Sunday, March 17, 2013


This album has been lost in the archives for more than 15 years. "Happy" was originally recorded and mastered back in 1997, but it didn't came out back then, because Mercury Records was sold and that was the reason, why it has been held in major label purgatory. In 2012 ROIR finally secured the album rights and released it for the very first time. It features some of Bush Tetras very best recordings. First of all Bush Tetras are know from the early 80s, when they were part of the influental no-wave scene. I also dig their recordings from that era, but "Happy" is not any worse and it stands for a fully-devolped more complex and elaborate sound. It's not that funky as their earlier works. Instead of that they've pushed the heavy rockin guitars way into the forefront, while finding a good balance between dissonance, noise, catchiness and rather quiet parts. Cynthia Sley's vocals tend to be the most distinctive thing about this record, which does not mean, that the music is any worse, but they are made with their very own characteristic style. Musically the records shows a slight Dischord influence not unlike Fire Party, even if it's basically rooted in the history of New York punk and underground music. Bush Tetras merge the best parts of Patti Smith, Sonic Youth, Circle X and Theoretical Girls and at the same time it's their own unique, authentic and higly independet brand of music. (Listen to it here)

Named after Hitler's favorite breed of dogs German Shepherds from San Francisco created some of the most bizzare and obscure electronic music during the early and mid 80s. Suicide and Chrome are currently on everyone's lips, but this two-piece from San Francisco took the weirdness one step further. Their music sounds like an audiotary horror trip in a mentally ill, drug addicted perspective and with their very own scathering sense of blackest humor. Equipped with synthesizers, a drum machine, guitar noise and a four track recording German Shepherds brand of electronic music is reduced to minimal song structures. It's all focused on ugliness and noise, conveying the impression of a world without a spark of hope and sense. This music frequently sets out to deliberately challenge standardized listening habits. The beats sound like anti-rhythms, that are nor dancabel neither supportive. It's just the total destruction of a groove. The most memorable track is "I Adore You" with it's scary spoken vocals and lyrics taken from a catholic prayer book. Also "THC" has to be emphasised: a sick synth mayhem ending up in a chaos of noise. Superior Viaduct did a great job making this overseen classic of electronic punk-related music available again. They've added a 7" with two more great tracks. I really cant't recommend "Music For Sick Queers" highly enough! (Listen to it here)
THE KICK - REEL AND REAL LP (Swiss Punk / Static Age)
The next instalement in the colaboration between Swiss Punk from Zurich and Static Age from Berlin, who have already brought us discography LPs by Bellevue and The Gluems. This LP is yet another brilliant reissiue of a true Swiss punk classic. The Kick are a hardly overseen band. They were active in the mids 80s, a time when most Swiss punk bands from the earliest days had already disbanded and Swiss underground music gained less attention especially in retrospectative view. This LP features 1 track taken from their promo 7" released in 1985, 3 tracks taken from their 12" released in 1985, 2 tracks from a studio session in 1986, 1 track from the movie "Dani, Michi, Renato and Max" recorded in 1987 as well as 4 live tracks recorded in 1986. The Kick took the classic Swiss punkrock vibe and merged it with British wave in the vein of Killing Joke, New Order, Siouxie And The Banshees and Bauhaus. They combine driving bass lines with straight beats and a dissonant yet rhythmical guitar style. The songs have a nice melodic and slightly dark undertone. The female vocals with it's variation between catchiness and coldness are really outstanding and characterstic for The Kick's brand of wave-punk. As a whole this a totally amazing and well done discography including liner notes in English and German language. (Listen to it here)
LYRES - ON FYRE LP (Munster)
Finally a reissue of The Lyres classic first full lenght originally released in 1984. After DMZ, one of Boston's earliest punk bands, disbanded, former members started The Lyres. While DMZ already had an slight 60s garage influence, it became the obvious influence for The Lyres. Back then they were one of the first bands reviving 60s inspired music. Soon later there were many other bands into 60s garage, but to me The Lyres have always been the most memorbale among them. Their songs show a soft spot for catchy melodies in the vein of The Kinks, The Sonics and 60s Rolling Stones records. They add the full blown rock'n'roll energy of band like MC5, The Stooges and Nervous Eaters to make it their own authentic style. It's just the perfect balance between raw energy and the kind of 60s hit-singles I've inherit from my fathers record collection. The LP comes with three page liner notes fulll of informations and storys about The Lyres. Munster also added several band pictures plus the LP is pressed on 180 gram. Really a well down reissue off this essential record! (Listen to it here)     

In 1980 Truus de Groot meet David Linton in her Dutch hometown Eindhoven. David Linton was touring Europe at that time and at the end of the night he invited Truus de Groof to his hometown New York. She visited him in February 1981 and they started jaming toughether in David Lintons flat. His roommate Lee Ronalda soon joined them. This was the beginning of Plus Instruments. They were heavily influenced by minimal European electronic music. While listening to the songs you can breath the pure creative energy this masterpiece is made with. David Linton was responsible for the pounding beats and the heavy groove. Truus de Groot added the vocals, bass guitar and synths. And Lee Ronaldo underlayed the songs with walls of sick guitar noise. They've played several shows and recorded this LP until they broke up two month later. Truss de Groot did several reunions of Plus Instruments with different musicians, but this LP is by far their most oustanding record. It documents the impressing interplay of three musical genius. Currently there are tons of reissues of average 80s minimal electronic music coming out, but this record is really something special and I dig it as hard as the mighty DAF! (Listen to it here)