Monday, March 31, 2014

NEW LPs PART 3 OF 5

BODY BETRAYAL - SOFT CAGE 12" (Our Voltage)
Body Betrayal are a new Seattle based hardcore group. On their vinyl debut this quartet deliveres a modern and refreshing take on classic early 90s Slap-A-Ham style powerviolence. You'll get six tracks that fuse blistering blast-beats and some hints of moody post-punk with a slow and heavy killer-groove. The record is fueled by crushing guitars, blistering drums, rugged bass lines and brash, super potent vocals. "Soft Cake" is a product of intelligent lyrics, and fucking full-on merciless fast hardcore. The songs are delivered with an intense musical peformance and a powerful, modern production. The 12" comes with a etching on the b-side. To be honest I would have prefered songs on both sides, but at least the etching looks impressively nice. (Listen to it here)

CONSULAR - ALLAPATTAH BLUES LP (Dingleberry/ All We Know/ No Work/ Dying God)
During the last couple of years Florida has been best known for beeing the home of some highly recommended hardcore bands including Consular among many others. It's a very pleasant and welcome surprise that this Miama based five-piece doesn't need blast beats and indecipherable riffs to write songs of sheer brutality. Combining sludge, rock and crust with the directness of hardcore Consular expand these influences into their own pummeling, guitar-driven, mid-tempo style. "Allapattha Blues" is filled to the brim with snarling vocals, Eyehategod-esque heavy riffs, bad-ass rock solos and a really devastating bulldozer groove. Most songs lack of speed but instead of beeing some kind of metallic sludge nonsense, they all capture the pure unadulterated power of hardcore in it's raw essence. Fantastic! (Listen to it here)

DEAD GHOSTS - RARITIES LP (Bachelor) 
This collection of outtakes, live recordings, cover versions, unreleased songs and singles already circulated on Dead Ghosts' bandcamp site. Now thanks to Bachelor, Austria's finest garage label, this anthology of "Rarities" has been pressed on a piece of vinyl. You get eleven original cuts plus two cover versions by The Penetrator's "Teenage Lifestyle" and The Gories' "Thunderbird ESQ" (what a great choice). From sizzling psych and stomping garage-punk, to raw rock'n'roll and folk-rock, it's all in here and it's all incredibly good. Vancouver based four-piece Dead Ghosts balances between raw guitar noise, sweet melodies and catchy-as-hell choruses. The rough old-fashioned production leaves the impression that time has stood still about 45 years ago. Don't miss this incredibly good garage LP. (Listen to it here)

GRAVEL SAMWIDGE - MEDICINAL REQUIREMENTS 12" (Swashbuckling Hobo)
Brisbane's Gravel Samwidge have developed a style that's very close to the recent Aussie noise-punk of bands like Cuntz, Gentlemen and Whores. After several CD and File releases "Medicinal Requirements" is the groups vinyl debut. It's filled with drums that barely hold together and squeaky guitars that live in the moment without regard to song and melody. Most songs are based on one killer riff and a discordant post-punk groove that gets punctuated by painfullly repetitive song structures. Fucked up lyrics are delivered by deadpan, don't-give-a-shit vocals. You get six killer tunes accompanied with background noise and feedbacks. Gravel Samwidge highly nihilistic approach takes the classic sound of bands like Drunks With Guns, Venom P. Stinger, Brainbombs and Flipper to create some of today's best noise-punk. (Listen to it here)

ØJNE - UNDICI/ DODICI LP (Monday Morning/ Pike/ Don' Live Like Me/ Unlock Yourself/ Dog Knights/ La Agonia De Vivir/ Stereo Dasein/ Fading Halo/ Driftwood/ PikPik/ Upwind)
This vinyl debut by Øjne has been released in a DIY collaboration of thirteen labels from allover the world. Hailing from Milano, Italy this band recalls the best parts of 90s emo music. Subtle, melodic shifts ebb and flow across a good dose of aggresivity and beautiful melodies. Øjne deliver five songs of long driven passionate hardcore with reminiscent screamed vocals and a positive feeling. From in-your-face outbursts that leave you with disturbed mind to heartwariming harmonies and discordant post-punk groove "Undici/ Dodici" is an album that approaches music intensely. Don't be afraid, Øjne have nothing in common with all the awful music that is called "emo" today. This band plays emotive hardcore in the way it was meant to be. The music is built on equal parts of bands such as Mineral, Indian Summer, Yage, Rites Of Spring and Yaphet Kotto. But of course Øjne don't forget to add their own unmistakable flavor. Great! (Listen to it here)

PANDA KID - SUMMETRY LP (Already Dead Tapes)
Italians seem to have a special affinity to the music of the 60s. At least there are tons of current garage, folk and psych groups coming from this country. Panda Kid is a musician from Vicenza who writes some of the best 60s pop anthems a mind can arrange. Taking influences from the classic sound of garage, folk, beat music and early punk he creates a vintage sound that maintains a modern and unconform appeal. Don't go thinking this is just another direct in-your-face style garage record. "Summetry" stands out for it's experimental weirdness simular to Thee Oh Sees and it's openness for "exotic" influences like Indian psych and others. From the titletrack's touch of 80s wave to the Sonic Youth-esque guitars in "To Tramp" this record is always full of surprises. The only factor that remains constant is Panda Kid's explosive pop vibe. Very nice! (Listen to it here)

VA - MONSTERS OF MISSION ROCK LP (Champagne & Coc)
During the last couple of years everyone has been talking about San Francisco's 60s revival scene including Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, The Fresh & Onlys, Thee Oh Sees, White Fence and so many more. This compilation demonstrates that San Francisco is also the home of a huge and impressing 70s rock scene. You get 15 tunes by 15 bands covering a wide range of different rock subgenres. The LP kicks off with Hot Lunch's "Killer Smile", a bombastic killer tune taken from their excellent debut album. White Baron deliver a faster paced proto-metal anthem made with a super catchy chorus. Buffalo Tooth show strong similarities to Blue Cheer's classic proto-punk. "1725" is another well known track taken from Wild Eyes S.F.'s full lenght on Who Can You Trust? Records. Hazzard's Cure play thunderous thrashing heavy rock. Next up, we have High Tower who serve a unique mixture of progressive rock, metal and hardcore. Ironwitch combine tough as nails guitar-solos with the thundering groove of 70s heavy rock. Chrome Eagle would have made a cozy addition to a "Bonehead Crunchers" compilation if they had showed up 40 years earlier. The b-side kicks of with Lecherouze Gaze who fuse the intensity of Black Flag with the ferocity of Led Zeppelin. Ovvl crank out a guitar driven number heavily influenced by Black Sabbath. War Child offer a nasty and dirty rock instrumental. If you dig fast punk'n'roll with a strong Motörhead influence, you will also be digging Tiger Honey Pot. Winter Teeth mix 70s rock influences with dark keyboard harmonies and soulful vocals. Hornss play hardrock in the way it was ment to be. Last but not least Solar Stoner sound like The Stooges were playing psych-rock. Don't miss this brilliant compliation and be fast: it's limited to 500 copies. (Listen to it here)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

NEW LPs PART 2 OF 5

DAS MODELL - S/T LP (Dingleberry, Impure Muzik, La Cri Du Corbeau)
Besides Jack And The Bearded Fishermen here's yet another incredible band hailing from Besançon in the west of France. Named after the famous Kraftwerk song Das Modell's debut full lenghts offers a innovatiove blend of 90s noise-rock, indie and post-punk. The nine equally contemplative and carefree sounding tracks are based on wild, groovy beats, pounding basslines and a subtle dsicordant yet melodic guitar work. This highly addictive mixture is brought to life by a uplifting production and potent mixed gender vocals providing a kind of music that fits comfortably in your record collections alongside with bands like Shellac, Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu, Rites Of Spring, Fugazi and The Jesus Lizard - or in other words: Das Modell fuckin' rule! (Listen to it here)
 
THE FLOOR ABOVE - BISHOP LP (Savage Quality)  
Savage Quality is a new high quality label run by Pink Reason mastermind Kevin De Broux. His latest release is a LP by one-man-band The Floor Above from Nashville, Tennessee. The recordings capture the unpolished roughness of early 80s hardcore. You get twenty short and frantic hardcore ragers that combine clean but noisy guitars, relentlessly fast hammering drums and low deadpan vocals. The extreme lo-fi production makes the record sound like it's a vinyl reissue of a lost cassette recorded during the golden age of hardcore. "Bishop" is a primitive hardcore assault of short one and a half minute blasts built with a sloppy no frills attitude. Think members of The Fix and The Necros rehearsing with the equipment of Cheetah Chrome Motheruckers. The best hardcore record in 2013!  (Listen to it here)

GOSPEL TRUTH - A LONELY MAN DOES FOOLISH THINGS LP (12XU) 
On the surface the sound of Austin, Texas based four-piece Gospel Truth offers some similarites to their local garage and punk scene including bands like OBN IIIs, The Golden Boys, Bad Sports and Sweet Talk, but Gospel Truth are a band of many more directions. The songs are throbbing with a super tight heavy grooving rhythm section, potent soulful vocals and a subtle, super-varied guitar-work. The songs steadily explode into discordant post-punk with frenetic drums and furios guitars. Keyboard, harmonica, saxophone and cello intermezzos represent the group's hunger for pushing limits and to explore many different ideas. The core of "A Lonely Man Dies Foolish Things" is it's 14-minute final track. "Beasts" travels with it's repetitive beats and howling guitars into a deep psychedelic labyrinth. This LP sounds a bit like a modern product of The Gun Club, Nation Of Ulysses and The Flesh Eaters. Fantastic!  (Listen to it here)

NAH - DIFFICULT LP (Ranch) 
This LP expands the threshold of what a musical act can be. NAH is the drums only solo-project by Pennsylvania's Mikel Kuhn. He mixes his beats with electronic sounds and samples. His drum patterns are constandtly mutating from complex tribal beats, fast blasts, monotonic simplicity and addictive groove. In this manner Mikel Kuhn constructs massive specimens of metronomic terror. The modification of orginal drum sounds into assault of industrial darkness produces a painfully claustrophic effect. "Difficult" offers an adventurous mixture of noise and refinement. From moody to agressive and from groovy to hammering NAH's music is constantly evolving. Every new track is radically blending into a new unexpected dimension and this whole piece of weird music moves far away from the predetermined ways. Great! (Listen to it here)

OJM - HEAVY LP (Go Down)
Go Down records delivers a vinyl reissue of OJM's CD-only debut album from 2002. This four-piece from Treviso, Italy has managed to harness the powers of their 90s stoner heroes and distil it into a heavy rockin' brew. You get ten tracks of galloping rock and thunderous roll including a fantastic Stooges cover of "TV Eye". Useing the timeless riffary, the high-energy, monster groove and the incredible hooks of bands like Fu Manchu, Kyuss and Monster Magnet this record takes you on a trip through everything that's so great about stoner-rock. Of course orginality isn't OJM's strongest side, but they are an almost perfect copy: all they do is bringing proven formulas to perfection and recalling the best parts of the original sound of the '90s stoner-rock scene. (Listen to it here)

UNDERSMILE / BISMUTH - SPLIT LP (De Graanrepubliek)
This split LP features two UK based bands. Each group contributes only one track, but both are extended with a collective paytime of about 40 minutes. Undersmile is a mesmerizing doom and sludge force. They create haunting atmospheres with the help of droning riffs, hopeless melodies, instruments on heavy repeat and slow echoing drums sounding like they were recorded in a cold cave. The clean, haunting vocal harmonies show some similarities to the sound of 80s goth-rock. On the other side of this split Nottingham based duo Bismuth crank out avalanches of merciless sludge. With drums and bass only they use a amalgamation of downtuned, droning bass riffs, heavy distortion, feedbacks, ugly screamed vocals and pounding beats on screw speed. Played at high volume "collapse" puts a pleasant vibration in your stomach. This tune is nothing but a painful, ugly and super noisy mayhem done in slowmotion and without unnecessary frills. Fans of Corrupted won't be dissapointed here. (Listen to it here)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

NEW LPs PART 1 OF 5

CAN CAN HEADS - BUTTER LIFE LP (Karkia Mistika/ Verdura/ Bottom Of The Pops) 
Can Can Heads is a long running experimental punk group from Kauhajoki, Finland that has been around for more than twenty years. Their latest full lenght features eighteen short and convulsive tunes. This five-piece traverses a wide sonic range - from the weird punk groove of The Minutemen to the loseness of free-jazz and the discordant noise of no wave - often within the same song. Most songs are pure instrumental pieces, some are underlayed with incomprehensible spoken vocals. Can Can Heads write elaborately constructed arrangements that are driven by pounding bass lines and manic saxophone freak outs. "Butter Life" is filled with diverse, almost hypnotic soundscapes made with a raw and destructive style. The record's open minded approach is reminiscent of 80s SST releases. Can Can Heads understand punk as an attitude and not as a copy of current trends and hypes. (Listen to it here

FATSO JETSON - LIVE AT MAXIMUM FESTIVAL LP (Go Down)
Prepare yourselves for a excellent live album by California's legendary desert rock group Fatso Jetson. Hailing from the Palm Desert area the group was formed in 1994 and released their first two albums on Greg Ginn's SST label. Back in the 90s they toured with Kyuss and put out a split 7" with Fu Manchu, but they never became that popular. This LP features 8 tracks recorded live last year at the Maximum Festival. The recording quality is very good and the songs capture an incredible intensity. Filled with driving bass lines, groovy rhythms, brilliant solos and fat ass riffs Fatso Jetson make clear, that they are one of the fathers of stoner rock. Only a few bands can write extented experimental songs with such restraint, letting musical tension build until it can do nothing other than explode. The music is rooted in a trademark mix of 70s rock, surf, punk and blues. but of course Fatso Jetson use these influences just to creat their own unmistakable style. Limited to 300 copies! (Listen to it here)

MOCK DUCK - INNER INFINITIES Files
Normally I only review vinyl and tapes, but I made an exception for this. Mock Duck are two guys named Clay, who live in Tokyo and L.A.. They write new songs and play shows, whenever they are in the same city. Two recordings have been done so far. Hopefully both will be released on a double LP later this year, but until now they are only available as files at the Mock Duck bandcamp site. The 1990s indie rock of Dino Jr. and SST that Mock Ducks first "Alters of Radness" EP recalled have been pushed into the background. Their latest recordings offers six guitar-driven tunes based on burnt fuzz effects, rapturous electric guitar leads and a pounding heartfelt groove. Distinctive vocal harmonies are belted out over squall of loud thrashing riffs and pounding drums. Mock Duck's sound is highly original and varied with influences ranging from punk to garage, indie and stoner rock. Think of a sloppy, furious and modern version of later Wipers albums. A total banger! (Listen to it here)

THE NIGHT TERRORS - SPIRAL VORTEX LP (Homeless)
Following their "Back To Zero" full lenght from 2009 Melbourne's electronic heavyweights are back with a brandnew album. "Spiral Vortex" is a mind searing concoction of spooky theremin melodies littered with futuristic synth attacks and thumping rhythmical drums. Psychedelic electronics reminiscent of progressive rock groups of the 1970s slither to the cold sounds of 80s synth music and early techno. The Night Terrors create a broad cosmos in which the worlds of pumping beats and walls of abstract electronics collide into deep, crystal explosions. With a potent blend of horrific overtones and airy melodies the album takes you on a trip into a sound galaxy that presents classic influences in a fresh and modern way. This double LP features some of today's finest electronic music! (Listen to it here)

THE PHANTOM FAMILY HALO - RAVEN TOWN WITCH LP (Sophomore Lounge) 
Multi-instrumentalist and former Sapat member Dominic Cipolla is the mastermind behind The Phantom Family Halo from Louisville, Kentucky. Their fifth full lenght is a turgid take on psychedelic rock, drawing it's chief inspiration from the Velvet Underground and Neil Young but supplementing heavily with influences from hypnotic krautrock to 80s goth rock simular to the Gun Club. The songs drift out into waters that no one else is swimming in weaving calm passages and a unique pop sensibility into dense guitar-driven psychedelic trips. Veiled beneath layers of whirring synth sounds the recordings combine repetitive, metronomic beats, heavy washed out guitars and highly distinctive vocals. "Raven Town Witch" is filled with a potent blend of timeless songs that stay with the listener long after the album has ended. (Listen to it here)
 
SULTAN BATHERY - S/T LP (Slovenly)
After a trip to India three guys from Venezia, Italy started a band and named it Sultan Bathery after the worst place they've been during their journey. Their selftiteled debut full length is an explosion of 60s inspired music. From deep psychedelic groove to addictive freak beat, jarring garage, blues foundations and raw rock'n'roll Sulthan Bathery have put a unique spin on their classic influences. With the help of a very varied guitar-driven instrumental performance they succeed to sound like a welcome break from the usual landscapes of garage-punk. Jarring guitar solos, catchy harmonies a la Nuggets-era psychedelia and catchy as hell choruses guarantee a pure listening pleasure over the full playtime of this LP. Each track sounds different, but as a whole they all show Sultan Bathery's unmistakbale signature style. This is definitely one of the best 60s inspired albums I've heard since a long time. Highly recommended! (Listen to it here)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

NEW CASSETTE RELEASES

ANASAZI - NUKE YORK 2013 DEMO Tape (Self-Released) 
Most bands stop releasing cassettes after they've put out their first vinyl release. In contrast to this normal pattern Brooklyn's Anasazi have released a self-released demo tape, that follows two 7"s on Sacred Bones and Toxic State. If Anasazi had showed up 25 years earlier, they would have made a cozy addition to the "Killed By Deathrock" compilation on Sacred Bones. "Dark punkrock" is a big thing these days, but Anasazi sound like a fresh breath. Their music's urgent rawness contrasts with their gloomy wave and death-rock style in a refreshing way. The songs are carried by echoing guitars, plain beats and some really potent and varied vocals. Only the final tune "Sex with E.T." with it's dancable minimal synth sound leads into a different musical direction. This tracks has recently also been released on a separate flexi 7". (Listen to it here)

ANASAZI / SURVIVAL - COMMUNION SPLIT Tape (Inflamable Material)
This cassettes brings together two of New York's best current post-punk groups. Each band contributes five brandnew songs. Anasazi recall the glorious days of American death-rock. Christian Death and Vex come to mind while listening to their side of the split. At the same time you can find a lot more depth and rawness. This band has clearly developed their own brandmark style. Survival sound like the watch has been stopped for about 25 years. They play a weird hybrid of painful electronic drum beats, haunting synthesizer sounds, cheap punk riffs and female vocal harmonies. In contrast to Anasazi they add a healthy of cold-wave to their dark punk roots. Both bands should be mentioned in the sam breath as Belgrado, Crimson Scarlet, Pleasure Leftists and Arctic Flowers. Top notch stuff! (Listen to it here

THE SMEAR - DEMO Tape (Wasted Music)
The Smear are yet another new band arising from the British D.I.Y. scene. Their demo tape  showcases a distinct style of postpunk, mixing influences of their UK punk forefathers The Cure, Wire, Joy Divsion and The Sound with the modern sound of The Estranged. Voight-Kampff and The New Flesh. It's amazing how the recordings balance texture, atmosphere and the raw and urgent energy of punk. The four tunes are loaded with infectious hooks, propulsive bass lines, addictive guitar licks and an undercurrent of addictive melodies. The incredibly good and distinctive vocals are another highlight of this fantastic demo release. The recording quality is very good and The Smear's moody, driving post-punk will leave you begging for more. (Listen to it here

Monday, March 10, 2014

UNWUCHT RELEASES

BUILDERS - FIAT LUX LP (Unwucht)
This is the fourth part of the Christchurch subscription series on Unwucht. The LP features live recordings of several different Builders incarnations such as Kaza Portico & The Urbs. The songs were recorded between 1980 and 1982 in Christchurch and Auckland. On the back cover appears the name Democrazy Records, but it's actually an official Unwucht release, that should look arranged like a Democrazy bootleg from the early 1980s. Formed in 1980 Buliders were an important piece in the awesome DIY Christchurch scene of the early ’80s. The band is headed by Bill Direen, who the only constant of Builders's various different line-ups, that are still active to this day. Builders combine a gloomy Velvet Underground vibe and a independent post-punk spirit with their own unique style. Even if all songs are recorded live, they all provide a high recording quality. Unfortunately the record is almost impossible to find, because it's limited to 100 copies exclusive to subscribers only. (Listen to it here)

ROBERT SCOTT - THE CREEPING UNKNOWN LP+12" (Unwucht)
Robert Scott's debut album "The Creeping Unknown" orginally came out as a CD on Flying Nun in 2000. Unwucht has now reissued the album in a edition of 200 copies. The reissue is a vinyl double set consisting of a full length LP and a 12". The records come hosted in a new cover artwork and as a bonus you get one previously unreleased track. Robert Scott is well known through his bands, The Bats, The Clean, The Magick Heads and Electric Blood. His first full solo album combines guitar-based pop music with a vide range of sounds, styles and mood. Robert Scott's vocals drift in and out of some tracks, but most are pure instrumental pieces made with accoustic and electric guitars and different other instruments like piano, synthesizers, drums, percussions or organ. Both records slightly differ from each other. The LP shows Robert Scott approaching a warm, peaceful and harmonic sound sprectrum, while the 12" leads into a more confusing and experimental psych-drone direction. "The Creeping Unkown" is a refreshing, addivtive and unique piece of music! (Listen to it here)

VA - OFF OUR SHOULDERS VOLUME 2 2xLP+7" (Unwucht) 
After "Krypton Ten" Unwucht delivers another retrospective double LP compilation filled with bands and artists from the New Zealand underground scene. The first part of "Off Your Shoulders" came out on Christchurch based label Onset/Offset in 1987. The songs for this second part were recorded back then, but for financial reasons the label didn't release them. It took more than 20 years until this masterpiece finally saw the light of day. "Off Our Shoulders" is an all female compilation including 18 tracks by the following bands and artists: 18 tracks by: Vim, Rachel Grant, Vanessa Blondell, Kinsis, The Psychic Daisies, Susannah Jackson and Nichola Donovan. The the first 100 copies come with a free 7", that features one mor song by Rachel Grant and The Psychic Daises. The tracks were recorded between 1989 and 1992. The musical spectrum ranges from the NZ-trademark tinges of ’60s garage, psych and folk to 80s jangle-pop, post-punk and wave. No filler all killer and a true masterpiece! (Listen to it here)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

FOUR REISSUED LPs PART 2 OF 2 PLUS ONE 7"

HELDON - INTERFACE LP (Superior Viaduct)
Richard Pinhas was the leading head behind Heldon, a French group that put out seven albums during the 1970s. "Interface" is their sixth and probably best album. It is characterized by an refreshing fusion of progressive rock, avant-jazz and electronic sounds. On these recordings Pinhas cooperates with Francois Auger (drums) and Patrick Gauthier (synths). This line-up provides a perfect musical framework, that creates a wild and unfettered masterpiece, a storm of ear-bending synth-attacks, wobbly guitar leads and inventive, edgy rhythms. The discordant synth sounds and propulsive beats give the music an multidimensional aspect, that was far ahead of it's time. The songs find an accommodation in the historical space between the spaciness of 70s rock music and the colder and more gloomy sound of early synth pop. The titletrack is probably the record's most memorbale tune. It extends for the whole lenght of the b-side and proceeds slowly and endlessly into it's own futuristic orbit. Yet another killer reissue on Superior Viaduct! (Listen to it here)

NEGATIVE TREND - S/T 7" (Superior Viaduct)
Superior Viaduct has finally reissued this long-time collector-fave in it's proper form. Negative Trend's one and only 7" is nothing but a true classic of early Californian punk. The band has to be mentioned in the same breath as other influential San Francisco groups like Crime, The Avengers, The Sleepers, The Nuns, The Units or VKTMS. Negative Trend members Will Shatter and Steve DePace later formed Flipper. This 7" still sounds as wonderfully ignorant today as it did in 1978 and makes an excellent introduction what punk should sound like. You get a fantastic mixture of snotty vocals, provocative lyrcis, razor-sharp riffs and melodic hooks. The four songs balance between influences of early UK punk,. a more typical melodic westcoast flavour and some gloomy undertones (best illustrated with "Black And Red"). Essential! (Listen to it here)

STRANGULATED BEATOFFS - THE BEATOFFS LP (Skin Graft)
Saint Louis based duo Strangulated Beatoffs feature Stan Seitrich, who formed the band after Drunks With Guns broke up. They recorded their Beatles cover album in 1989, but only four songs from this session were released on their second 7". Now Skin Graft has released the entire ten tracks on a full album. You may think, that only Beatles fans will like this record, but I'm not really sure if Strangulated Beatoffs pay a tribute to the Beatles or if they try to destroy their annoying radio hits. One thing is for sure: this record goes beyond a pure immitation. By transforming pop music into broken and noisy songs Strangulated Beatoffs push their own personal note into the forefront. The songs are perfectly poppy and rough at the same time One of the most persistent elements you will hear throughout the record is the fantastic raw lo-fi production. This is probably the best cover album ever! (Listen to it here)

TRONICS - WHAT'S THE HUBUB BUB LP (M'Lady's)  
During the late 70s and early 80s the U.K. D.I.Y. underground produced incredibly fresh, direct and unique music. Tronics were one of the most important band of this huge postpunk scene, that is best documented in the Messthetics compilation series. M'Lady's has now put out a vinyl reissue of their obscure cassette only album "What's The Hubub Bub" from 1980. The album features stripped down, live recorded tunes only made with cheap conga drum beats, a rock'n'roll guitar, vocals and occasional used weird sound fragments. The first thing that grabs you is how unpolished and improvised the songs are. Then you realize that it all comes down to the fact that Tronics' musical approach is far ahead of their time, but their aesthetic is punk as fuck. Some songs like "Shark Fucks" are  insanely catchy, but most are painfully minimal. A post-punk classic! (Listen to it here)
 
 
U.S. MAPLE  - LONG HAIR IN THREE STAGES LP (Skin Graft)
Released in 1995 U.S. Maple's "Long Hair In Three Statges" debut full lenght is one of the most crucial masterpieces of 90s noise-rock. The band moved away from the typical heavy time signatures and repetitive heavy rhythms into a more experimental and noisy direction. This is the kind of music that paved the way for bands like Lightning Bold, Arab On Radar or Aids Wolf. The album offers discordant, destructive and complex music. Propulsive beats and driving bass lines create a thick groove while walls of guitar noises pop in and out like breaks in the asteroid belt. The musical peformance applies a jazz-like looseness to create a stunning record, that still sounds fresh and innovative from a present point of view. Skin Graft has reissued this killer album on vinyl for the first time in more than 15 years. Back then it came out in a limited edition of 1000 copies with a metal-cover, but the reissue comes with a regular standard sleeve. (Listen to it here)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

FOUR REISSUED LPs PART 1 OF 2

DIVISION FOUR - 1983 DEMO CASSETTE 12" (Smart Guy)
Many of the "overseen" punk records that get reissued today, receive attention just because the music was written during the golden era of punk and not because it's something great. This vinyl reissue of Division Four’s demo definitely stands out with it's frantic style of synth-driven post-punk. The six songs were orginally released on a tape in 1983. Soon later the band broke up. It took thirty years until Smart Guy has now finally reissued the recordings on a piece of vinyl. Perth-based five-piece Division Four took the sound of early Aussie punk groups like The Chosen Few, Young Identities or Just Urbain and merged it with a healthy dose of British post-punk somewhere between Crisis and The Fall. With the help of an undercurrent of paranoid and dark synth melodies the tracks develop a charismatically refreshing sound. The snotty, youthful vocals are another main secret. Don't miss this obscure Australian punk classic. (Listen to it here)

J.T. IV - COSMIC LIGHTNING LP + DVD (Drag City)
J.T. IV is the moniker of Chicago based outsider artist John Henry Timmis IV. This collection features songs taken from several 7"s released during the 1980's plus some later discovered recordings. "Cosmic Lightning" orginally came out in 2008 and got recently repressed by Drag City. The recordings can be devided into two musical categories: The first consists of sleazy protopunk rhythms, walls of noisy guitars, blazing 70s punk riffs, catchy glam-rock choruses and charismatic vocals. The second offers a unique take on accoustic folk and country music. What all songs have in common is a unique and really weird formula. So many bands claim to play an instantly distinctive sound, but J.T. IV are distinctive in the true sense of the word. Even though the music totally stands on it's own it's spirit is comparable with Mike Rep & The Quotas and early 90s Columbus bands. The DVD contains "Cannibal Orgy", an insane splatter movie directed by John Henry Timmis IV. He also plays a title roll and the film features a J.T. IV live performance. (Listen to it here)
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SENSATIONS' FIX - FRAGMENT OF LIGHT LP (Superior Viaduct)
Sensations' Fix were a space-rock group from Florence, Italy who put out several LPs during the 1970s. They later moved to the USA. Their debut album "Fragment Of Light" originally came out on Polydor in 1974. The record is mainly based on a mix of spacy synthesizer simphonies and free wheeling guitar leads. The songs take you up in the stratisphere and leave the impression, that heaven is closer. Percussion, drums and sporadically used airy vocals remain in the background. Sensations' Fix create instrumental themes, that recall both the cosmic sound of German krautrock like Tangerine Dream, Popol Vuh and Amon Düül II as well as the virtuosity of British prog-rock. The plain but brilliant production provides an pleasant contrast to the peacful, warm and clean sound of Sensations' Fix' thrilling soundscapes. A true masterpiece of 70s space-rock! (Listen to it here)

TALULAH GOSH - WAS IT JUST A DREAM? 2xLP (Damaged Goods)
Talulah Gosh were a British pop-punk group, that excisted from 1986 to 1988. During this short period they put out six 7"s and became one of the leading heads of the twee pop movement along with The Pastels, Primal Scream and The Soup Dragons. This double LP is a compilation of all Talulah Gosh tracks plus their demo and radio sessions. All in all, it offers 29 songs by this Oxford based five-piece. The band has created a unique style of indie-punk that fuses the '60s girl group melodic flair of The Ronettes and The Shangri-Las  with the directness of The Ramones and a strong '80s pop sensibility. Things are based on a clear semi-accostic guitar-sound, plain drum beats, plenty of sugar sweet, female vocal harmonies and lyrics, that will immediatley put a smile on your face. From a present point of view the music stills sounds astonishing fresh. You can hear obvious similarities to modern groups like Dum Dum Girls, Veronica Falls and Pains Of Beeing Pure At Heart but with the important difference that Talulah Gosh are the original inventor of this kind of music. (Listen to it here)