Sunday, April 28, 2019
Ixnay on the logbay.
Friday, April 26, 2019
VA - Teen Line, Vol 7 (1978-82, Hyped 2 Death) Covering letters A-C.
Volume #7 doesn't disappoint in the slightest. Crash Kills Five, a Ramones-worshiping aggregation from Toronto are one of my immediate go-tos on this one. New York is represented by the scintillating Colors, and farfisa-driven garage purveyors the Cheepskates who are of Lyres-grade aesthetics. Ex-Dead Boy Stiv Bators lives on with the comparatively pop-sided "Not That Way Anymore," and while hardly a household name, power-pop pioneer Gary Charleston is present too. And if it's more jangly environs you're seeking, lay an ear or two on David Burdick, The Clicks, and Cheese. Florida's Comets appear with two selections, including the Jam-inflected pearl, "Big Business Jokes." You might recognize Beat Rodeo and the Cucumbers from entries on this very website, and The Cold are reminiscent of one my all-time faves, the Pointed Sticks. I feel as if I've barely scraped the surface folks, but enough of my jibber-jabber - download this pronto! The full tracklist is directly to your right, just click to enlarge. Finally, links to Teen Line vols. 1-6 appear to be functioning...for now.
Thursday, April 25, 2019
The Crystal Set - From Now On (1987, Red Eye)
01. Wholly Holy
02. The Catwalk
03. All Directions
05. Benefit of the Doubt
06. Walk Away
07. The Flat Earth
08. Sea of Misconception
09. From Now On
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Unity Station - C1177 The Triangle ep (1986, Restless)
The band's brief catalog was reissued digitally a few years ago, so if you enjoy, please consider patronizing them (while getting five additional tracks in the process) via iTunes or Amazon. The tracks below were ripped from my original vinyl.
01. My Skin
02. It's Perfect
04. Blind Faith
Sunday, April 21, 2019
And in that infinite place, you'll see a smile on my blank face...
**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry - demos and such (early/mid '80s)
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
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)
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
Sunday, April 14, 2019
But the records never sold, and that was bad...
**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Record Store Day retro - Bored Games (1982/2014, Captured Tracks) & Big Dipper (2013, Almost Ready)
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 Doublehappys. Colonel 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
MP3 or FLAC
Big Dipper 7"
A. Joke Outfit
B. Market Scare
Friday, April 12, 2019
Neurotic Blondes - s/t tape (1988)
01. On the Bus
02. Locked Within
03. Anonymous Friend
04. Burning Down the Bridges
06. The Words Escape Me
07. In Pursuit
09. Average Guy
10. Jet Plane
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Tictoc - Twenty Questions 12" (1983, Dallcorte)
A. Twenty Questions (extended)
B1. Twenty Questions (LP vers)
B2. The Village~One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
For Against - Aperture (1993), Mason's Califiornia Lunchroom (1995), Shelf Life (1997) - 2018 reissues on Saint. Marie - a brief overview.
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.
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.
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.
**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**
Saturday, April 6, 2019
The Howl - A Handshake and a Kiss (1987, Dresser)
02. A Handshake and a Kiss
03. Marble Walls
05. Red is Red
06. I Love - You Hate
07. Give Your Heart to Me
08. Judgement Day