, September 25, 2009

Alligator Gun - early singles & Over and Out (1999, Offtime)

My Loomis post from yesterday evoked fond memories of yet another ‘90s Wisconsin indie conglomeration, Milwaukee’s long departed Alligator Gun. None to dissimilar from one of their key contemporaries, Samiam, Alligator Gun’s vigorous strain of neuvo-punk delivered a rush that was equal parts adrenaline and saccharine. Truth be told, the centerpiece for any AG collection is their immensely terrific debut album from 1995, Onehundredpercentfreak, yours for the taking courtesy of Book of Brilliant Things blog. This post delves a little deeper into two early singles and the post-Onehundred… mini album, Over and Out – something of an appetizer and desert for the aforementioned main course. BTW, Onehundred... was produced by Bill Stevenson and Stephen Egerton of Descendants/All renown.
As for the two Alligator Gun singles, Double Loop dates back to 1992, when the boys were a still a little wet behind the ears, indulging in All-ular pop punk. Fun, but a succeeding 7," Superhero (no release date specified) was a veritable quantum leap in terms of overall skill and sophistication, featuring early incarnations of two primo Onehundred... tracks "Flinch" and "Curfew." More songs from this session are available for download, not to mention two early AG demo tapes from this thoughtful archive in cyberspace.

After the underwhelming reception of the album, Alligator Gun issued an eight-song parting shot in '99, Over and Out on the Chicago based Offtime Records imprint, and largely weren't heard from again until a 2006 reunion gig with Loomis and Compound Red. With it's strained vocals, not quite stretching out to all corners of its metaphorical canvas, Over and Out struck me as a bit inferior to Onehundred... but in comparison pretty much any album would.
Double Loop 7” (Erosion Records)

01. No Ordinary Day
02. Fickle
03. Hubcap

Superhero 7” (Hardspun Records)
04. Curfew
05. Flinch 
Over and Out
01. Wink
02. Steamer
03. Providence
04. Breathe
05. Rockford Allstar
06. Reason
07. Waltz
08. Pinion 
Over and Out: Now on Amazon

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Loomis - You're No Tiger, Meow, Meow, Meow (1996, Grass) & 7" (1996, Runner Up)

There's little debate that the Promise Ring were the biggest export of Milwaukee's '90s indie/post-hardcore scene, if not the entire state of Wisconsin, but seventy-five miles to the west in Madison, there was some serious noise being made as well. Though I'm sure they shared the same stage with The 'Ring on more than one occasion, Madison's Loomis didn't connect nationally, if only due to a poorly promoted gem of an album, You're No Tiger, Meow, Meow, Meow, on Grass Records, the label that would beget Wind Up Records who would go onto to shame and fortune with bands like Creed, but as usual, I digress. Ironically, for a band ensconced in the industrial Midwest, Loomis had their collective eye honed in on the hotbed of Chapel Hill, NC, particularly zooming in on one of that town's lesser known, but widely applauded (on these pages anyway) outfits, Small 23. Hardly a "meow" You're No Tiger is if anything a full bore roar of sinewy, distortion-addled indie rock with sophisticated melodic tendencies to boot. The album kicks off with a bang on "Conquistador," arguably the most potent song in their catalog, but the remaining eleven tracks make for a convincing, albeit acquired appreciation.

On the heels of Tiger, Loomis tracked a slew of other songs, including the two that comprised the 45 that I'm sharing. A posthumous collection of unreleased material was issued on Sun Sea Sky Records around the turn of the millennium called How Much is Too Much, offering three albums worth of tunes spanning it's two bountiful CDs.
You're No Tiger, Meow, Meow, Meow
01. Conquistador
02. Super Toe
03. Kung Fu Girl
04. Planes vs. Tanks
05. Win!
06. Tanks vs. Planes
07. Pillow
08. Lago Mining Co.
09. Grease Three
10. Wake Up Keveh
11. Melvin Purvis
12. Transit Bitch
Runner Up Records 7"
A. Butterbean
B. Twinkletoes
You're No TigerHear
7": Hear

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dreams So Real - live Charlotte, NC 11/11/88

Though fairly renown among perusers of this blog, Athens, GA's Dreams So Real were simply not destine to household name status (despite releasing a pair of albums on Arista). Nevertheless, the trio were as integral to my rock and roll schooling as The Replacements, U2, and of course their neighborhood buddies/mentors, REM. This bountiful live set from a 1988 North Carolina gig, finds the band in taught, bristling form, reproducing no less than nine tracks from their then-current, major label outing, Rough Night in Jerico. A handful of selections from their jangly Peter Buck-produced debut album Father's House, a brilliant early single cut "Everywhere Girl," as well as some surprise covers, round out a model performance.

The band's fan club/rarities collection, Nocturnal Omissions which I shared with you all the way back in December '07 will be re-ripped in the near future, to hopefully work out some of the glitches the original rip had. About a year ago, I posted a 45 by a Dreams So Real precursor band called Young Officers Movement that might also be to your liking. Otherwise, enjoy the show.

01. Intro
02. Melanie
03. Heart Of Stone
04. Love Fall Down
05. Open Your Eyes
06. California
07. The Tower
08. Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young)
09. Maybe I'll Go Today
10. Victim
11. Distance
12. Bearing Witness
13. Birds of a Feather
14. Rough Night In Jericho
15. History
16. No Matter What (Badfinger)
17. The Seeker (The Who)
18. Everywhere Girl
19. Cherry Cherry (Neil Diamond)


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wink - s/t (1982)

It was the fetching, Joan Miro-esque sleeve art that lured me to this record, although at the time it caught my eye I knew nothing of the band of the music within. In fact, even after giving it a few spins, I still don't have any biographical specifics on Wink to offer, even what part of the country they originated from. Another "mystery case" - you know the drill by now, but a lack of vital stats hasn't stopped me from posting records before. In a nutshell, the quartet, helmed by bassist/guitarists Skipper Wise and David Nielsen sounded like a custom fit for the skinny tie set. As was the case with the Young Executives record I shared below, Wink didn't hesitate to indulge in some hearty saxophone wails on occasion. Dare I say they vaguely recall the Pointed Sticks and/or The Bats (the American Bats that is)? I saw one brief online comparison to the Producers and Great Buildings, but I'd say that's significantly off target. At any rate, Wink made their own noise, and you can partake at your leisure.

01. Tell Her She's Ready
02. Find Me a Way
03. Nothing to You
04. Next to You
05. She Didn't See Me
06. Crazy About the Girl
07. Cracked Mirror
08. Out of my Sight
09. So Fine
10. Satisfaction Guaranteed
11. Writer


Young Executives - Honey, I'm Home ep (1982, Briefcase)

The Young Executives were a Bellevue, Washington trio (occasionally augmented by a saxophonist and keyboardist) specializing in rhythmically inclined, slightly off-kilter wave/pop. The short and sweet, four-cut Honey I'm Home's most distinctive moment is the lead-off track "Original Sin," which traverses a ska-inflected trajectory a la Madness (without the "madness," so to speak) thanks to Steve Allen's buoyant sax lead. The remainder of Honey... doesn't brandish quite as much flavor, but it does offer a decent amount of fervor. Nice.

01. Original Sin
02. Ice Age
03. Body Waves
04. She Don't Want It


Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Killjoys - Starry (1994, WEA Canada)

Alright, here's another CD rip to tide you over until I get the chance to digitize more vinyl (hopefully in a few days). This one really is quite a corker that I was planning to upload anyway, so here you go. Like the Grace Babies posted below, The Killjoys were an aggregation from the Toronto, ON area that played punky guitar rock. Think the Doughboys Crush album mixed in with a little Atlantic Records-era Lemonheads, and you've pretty much figured out the Killjoys recipe. It's all here - slyly ironic songwriting in that Westerberg-ian way, driving melodies, brisk tempos, the works. Starry was the first of three Killjoys albums (Gimme Five and Melos Modos would follow in 1996 and '98 respectively. A potential upload of these may follow). "Today I Hate Everyone," "Sally Won't" and "Dana" are just as incisive and sharp as anything Evan Dando or John Kastner could concoct, if not even a little more potent. Instantly endearing stuff IMHO. They were a great band to see live as well. Just download this already and let me know what you think!

01. Today I Hate Everyone
02. Ungowa, Baby!
03. If I Were You
04. Candyland
05. Dana
06. Monkeysucker
07. Sally Won't
08. Any Day Now
09. Low
10. Headlong
11. Someplace


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Grace Babies - Frequency (1997, Shoreline)

The Grace Babies were a Halifax, NS quartet that transplanted themselves to Toronto by the time they got around to recording their sophomore album, Frequency. Kind of appropriate when you consider they were following in the footsteps of another Toronto act of the very same ilk, Treble Charger. Yep, more of that polished, yet riff-addled power pop type music, bejeweled with plump, succulant hooks, delivered in wall-to-wall fashion. The Babies weren't terribly far removed from their contenporaries to the south either, namely The Tories and Summercamp. If that doesn't light a fire under you, I might also note that Ferquency was produced by (The) Pursuit of Happiness prime-mover Moe Berg. You can go here to read some biographical info on the band, and moreover, drummer/vocalist Kevin Hilliard.

01. Sick (Missed You by a Mile)
02. Wore Glasses
03. Philosophy
04. Anyone But You
05. There You Are
06. Drag It Out
07. Head in the Clouds
08. Change My Mind
09. Traitor
10. Simple One
11. Cube Foot

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Martyrs - s/t (1982, Swab)

They look like the Shoes and thank the Vertebrates on the back sleeve, but ultimately, Champaign, Illinois' Martyrs don't particularly sound like either. While I can't pigeonhole them as power pop or punk they do sort of lean to the former. From what little I've been able to glean about them, The Martyrs had a popular local reputation back in their time. Later on in the '90s, singer/mouthpiece Kent Whitesell would contribute to the band Three Hour Tour, while skinsman John Richardson would later work with Tommy Keene. Word has it, the band was in their teens when this album was recorded. Fidelity wise, you'll hear your fair share of pops and static here, but if I get the opportunity, I'll give this baby a proper cleaning and re-upload should the results prove satisfactory. Til then, enjoy.

01. More Rubbish
02. Only Girl
03. Well of Hope
04. No Sense Makes Sense
05. Workers Anonymous
06. Trends of the Turmoil
07. Cruelty
08. Spur of the Moment
09. Offtrax
10. You and Those
11. Blind Faith
12. Killer
13. Open Your Eyes


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Splitting the Difference # 28 & 29 - FSR Invention Series - Fluf/Further & Bum/Innerface (1993/94, First Strike)

Decided to pair these together considering they're both part of the "Invention" 7" singles on the British First Strike Recordings imprint. As you can tell by a brief glance of the sleeve art, there's an oddball theme going on here, namely some curious contraptions that never made it past the blueprint phase, but really nothing to do with the music at hand.
Denizens of southern California, Fluf and Further have graced these hallowed pages before. Fluf of course, featuring the noted Otis "O" Barthoulameu as ringmaster, were San Diegan purveyors of grungy pop throughout the better part of the '90s. Their cut here, "Lobster Tree" was also compiled on their singles compilation The Classic Years, which you can revel in another track from on Myspace. Futher's rather fractured brand of noise-pop drew heavy inspiration from early Dino Jr and early Sebadoh. You can listen to their Grimes Golden ep by going here. In the bio I wrote for them, I discussed their Sometimes Chimes CD. "She Lives by the Castle 2" is a slightly alternate version one of the many tracks from that teaming album.

I recently uploaded an inventory of Bum's 7" repertoire, but somehow their side of this split 7" with Innerface was omitted. I believe their "Resolution #1-21" is exclusive to this wax. As for Belgium's Innerface, if you have an appreciation for the Doughboys it's a safe bet you'll like their two tracks. Seriously, would I steer you wrong?
A. fluf - Lobster Tree
B. Further - She Lives by the Castle 2
A. Bum - Resolution #1-21
B1. Innerface - Headache
B2. Innerface - 8 am
Fluf/Further 7": Hear
Bum/Innerface 7": Hear

Splitting the Difference # 27 - Gypsy Devils/Hellmenn 7" (Replacements & Santana covers) (199?, Mercury)

Bare bones info here folks. I know that both bands are from Australia, and have only heard originals from the Hellmenn. Completely blank record label on both sides of the disk and no credits whatsoever. The Gypsy Devils take on the classic Mats b-side, "If Only You Were Lonely" isn't quite as droll as the original, but overall pretty faithful. I like it, and I'll leave it at that. Hellmenn have a Myspace portal and something of a resume. They're a self described "punk" band, in that late '80s grunge realm I suppose, but you wouldn't know it from their orthodox rendering of Santana's signature song, adding a lil' Flamenco flair and such for effective measure.

Somewhere there's an MP3 with your name on it...

Gypsy Devils - If Only You Were Lonely
Hellmenn - Black Magic Woman


Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Strawberry Zots - Cars, Flowers, Telephones (1989, Acid Test/RCA)

Albuquerque, New Mexico's Strawberry Zots were a goofy send-up of the psych-rock movement, or more genuinely, psych revivalists to the nth degree, with profound garage and power pop leanings to boot. Tellingly, they commence their lone album (to my knowledge) Cars, Flowers, Strawberries, with a run through of The Electric Prunes classic "Get Me to the World on Time." Equally appropriate is yet another '60s redux of The Troggs "I Can't Control Myself." See where we're going with this? Lots of Farfisa organ percolating throughout their originals as well, adding to the fun quotient in a big way. "Cold," "Hey, Hey, Hey," and the "Little Red Telephone" triptych sound like genuine artifacts from a bygone era - one that the Zots were completely content to revel in. BTW, The trippy sleeve font makes the credits a bitch to discern, but I digress.

Cars, Flowers... was independently released in 1989 and picked up by a major a year later (with slightly refurbished artwork) where it was to die a lonesome and miserable death. I also remember an ep release at the same time of the reissue.
01. Get Me to the World on Time
02. And You (Drive Your Pretty Car)
03. Working Girl
04. Little Latin Lupe Lu
05. Waster of Time
06. Cold
07. Tiny Town
08. Pretty Flowers
09. Hey, Hey, Hey
10. I Can't Control Myself
11-13 Little Red Telephone Opera:
11. Keep Me Hangin
12. Little Red Telephone'
13.Doin' It All for You
14. Hey Jill!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Permanent Green Light 7" (199?)

Yet another record I was inspired to post by a contributor to the Best of the Radio Tokyo Tapes comp. Way back when this blog was getting started I shared the relatively hard to come by full length, Against Nature, from this post-Paisley Underground trio.

Permanent Green Light were from the city of angels, fronted by Michael Quercio, lead-man for fey, "Paisley Underground" demi-gods, The Three O' Clock. In the Three, Quercio blended lightweight psyche-pop with keyboard laden new wave, earning significant cult adoration in the process. After their dissolution, Permanent Green Light was his next vehicle. Not as focused as Quercio's previous endeavor, they issued a self-titled EP and the Against Nature album to no fanfare on the struggling Rockville Records label, a division of indie distributor Dutch East India Trading. Nature is well worth downloading, but I think "Together" from this 7" outdoes anything else in their brief catalog. A fuzz-pop knockout.
A. Together
B. You are the Queen of Market Street

Shadow Minstrels - Great Expectations ep (1983, Pterodactyl)

The Shadow Minstrels track on the Best of the Radio Tokyo Tapes comp I shared last week had me scurrying back to this ep, quite possibly their only claim to the 12" vinyl realm. With a lineup that once boasted members that would go onto L.A. cult faves like The Gun Club and 45 Grave, the lineup that recorded Great Expectations settled on a good old fashioned darkwave/gothic motif The three track comprising the A-side has it's flip beaten hands down, and I think you'll agree. The guitars sound like they're straight off Siouxsie and the Banshee's JuJu, or an early Killing Joke album Per their bio:

Fusing contemporary concerns with street rhythms and progressive guitar textures, the Shadow Minstrels sound can be as monochromatic and angst-ridden as noted English bands Joy Division and Gang of Four, but he group never loses sight of the maintaining melodic hooks. This is one post-punk group that does not wallow in self-indulgent misery.

Dare I say the above is slightly too charitable? Give it a listen and feel free to leave your thoughts.
01. The Guest
02. Time She Stopped
03. Mardi Gras
04. Popular Song of the Hour
05. Great Expectations
06. Alicia


Monday, September 7, 2009

Alda Reserve - Love Goes On (1979, Sire)

Yes, this is indeed a Sire Records product from a classic, turn-of-the-decade era, but A) the label did seemingly little to promote this record, and B) Alda Reserve were no punk/wave trend-hoppers. At most, they vaguely recall Off Broadway or Polyrock, but truth be told, there isn't a skinny tie in sight adorning the band photo on the rear jacket. With that out of the way, Love Goes On is still representative of it's era, if only for the singer/songwriter adeptness of Brad Ellis.

The ever opinionated Trouser Press Record guide insists on casting them off as a "simulation" of Roxy Music, while a more in depth and far more appreciative assessment can be read here. Any other mentions of Alda Reserve online are rather de minimis. 
01. Some Get Away
02. Dressed For Love
03. Cure Me
04. Pain is Mine
05. Overnite Jets
06. Ancient Lies
07. That Was Summertime
08. Whiter Than White
09. Loves Goes On 

This has been reissued.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My Vitriol - 1999 demos

It's been an excruciating, Chinese Democracy-length wait for the second proper My Vitriol album to surface. A brilliant co-ed London quartet formed in the late '90s. My Vitriol's amped-out swath of concussive but deliriously melodic, feedback-addled guitar rock birthed a hell of a debut album in 2001, Finelines (for comparisons sake, think early Swervedriver, or some of the unrulier moments on Nirvana's Nevermind like "Breed" and "Territorial Pissings," only with an extra dollop of saccharine). Finelines was a moderate success in the UK (plus the band's ferocious live reputation certainly didn't hurt) but a US release in 2002 fell on utterly deaf ears and invariably landed in used bins. For shame, because the album completely fulfilled the promise of these nascent demos. Represented here are about half the tracks that would eventually be rerecorded for the album, a couple b-sides-to-be, as well as a handful of tunes exclusive to these recordings.

Technically, there have been a couple of "new" My Vitriol cds to hit shelves in the past few years, namely the Cast in Amber live disk, and an even more recent ep of new material, 2007's A Pyrrhic Victory. The band continues to perform in the UK, but no definitive word on a new album. I know it'll be tempting for you to dive into your local 99 cent bin for a mint, unplayed promo of Finelines, but try to locate the deluxe double-cd edition, featuring a bonus disk of b-sides and outtakes (Between the Lines), housing some searing covers of classics by The Wipers, Guided By Voices and Jawbox.

01. Always Your Way
02. Grounded
03. Infantile
04. Another Lie
05. Melodramatic
06. Losing Touch
07. Cemented Shoes
08. Tongue Tied
09. Parade
10. All of Me
11. By the Water
12. Forever
13. Another Lie (version)
14. Grounded (version)


Friday, September 4, 2009

45 Spiders - Standard Forms of Communication (1998, Deep Reverb)

This lovingly clangy disk of noise pop comes courtesy to us via a departed but doggedly indie-rock trio from Washington D.C. monikered the 45 Spiders. Shades of local yocals Edsel certainly spring to mind, as well as a slew of bands beyond the beltway like Versus and Small 23. The atmosphere on Standard Forms.... is mildy downcast but never dismal. The Spiders are wont to alternate between piqued and relatively contemplative modes, but rarely within the span of one song. As for the overall aesthetic employed here, titles like "Another Polvo Song" speak volumes. Here's a paragraph or so a Washington Post scribe committed to cyberspace about this very album:

The song titles on 45 Spiders' "Standard Forms of Communication" are a little alarming: "Carter Stanley or Jacques Lacan?" and "Naomi Yang's Thoughts on Bass and Life Parallel My Own" would seem to be heftier loads than most indie-rock songs can bear. But then words don't really matter too much to this local trio. Peter Viditio's scraping, surging guitar is usually upfront, and on songs like "All Souls' Day" his vocals virtually meld with the strum.

Like many indie-rock outfits, the Spiders value timbre over melody and tension over release. Still, this album is not all mid-tempo brooding. The trio does hit the accelerator sometimes, usually for songs about its obsession -- indie-rock.

01. Carter Stanley or Jacques Lacan
02. All Souls Day
03. Hot Head Don
04. Sickbed
05. Northampton
06. Club Anthem
07. Hoosegow
08. Pentimento
09. Another Polvo Song
10. Naomi Yang's Thought on Bass and Life Parallel My Own
11. Me and Seamonsters
12. Fuck the Canon


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lame man's terms.

Hey everyone. If uploads on here in the past couple weeks have seemed sporadic, fear not, as Wilfully Obscure will be back full-bore in another couple of weeks. What with summer activities, used car hunting, and short I'm not going anywhere - just getting warmed up in fact.


White Cross - When the Fabrics Torn ep (1986, Crash)

Yet another fairly arcane used bin find. White Cross were an acoustic Australian trio (hailing from Melbourne I believe) fronted by twelve-stringer Peter Mather. They recored a full length in 1987, The Bride, a single a year later, and apparently folded shortly thereafter. This rather crackly ep definitely has my recommendations, though I can't say that White Cross bear any outright influences, though they're in a faintly similar vein to the Verlaines. I'm guessing that bassist Nigel Harford was the fellow of the same name that performed in the Stray Tapes during the early '80s.

01. Missiles
02. On the Longest Day
03. Michael Row the Boat Ashore
04. You're Not Alone
05. I'll Give it to You
06. I Can't Hold You