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!**

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


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


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!**


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


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 chaps 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

**The download link has been removed by request of the artist.**

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:

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!**


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


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


Sunday, March 10, 2019

You're exploding everywhere.

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


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)


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Orbits - Q: What...Ans: Nothing (1981, Electric Eye)

Contrary to the album title, Boston's Orbits don't pose many a question on this album, and certainly nothing deep.  No, any such lofty ruminations weren't on their agenda by a long-shot.  Upbeat power-pop was their game, and they executed it with near rapturous enthusiasm and aplomb.  Q: What...Ans: Nothing is considerably more fun than what I usually vend you...and I make no apologies for it. It's a record that comes from a similar place as '80s Cheap Trick, The Producers, and maybe even a dash of the Bay City Rollers.  Gotta love those patented, wonky synth lines wedging their way in intermittently too.  A video exists for "Rear View Mirror," and I'd love to know if MTV aired it at some ungodly hour of the morning in their first year or so on the air.

01. Rear View Mirror
02. Brand New Beat
03. Slow Motion
04. Rockette
05. 7 Digits
06. Sensors
07. Atomic Love
08. It's a Surprise


Sunday, March 3, 2019

I come fully loaded with an option to buy...

Four eps from four disparate artists, falling between the years 1991 and 2016.  Total satisfaction absolutely guaranteed.

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