Sunday, August 28, 2016

You wanted the Best, you got the Best!

A debut from 1987 that was nothing short of stellar.

Here

Saturday, August 27, 2016

V/A - Hear No Evil - A Compilation (1991, Galt)

Set the Wayback Machine to 1991.  During those heady pre-web days around the turn of the alt-rawk decade, I was downright reliant on fanzines and more legit music rags to inform me of burgeoning ear candy that would otherwise miss my radar.  It was that year when I saw an ad in Option or Alternative Press from a small indie imprint dubbed Galt Records in downstate New York that was offering up a free cassette compilation of bands I was entirely foreign to simply by writing to the addy and requesting a copy.  I took the bait. Shortly thereafter, in the mail came a high-bias tape with a colored j-card.  Hear No Evil was the name of the reel in question, and on it were fifteen or so acts I never encountered, even on college radio.  Bear in mind I was up to my knees in outfits like Nirvana, Superchunk, Ministry and the Replacements at the time.  My cup truly did runneth over in this fertile era.  So how could a gaggle of relatively straightlaced pop/rock vendors like Imaginary Steps and Love Among Ruins have possibly stacked up against some, if not all of my aforementioned icons?  The answer was quite simple - they didn't.  Not that I had any animosity towards the HNE comp roster, rather I just wasn't moved when there far more visceral options at my disposal.  Into a shoebox the tape went and I rarely gave it a second thought.  Well, what a difference a couple decades can make. 

Back in the early '90s, if a band wasn't decked out in flannel or failed to have a minimum of five distortion pedals at their feet I usually passed.  With maturity comes the acceptance and ultimately embrace of music that was more nuanced, lucid, and tuneful.  I really only got into the "pop" thing by 1997, and was relived there was an underground swelling with rewarding but often unheralded acts.  I began my excavation, and eventually (and continuously) burrowed deep.  It turns out that records by some of Hear No Evil's finest participants like Enemies in the Grass, Falling Stairs and The Bandables made their way into my collection (not to mention this site) in the intervening years.  I didn't realize it back in '91, but that once unappreciated freebie cassette foreshadowed where I was headed.

Those three aforementioned acts (with the Bandables credited here as Jerry Kitzrow & the Bandables) became major league favorites of mine, easily persuading me with scrumptious hooks and jangly propulsion.  Like I said, it took about twenty years for me to come around, but there's a wealth of other standout "left-off-the-dial" participants that I really wish I could hear more of - The Hasbros, Third Eye Butterfly, Hair Corpse, The Next Move, Nate Ouderkirk, the Bandables-related Mystery Date and more.  Best of all, HNE doesn't cater to any extreme.  A significant amount of the groups here are operating under similar parameters as say, the Smithereens, but it's not all power pop mind you.  The version of the comp I'm presenting today is from the CD incarnation, not the tape.  A full tracklist is available on the scan of the tray card to your right.  BTW, a sequel to Hear No Evil was released shortly after, however I have yet to locate it.  Enjoy.

http://www59.zippyshare.com/v/PQqH03x4/file.html

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Underachievers - Underfoot (1986, Throbbing Lobster)

How could I resist any record bearing the Throbbing Lobster logo (at a buck no less)?  Let's see.  This co-ed Boston clique had X written all over 'em (think More Fun in the New World), and as their casually fashioned attire on the front cover might suggest, the Underachievers hardly took themselves too seriously.  Fear not, there's plenty of substance to go with that style on Underfoot's ten concise numbers.  You might even catch a sprinkle of the B52s and the Gun Club amidst the aforementioned John Doe and Exene hero worship.  Heck, "Let's Not Dance" even meanders its way down Pylon's alley, to terrific effect I might add.  Original copies may still be available here.

01. Underfoot
02. Alamo
03. Short Wave
04. I Don't Care
05. I'm So Tall
06. You're Not for Me
07. Underground Again
08. Dead Plants
09. Let's Not Dance
10. Friend o' Mine

http://www112.zippyshare.com/v/RLh1oTLc/file.html

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

Big Barn Burning - Acres and Acres ep (1988, Pine Marten)

Their homebase may have been in Boston (or thereabouts), but with such pronounced Americana leanings you'd easily mistake Big Barn Burning as denizens of the Midwest.  Not aggro enough to be deemed cowpunk, but ever so slightly deficient in the twang department, BBB found a niche on college radio, eventually signing to national indie imprint Resonance for a 1990 full length, Topping the Orchard.  A music scribe for the Albany based Metroland entertainment sheet summed these fellows up as follow.

Somebody once said that Big Barn Burning were what it'd sound like if Uncle Tupelo grew up in New England; and that's not wholly off the mark. But where Tupelo drew from the folk and native blues of the agrarian South and Midwest, Big Barn Burning seemed inspired and imbued, not with the dread of endless toil and suffering, but with the explosive, joyful color of Northeast autumn and a "harvest's in" intoxication. Their live shows easily, sweatily, chaotically, ecstatically earned the band's moniker.

I'm partial to Acres more linear rock salvos "Coulter of the Moon" and "Coureurs du Bois," both cutting a ballsy, spirited swath in league with some of their contemporaries who put Minneapolis on the map.  The record concludes with guitarsy, indie rock renderings of two old-timey rural standards, "Boll Weevil" and "Sourwood Mountain," performed live on WERS.

01. The Ploughshare & the Snare Drum
02. Brand New Day
03. Coulter Moon
04. Coureurs du Bois
05. Boll Weevil
06. Sourwood Mountain

http://www105.zippyshare.com/v/cHv9cM6o/file.html

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Woodpecker - Bowl of Water ep (1988, Paris, New York, Milan)

Woodpecker is/was the province of one Anthony Overtoom, whose larynx amounts to a vague medley of Bob Dylan and Grant Hart, however this three-cut 12" is way more Basement Tapes than Zen Arcade.  The title cut is a driving, bass-trombone enhanced rocker (for lack of a better word) that bears no shortage of rootsy sway and character for miles.  The flip-sides "Pieces" and "O Marie" steer things in a less fevered direction, revealing the other side of Overtoom's proverbial coin.  If anyone is interested, I have a subsequent Woodpecker ep to share as well.  Thanks to Discogs for the pic, substituting for my copy's somewhat blemished visage.

A. Bowl of Water
B1. Pieces
B2. O Marie

http://www88.zippyshare.com/v/k5lC1nwL/file.html

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wire Train - live San Francisco, Oct. 1982

It looks like I won't be posting any new music until tomorrow, but to tide you over I thought I'd share this.  A couple days ago I was tipped off to a vintage Wire Train live show that recently surfaced.  It's from 1982 San Fran gig, and if it's not one of the earliest Wire Train performances, it's the first WT show ever.  A few notes:

Its a soundboard tape, and its good quality; 8 tracks, 4 you'll recognise and 4 where I've guessed the titles. This is *possibly* their first ever live show - after the 3rd track Kevin says "This is the first time we've played in front of people, if you could clap that'd make us happy". The songs aren't as polished as they became by 1983/84.

Track list and FLAC/MP3 links are as follows.  Just FYI I'm not hosting the files, but the links should work indefinitely.

01. We Could Call It
02. Over and Over
03. Return to Me
04. I Gotta Go
05. In a Plane
06. Life
07. Everything Is Turning Up Down Again
08. Chamber of Hellos

MP3   FLAC 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Things are gonna change in our favor.

A 1995 album that was unfortunately released under the worst of circumstances.

Here

The Heaters - American Dream: The Portastudio Recirdings (2016, Omnivore) - A brief review

From the standpoint of major labels, say CBS, the trend du jour in the early '80s was relatively staid and formulaic, despite the burgeoning advances being carved out in the realm of new romantic pop.  So where did The Heaters slot into the era?  Well, they just so managed to nail down a deal for their second album, Energy Transfer, in 1980 with CBS (presently Sony).  Though they hardly bore a penchant for anything radical, the album found the Heaters nuclei of Mercy Bermudez, Melissa Connell, and sister Maggie Connell gracefully deviating between contemporary pop-rock and girl group panache, resulting in an inadvertent update from two decades prior.  Safe as milk for the Top-40 set, and a reasonable good bet for the suits, the Heaters failed to catch the public's attention in the era of Blondie, the Knack and the Cars.  Essentially, Energy Transfer failed to transfer into mega sales on accounting ledgers, quite simply because the Heaters opted to be themselves in an increasingly fickle and superficial world.

The Heaters disbanded shortly after Energy Transfer failed to catch fire, but it wasn't long before the trio regrouped, determined to outdo the results of those initial records - without the auspices of a cutthroat, corporate music industry.  Going DIY is fraught with obvious perils, however by the early-80s the trio didn't intend to work with big name production crews, nor did they have the immediate interest of smaller indie labels.  Still performing in clubs and honing an already solid reputation for soaring harmonies, the band was encouraged to continue recording.

With a staunch intention of not returning to the rigamarole of fancy recording studios and their attendant, expensive trappings, The Heaters did a 180 and opted for a TEAC Portastudio four-track recorder.  The fruit of their home grown studio endeavors is being made available for the first time on American Dream.  Not to be confused with another archival Heaters collection, The Great Lost Heaters Album, American Dream showcases the trio indulging in the girl group jones that was merely hinted at on Energy Transfer, and their 1978 studio debut.  Channeling their inner Ronnettes...and their inner Crystals...and perhaps inner Shangri-Las as well, The Heaters finesse and uncanny aptitude for the genre and sound they're reaching for is as sheik and convincing as any acolyte of the vintage aforementioned combos could hope for.  Sure, the four-track medium is what the Heaters employed in their post-major label iteration, but they were hardly defined or stymied by it.  In fact, melodious, retro-fitted beauties "Just Around the Corner," "I Want to Love Again," and the sensuous title track gracefully transcend any supposed lo-fi limitations.  The liner notes, penned by Bermudez and the Connell sisters outline in forensic, albeit engaging detail how these 1983 recordings were committed to tape.  American Dream is available later this week through Omnivore Records and Amazon.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Dentists - Powdered Lobster Fiasco (1993, Homestead)

I'm fulfilling my second request in as many days, and yet another I'm pleased to share for the first time.  The Dentists haven't exactly made themselves scarce on these pages, having enjoyed entries for their 1991 LP Heads and How to Read Them, and the archival demos/rarities 10" ep, Naked.  Though they predated the seminal Brit-indie compilation, C86, The Dentists were akin to many of their strummy, wit-smart contemporaries like the Bodines and Close Lobsters.  By the time they got around to tracking Powdered Lobster Fiasco, the band streamlined their shtick, eschewing much of their clamorous, and occasional psych-enhanced tendencies which involved their earlier release, without relenting what was inherently unique to them.  This album isn't on my Dentists "desert island" list so to speak, but conversely there isn't anything on PLF that I take exception with.  Furthermore, this disc puts so much of '90s lamestream Britpop to utter shame, and that in itself is worth a bi-annual cleaning from the Dentists.

01. Pocket of Silver
02. Charms and the Girl
03. Outside Your Inside
04. Box of Sun
05. Beautiful Day
06. I Can See Your House From Up Here
07. We thought We'd Get to Heaven
08. Leave Me Alive
09. All Coming Down
10. Snapdragon

http://www38.zippyshare.com/v/D7B11RNc/file.html

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Wrens - 20 Years of Juvenilia 89-09 ep (2009)

I almost forgot this thing even existed, let alone was resident on my hard drive all these years until someone requested it last week.  This sporadically functioning and even more infrequently recording New Jersey unit have made best buddies with just about anyone in earshot of the fabulous three albums, Silver (1994), Seacacus (1996) and Meadowlands (2003).  Crafting a beguilingly smart and sonically dense indie guitar-rock maelstrom tethered to million-part harmonies, The Wrens, dare I say, are their own worst enemies in letting the rigors of day jobs and family life impede their pursuit of some deliriously sublime music.  I'm too short on time to tout their virtues, but you're welcome to peruse what text I've dedicated to them previously. 

As for the music hand 20 Years of Juvenilia was dished out as a cd-r only delight to fans who attended a particular Wrens gig at Maxwells in Hoboken in 2009.  The time frame indicated in the title is something of a misnomer, as the disc's seven tracks were all committed to tape between 1990-97.  The proceedings are doggedly lo-fi, with a couple of the more "ambient" pieces not even constituting 'music,' as it were.  Fear not, there's still a handful of gold nuggets to be excavated, specifically "Lips of Blue" and "Soft Castration," the latter of which could have rubbed elbows with the best of what constituted Guided By Voices' Alien Lanes

01. The French Song
02. Soft Castration
03. Lips of Blue
04. Don't Be Shy
05. Silverware
06. 6th & Atlantic
07. 65

http://www56.zippyshare.com/v/UbG6uUOT/file.html

Sunday, August 7, 2016

And I might make a hondo if I make it to Redondo tonight.

From 2010...and it just might surprise you.

Here

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Dead Neighbours - Strangedays: Strangeways (1985, Sharko)

Dead Neighbours were a UK conglomerate who began life as a psychobilly type thing...which is an almost immediate non-starter for yours truly.  For their second album Strangedays: Strangeways, DN largely ditched said modus operandi for a considerably more serious post-punk template that was altogether more melodic, not to mention variably melancholic.  The insertion of ex-Cocteau Twin Will Heggie in the Neighbors lineup is credited for this transition, with the end result yielding something akin to the Chameleons and to a lesser extent Red Lorry Yellow Lorry.  Strangedays... isn't wall-to-wall gold, but I'll be damned if "Wreckage of Your Mind" and "The Ultimate Goal" are nothing short of immaculate.  Love the throbbing bass and echo-y guitar workouts, sounding like they were plucked from the first Big Country album.

After the demise of the Neighbours in the mid-80s, frontman Craig Lorentson founded Lowlife, a considerably more accomplished troupe who parlayed the atmospherics of Strangedays to a far loftier level that mingled ethereal dream pop and goth into something fairly breathtaking.  This album's concluding "Cowards Way" was later retooled as an equally effective Lowlife song in 1986.  You can find supplementary info on Dead Neighbours over at Cripsy Nuggets blog, who for better or worse are also sharing that ill advised first album.

01. Wreckage of Your Mind
02. Turmoil
03. Terror Eyes
04. The Survivor
05. The Ultimate Goal
06. Beauty and the Beast
07. Tell Me Why
08. The Cowards Way

http://www52.zippyshare.com/v/d8Bm0NQI/file.html

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Lost Generation - Military Heroes tape (1983, Incas)

I'm a sucker for anything adorning the Incas Records logo - maybe too much of a sucker.  Still, my investment in this tape was meager, so no major regrets.  Lost Generation were a relatively well known Connecticut hardcore crew, though not markedly innovative.  This cassette ep followed up a well received 7" in 1982, Never Work, and several albums ensued throughout the '80s.  "Heroes" and "Sheik Opec" are decent enough socio-political punk screeds, typical of the Raygun-era.  "Heroes (Part 2)" however, is a brief dub/reggae foray that bears nothing in common with the other song on here that it shares it's namesake with.  "Trouble" kicks up a little dirt in the manner of Angry Samoans and White Flag, winning my vote for MVP on this cartridge.  A CD compilation of LG back catalog material, Punk This, saw the light of day in 1995.

01. Heroes
02. Heroes (Part 2)
03. Trouble
04. Help Us
05. Win or Lose
06. Sheik OPEC

http://www9.zippyshare.com/v/QDDLuYL1/file.html

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Viv Akauldren - I'll Call You Sometime (1987, Akashic)

Viv Akauldren sprouted from the remnants of an early '80s Detrot combo, Trancegland, who amended their moniker after a roster shakeup in 1985.  A co-ed trio featuring axe-slinger Jeff Phry and drummer Deb Agolli mixing things up on the mic, Viv Akauldren brewed a subterranean alchemy in a cauldron (get it?) of their own warped design, purloining heavily from psych, but also inserting goth, and even folk flavorings.   I'll Call You's howling opener "Of," is full-bore intensity with all the subtlety of a Mack truck.  While there's precious little else here that's on quite the same frantic wavelength, Viv's sophomore effort tantalizes in varied ways on the distorto-pop pearl "Firewater," and the icy, noir "Inn'er Circle."  And maybe it's just me, but the sprawling spoke/sung "City Magic" strikes me as something of a template for Sonic Youth's "Eric Trip."  Hmmm.  The extensive liner notes in Viv's final album, 1990's Vivian's Fountain, imparts the following regarding I'll Call You Sometime.

"...a concept work of titanic proportions.  It encompasses vast space and subtle nuance...a classic winter time record which requires attention (and headphones).

My copy of the record was furnished with a bonus single featuring two swirling, stem-winding live cuts, both nearing nine minutes in length.  They are included in this download.

01. Of
02. Is This It?
03. Firewater
04. The Chain
05. The Secret
06. The Maker of the Sun and the Moon
07. City Magic
08. Along the Way
09. Inn'er Current
10. Farrowbone
11. As You Wish (live)
12. The Titanic Mind (live)

http://www113.zippyshare.com/v/eZu3EEVN/file.html

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Random Hold - two singles (1981-82)

So I've been running into Random Hold's records for a long time, and as often is the case, I dare not take the plunge on an unknown quantity until the price is too reasonable to refuse.  Presented here are the fruits of my thrifty spoils.  I had casually pegged these fellows (and furthermore a woman, who would later be added to the final incarnation of the band) as being cut from cold/chillwave cloth.  That assumption proved to be inaccurate, and so were even more egregious prog-rock comparisons leveled by certain music junkies (I suppose a connection to Peter Gabriel might engender that sort of thing).  In actuality Random Hold boasted palpable, post-punk bona fides that were best exemplified on their earlier releases (Etceteraville aThe View From Here) which sadly I don't have.  Not like I could share them anyway since they're back in print, but I digress. 

That brings us to two singles that were released after Random Hold split in 1980. A year later the band's moniker was dusted off and revived to represent a much different lineup (all the gory details are available on Wiki) featuring a new mouthpiece, Susan Raven.  RH v. 2.0 lose some of the original combo's creative edge, but maintain an intelligent air with adequate amount of world-weary tension to hold your attention.  I presenting these four tunes from a static-y vinyl rip, and would encourage you to buy the double CD set, Differing Views, a bonus-sized reissue of RH's Raven-era recordings for a considerable audio upgrade.

The March 7" (1981)
01. The March
02. Dance Feeling

Walking on the Edge 7" (1982)
03. Walking on the Edge
04. Camouflage

http://www37.zippyshare.com/v/Oo4b3bau/file.html

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Synchronize my afterlife.

From 2011.  Curveball time.  Glitched-up electronica with occasional '80s tangents.  Don't worry, nothing to dancy.  I heard this one in-store a couple months ago and have been listening to it just about every day since.

Here

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Romantics - Bomp Blues live 1980-83 + Bomp demo

Even at their inception The Romantics must have struck more than a few people as passé.  With skinny ties, leather suits and fluffy hair in tow who wouldn't chalk them up as a passing fad?  Perhaps, but for those who explored the Romantics beyond their two of three mega hits were rewarded with some ace bar rock-cum-power pop that never left a hook to the imagination.  This bootleg compiles a live New Years eve radio broadcast from 1980, a live CBS studio session from the same period, a handful of more concert tracks from 1983, and the band's demo for Bomp Records.  Yep, the smashes are all accounted for - "What I Like About You" "Tell it to Carrie," and the rest.  To the Detroit quartet's credit, "Talking in Your Sleep" and "National Breakout" are more stimulating on stage than the already decent enough album incarnations (though the version of "Breakout" here is truncated - someone didn't hit the record button in time).  The demos sound strikingly similar to the finished versions, not that I'm complaining.  Enjoy.

Live Atlanta 12-31-80
01. National Breakout
02. 21 & Over
03. Tomboy
04. Forever Yours
05. A Night Like This
06. Poor Little Rich Girl
07. interview
08. What I Like About You
09. Ain't Got You

Bomp demos (197?)
10. Tell it to Carrie 
11. Runnin Away
12. First in Line
13. Let's Swing 

Live in CBS Studios, NYC December 1980
14. Ain't Got you
15. What I Like About You
16. A night Like This 
17. Poor Little Rich Girl

Live in San Antonio, TX October 1983
18. When I Look In Your Eyes
19. Gimmie One Chance

20. Keep in Touch
21. Talking in Your Sleep

http://www64.zippyshare.com/v/rw5L3f2F/file.html

Friday, July 22, 2016

Velvet Crush - 10/4/96, CBGB's, New York

My apologies if entries have been a bit scarce lately.  Haven't had much time to rip any fresh vinyl, but on the heels of my Velvet Crush assessment the other night I thought I'd share this rather exemplary live set from a CBGB's gig from a couple decades ago.  The Crush was touring behind their 1996 platter Heavy Changes, but there's plenty of tunes in this setlist to be had from Teenage Symphonies to God.  I do believe this is a soundboard tape.  Check it out in your choice of MP3 or lossless FLAC below.

01. Playing for Keeps
02. Standing Still
03. My Blank Pages
04. Think it Over
05. Hold Me Up
06. Goin' to My Head
07. Why Not Your Baby
08. Atmosphere
09. Ash and Earth
10. Used to Believe
11. Live For Now

MP3 or FLAC pt. 1 & pt. 2

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Velvet Crush - Pre-teen Symphonies (2016, Omnivore) - A brief overview.

Before I go into any sort of rambling (or otherwise) critique of this release and the band in question, I should mention this is not a new Velvet Crush album, or career-spanning anthology, rather an addendum and/or companion to their 1994 full length Teenage Symphonies to God.

First, let's put things into perspective.  Back in the mid '90s, as if it wasn't enough to have to contend with a whole 'nother dominant strain of rock and roll (grunge, duh) consider how much competition Velvet Crush had in their own power-pop wheelhouse - Teenage Fanclub, The Posies, Adam Schmitt, The Gigolo Aunts, Material Issue, Matthew Sweet, Greenberry Woods, Lemonheads, Jellyfish - and to boot, a recently reunited and recalibrated Big Star were all crowding the pool.  Comprised of Ric Menck, Paul Chastain and Jeffrey Borchardt, the Providence, RI-situated three-piece still managed to make a dent, albeit not a commercially seismic one.   

Named after a Brian Wilson rumination, Teenage Symphonies... followed up their independently issued, '91 debut, In the Presence of Greatness, not to mention a bevy of singles ("Butterfly Position" anyone?).  Released under the auspices of Creation Records in England and Sony in the States, Symphonies... didn't waft out of stores as briskly as say, Cracked Rear View or Jagged Little Pill, yet it seemed like everyone who encountered it experienced something on the level of a revelation.  The choice of Mitch Easter as producer was more than apropos, given that Menck and Chastain had teamed up about a decade prior in VC-antecedent bands like Choo Choo Train, who owed more than a wink and a nod to "new music" acts like Let's Active and Game Theory, whom Easter had either performed with or produced.  But there was more to this album than tricky jangle maneuvers and oblique prose.  Forward thinking as Velvet Crush were, they revered elders like Alex Chilton and Roger McGuinn to the hilt.  In fact, Symphonies... was remarkably linear and streamlined, yet never succumbed to anything rote or routine.  Lived-in perhaps, but hardly another day at the office.  Some 22 years on, this deftly crafted thing of beauty, hooks, and then some is frequently regarded as the trio's finest hour (give or take twenty minutes). 

That brings us to Pre-teen Symphonies, which again, isn't a reissue of the aforementioned TStG, rather a collection of eight demos, the bulk of which would eventually be re-cut for the album.  As far as prototypes go, the nuances between the demos and the final album takes are often subtle.  Nonetheless, seasoned ears will pick up on the frenetic fervor pumping through rawer, nascent stabs of some of the album's more assertive selections, specifically "My Blank Pages" and "This Life's Killing Me."  Teenage Symphonies..., mind you, didn't merely contain visceral rockers, but some consoling comedowns as well - "Time Wraps Around You" and "Weird Summer," both appearing here in their rough-cut incarnations.  As to whether which versions are superior, that's for you to decide, but the inclusion of two very capable album-worthy outtakes "Not Standing Down" and "Turn Down" are sure to be universally embraced by aficionados of Chastain and Co.

The second half of this collection concerns an eight-song excerpt from a '94 Chicago performance at the Metro, and an FM broadcast at that.  Not only does it exude more Teenage gold - "Atmosphere" and "Hold Me Up" to name a couple, the set revisits relatively old-school VC nuggets "Window to the World" along with "Ash and Earth."  The proverbial cherry on top is a faithful run through 20/20's signature piece "Remember the Lightning." 

This neat (and in many regards essential) package is available this Friday (July 22) direct from Omnivore, Amazon, and wherever fine music is sold. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Forever with you, ever without you...

Their 1984 double album was lauded and acclaimed as they come, yet this pair of follow-up releases from just a year later seemed to go relatively unnoticed.

Here

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Whirlaway - Pompano (2004)

Sort of a dream-pop revival thing going on with this quartet, who ostensibly monikered their album after their Florida locale.  An AllMusic critique emphasizes Whirlway's affection for My Bloody Valentine, but that influence isn't as heavy handed as they make it out to be.  This is closer to the American corner of the shoegaze grotto, a la Ultra Cindy and Drop Nineteens.  Definitely some '90s Britpop inflections too, but nothing obnoxiously prevalent there either.  The heavier, up-tempo songs are the most effective on Pompano, including but not limited to "The Blinded" and "Strangeplanes."

01. Walkthrough
02. Without, Within
03. Strangeplanes
04. Drones
05. What I See
06. Gone By Now
07. On My Way
08. The Blinded
09. Idiot Song
10. Tumble

http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/hvRq6FvZ/file.html

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Restless - s/t (1984)

In terms of vintage garage-cum-power pop in the environs of Buffalo, NY, the Terry Sullivan helmed Jumpers are one of the few names still readily recalled from the late '70s/early '80s "punk" era.  I featured them eons ago on these pages via their '79 "Sick Girls" 45.  A classic, local or otherwise.  Ironically, after the Jumpers disconnected, Terry went on to front the altogether more ambitious and visible The Restless.  I say ironically in the respect that the Jumpers who only released a local single are lauded and talked about way more than the Restless, who not only recorded a full length, but issued it under the auspices of a major label, Mercury, to be exact, in 1984.  Per the norm with '80s mainstream albums, The Restless skewed to the more pedestrian side of the spectrum, but the songs were often well above average.  Shades of the Tubes, not to mention the more flattering side of Reagan-era Cheap Trick abound on sassy, bristling slammers like "The Contender," "1000 X"and "I Wanna Know."  Although they ran circles around most of their AOR contemporaries, The Restless weren't particularly distinct, ergo they were one of many neglected big label casualties of their time.  Maybe folks were too preoccupied with watching the summer Olympics that year.  Mystery solved!  Enjoy (you will).

01. She's So Fine
02. I Wanna Know
03. One Step Closer
04. 100 mph
05. You'll Know Better
06. It's Over
07. Contender
08. 1000 X
09. Funny You Should Ask
10. Wildcall

http://www66.zippyshare.com/v/vNcyJNhl/file.html