Thursday, May 16, 2013


A reissue from the earliest days of this long running Aussie indie band. This tape was originally released on K Records in 1986 and it was recorded with the orginal line-up. I features six tracks. Two of them were recorded in a studio, the other four in the living room. "Happy Swing" is filled with stripped down, but deep songs made with minimal arrangements, lo-fi aesthetics and Annabel Bleach's vocal harmonies in the forefront. "Sunday" is the winner here, a brash, immediate, straight pop pearl made with one great riff and a catchy vocal harmony. It brings to mind The Urinals with a stronger 60s garage vibe. Next we have "Sekeleton's your friend" a quiet and minmal indie tune with an excellent male spoken word part. "Do The Happy Swing" is underlayed with a beatiful trumpet melody. The low recorded vocals are floating somewhere in the background. The b-sides starts with a whistled melody and "It's hardly worth it" keeps up this sunny and melodic vibe with it's catchy sing-along chorus. As the song titles already suggest, the last two tracks "Tear Drops" and "Gloom Turns To Doom" lead into a more quiet and darker direction. Minimal, sad folk-influenced songs with totaly basic drum beats, carried by Annabel Bleach's highly charismatic voice. This is really a well done reissue of a totally amazing cassette. (Listen to it here)

The Intended are a new band emerging from the hot current Detroit scene, including bands like Protomartyr, Roachclip, K-9 Sniffies or Tyvek, who they also share one member with. "Live At El' Club" features four raw cuts, taken from a live peformance in July 2012. Consequentially the recording quality is rough and lo-fi, nevertheless it seems to capture the vibe of The Intended's music very well. It's rooted in the tradition of American 60s psych and garage groups. "Time Won't Wait" shows obvious links to Velvet Underground with it's warm sound and it's fantastic hooks. It is minimal, monotonic, but develops a higher effect with every new listen. "The Ineffable" is a straighter garage punk number made with brilliant breaks and a super catchy chorus. A complete 60s retro worship, that sounds like it could have been taken from a HoZac release. "Fighter Pilot" on the b-side is underlayed with darker undertones. The focus is on the jaded vocals and fantastic extended psych guitar-solos. The final track "Dirty Secrets" is based on a straight punk riff and spoken Tyvek-like vocals, but the longer the song lasts, the stronger is the psych influence including spaced out guitar solos. This brilliant tape will make you begging for more! (Listen to it here)

The LP starts with a misleading, only a few seconds lasting punk blast intro, sounding like it's wrongly played on 45rpm. After this short confusion Roachclip pick up, exactly where they left off with their "El Pastor" 7". They take a 60s psych vibe and push it forward to a higher level, that's a lot more interesting, weird and complex than it originally was back in the 60s. I read about the record, that it "sounds like the Doors if they were good" and this is probably the best way to describe Roachclip's music. In particular the organ playing gets far beyond, what you would normally expect from a common psych group. It's super varied and ranges between beeing totally supportive and sounding weird, unconventional and anti-poppy. The whole instrumental arrangements strike a right balance between an arty approach, dissonance, melodies, catchiness and just pure rock'n'roll. The low recorded vocals seem to be floating somewhere in the background, even if their drawn style is one of the major secrets of Roachclips tunes. The production is a lot cleaner compared with their "El' Pastor" 7", but it's still rough enough to maintain the certain charm of lo-fi cassette releases. Besides the before mentioned 60s psych vibe "Discovery Park" shows obvious links to early Christchurch bands like Vacuum or The Bilders and to British postpunk in the vein of The Fall or Happy Refugees. But in the end this record is really something, that speaks for itself. Which means: It fuckin' rules!  (Listen to it here)

Roachclip from Detroit, Michigan play their own unique brand of 60s psych inspired music with a rough production, that captures a strong lo-fi / cassette four track aesthetic and their D.I.Y. spirit very well. "Al' Pastor" is introduced by the babble of aliened, distorted voices, already giving you the rough idea, that it won't feature some kind of standard music. Is it played on 33rpm or 45 rpm? This can not be clarified until the first track "Stuck in Motion" begins - a slower distorto art-rock tune backed with a supportive groove. "Manneqin" pushs the 60s psych vibe way into the forefront. Super fuzzy guitars are combined with fantastic guitar solos and the organ's highly unique style. "Hobo Mojo" on the b-side is a pure psych pop gem based on bizarre organ harmonies. "Glass Garage" is a short, raw as hell garage-punk blast. The slight folk influenced "Everything" introduces the final track "Nude Sitter": The most catchy song and a true power-popper that enrichs the psych vibe with plenty of great melodies floating through. It's comprable with the way Times New Viking are poppy. This 7" would fit in extremely well with stuff on Siltbreeze like Psychedelic Horseshit, Sic Alps, Pink Reason or the before mentioned Times New Viking, even if it sounds at the same time totally independent and unique. The Artwork looks fantastic too. A total banger. (Listen to it here)