Damon Gough is well into his 15 minutes of fame at this moment. It seems that all magazines have had articles praising this LP. Damon and Andy Votel (he has not yet entered his 15 minutes, which I believe he will bask in soon) run the amazing label Twisted Nerve Records , a label which reminds me of Scotland's Postcard records in it's early eighties heyday. Every Twisted Nerve release (mostly 7" singles, a few 10"s, a cassette compilation, and a CD comp only released in Ireland) have been wonderful for the few that could find them. Distribution is not extensive, and once they sell out they never get restocked. I remember listening to the debut Badly Drawn Boy 7" (it was a split with The Doves) on Twisted Nerve at Newbury Comics. I passed on it as one side was really lo-fi. That was probably the Badly Drawn Boy side. How I wish I had that single now... Now that the CD is out and easy to find everywhere the music can be judged on it's own without the pride of owning a hard-to-find treat getting in the way. Damon Gough has made his love of Bruce Springsteen known to all in his recent bout of magazine interviews. He even wears a somewhat corny woven hat all around. To us in the US professing a love of The Boss is a very hard thing to deal with. We have been way too exposed to "Born In The USA" dross for too many years. But in Manchester UK (home of most of the bands on the Nerve roster) America is the mystery, and liking Bruce Springsteen is no more bizarre than Japanese singer Chocolat idolizing Carole King. There are 18 songs on this disc. The A-sides of his last 2 singles are here. One song "Disillusion" sounds a lot like PreFab Sprout. There are 3 songs I really like: "Everybody's Talking", "Camping Next To Water", and "Pissing In The Wind" (Neil Young's song "Motion Pictures" from On The Beach has that line). Last year Mercury Rev did a cover of "Motion Pictues" as the B-side for a 7" which we have at WZBC. I think that Badly Drawn Boy's sound could be wrapped up in Neil Young's On The Beach record better than the sound of his hero Bruce. Check out this record, but don't expect anything 'new'. The sound is rooted in the past. It's the songs that will keep you listening to this disc in the present.
August 1, 2000
For a brief spell 2 years ago Formula One looked to be London's Prolapse. They had a strong following, 2 great singles on Vaclav Records, and a split single with Ears go fff on Kooky Records. Then nothing.till now. Like Linoleum last week, this 2 song CD marks the first release in 2 years for Formula One. Their return on Shifty Disco records is a good move, as that label is very happening right now. The 2 songs here blend Comet Gain and Prolapse with a slight touch of Stereolab. I like both songs. The first is more rocking, though I think it's the second song I'll return to the most.
I love to tell stories, and one story I've told more than once is that of the cover art for David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust record. The drawing has Ziggy standing below a sign which says "K. West". Punters have always speculated about what the cover meant. I can tell you with confidence that the sleeve is in homage to Kieth West, the vocalist in the 1967 London Mod/psyche artpop band Tomorrow (already together as the Mod/Rn'B band The In-Crowd). Tomorrow put out one Mark Wirtz produced LP and two 7"s: "My White Bicycle" and "Revolution". They have left a legacy that is practically untouchable, though their original studio recordings remain without any current release. There was a CD that the See For Miles label put out in the early 90's that had those (killer) songs, but it is sadly out of print. I found it at Music & Video Exchange on 95 Berwick St. for 7 pounds. There is another CD currently making the rounds that has a black and white cover, and a vinyl LP on Get Back that have the live stuff from this disc (Twisted Village regularly carries both). Then there is this disc on RPM. It has 8 studio songs (all of them not on the See For Miles disc) and 8 live tracks. For me this is an eight track CD, as I don't like live records, though the sound quality of the live tracks is OK. The studio tracks rule though. Tomorrow had the same sound as early early Syd-era Pink Floyd, or Sam Gopal (the band Lemmy played guitar in at the time). It is pop, but with a Mod sensability and psychedelic wide open eyes. In fact Tomorrow used to open for Pink Floyd at the UFO club. Demo's of both songs ("Am I Glad To See You" & "Blow Up") recorded for but never used in the 60's film Blow Up are here. 2 unissued studio recordings are here ("Caught In a Web" & The Byrd's cover "Why"). The unissued original phased version of "Revolution" is here. An unissued alternate version of "Real Life Permanent Dream" and 2 songs recorded for the radio show Top Gear ("Three Jolly Little Dwarfs" & "Revolution") complete the studio stuff. Oh yeah, and Steve Howe plays guitar (before he went off to stellar fame in the band Yes) and Twink (Adler) played drums (after leaving the Pink Fairies, before going solo).
The electronic/dance label Wall Of Sound wanted to introduce their new rock label We Love You by making a statement of intent, which is what this compilation is. Of the 16 songs here, WZBC already has 5 that I know of: Miss Mend's first (incredibly Stereolab-ish) single "Living City Plan", Clinic's "The Second Line" (both a 7" and a track from their Internal Wrangler CD), Appliance "We Are Not Built to Last", Color Filter "Sitting In The Sand" (from their Elefant 7"), and Mogul's "I Was Starving Hungry In Tesco's". That leaves 11 songs, and on these you are ALL SET. I Am Kloot, The Bees, Shawn Lee , Lightspeed, OP:L Bastards , Kicker, Skylab, Sirconical , Dymaxion, Man Atom, 10 Cents, and Ten Benson . Everything on this comp is very song oriented. Many of the songs are electronic and somewhat mellow. Very bright and now, particularly if you are enjoying the Badly Drawn Boy styled sound.