Monday, December 14, 2020

Three highly stimulating vinyl EPs: Eyes, Modern Pioneers & New Radiant Storm King

Well, I didn't get around to putting together a batch of singles together this Chanukah like I did last (maybe next year?).  Got the next best thing though, a collection of some of the better EPs that made it to my turntable in 2020, including one that had been sitting on my shelf, shrink-wrapped no less for a good eight years since purchasing it.  And you think you're backlogged?  I think you'll appreciate at least two of these three, and just remember what Meat Loaf had to say about that quotient.

Eyes were bygone L.A. punks, who may have still been in existence when Penelope Spheeris directed The Decline of Western Civilization, although I'm pretty certain they weren't featured in it.  For their brief duration the Joe Ramirez-fronted combo only had one single to their credit, the "TAQN"/"Topological Lies" 7" on Dangerhouse Records.  In 2009 Artifix Records expanded the 45 to a six-song 10" containing everything the band ever committed to tape for Dangerhouse, and voila, here it is.  The word 'rollicking' comes naggingly to mind when describing the Eyes whirling, organ-laden punk pop, vaguely reminiscent of the Dickies and Pointed Sticks, albeit keyboards weren't really the Dickies thing.  At one point or another the Eyes lineup included member of X, Go-Gos, Screamers, Bags and Wall of Voodoo, but this band had something more unique coursing through their veins than all of the aforementioned could muster combined.  In the process, the Eyes delightfully parodied southern California culture on "Disneyland" and self-medication ("TAQN" was an acronym for "take a quaalude now"). There hasn't been anyone quite like them before or since.

01. TAQN
02. Research Bee
03. Eniwetok
04. Disneyland
05. Go Go Bee
06. Topological Lies 

MP3  or  FLAC

Another outfit that never quite made it to the album phase was Long Island, NY trio Modern Pioneers.  In fact, the EP I'm featuring was their longest proper recording, a glorified single with Ione of the songs, "Far Away Places" being an instrumental.  The "The Big Hookup" is a resounding left-of-the-dial anthem brimming with confidence and verve driving the point home that these guys didn't take the telephone, of all things, for granted. "Roman Times" chooses a subtler tack but is equally well written.  Excellent stuff, and if it's more content you crave from M/P, Jim Santo's Demo Universe has you covered with a live show at CBGBs from 1986 and even some unreleased studio tracks.

A. The Big Hookup
B1. Roman Times
B2. Far Away Places (A Tribute to Ben Gazzara)

MP3  or  FLAC

For a band I've been following for close to 30 years, it took me almost that allotment of time to become aware of the first installment in their discography.  Turns out, New Radiant Storm King had a 1991 ep under their belt that I didn't learn of until this very year - an unusual circumstance given I thought I had everything on them.  The title piece, "Milky Way" is one of the crown jewel's in their oeuvre I might add, a near-perfect five minutes of serrated noise pop.  Absorbed as a whole, Milky Way, tends to meander (and occasionally aggravate) on side deux, but as far as introductory releases go it was a nice lead into their 1992's commendable My Little Bastard Soul, and their second full length, Rival Time which I've been sharing nearly as long as this site's been in existence.  You can also find some further NRSK 7" action here.

01. Milky Way
02. Queezy
03. Ouch
04. Pipe

MP3  or  FLAC


jgmoney said...

Love them. I love me some EPs. Thanks and Happy Hanukkah indeed!

spavid said...

You're always welcome.

FiveGunsWest said...

Just download these puppies and can't wait to test drive 'em. Thanks much spavid. Le Chaim, I think it is. Happy holidays. Go well!