Their first full length after many EP's. Their 'Tears From A Willow' CDEP has been doing well at WZBC. It was #13 on out top 30 last week. To me Ooberman are Super Furry Animals Junior, with a twist of XTC . I love the Furries and I love Ooberman. I saw a comment on the "Tears From A Willow" EP at WZBC saying that it sounded dated. Well I guess that's true if this is not your style of music. If the Furries and pop ARE your style then with Ooberman you are set. The CD has two CD-ROM videos for 2 songs I like that were also the A-sides of Ooberman singles: "Million Suns" & "Blossoms Falling". Ooberman have one thing Super Furry Animals do not. They have a female keyboard player who sings (mostly) background and harmony vocals. She has a striking presence in the videos and adds a pleasing touch to their sound. "Shorley Wall" (also a single) and "Amazing In Bed" are also great songs.
Their second full length, follow up to the 'We've Got Rhymes For Times Like These' CD, which was 'Fall-infected, VU-scented punk pop" (NME 11 Dec. 99). Then there was the 'Leonard Cohen' song on one of there early 7"s (I think the song is called "Duet"): it became a major hit and often requested song on WZBC. This record sees them trying all sorts of songs while remaining firmly underground and sincere. The vocalist sounds a bit like Richard Butler (Psychedelic Furs, Love Spit Love). The sound includes strings like Gorky's on some songs. There's even a song which could only be described as emo-core ("Western Theme Tune").
There are a couple of their songs on the "Misfits" compilation which the folks who put out the Volume compilations put out a few years ago. That compilation has had amazing lasting power. It also gave us our first taste of The Lorraine Bowen Experience (via "The Crumble Song"). "Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann, a Frankfurt 'medical man of the lunatic asylum', wrote and illustrated The Struwwelpeter (ShockHeaded Peter) more than 150 years ago because he couldn't find anything on the shelves to fire the imagination of his children. Tiger Lilly Martyn Jacques, a Waterloo falsetto, began to sing it last year because it sounded good within his curious repertoire of modern city ballads. Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermott, rough mountebanks of improbable theatre, dreamt up a way of making the songs work in the midst of a series of trapdoors, hidden passages and unexpected events." - nipped from the Exotica list, as written by Moritz of Der Plan and Ata Tak .
Japanese girl/boy duo with 2 full lengths out. This is their latest single. They have a really quirky sound that combines female vocals and clean electronics with hurky rhythms that make the songs jump out at you. One song ('I Love You') is produced by Towa Tei (DeeLite), and one (Japanese title I can't translate) by Tomoyuki Tanaka (Fantastic Plastic Machine). The track produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka is a spritely version of the Johan Strauss classic 'Blue Danube', turned into a boppy rock song. It works oh so beautifully! All three songs are pretty spiff, but the second song ('I Love You') is the one to wow you.
20 song compilation with new stuff from many bands which you've probably heard of, and equally many that you haven't. Representing the "heard of" bands: Famous Boyfriend; This band started as a Hood side project before they departed that band. Now members are part of The Remote Viewer.
Empress; This is Nicola's project, who used to be in Boyracer with Stewart, who now is Steward. We have an Empress 7" on 555 Recordings in our collection at WZBC.
Kid 606; The wunderkid of San Diego CA. His stuff is usually extremely chaotic, as represented on the 10" and 12" we have at WZBC. The song he has here is strangely contemplative and somewhat Asian sounding in it's timbre. Steward; The biggist 555 Recording artist at WZBC. His stuff always does well, and there's plenty of it - several CD's, an LP, and 7"s.
Sisterhood Of Convoluted Thinkers (Rob Christiansen of The Eggs), The Remote Viewer (ex-Famous Boyfriend), Hood (the grandfathers of the 555 Recordings scene), and Third Eye Foundation (Matt Elliot, who produced the last 2 Hood LP's to perfection). Of the bands you've likely never heard of, Panel Of Judges is superb. It is Mike Nichols new band. We have a 7" in our collection at WZBC by Mike Nichols & His Excellency. It came out on 555 Recordings too.
Also here is Kyoto, the band that features people from the Beatnik Filmstars, though you would never know it by the mellow sparse music they now play. This compilation has instrumentals, lo-fi, twisted pop; a little bit of everything left field.
New full length by this German duo. Wire initially condemned this disc as sounding like an imitation of a Mouse On Mars disc as the structures of the songs were too easy; not challenging enough. Just a scarce issue later though this disc appeared on Wires list of the top 99 records of the year. I think this is a great disc with really great sounds eeked out of the machines/tools expertly handled by the two.
Female vocal band from Wales. Their seventh EP and newest release. They also have out a full length. There are 4 songs here, the last being 12:15 long, the others around 4 minutes, making this a value at it's price, and a great listen. Melys sometimes sing in Welsh like Gorky's or Super Furry Animals, but are not like either band except for that. They remid me somewhat of the sugarcubes minus the vocals of Einer. They use electronics and keys, but remain true to rock form and structure, and have big choruses which would make them radio friendly in a perfect world.
Caramel are a French band from Paris who had out a 7" on local label Harriet Records a few years ago, and who had out a full length on Acuarela which did very well in any of the written print I've seen relating to it (I have never heard it myself). This EP reminds me a bit of a Stereo Total ruled more by Brezel than Franciose, and ruled more by indy than ye-ye. Caramel have male and female vocals, crazy production that make parts jump out or stick out, and sing in french.
From the maker of the Ultra Chicks compilations (I think there are 5 volumes so far). This disc has 28 songs on it, all of which I pretty much guarantee you've never heard before. The songs are very well chosen pieces from the mid 60's France and maybe some Canada, never boring or generic. You can hear the sounds of worn vinyl on some of them, as this compilation is made from singles and tracks on records, not by master tapes obtained from the artists. It's like listening to a great collection at someones house who has concentrated on one genre to the amazement of you the listener.