"Whiskey" reminds me of a Prolapse song just on the tip of my memory. You'll recognize the vocal phrase "A mans a man" from that early Prolapse single too if you're a fan. As for the Amphetameanies, this song is just great! It has a ska beat but will not alienate people not used to crossing into that zone. It has male and female vocals and a catch tag vocal phrase that make it stick in your mind. We have another Amphetameanies 7" (also on Flotsam & Jetsam) that I remember also liking. The Newtown Grunts (kind of generic cliche name, isn't it?) play a decent by unremarkable song which is completely dwarfed by the massive appeal of the Amphetameanies song "Whiskey". For Belle & Sebastian fans,you probably would want to know that Amphetameanies horn section play with Belle & Sebastian too.
June 27, 2000
Every once in awhile a version of these sessions of Syd's famous solo record "The Mapcap Laughs" turns up in small run privately pressed edition. "The Mapcap Cries" is a studio recording of outtakes and alternate versions that would definetely be of interest to any fans of Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd, Robyn Hitchcock, Julian Cope, or the many Elephant 6 bands. To just walk in a room while this is playing you may say "what is the big deal. It's just acoustic guitar and vocals", but you'd be missing the point. Syd Barrett's acid-tinged gift was the imagery and delivery he brought to his nursery rhyme simple songs. His persona was too broken down for the posturing and deceit most songwriters deliver. His tunes are both fantastic AND honest.
The second single by this new Hove based band on the new Domino Records offshoot label, Dusty Company. I really enjoyed the first single ('Winterlight' b-w 'Jumble Sailing') and am glad that this single keeps the quality high, plus is available at Newbury Comics at a cheaper price than I paid for my copy from overseas. On the bands website they descrive the A-side as "My Bloody Valentine playing Randy Newman" and the B-side as "part Abba, part Eric Coates". I don't even know who Eric Coates is and I don't like Randy Newman, but I very much enjoy both sides of this single. The band have already been likened to Syd Barret fronting The Smiths, hinting at both their sound and the wide stretching homage modern music still pays to the man reviewed just above, fellow Gull Buy-mate Syd.
Dead Boys were the NYC first wave punk rock band most like the English bands exploding at the time (1977), like The Damned. Richard Hell was arty and intellectual, Television was ethereal, Talking Heads were quirky, Ramones were comical, Dictators were outsiders from the Bronx, Wayne County was extreme, Blondie was new wave, and Patti Smith was serious. The Dead Boys were irreverant, like Steel Tips, Corpse Grinders, or the Mad. The difference between them and these last three (and the dozens of others of equal high quality) was that Dead Boys had a major label contract. Like The New York Dolls, Dead Boys only put out 2 studio full lengths in their career. This was their second, released in 1978 as the follow up to the completely classic 1977 LP 'Young, Loud, And Snotty'. It was produced by Felix Pappalardi (of Mountain, the band who did "Mississippi Queen"). I can't really write this review objectively because to me every song is crucial, and I can sing them to you completely. This disc is needed at WZBC right now for 2 reasons: Like Blondies first 2 LP's (their finest) there has been no rerelease of this recod in any form. This disc was printed in Germany. Secondly, the song "Son Of Sam" (my favorite song on this disc) sounds even better now than it did then, with the on-video status of the film 'Summer of Sam' and the fact that the subject is not played out now, as it was when this record first came out. Explore without caution.
The first single by this new Lawrence (of Felt and Denim) band and first release on the new Cherry Red imprint (created especially for him!) West Midlands Records. Personally I think this is just the tops. Even with the ridiculously short 5:18 length of this single (#1 = 3:02, #2 = 1:32, #3 = 0:44) it is my favorite release on offer this week. All three songs are completely there, not lacking or needing anything. The principal song ("We're Selfish & Lazy & Greedy") has unbelievable catchy and fun lyrics (printed inside the J card) and a tune to match, with that timeless voice you either love or hate. When Felt first started they were the epitomy of cool, wearing the fringe and flannel like early Orange Juice at a time that Echo & The Bunnymen were enjoying peak success. Felt put out a true cartload of records and singles before breaking up. People still hold them as their all time favorite band. His post Felt band Denim was never held in much regard that I heard. This new band (Newtown Grunts, THIS is an example of a great band name: learn!) really brings it all together for me. Lawrence now uses electronics instead of his guitar, in a kind of casiopop way not too far removed from bands such as Supercute. Go-Kart Mozart have followed up this EP with a great full length called "Instant Wigwam And Igloo Mixture" that all three of these songs are also on.
Definetely the mellowest two songs I've heard from Quickspace, though Semtex gets loud briefly in the end. On "Semtex" Quickspace sound almost like Pram. The song even has tweeting birds throughout, pleasing my avian attuned ears. I always wondered about Quickspace, as their singles and records seemed so poorly recorded and purposefully messed up. This single is recorded spectacularly. The A-side could almost be Vellocette, Jenny Mae, or The Aisler's Set. Quite a shke up for me, and an event for those who follow Quickspace, or were lucky enough to see them in town when they played a few months ago.
Sing-Sing is a duo with vocalist Lisa O'Neill (sounding a bit like Sarah Cracknell on "I'll Be") and Emma Anderson. Emma was the songwriter behind Lush, even though the pink haired Miki Berenyi was the instantly identifiable component of Lush. As in Quickspace's "Semtex" there are birds chirping happily through "I'll Be". The B-side recalls Lori & The Chameleon's 1980 song "Touch" with it's background vocals. This is the followup to their self-released "Feels Like Summer" 7" last year. Sing-Sing also had a split single with Linoleum, who have coincidentally just put out a new single - their first in almost 2 years - as well. Sing-sing's sound is described in the NME as "shifting away from the indie dirge and towards an electronic equilibrium more reminiscent of Cocteau Twins or Saint Etienne".
This is this Swedish bands fourth full length. A US release disc came out 2 years ago which I am not counting, as it was a cull from other import discs, and a greatest hits disc came out overseas as well. This record has something that makes it particularly relevant to us at WZBC here in Boston: ace production by Ric Ocasek (The Cars). Earlier this year was a taster from this record in the "Yeah" single. What a change it was! The Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 styled breezy pop of their biggest song "The You And Me Song" was replaced by an almost metal-ish take on a Gary Numan-ish "Cars" sound. On the full length the transition from old to new is not as radical as on the "Yeah" single, though it is no mistake they have entitled theip LP after that break-down-the-wall song. The leer behind their play at innocence is exposed on this record. The lyrics echo this with themes of get what you want, give me what I want running through the songs. My favorite songs on this disc are "No Holiday", "Kill You", and "Idiot Boy", all of which use the new found muscle Ric Ocasek has extracted from The Wannadies.
Do I have to write a review of this? The White Stripes were the biggest band on WZBC in my memory EVER with their debut record last year. They blasted out of nowhere with their debut single "The Big Three Killed My Baby" and only gained momentum with their LP. Here is their second LP. They've admirably stuck with the label that broke them and put out a new record that moves their sound forward a bit, with both softer well produced songs and louder blues jags that retain their early sound.