Friday, September 30, 2022

Cassette - Minnow Swimmers ep (2006)

With a name like Cassette this has to be lo-fi bedroom pop...right?  Think again. This veritably un-searchable indie rock quantity, evidently based in Austin, Tejas, exuded far more studio finesse than I expected going into this one, and to everyone's benefit this ep's half a dozen tunes were worth laboring over. Sure, Cassette sport tuneful bona fides, but more discernibly there's a real technical proficiency at play here, recalling this quartet's inspirational antecedents No Knife, The Jealous Sound, and even Clairty-era Jimmy Eat World.  Moreover, they pull off mildly downcast and contemplative motifs without resorting to anything too heavy handed or maudlin enough to dodge most, if any, dreaded "emo" accusations.  This is one blind purchase that turned out to be an unexpected delight.

01. Oak & Tunnel
02. New Southern Economy
03. The Anchor
04. Real Live Animals
05. Waking World
06. Every Last Tall Building


Sunday, September 25, 2022

Got us going faster than we've ever gone before.

The bonus disc and only the bonus disc of the 2011 expanded edition of this 1998 masterpiece.

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


Unaccounted IV ep (1984)

There's not much info, if any to be had on this presumably North Carolina based quartet, whose self-released ep may be their lone surviving artifact. Unaccounted IV's strain of power pop is not so much of three-chord variety, rather a bit more highbrow a la The Motors. There are other subtle Brit Invasion maneuvers baked into the band's proverbial cake, the Zombies among them. What these guys really strive for (and frankly readily achieve) is their penchant for remarkably adept harmonies regardless of how fevered their tunes are executed. I'm mighty impressed. 

01. Room For Three
02. Girl on a String
03. You're Always Alone
04. The Incredible Shrinking Mind
05. Room for Three (Dance Remix)


Sunday, September 18, 2022

Did you ever see something so beautiful, you had to look away?

The (almost) complete discography from a bygone D.C. area band that ran in the same circles as Fugazi and Soul Side...yet sonically gravitated much closer to Van Halen at times. I'll be damned if these guys didn't turn this far-fetched combination into a winning formula.

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


Saturday, September 17, 2022

V/A - WXYC Demolisten Vol. 2 (1991)

This one was scarce enough not to earn a page on Discogs, but whatever.  Coincidentally or not, this cassette compilation was released in tandem with the Chapel Hill, NC indie scene threatening to go national, but truth be told, only a portion of WXYC Demolisten 2's roster was from said college town...but not all that's presented here is traditional indie rock. Casting a wider net than one might guess WXYC's dandy little reel goes so far as to represent world music and metal. Nonetheless, the brunt of what's here largely caters to the Wilfully Obscure set with fine contributions from Dillon Fence, Eight or Nine Feet and Willard.  

I'd be remiss if I didn't note that the purpose of Demolisten is/was to expose fresh and/or unsigned talent, which this tape capably does. By the time this installment in the series rolled out of the tape factory, Superchunk were more or less off to the races, so to speak, but as is the case with any given concert it helps to have a proven headliner.  The inclusion of an acoustic and/or demo version of one of their crucial, early single sides, "Cool" is an easy highlight, though I believe it also wound up on the Aussie Self Mutilation comp from around the same era.  Satellite Boyfriend, a band whom I've intended to raise some awareness of (and likely will in the near future) make an appearance, and tar heel, ska-punk favorites the Pressure Boys close things out with a rendition of "Radar Love."

01. Dillon Fence - Daylight
02. Pure - Senseless
03. Eight or Nine Feet - No Title
04. Mbonda Afrika - Mbele Mbele
05. Johnny Quest - Speed is All You Need
06. Satellite Boyfriend - Break Me Down
07. Superchunk - Cool
08. Willard - As Beautiful
09. The Heydays - Lonesome Jake
10. Annabel Lee - Soul Child
11. Pressure Boys - Radar Love


Sunday, September 11, 2022

Cool enough to cool you down, like a summer vacation...

A compendium of rarities, unreleased tracks, b-sides and other assorted nonsense (literally).

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


Saturday, September 10, 2022

Itensive Care - Assault Down Memory Lane (1989, Fresh Sounds)

Intensive Care were North Carolina denizens yet even though they were a product of the tar heel state in the mid to late '80s, I'm not so sure if they were part and parcel of the so called "Comboland" scene, but no matter. Assault Down Memory Lane sounds like a befitting title for say, a Too Much Joy record, and certainly enough these guys were something of a cheeky bunch. Still, I/C care weren't ones to let a little humor hijack a song so much as enhance it. They weren't hopping on any metaphorical bandwagons either, bearing a rollicking modus operandi featuring an undercurrent of whirring snyths that by and large take a backseat to your usual indie guitar-rock splay. The high-strung "Perfect American" is a punky standout that's virtually worth the price of admission alone, but elsewhere Assault is chockablock with charms of varying tempos and persuasions. If Intensive Care don't bowl you over on first listen, give this one a few subsequent spins, because it's worth the investment. 

01. Assault Down Memory Lane
02. Stirring Up Trouble
03. Song to the FBI
04. Marijuana Past
05. Perfect American
06. Tourist Attraction
07. Middle-aged Cynic
08. Girl Scout Berret
09. Burn it Down
10. When a Lunatic Loves You
11. The Real You
12. All in a Day's Work
13. True Seeker


Sunday, September 4, 2022

You can cry now, or you can cry later…

Last week we received some difficult news that half of the songwriting team of this band passed away. They never made any inroads with the mainstream, but their catalog (predominantly recorded in the '80s) speaks for itself.  This compilation makes the an exceptional case for that.

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


The Donner Party - UC Davis Coffee House, Davis, CA 4-7-89

Judging by the relative popularity of the Donner Party's two CD anthology I shared almost ten years (and the number of requests I've garnered over that span of time to refresh the download links) I thought it might make sense to post this bootleg seeing as there are few, if any, D/P live shows in circulation. For the uninitiated, San Fran trio in question played whimsical, not to mention sonically humble pop with a bevy of themes often encompassing wives tales, ironically morbid scenarios, character vignettes, and several benign, offhand references to Satan.  Drummer Melanie Clarin would occasionally sing lead vocals and had a penchant for harmonizing with frontman Sam Coones. Post-Donner Party, Coones would achieve some renown via the considerably more visible Quasi in the '90s.

The set presented here is an audience recording of a gig at a college coffee house in the university town of Davis, CA. While you'll encounter selections from D/P's two self-titled records that surfaced in 1987 & '88 there's also an emphasis on then-unreleased material that would have comprised the band's third album. It would be another eleven years for the world at large to finally hear these shelved songs (specifically in studio from) when they were finally presented as part of the aforementioned anthology. This set is a nice companion piece to the regular albums, but it may not be the most ideal introduction to the band. Enjoy (or not)

01 Godlike Porpoise Head of Blue-Eyed Mary
02 Sickness
03 Spiders
04 The Ghost
05 Harold Payne
06 Everyone is a Girl
07 Your Mother
08 Nutty Booty
09 Friendly
10 Kore Cosmu
11 Unfriendly
12 Trepanned
13 The Nixie
14 Birthday Suit
15 Treepig
16 King Chico
17 Irene Goodnight (encore)

MP3  or  FLAC

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Braille Closet - Voice of Age ep (1988, Fountainhead)

Yet another salvo that would mesh just fine thank you very much with the scores, if not hundreds of collegiate indie rock troupes I've peddled on these pages for as long as I have. Braille Closet were denizens of Orlando, FL, a town which boasted more musical talent than I would've suspected.  The Voice of Age ep preceded a pair of albums and thus far is all that I've heard from them, but to my sensibilities they made a near-flawless first impression.  Among the six tunes here, B/C cook up quintessential left-of-the-dial fare with a strong absorption of then-contemporary Anglophile guitar pop, alongside a sharp awareness of domestic purveyors of the form (specifically R.E.M.). Think intelligent, insightful lyrics plied with lean and clean jangly leads, and you'll have a pretty solid handle of what this four-piece have in store. Dare I say Voice of Age is not dissimilar to what the Ocean Blue would unfurl in a couple of years?  Enjoy.

01. Jane I Sympathize
02. Turn and Face the Strange
03. Quiet Place
04. Seven Times Better
05. Midnight Sun
06. Tomorrow Russo