One of my favorite German record labels is Firestion Tower. On that labels compilation there was a song by Blochin 81 that reminded be of PreFab Sprout a lot. On the basis of that I bought this, their latest of many 7". The A-side sounds more like My Bloody Valentine or Jesus & Mary Chain than PreFab Sprout, but the song is great. Imagine if MBV or J&MC played the britpop styled sound that many German guitar bands are co-opting. It's an interesting hybrid that is performed completely naturally. When I played this song Damon of The Swirlies called me and had to know who he was hearing and where he could get it. As Damon's band was intially build around the members mutual love of MBV and J&MC, his blessing on this single is probably the strongest recommendation I could conjure. Oh, the B-sides are more along the PreFab side I had initially looked for. The second song on the B-side, "An Offer(First Offer)", is my fave of those.
February 1, 2000
Elefant puts out an awful lot of compilations - but none of them are awful. In fact, they are pretty darn great. I'd say that between Elefant and Siesta Records Madrid has quite a duo of labels. One important difference between the two labels is that Elefant just sent WZBC a parcel with many of their latest releases in it! Siesta has not serviced us yet, so the scales tip to Elefant. New EP's by Niza, Juniper Moon, and others I can't recall now. New singles by Color Filter, Isan, and other I can't recall now. A few compilations too. Well, Elefant did not completely rain on my parade, as they did not send the 'Casablanca' compilation. It is an 18 song comp that has many tracks that you might even know (such as Divine Comedy's "Your Daddy's Car", Dob "Au Revoir", Future Bible Heroes "Love Is Blue", & Momus "I Want You but I Don't Need You"). Always on the hunt for new sounds, my faves are the songs by artists I'd not heard of. My fave song is "Sur Ton Repondeur" by Notre Dame. This is a side project by Katerine - the king of Paris - and an unspecified woman who also sings. Second fave would be Isar 12's "Revolution Nr. 12", which reminds me of a cross between Eno/Snatch "RAF" and Lori & The Chameleons. Isar 12 is from Munich and also have out a great 7" on Motorway. Isan perform "Damil 85" which is my third fave song by this instrumental duo. My fourth fave is Formula One with "Aqua Manera", which we've had for some time at WZBC as a split 7" with Ears Go FFF. There's lots of other songs which are super, but you'll have to pick this up to choose them yourself.
Ordinary Psycho reside in the musical landscape fashioned by Howard Devoto in Magazine, a land whose eccentric grandpa would by Scott Walker, and whose successful Uncle would be Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy). Ordinary Psycho would be the son of Howard; a son that wanted to do it right and not just ask a favor from Uncle Neil to make their path to the public quicker. Ordinary Psycho are going to build the machine to elevate them to "known" status. At times on "The Protest song" they are serious enough to be Genesis in their 'FoxTrot' period. Led by vocalist David Gulvin, who has more the air of a poet than a rock star, Ordinary Psycho are unfashionably sincere; they want to make a difference. This is the same kind of talk that Gavin Goodwin gave last week as I read about his band Terris. The difference is, Terris already have the UK press in their pocket and are playing a style of music that is easy for any kid to digest. Ordinary Psycho require some investment by the listener. They are not immediate like Terris are. Their self titled CD (well worth getting - contact me for David's email address to get it from them direct, or buy it at Rough Trade) has many good songs, one based on dialog from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, and a starreaching cover of Ultravox's "Hiroshima Mon amour written by the always incredible John Foxx. This single is a real looker - it's a picture disc with a nightime citizen army moving below an old fashioned gaslight , lit by an orange sky greened by smoke, a yellow moonlight diffused by happenstance; an imminent threat of violence - a call to action.
"Bargain 17 track CD for less than the price of a CD single. Features new, unreleased and exclusive tracks from Big Leaves, Bitter Springs, Soulbossa, Tram, Suncoil Sect, Lightspeed (will appeal to fans of Plone/Tipsy), Broken Dog (2 previous albums for Big Cat), Delta, Baby Birkin (produced by Russell Senior -- ex-Pulp), Vic Godard, Tasha Lee (worked with Beth Orton), & Sufi, given an instrumental remix by Alpha (currently recording 2nd album for Massive Attack's Melankolic label)." Here's MY rundown:tracks #1 & #17 are ZBC's first stuff by these Parisian brothers (The Bitter Springs) except for the cuts on Vespertine's "An Evening In The Company Of The Vespertine" compilation. Other projects of these brothers are Quigley and The Montgolphier Brothers (name written by memory and probably off). #2: Big Leaves is an intelligentpop band like The Autuers. they come from Cardiff (Wales) like Helen Love do. #3: Soulbossa is a London band who don't play soul or bossanova. They are a gay power trio (with a girl bass player) who rock hard with a Jon Spencer Blues Explosion-type sound. They have a recent full length on Dishy that Newbury Comics has for $24.99 (ouch). #4: We have both singles and the full length from Leicester's Beatglider, a band I really like. They play a sound that would have made them popular in the LA 'paisley underground' scene which happened in California around 1984. I like this song plenty too. #5: Lapwing is a band I've never heard of. I've seen singles by LapTOP, but never Lapwing. Regardless, this is one of my shortlist faves from this really strong compilation. The sound is similiar to Wiiija's newish signing Woodbine. #6: Lightspeed debut on this CD. They have a 10" coming out on Dishy.Their instrumental sound is kind of like Berlin's Mina - electronics, beats, strong bass, and an Acetone organ. #7 Broken Dog - Lazy female vocal, chilled tune, kind of like the last Madder Rose LP. Broken Dog have out an LP on Piao! #8 Suncoil Sect , Asian (Indian) sounding instrumental (a bit of a sampled voice piece mixed in low), nice Fender bass action and hotshot drumming. Like an indie Talvin Singh. #9 Delta: Sounds vaguely like Dylan's 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' and George Harrison vocals. #10 Baby Birkin give us a (surprise) Serge Gainsbourg cover ('Nefertiti"). Delia, "sparrow" of Rough Trade mailorder, plays guitar in this band & in The Family Way, as well as drums in The Action Time. She used to play in Mambo Taxi too. #11 Vic Goddard gives one of my top faves from this comp in "Wayward Biro", a 50's styled warbled stomp that just rules. #12 Tasha Lee gives her debut here, showing the influence of Beth Orton, who she's worked with in the past. #13 is another of my faves, by Jack Boulter. The bongo sound as percussion sounds African, while the bass and structure reminds me of U2's 'Mysterious Way'. I* hate that song, but I really love this one. It is FRESH. It reminds me of Georgie Fame's "Somebody Stole My Thunder" song on the excellent Blow Up A-Go-Go compilation added to WZBC January 18 2000. #14 Sufi have a nifty instrumental which would fit on a Thievery Corporation disc nicely #15 High Coin use an acoustic guitar,violin, and a Trembling Blue Stars styled vocal. I'll bet he grew up singing along to Morrisey. #16 Tram play slowcore: acoustic guitar, cello-ish moog, and a male vocal only slightly above a whisper. Sorry for being so long winded, but I guess you can tell I like this comp.
This numbered, limited edition of 300 grey vinyl split 7" (w/label art influenced by Jesus Christ Superstar in honor of 'Polterchrist', by artist Bob Maloney, who besides being an incredible painter plays bass in Milligram) has a cover version of Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" performed reverently by Quintaine Americana (bassist Mark runs Polterchrist Records. He also works at the Harvard Square Newbury comics, where I shop for records), and a cover of Black Flag's first single "Nervous Breakdown" agressively shot out by Milligram. This is Milligrams first cut of wax. The band features Darryl, former lead guitarist of Roadsaw; one of the cities masters of metal. Having just heard tracks from Milligram's upcoming full length today on CDR, I can say that Milligram will be a name to be reckoned with, and should be a strong contender for this years WBCN Rumble this May. The originals had a heavy Phil Lynott/Thin Lizzy vocal sound, and a Black Sabbath "Paranoid" guitar chunk.
This album was recorded before Jeopardy (May-July 1979) , and is seen by The Sound as their true first album. The band then consisted of Adrian Borland,Graham Greene,Michael Dudley and Bi Marshall. They had just decided to change their name from The Outsiders to The Sound. Three of the tracks (in different versions) subsequently appeared on Jeopardy - Words Fail Me,Missiles and Night Versus Day. It is a raw powerful album,and a fascinating historical insight into the evolution of one of the most exciting and influential guitar bands of the 80's. It has NEVER been released or heard in ANY form before.,and it is BRILLIANT. The record has been digitally mixed by the legendary Wally Brill (producer of Heads And Hearts). Tracks are: No Salvation, Deep Breath, Cost Of Living, Quarter Past Two, Night Versus Day, Physical World, Statik, Music Business, Propaganda, Words Fail Me, One More Escape, & Missiles.
Dark Eyes is a song from the upcoming third full length by Trembling Blue Stars. First there was The Field Mice, then Northern Picture Library, now Bobby has found stability and (seemingly) contentment in Trembling Blue Stars. This 4 song EP (the other 3 songs will remain exclusive to this CD only EP) follows up the quite strong blue vinyl 7" "Doo Wop Music". Well produced - by experience not superbucks - yearning synth pop with male vocals.
Boston music we can be damn proud of. Unnatural Axe played punk as influenced by LA punk as The Jam. Their songs had 'vim & vigor'. They had Rita Rat in the intro to the dumbrock anthem 'They Saved Hitler's Brain'. They had Moose (Richie Parsons little brother blowing X Ray Spex styled sax). The had Richie Parsons. Richie was (and is) someone who knew what was happening, and could soak up and make his own all the sights and sounds of 1978. Richie produced lots of bands back in the day. He was in tons of bands. The Axe had out several singles but never had a full length. Their classic 7" was 'They Saved Hitler's Brain' b-w 'The Man I don't Wanna Be' (the only song sung by bassist Frank Dehler). 'Summertime' manages to sound like Jonathan Richman's Modern Lovers and The Velvet underground in one song (one measure each in just the right proportion). Unnatural Axe had more than a touch of The Angry Samoans or The Wierdos (2 amazingly crucial LA punk bands from the same period) even though I doubt that records from either were in Richie's hand when he wrote all this. Trivia fact: Guitarist Tommy White was a star in the childrens show Zoom. All great.