Saturday, February 28, 2015
The Figgs - Ginger
Outrageous Cherry - Stereo Action Rent Party
The Slushpuppies (pre-Superchunk) - Blacklisted ep
Majesty Crush - Fan and Sans Muscles eps
The Spliffs - House of Seven
Citrus Groove - Sunswayed ep
Rhythm Corps - Paquet de Cinc ep & Esprit de Corps ep
V/A - Lessons From Little Hits, Vol. 4
Titanic Love Affair - No Charisma ep, Their Titanic Majesties Requests, Ice Cream Funeral tape
The Papillomas - Carolla, When Years Were Bee Stings ep, Twice as Early...
V/A - The Living Room: A Compilation
Bleach - Fast & Hard eps
Days of... - s/t LP
The Pursuit of Happiness - demos
Dr. Janet - 7"
Solomon Grundy - 7"
Fig Dish - 7"
Custom Floor - 7" ep
V/A - The Kitty Comp - pt 1 & pt 2
Polo - s/t ep
Ultra Cindy - Whirlwind 7"
Exploding Boy - New Generation
Hummingbirds - singles & Love Buzz
Space Needle - 7"
Study of the Lifeless - s/t
Kent State - The Wrong Side of History
Rangehoods - Rough Town ep
Creeper Lagoon - live & rarities
I-Rails - live at Ventura College 1990
Lovejunk - All We Have to Do is Stay Together 7" & Dare To Be Wrong ep
The Marnies - 7"
New noise: The Dying Elk Herd For Real This Time & Tenterhooks - Meanwhile in Another Part of Town ep - a brief overview
Here's a refreshing concept - a Brooklyn band that doesn't sound an inkling like the trend-hopping hopefuls that typically emanate from that fussed over borough. Featuring alumni from '90s indie scenesters Jennifer Convertible, the four-piece Tenterhooks pursue a linear meat-and-potatoes power pop muse. Reminiscent of many Not Lame/Big Deal Records signees circa the turn of the millennium, Tenterhooks neither deviate or advance upon this all-too-traditional, albeit satisfying formula. "Unseen" is Meanwhile in Another Part of Town's most riveting moment, with the remaining tunes paling not much further behind. Dare I say aficionados of Cheap Trick, The Well Wishers and Splitsville will be delighted with this? Meanwhile... will be available in the near future from Sugarblast Records, but for now, preview some songs on Bandcamp.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Hypnolovewheel - Wow 7" and Sybil ep
The Spliffs - House of Seven
Square Root of Now - Bent Around Corners
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
01. Head Headed Woman
02. House With No One
03. Sun and Moon
04. Wish Away
05. Castle By the Sea
06. On the Road
07. The Happy Song
08. I Meant to Tell You
09. Black Rose
10. Blue Moon
11. In Another World
12. One Outta Nine
13. Broken Mirror
14. The Hunt
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Saturday, February 21, 2015
"Staring..." was a single culled from an even greater body of work, UVS's sophomore full length Joy 1967-1990, the title of which is a considerable misnomer. It's not a decades spanning compilation by any stretch, rather a dozen songs that were recorded contemporary to it's release, with vague nuances and glints evoking the flower power era. At any rate, Ralske and Co. could do no wrong on Joy..., so much so that I probed a couple of that's album attendant "maxi singles" (i.e. eps). "Special One" also appearing on Joy... boasted a hook as stirring as "Staring," and featured Kim Deal on backing vocals to boot. The Special One ep boasts three non-LP cuts including the percussion-heavy, synth manipulated "Kind of a Drag," and the sparse and fragmentary "A Smile and a Death Wish." It's easy to discern why these were left as b-sides.
The tracks padding out Staring at the Sun fare a bit better. Here we get a remix of Joy's... buzzing "Three Stars," a re-recording of "Crash," which originally saw the light of day on UVS' 1988 debut, and a cover of Marianne Faithfull's "Something Better."
Since I'm such a nice guy, I'm padding this set with a four-track bonus disk that accompanied certain copies of the third and final Ultra Vivid Scene long-player, 1992's Rev. Despite it's streamlined modus operadi Rev's often jammy and heady inclinations never fully sank in with this set of ears. Typically, I got more out of the ep I'm presenting here than the album itself. It contains among other selections a remix of one of Rev's more stimulating excerpts, "Blood and Thunder," and a reinterpretation of "Winter Song," originally penned by John Cale for Nico's Chelsea Girl album.
All three Ultra Vivid Scene albums are available from iTunes and Amazon, and are worthy of your perusal, especially if you enjoy what I've provided. Support the man! Also, prior to UVS, Kurt Ralske was involved in Crash, a combo you can check out here.
Staring at the Sun ep
01. Staring at the Sun
03. Three Stars (*** version)
04. Something Better
Special One ep
01. Special One
02. Lightning (72 b.p.m./4 a.m.)
03. Kind of a Drag
04. A Smile and a Death Wish
Rev bonus CD (1993)
01. Blood and Thunder (Remix Edit)
02. Candida (Theme from "Red Pressure Mounting")
03. Don't Look Now (Now!)
04. Winter Song
Thursday, February 19, 2015
01. The World in Here
02. Over and Over
03. A 1920s Ghost
04. They Came
05. The Washing
06. Somewhere Else
07. The Panic!
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
RAC are unabashed goofballs, therefore rarely is anything straightforward in their skewed, DIY realm. Amidst all the Tom foolery there are a couple of passable, tongue-in-cheek covers - the Stones "Time is on My Side," and a run through Wilson Pickett's "In the Midnight Hour." If Wake Me... strikes you as something of a random mishmash of tunes, that's probably because it is. The back sleeve (provided in the file) offers a brief track-by-track synopsis, in an attempt to satiate any burning questions you may have about the music contained within. Enjoy (or not).
01. Slave Planet
02. Synthetic Weekend
03. Kill Talk
04. Confidentially Renee
05. Alone in Flat B
06. In the Midnight Hour
07. Tock Tock Man
08. You (Bust Out)
09. Sex Dimension
11. Time is on My Side
12. Funky Titch and Bustuh
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Saturday, February 14, 2015
06. God's Gift
08. Nothing Natural
09. For Love
12. Second Sight
14. Leaves Me Cold
16. Sweetness and Light
Friday, February 13, 2015
Catching up with Saint Marie Records: Blind Mr. Jones, Lightfoils, The Cherry Wave, and We Need Secrets.
I've said it before, but it bears repeating. The halcyon era of '90s indie rock proved to be so fertile, and teaming with quality bands, one is completely forgiven if they happened to overlook an unheralded hopeful or two...or even a dozen. Blind Mr. Jones was one such scenario for me, but better two decades late than never is what I say. A five piece who called Marlow, England home, BMJ were ingratiated into their nation's exponentially populating dream-pop scene, yet there's more to the equation than that. 1994's Tatooine, the quintet's second and final full length, has shades of Ride and Stone Roses happening all over it, but simply put this bunch wasn't nearly as top-heavy as their more renown 'gazer spotlight hogs of the day (MBV, Swervedriver, etc). In fact, I suspect these guys were diggin' on American imports from the likes of Drop Nineteens, For Against, and even Yo La Tengo. Either that or Blind Mr. Jones had adopted a keen sense of clairvoyance to compensate for said poor eyesight. Though not an album chockablock with wall-to-wall revelations, the casually downcast Tatooine thrills in small doses, ranging from the pulsating "Disneyworld," to the tranquil comedown finale, "Mesa." For the first time Tatooine is available on wax (multi-colored at that) in a gatefold sleeve, and more humbly in digital.
Now it's time for the nugazer contingent. Leading off this triple threat is Lightfoils, a co-ed troupe from the Windy City, and much like wind itself, they have a tendency to conceive a dizzying maelstrom of their own. The third track in, "Addict," is a mind-warping melange of heightened melody and sonic hysteria, that roughly picks up where Lush's Spooky left off all those years ago. Wafting in a few minutes later, "Mock Sun" showcases mildly more lucid and ambient hues, albeit in the same dense, sonically layered context. In fact, had Lightfoils been in operation say twenty years ago they just might have compelled Slowdive to quit out of sheer frustration. Lofty and immaculate to a fault, Hierarchy's glittering latticework is the stuff of painstaking perfection...maybe a little too painstaking and perfect. Hmmm.
If Lightfoils are a sparkling beauty, contrarily The Cherry Wave are a steaming, frenetic beast, sporting no shortage of teeth and nails on the snowballing Avalancher. Dispensing an unremitting and often deafeningly wondrous haze of distortion and drone this quartet doesn't so much adhere to dream-pop fundamentals as they do ravaging sensory overload. I know not from where they hail, nor am I aware of what drugs they're imbibing, but the Waves' cavernous, echoing muck owes more than a wink and a nod to the feral aesthetics of SST-era Dino Jr, early Swervedriver, and more recently the likes of Surfer Blood. Avalancher is irrefutably unkempt and in some regards imposing, yet despite their decidedly noisenik approach, C/W eke out something approaching genuine hooks on "Harvest Summer" and "Blissbomb." A pair of earplugs will be your best friend here if you opt to crank this beyond "2" people.
For all intents and purposes, We Need Secrets is a one man operation, specifically Nova Scotia denizen Chad Peck. Perhaps by mere coincidence, Peck has managed to bridge together three decades worth of 'gazing on Melancholy and the Archive. The album is a veritable pastiche of My Bloody Valentine (think Isn't Anything over Loveless), the woozy weirdness of '90s surrealists the Swirlies, and loud and proud, present day revivalists Ringo Deathstarr. If that doesn't get you through the door WNS's quality control is just as impressive. Whether presented in a more tuneful context ("Months Like Years" and ""Melancholy") or slightly more dissonant ("Auster") everything Peck touches on Melancholy... is conveyed through a mid-fi delivery system, exuding a warm lived-in tenor that's nearly as sublime and timeless as anything from his aforementioned inspirations. This is great.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that late last year Saint Marie released it's third in a series of compilations, Static Waves 3. This one is three packed CDs in length, two parts label sampler (mostly exclusive tracks I might add) and one part Slowdive tribute album. That's right, a full disk of Slowdive covers involving the likes of Spotlight Kid, The High Violets, Scarlet Youth, and ten more. The price is more that alright.
If you care to sample the four acts if written up here, I've made a taster with one track apiece available here. All albums are out now and available directly from Saint Marie, Amazon, iTunes. Bandcamp links, wherever applicable are provided above.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
02. Shy Away
04. Once in a While
07. On the Edge of a Heathery Moor
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Seems to me that throughout the '80 straight up thru the mid-90s, you could throw a dart at any given day on the calendar and you'd damn near bet that a vital and inspired band from Boston had their first practice session. By mere coincidence, just the other night I introduced you to a Beantown bunch dubbed Smackmelon, and to close the week out I present yet another group from the proverbial Cradle of Liberty, The Westmorelands. The only comparison (and an informal one at that) I've seen tagged to this quartet is Morrissey. In reality, it's more like period R.E.M., albeit these guys weren't anywhere near as cryptic or innovative. Nonetheless they were a talented lot, and prime mover Michael Crittenden whips up an array of jangly, Peter Buck-informed salvos on "Low Tide" and "Forever." Really nice record, but I should mention that for the concluding "Oscar Killed the Possum" the Westmorelands turn a complete 180, and exchange their aforementioned formula for rollicking pub rock a la Rockpile. Not what I was expecting, but they pull it off.
01. Cutting Against the Grain
02. Low Tide
03. Waiting for Echoes
04. Hopeless Beach
06. Oscar Killed the Possum
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Diodes - Survivors
Spoon - b-sides
Mysteries of Life - Going Through the Motions 7"
Breathers - Rain Down ep
Serious Young Insects - Housebreaking
Times Beach - Love and Politics
Screaming Broccoli - s/t LP
Senseless Things - Empire of the Senseless
For Squirrels - Baypath Rd. and 1993 demo
Playground - singles
VA - Misfit Heartbeat ep
Honest Injun - The Rosenthal Effect
Chris Sievey - Big Record
White Sisters - tape
No Knife - singles
The Texas Instruments - Crammed Into Infinity
Ropers/Tribbles - split 7"
The Hang-Ups/Vertigo - split 7"
The Hang-Ups - Top of Morning 7"
Misstakes - National Passtime
Squalls - Rebel Shoes
Cinnamon Imperials - I Hope No One Finds Out 7" ep
Finger - singles collection
Wool - singles collection
Ben Grim - retro
High Speed Scene - s/t ep MP3 or FLAC
Parallel 5th - s/t ep
Mockers - Culprit and the King
Other Bright Colors - Endlessly Rocks the Cradle
Salem 66 - Your Soul is Mine...
Sheer Thursday - Expecting the Grass
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
A. Space Shot
B. I'm Not Cool
Sunday, February 1, 2015
And speaking of wax, the guys would delve into considerably more ambitious terrain a year later on the four-sided 7" ep, Sybil. The premise is simple, one side to showcase songs from each individual band member, but the material itself is anything but.
Stephen Hunking kicks things off via the buzzing "Beside Inside Me," a sublime slice of hypnotic haziness and mid-fi persuasion, bejeweled with a great hook. Very reminiscent of what Edsel was doing at the time I might add. It's fittingly followed-up by a noisome rendition of George Harrison's "Wah Wah." Guitarist Dave Ramirez's side of the story is by far the most abstract and oblique - five very brief and predominantly instrumental, avant sketches, roughly in the same wheelhouse as early Sonic Youth, and more vaguely Wire. Next up is Hypnolovehwheel frontman himself Dan Cuddy spewing all kinds of weirdness and eccentricities, employing cello, violin and whatnot. Interesting, but nothing in his three song suite really does the job for me. Drummer Peter Walsh rounds Sybil out with two jangly, melodic nuggets "Easy Journey to Other Planets" and "The Thin Ice," both of which are modest but engaging. In fact, Walsh's songs are my favorites on here and I could easily for an album's worth of where these came from.
I should note that last year I posted a single by a Hypnolovewheel/Yo La Tengo offshoot called a Very Special Pillow which you can read about and download here.
Beside Inside Me, Wah Wah
KMG-366, Down With People, Giant Marble, Sanatarium, Planetarium
Jean Grey, Operation Brainwave, Guarantee
Easy Journey to Other Planets, The Thin Ice
MP3 or FLAC