Beaming warmly from the underground enclaves of Los Angeles, CA like a lambent ray of soft sunlight, the music of Nick Castro is breathing fresh life and pristine wonderment into an old sound. Castro released a beguiling album called A Spy in the House of God in 2004 on his own imprint Records of Ghaud, and it caused quite a stir in the new acid folk circles. Imagine a melding of More-era Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett solo and a touch of Incredible String Band with modern fractured folk sound weavers like the Tower Recordings and maybe you are in the right sphere. For his follow up, Castro has assembled a cast of players calling themselves The Poison Tree, boasting amongst its ranks underground folk icons Josephine Foster and members of Espers. It is a heavenly match as evidenced on Further From Grace, a simply mystical sophomore effort illustrating with a feathery wallop that Castro is a major voice amongst the new insurgence of THC troubadours.

Further From Grace bewitches with an intoxicating mood sustained throughout. Instrumentation is lush and exotic, but in the hands of Nick Castro and The Poison Tree, otherwise disparate implements such as flugelhorn, lap dulcimer and mijwiz are deftly melded into a pan-cultural elixir comprised of American and British folk traditions, classical balladry and Middle Eastern. Masterful songwriting, ornamented by Castro's ardent vocals and dreamlike lyrics, are relieved by hypnotic and utterly stoned instrumental passages. Opening with "Sun Song", ripe with visions of Castro's native California as filtered through a heavy-lidded hashish haze, Further From Grace weaves along through song after striking song, melody after beautiful melody. Instrumental excursions like "Music for Mijiwiz" kick up acoustic mini-ragas along the way, until the whole journey cascades into the shimmering, hum-along outro of "Walk Like a Whisper".

Induced by flourishes of psychedelic 60's folk bards like Tom Rapp (Pearls Before Swine) and Bert Jansch, laced with flashes of Amon Düül-like acoustic communal atmosphere (circa Paradieswärts Düül), Further From Grace is a graceful tab of Nick Castro's own heady universe, an acid-folk masterpiece advancing today's sound into sparkling new frontiers. More on Nick HERE
Tracks
01. Sun Song (4:09)
02. To This Earth (3:29)
03. Unborn Child (3:40)
04. Won't You Sing To Me (4:26)
05. Waltz for a Little Bird (4:18)
06. Guilford (5:13)
07. Music for Mijwiz (2:42)
08. Deep Deep Sea (8:09)
09. Walk Like a Whisper (4:29)
Listen

The Night Shadows - Square root of two (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:35 AM 0 comments

The Night Shadows were one of the first and longest lived garage bands. They started out in the 50’s hailing from Georgia and first received notoriety when releasing the dirty, perverted garage rock single Garbage Man. The early 60’s were not kind to the Night Shadows as they went through various lineup changes. Other singles followed though, influenced by the British Invasion, utilizing feedback and other current recording techniques. In 1966 a new revived Night Shadows (including Little Phil) released the excellent 60 Second Swinger. It’s similar to the Seed’s efforts from around the same time but the Night Shadow’s cleary had more instrumental prowess and experience behind them.

In 1968 they released their psychedelic masterpiece, Square Root of Two. Square Root of Two has some rerecorded psychedelic interpretations of earlier singles along with then current compositions. Of the 11 songs there are a few throw away tracks such as the Prologue, Hot Dog Man and Turned On. These songs are a little too self indulgent with sped up vocals, lengthy commentary, backward tapes, phased guitars and just plain stupidness. The rest of the lot fairs much better though and even with the above mistakes this album still rates as a prime slice of acid punk.

I Can’t Believe follows the silly intro on side one and is nine and a half minutes of fuzz guitar soloing and howling courtesy of Little Phil. Somehow it all works and the psychedelic versions of Plenty of Trouble, 60 Second Swinger and So Much work well too. Plenty of Trouble sounds like a devil chant with shakers and wicked vocals from Phil. The classic 60 Second Swinger is transformed into a hard, bluesy garage shuffle with some Itchycoo Park-like organ and a fake live intro. Most essential though are Anything But Lies and So Much. Anything But Lies is characterized by distorted, angry vocals and jackhammer riffs while So Much has great stinging acid guitar and is psych punk perfection. The Square Root of Two is a good, forgotten album that should not be missed by garage psych fans
Tracks
1. Prologue (3:40)
2. So Much (2:17)
3. In The Air (2:53)
4. Plenty Of Trouble (1:53)
5. I Can't Believe (9:39)
6. 60 Second Swinger (3:19)
7. Illusion (2:54)
8. Anything But Lies (3:46)
9. Turned on (3:46)
10. The Hot Rod Song (3:06)
11. The Hot Dog Man (2:30)
Listen

The Indian Feast - Portrait of a sister (1985)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 1:29 AM 0 comments

From Scwitzerland came the dark Indian Feast. They made only one album. It contains 2 covers: We must Bleed (Germs) and The Loneliest Person (Pretty Things).
Tracks
1. The Time Is Now
2. 1000 Sacred Needles/Soldiers Of The Dark
3. S/S Traces
4. We Must Bleed
5. The Loneliest Person
6. Burning Cathedrals/Catechism
Listen

The Kinks - The great lost Kinks album (1973)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:58 AM 0 comments

An aptly titled collection; out of print for many years, there are even some Kinks cultists who have never been able to hear this ragtag but worthy collection of late-'60s and early-'70s outtakes and rarities. Most of these were recorded around the same time as the 1968 LP Village Green Preservation Society; these low-key, wry, bouncy tunes would have fit in well with that record. Lyrically, they're on the whole slighter than much of their late-'60s work, perhaps accounting for why the group did not deign to release them at the time. Still, songs like "Rosemary Rose," "Misty Water," and "Mr. Songbird" would have hardly embarrassed the group, and rank as the highlights of this anthology. Besides 1969-era outtakes, it includes the single "Plastic Man," a couple of okay, way-obscure B-sides featuring Dave Davies, and some songs penned for long-forgotten film and television productions. It also has the dynamite 1966 B-side "I'm Not Like Everybody Else," though that's easily available on reissue these days. That's not the case for most of the rest of this album; Kinks fans will find it quite worthwhile, and should be on the lookout for it in the used bins.
Tracks
1 Til Death Do Us Part
2 There Is No Life Without Love
3 Lavender Hill
4 Groovy Movies
5 Rosemary Rose
6 Misty Water
7 Mister Songbird
8 When I Turn off the Living Room Light
9 The Way Love Used to Be
10 Plastic Man
11 This Man He Weeps Tonight
12 Pictures in the Sand
13 Where Did My Spring Go?
Listen

Vivian Stanshall - Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead (1974)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:00 AM 0 comments

When The Bonzo Dog Band went their separate ways in 1972 co-frontman Vivian Stanshall was enticed to Warner Bros, who believed they could harness the crackpot mastermind behind that deranged band’s most outré excursions. Warners had to wait two years before Stanshall’s keen brain could cut through the booze-sodden axminster of his own self-doubt and finally craft an album’s worth of lyrics. Recorded at The Manor, Trident and Apple Studios with ex-Bonzos Neil Innes and ‘Bubs’ White and the top Traffic line-up of Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Ric Grech, Gaspar Lawal and Rebop Kwaku Baah, MOUA was finally delivered to Warners in April 1974. It was not the album they were looking for. Opening track Afoju Ti Ole Riran (Dead Eyes), trucks in like some fuzzed Afro-funk supercurse against the record label itself, with Stanshall grimly intoning “Tomorrow’s children will be sold/and unwittingly enrolled/In the night-soil of your selfishness”. And so it continues, subaqeous grooves and breakbeats submarine ‘neath oily waves of whisky, fag tar and fear-sweat, as Stanshall dives and surfaces, like some arseholed Ahab, strapped to the white whale of his own hubris. Yelp, Bellow, Rasp Etc is a leering, befuddled blues riff, damp with the fleck-spittle of wailing defeat while Bout Of Sobriety is a crapulous boogie-woogie interspersed with foul gargling and burped leers. It is an album without peer, features three odes to Stanshall’s penis (Sample lyric: “Gotta strap him to me leg to go shopping”) and ends with the terrifying Strange Tongues, a Victorian mandrake plucked from suburban Sunday, that ends with Stanshall screeeeeching “I’ve finished the back dear/now I’ll make a start on the front!”; Munch’s Skrik relocated to a freshly mowed front lawn in Walthamstow. Interested? Your options are limited. Warners only pressed five thousand copies. In retaliation Stanshall destroyed one of their boardrooms, and secreted a bag of bluebottle maggots behind the radiator of the label president. Until they forgive him and reissue the thing you’ll have to make do with illegal downloads. Go here to sign the petition for Warner Bros to release it on CD and here to read Stanshall’s widow Ki Longfellow’s detailed breakdown of the album’s, erm, breakdown
Tracks
01 Afoju Ti Ole Rain
02 Truck-Track
03 Yelp, Below, Rasp Et Cetera
04 Prong
05 Redeye
06 How The Zebra Got His Spots
07 Dwarf Succulents
08 Bout Of Sobriety
09 Prong & Toots Go Steady
10 Strange Tongues
Listen

Gordon Waller - ...and Gordon (1972)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:12 AM 0 comments

Although Gordon Waller (the "Gordon" of Peter & Gordon) had made a few little-noticed solo singles in the late 1960s and early '70s after Peter & Gordon split up, And Gordon was his first -- and for a long time, only -- solo LP. Waller had the voice to be a success in the singer/songwriter era, possessing an affecting folk-rock style with tinges of country and Elvis Presley. What he didn't have, unfortunately, was the material, much of which is self-penned on this album. Waller's affection for country music would not have come as a surprise to those paying attention to some of the lesser-known cuts on Peter & Gordon's records, and by the early '70s, this had translated into the very laid-back country-rock (including some steel guitar) heard on much of this LP. The songs are amiable and, occasionally, somewhat wistful and introspective. But on the whole they're quite unmemorable and, in some cases, pretty undeveloped. Waller might have been better advised to do some more outside material, as his version of Loudon Wainwright III's "Be Careful There's a Baby in the House" is easily the strongest tune.
Tracks
01. The saddest song
02. at the end of the day
03. Be careful there's a baby in the house
04. I won't be your ruin
05. Collection box
06. Rocky road to clear
07. When this whole thing began
08. Stranger with a black dove
09. Before you go to sleep
Listen

Catapilla - Changes (1972)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:39 AM 0 comments

The second and sadly last album from Catapilla features only changes in personnel it would seem, as the music is equally as vibrant and interesting as on their debut album - gone are Thierry Reinhardt and Hugh Eaglestone on tenor sax, Dave Taylor on bass, Malcolm Frith on drums, the line-up now featuring new members Ralph Rolinson on organ and electric piano, Carl Wassard on electric bass and Brian Hanson on drums. The sleeve is a die-cutaway design featuring our Catapilla nibbling on a huge lettuce leaf this time. The new sound seems more ordered than on the previous album featuring four long tracks, the same atmospheric sound from Anna Meek, even more so on the first track "Reflections", a rather eerie ethereal piece punctuated with sax solos and featuring some nice Argent style Hammond Organ passages, and finishes with a very atmospheric vocal from Anna ;

"In the eye, I saw myself...In the heart of the river was reflected,In the eye, I saw myself...In the heart of the river was reflected, a hole,of liquid movement...of liquid movement...of liquid movement...In the eye that made moves,he saw himself...In the heart of the river was reflected,In the heart of the river was reflected,on the movement,rain, hole, a river...".

The next track "Charing Cross" comments on the social climate found on the London Underground, is characteristically reverberating, the track begins in a slow atmospheric mood then breaks into a fast rock groove which leads into a Floydian style guitar solo; "Cross-legged in the corners,in the Underground,in the Underground,the train moves,the train goes,Eyes cross directions,Eyes cross directions,they sympathize,they sympathize,beneath...beneath..."..... "Trouble in your eyes,awakes cool to my eyes, sources found after searching round. Up the tunnels Up the tunnels same on the plain part direct after time forth, the first time, the last buffet beneath...beneath..."

..... it's really not that gloomy on the good ol' toob!

Side 2's strangely titled "Thank Christ for George" is a very psychedelically influenced sounding track, a twelve minute hypnotic groove punctuated by some wah wah fuzz guitar, leading into a Jazz Rock rhythm supported by characteristically mysterious and gloomy vocals from Anna Meek and an eerie sax solo;

" Her remains, men in some tomb,he hands off a last light.I heard a clinchedmeans words you fenced with,to protect.to protect. An image,liberally coiled,around him.He started to tenderly unfold. She failed,at least she learned. He knows a restricted silenced tune. Drifting to you at night,start right. An image,carefully foiled,around him."

The last song on the album, a moody instrumental "It Could Only Happen to Me" begins with a solo sax and electric guitar, building into a rather repetitive theme, played at different keys, it includes a good Gilmour style guitar solo but is a rather an unremarkable end to a great album, which pairs with the first one perfectly - you really need both in your collection! By mystic Fred
Tracks
1. Reflection (12:06)
2. Charing Cross (6:45)
3. Thank Christ For George (12:07)
4. It Could Only Happen To Me (6:45)
Listen

The Sinceros - Pet Rock (1981)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:37 AM 0 comments

Starting out as a trio called the Strutters, singer/songwriter Mark Kjeldsen along with rhythm section Bobby Irwin and Ron François re-branded themselves as the Sinceros, trading in New Wave and melodic power pop. Epic Records took notice and signed the band in the late ’70s, but not before Irwin and François were tapped to play on Lene Lovich’s New Wave classic, Stateless. After this brief detour, the Sinceros released their debut, The Sound Of Sunbathing in 1979. A single, “Take Me To Your Leader,” got a little buzz in the U.K., and the band toured heavily there and in the States with a power-pop dream line-up co-featuring 20/20 and Paul Collins’ Beat.

After picking up Don Snow as a keyboardist, the band began work on their second album in 1980, but the obviously titled 2nd Debut was shelved by Epic. Reworking the existing tracks with Elton John’s super-producer Gus Dudgeon, the redone album was finally released in 1981 as Pet Rock. It’s a lost power-pop classic and the lead single “Disappearing” (download) is one of the greatest should’ve beens of the ’80s – in a perfect world it would have been Top Ten everywhere. Pet Rock starts off with a powerful one-two punch of “Disappearing” and the album’s second single, “Memory Lane,” (download) a Squeeze-ish number that’s even better than the first single. Unfortunately, despite plenty of hard touring, Pet Rock failed to break big and the Sinceros quietly faded away. In fact, both albums have never been released on CD.

While keyboardist Don Snow replaced Paul Carrack in Squeeze (talk about a somewhat lateral promotion!), several internet sites claim that singer/songwriter Kjeldsen ended up driving a cab in the ’90s, before succumbing to AIDS a few years later. A sad fate for one of power-pop’s great songsmiths, but a fervent underground fan base and several music blogs keep his work alive
Tracks
01. Disappearing
02. Memory Lane
03. Socially
04. Down Down
05. Barcelona
06. Falling In And Out Of Love
07. Sleight Of Hand
08. Nothing Changes
09. Girl I Realise
10. As The World Turns
11. Midsong
Listen

Sweet Smoke - Just a poke (1970)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:20 AM 0 comments

Just a Poke is the first album by the band Sweet Smoke, released in 1970, engineered by Conny Plank.
The song Baby Night is the perfect introduction to the band, displaying their progressive jazz fusion style at the time. The song can be divided into three main sections, the highlights being the instrumental sections.
Sweet Smoke were a fairly short lived band formed in Brooklyn New York the late 1960's. While success was hard to find in their native USA, they found a more receptive audience in Germany and Holland, relocating there in 1969. The band are described as "jazz rock" in the album's sleeve notes, but jazz is clearly the dominant influence. Sweet Smoke released just two studio albums, both on the EMI progressive rock label Harvest in the UK. "Just a poke" (no explanation is offered for the rather strange title) was their first album, released in 1970.

The albums consists of just two long tracks, each occupying a side of an LP, the overall length being a paltry 33 minutes. The first piece, "Baby night" is the most rock orientated number of their entire output, and undoubtedly their best. It is reminiscent at various times of IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY's "White bird", with a relaxed West Coast feel. The track features pleasant stereo flute (if anyone has heard "Autumn grass" by CONTINUUM, that is a good reference point), and various jazz guitar sounds. As the pace develops the track becomes more improvised, and the sound gets rockier, until it is pulled back to the soft West Coast feel. After apparently ending, the main vocal theme returns for a final refrain.

The other track, "Silly sally", leans much more towards traditional jazz. There are echoes the early music of jazz rock band CHICAGO, but the music is more improvised, with bursts of scat, and dominant saxophone. Some fine stereo wah wah guitar leads into an extended drum solo section. While the phasing effects during the solo make it slightly more bearable, it rapidly becomes tedious and indulgent. When the drums section eventually ends, the track reverts to a more orthodox piece of jazz fusion, along the lines of Colloseum or King Crimson.

In all a decent first release, with a strong first side and an adequate second one, let down by the inclusion of an unnecessarily long drum solo. The album comes complete with a suitably abstract sleeve illustration. By Easy Livin'.
Tracks
1.Baby Night (16:36)
2.Silly Sally (16:31)
Listen track 1
Listen track 2

Strawbs - Strawbs (1969)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 1:33 AM 0 comments

After the recording of the tapes which would eventually be released as All Our Own Work (and later Sandy And The Strawbs), Dave Cousins set out to find a UK record label (they were signed to Danish Sonet Records). However, Sandy Denny then decided to go back to her blossoming solo career, and subsequently joined Fairport Convention. US label A&M were just starting up a London office, and Sonet's head, Karl Knudsen, sent a copy of the Sandy tapes to a contact at A&M, and as a result the Strawbs became the first UK band signed to the label. They quickly recorded a single "Oh How She Changed"/"Or Am I Dreaming", which proved quite popular, and they settled down to make an album.

The album they initially put together was a pop masterpiece - however, A&M thought they'd signed progressive folkies rather than pop hopefuls, and, despite having spent large wedges of cash already, the Strawbs went back to the studio to record some more tracks. The album as released received critical acclaim, though not commercial success. The single from the album "The Man Who Called Himself Jesus" was, predictably, banned by the BBC. The outtakes from the intial sessions appeared on the limited pressing Strawberry Sampler No. 1 along with some other demos and rarities.
Tracks
01. The Man Who Called Himself Jesus
02. That Which Once Was Mine
03. All The Little Ladies
04. Pieces Of 79 And 15
05. Tell Me What You See In Me
06. Oh How She Changed
07. Or Am I Dreaming
08. Where Is This Dream Of Your Youth
09. Poor Jimmy Wilson
10. Where Am I/I'll Show You Where To Sleep
11. The Battle
Listen

Kaleidoscope (US) - Bernice (1970)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 1:17 AM 0 comments

Kaleidoscope’s fourth and final album (as a band), Bernice, featured more electric guitar work than the earlier albums, and more country influence. There were further personnel changes, adding singer-guitarist Jeff Kaplan, and bassist Ron Johnston who replaced Brotman during the making of the album. Feldthouse also left the group.
Tracks
1 Chocolate Whale (2:27)
2 Another Lover (2:45)
3 Sneakin' Thru The Ghetto (3:20)
4 To Know Is Not To Be (2:15)
5 Lulu Arfin Nanny (3:12)
6 Lie And Hide (2:52)
7 Ballad Of Tommy Udo (2:48)
8 Bernice (2:44)
9 Soft And Easy (2:55)
10 New Blue Ooze (9:42)
Listen

Max Romeo & The Upsetters - War ina Babylon (1976)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 7:25 AM 0 comments

Like the epochal Police & Thieves by Junior Murvin, which also originated at Lee "Scratch" Perry's Black Ark Studio and thus shares with this album Perry's trademark dark, swampy ambience, War ina Babylon is something of a mountain on the reggae landscape. But what makes it so remarkable is not just the consistently high quality of the music — indeed, by 1976 one had come to expect nothing but the finest and heaviest grooves from Perry and his studio band, the Upsetters — rather, it's the fact that Max Romeo had proved to be such a convincing singer of cultural (or "conscious") reggae after several years of raking it in as a purveyor of the most abject slackness. (His "Wet Dream" had been a huge hit in England several years earlier, and had been followed by such other delicacies as "Wine Her Goosie" and "Pussy Watch Man.") But there's no denying the authority of his admonishing voice here, and the title track (which describes the violent mood during Jamaica's 1972 general election) has remained a standard for decades. Other highlights include "One Step Forward" and "Smile Out a Style." Essential to any reggae collection
Tracks
1 One Step Forward
2 Uptown Babies Don't Cry
3 I Chase the Devil
4 War Ina Babylon
5 Norman
6 Stealing in the Name of Jah
7 Tan and See
8 Smokey Room
9 Smile Out of Style
Listen

Lou Reed - Metal Music Machine (1975)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:57 AM 0 comments

Metal Machine Music, subtitled *The Amine β Ring, is an album by Lou Reed. It was originally released as a double album by RCA Records in 1975. It was reissued on a single compact disc by BMG in 1997 and again by Buddah Records in 2000.

As a radical departure from the rest of Reed's catalog, Metal Machine Music is generally considered to be either a joke, a grudging fulfillment of a contractual obligation, or an early example of noise music. Reed himself has said of the album "I was serious about it. I was also really, really stoned." In the album's liner notes he claimed to have invented heavy metal music and asserted that Metal Machine Music was the ultimate conclusion of that genre.
According to Reed (despite the original liner notes), the album entirely consists of guitar feedback played at different speeds. The two guitars were tuned in unusual ways and played with different reverb levels. He would then place the guitars in front of their amplifiers, and the feedback from the very large amps would vibrate the strings — the guitars were, effectively, playing themselves. He recorded the work on a four-track tape recorder in his New York apartment, mixing the four tracks for stereo. In its original form, each track occupied one side of an LP record and lasted exactly 16 minutes and 1 second, according to the label. The fourth side ended in a locked groove that caused the last 1.8 seconds of music to repeat endlessly. The rare 8-track tape version has no silence in between programs, so that it plays continuously without gaps on most players.

A major influence on Reed's recording, and an important source for an understanding of Reed's seriousness with the album, was the mid-1960s drone music work of La Monte Young's Theater of Eternal Music (whose members included John Cale, Tony Conrad, Angus Maclise and Marian Zazeela). Both Cale and Maclise were also members of The Velvet Underground (Maclise left before the group began recording). The Theater of Eternal Music's discordant sustained notes and loud amplification had influenced Cale's subsequent contribution to the Velvet Underground in his use of both discordance and feedback. Recent releases of works by Cale and Conrad from the mid-sixties, such as Cale's Inside the Dream Syndicate series (The Dream Syndicate being the alternative name given by Cale and Conrad to their collective work with Young) testify to the influence this important mid-sixties experimental work had on Reed ten years later.

In an interview with rock journalist Lester Bangs, Reed claimed that he had intentionally placed sonic allusions to classical works such Beethoven's Eroica and Pastoral Symphonies in the distortion, and that he had attempted to have the album released on RCA's Red Seal classical label; however, it is not clear if he was being serious, though he has repeated the latter claim in a 2007 interview.
Tracks
01. Metal Machine Music, Part 1
02. Metal Machine Music, Part 2
03. Metal Machine Music, Part 3
04. Metal Machine Music, Part 4
Listen

The Soup Dragons - Hotwire (1992)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:48 AM 0 comments

Hotwired is where the Soup Dragons reached equilibrium — the happy medium between the slick breakbeats and guitar-based rock & roll. Throughout most of the album, the songs are among the strongest of the band's career and sonically the album is near perfect; fans of dance alternative will love singles like "Pleasure" and "Divine Thing" (both moderate hits in the U.S.) and rock fans will appreciate the crisp but not sterile instrumentation. There are many great production flourishes — like the "gospel choir"-like background vocals and fun sound effects — sprinkled throughout the disc. In fact, "Hotwired" is worth listening to for the chugging guitars on the fabulous "Getting Down" alone. For fans of this genre or fans of Brit-pop or even power pop in general, this is the place to start.
Tracks
1. Pleasure
2. Divine Thing
3. Running Wild
4. Getting Down
5. Forever Yesterday
6. No More Understanding
7. Dream On (Solid Gone)
8. Everlasting
9. Absolute Heaven
10. Everything
11. Sweet Layabout
12. Mindless
Listen

Blue Hollow - Stealing a Whisper (1985)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:37 AM 0 comments

Blue Hollow was a Boston-area band that started out as the Gluons. They released a 4-song e.p. in 1983 featuring mid-tempo punkers that were representative of that time and place. Two years later, they re-invented themselves as a more serious post-punk/goth outfit, incorporating careful use of synthesizer in spots, and the slightest prog-like increase in length.

These guys broke from the music scene by recording 8 tracks of varying sophistication, most highlighted by an atmospheric accent. This sound is strongly reminiscent of Chameleons UK, but with fewer guitar overdubs and political themes. Great tracks are "Raining Down," title track, and "Hearts Hang Souls," the latter containing some nice 12-string guitar. Also good are "Color of Night" and "Stranger." Although mostly arty and professional sounding, there is still punky primitiveness to some of the drum and bass lines, as if they were unsure of how quickly they wanted to evolve. But for the most part, the production does an outstanding job of giving each instrument plenty of space. Every hard pound of the drum, and every little guitar line and guitar pick scratch counts.
Tracks
1.Color of Night (4:19)
2.Inhale (4:11)
3.Raining Down (5:09)
4.Blue Hollow (7:27)
5.We Fall (4:09)
6.Hearts Hang Souls (5:31)
7.Wildskin (3:11)
8.Stranger (4:27)
Listen

Christian Death - Catastrophe Ballet (1984)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:15 AM 0 comments

Catastrophe Ballet is Christian Death's second studio album. This is the first album that featured Valor Kand. Besides Rozz, the lineup was completely different from Only Theatre Of Pain. It is also the name of a German goth rock band that is inspired by Christian Death.
Catastrophe Ballet, which was recorded in Wales, was a continuation of the Armageddon theme used in all previous Pompeii 99 songs; in fact, the music to several of the songs was actually written by Kand for Pompeii 99. These songs featured a change in Williams' vocal delivery. While Only Theatre of Pain and the Deathwish EP had Williams presenting a rhythmic spoken word style with an almost androgynous pitch to his voice, Catastrophe Ballet showed a richer, less harsh side to his vocal stylings, with more influence from David Bowie and Lou Reed. Rather than the occult-oriented lyrics from the first album, the singer showed a new-found interest in Surrealism and the Dada movement. Kand, Demone and Glass shared these interests, and the synergy between them helped cultivate the musical change from the old band's murky, dark punk to a more elegant, romantic strain of guitar-driven rock, though a tribalistic drumming was also added into the mix.
Tracks
01. Awake At The Wall
02. Sleepwalk
03. The Drowning
04. The Blue Hour
05. As Evening Falls
06. Androgynous Noise Hand Permeates
07. Electra Descending
08. Cervix Couch
09. This Glass House
10. The Fleeing Somnambulist
Listen

Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1994)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:50 AM 0 comments

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain is an album released by Pavement in 1994. With this album, the band abandoned the lo-fi sound displayed on Slanted and Enchanted (as well as their drummer, Gary Young). During the tour for Slanted, the band added percussionist Bob Nastanovich and bassist Mark Ibold; partway through this album's recording sessions, Gary Young was replaced by Steve West. The album featured the band at its most easily accessible, and the single "Cut Your Hair" was the band's closest brush with mainstream success. As of 2007, the album has sold almost 500,000 copies.

The album was reissued on October 26, 2004 by Matador Records under the name Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: LA's Desert Origins. The re-released version contains two discs: the first is the original album as well as B-sides and compilation tracks from that era. The second disc is a collection of previously unreleased tracks featuring former drummer Gary Young and live BBC Sessions.

The collection features forty-nine tracks, culled from various previous recordings, including the original album, the single "Cut Your Hair", "Range Life", "Gold Soundz", the "Gold Soundz" Australia-N.Z. French Micronesia Tour '94 EP, the "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain" bonus 7", and other recording sessions at Random Falls, NY, Louder Than You Think in Stockton, CA, and Waterworks, NY over the course of 1993.

The photo in the middle of the cover was taken from the March 1974 issue of National Geographic Magazine.

Due to an ink splodge on the back of the original artwork, the song "Silence Kid" has become erroneously known as "Silence Kit". This misnomer persisted when designer Mark Ohe printed it onto the back of the re-issue Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: LA's Desert Origins, despite the interior artwork showing the correct name in print several times, including written in Stephen Malkmus's own handwriting.

It was chosen as #8 on Pitchfork Media's Top 100 Albums of the 1990s. In 2003, the album was ranked number 210 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

All songs were written by Stephen Malkmus except "Hit the Plane Down".
Tracks
1. Silence Kit (3:00)
2. Elevate Me Later (2:51)
3. Stop Breathin (4:27)
4. Cut Your Hair (3:06)
5. Newark Wilder (3:53)
6. Unfair (2:33)
7. Gold Soundz (2:39)
8. 5-4 = Unity (2:09)
9. Range Life (4:54)
10. Heaven's a Truck (2:30)
11. Hit the Plane Down (3:36)
12. Fillmore Jive (6:38)
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Ensemble Pittoresque - Frequenz (1984)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:04 AM 0 comments

Dutch Band. pioneers of electronic music. Ensemble Pittoresque, the music collective from the early eighties representing the minimal-electro genre created two classic albums. In 1983 they realesed 'For This Is Past' on Clogsontronics records. In 1984 their second album 'Frequenz' came out. In the heart of The Hague, Paulus Wieland and Richard Neumöller hooked up with whiz technician Ton Willekes. Recordings were made from 1977 to 1984. To overcome a lack of dynamics Wieland and Neumöller later turned to three fellow musicians: Ed van Hoven, Marion Prinz and Biko.
voice, soundtracks, drumcomputer, guitar: Richard Neumöller
bass, crashcymbal: Ed van Hoven
guitar, synthesizer: Paulus Wieland
synthesizer, voice: Marion Prinz
synthesizer, trumpet: Le Biquo
producer & engineer: Ton Willekes
sleeve design: Peter van Wijland Tieman
VIP records 200.006
Release: 1984
Recorded at SociaMedia studio in the Hague februari / march 1984
Tracks
A1 Urban Catastrophy 4:25 Neumöller
A2 Sound it is 2:44 Neumöller
A3 Frequenz 2:29 Neumöller
A4 My baby is a waitress 2:51 Neumöller / Biquo
A5 Sleepwalking 4:17 Neumöller / Biquo
A6 Train grande vitesse 3:30 Tazelaar
B1 The Mouthshut 4:44 Neumöller
B2 Program 3:19 Neumöller
B3 Presidennekie 3:33 Neumöller / van Hoven
B4 Several sunsets 3:50 Neumöller / Willekes
B5 Shift 17 2:44 Neumöller
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The Creation - How does it feel? (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:34 AM 0 comments

The Creation were an English freakbeat band, formed in 1966. The most popular Creation song was "Painter Man", which made the Top 40 in the UK Singles Chart in late 1966, and reached #8 in the German chart in April 1967. It was later covered by Boney M in 1979, and reached the #10 position in the UK charts. Their song "Makin' Time" was used in the movie Rushmore. Guitarist Eddie Phillips described their sound as "Our music is red – with purple flashes."
Most of their singles were issued in the UK, but after "Making Time" and "Painter Man", they had no further hits. Four singles were issued in the United States — "Making Time" b/w "Try And Stop Me" and "Painter Man" b/w 'Biff Bang Pow" on US Planet, and "If I Stay Too Long" b/w "Nightmares" and "How Does It Feel To Feel" b/w "Life Is Just Beginning" on US Decca — without commercial success, although the band remained popular in Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
This is a 1982 compilation album.
Tracks
01. How Does It Feel To Feel
02. Life Is Just Beginning
03. Through My Eyes
04. Ostrich Man
05. I Am The Walker
06. Tom Tom
07. The Girls Are Naked
08. Painter Man
09. Try And Stop Me
10. Biff Bang Pow
11. Making Time
12. Cool Jerk
13. For All That I Am
14. Nightmares
15. Midway Down
16. Can I Join Your Band
17. Uncle Bert
18. Like A Rolling Stone
19. If I Stay Too Long
20. Hey Joe
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The Paper Garden - The Paper Garden (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:25 AM 0 comments

A decent if somewhat candy-coated effort in the pop-psychedelic vein, combining cheerful sunshine pop sensibilities with some hard-edged psychedelic playing. It all falls somewhere between the Beatles' Revolver album and the Zombies' Odessey & Oracle (the latter especially on "Man Do You" and "Raven"), with some Sgt. Pepper-type layered choruses and overdubbed strings and other instruments. The question is how well it represents the sound of the Paper Garden -- and that begs the larger question behind the purpose of recording an LP; The Paper Garden dates from a period when the answer to that question was starting to change. According to the account of singer/guitarist Joe Arduino, the New York City-based quintet had a solid stage repertory established from performances at colleges in the Northeastern United States in 1967 and 1968, when they got the chance to cut this album under the auspices of British producer Geoff Turner, who was working at Musicor in New York at the time -- presented with that opportunity, the members ended up writing a whole new body of songs for the occasion; thus, the album become a new, self-contained artistic statement rather than a representation of the music by which they'd first attracted attention and defined themselves. The songs are filled with catchy tunes played on a mix of virtuoso electric lead and acoustic guitars -- with the occasional sitar, courtesy of rhythm guitarist Sandy Napoli -- and violin, string orchestra, trumpet, and trombone embellishment, and the lead singing coming down somewhere between Paul McCartney and Colin Blunstone with the backing usually very Lennon-esque. The group had three talented songwriters in their ranks whose work was worth hearing and the 27-minute running time isn't even a problem -- the content is substantial enough to make this a nicely full sonic meal and one of the most enjoyable albums of the psychedelic era.
Tracklist
1.Gypsy Wine
2.Sunshine People
3.Way Up High
4.Lady's Man
5.Mr. Mortimer
6.Man Do You
7.Raining
8.I Hide
9.Raven
10.A Day
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The Twilights - Once Upon a Twilight (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:08 AM 0 comments

The Twilights were an Australian 60’s rock group that had a guitar oriented pop sound pitched somewhere between the Beatles and Hollies. Down under they were a pretty popular band, releasing two albums and several charting singles. In the mid 60’s they mixed 50’s rock and British Invasion covers with garage pop/beat originals. Terry Britten, the groups guiding light, began focusing on writing group originals during the second half of the decade. With help from Norman Smith, the Twilights recorded in England, eventually releasing a string of acid pop gems.

Cathy Come Home is arguably the best of these singles and is usually cited as the group’s high-water mark. Other 45’s like Time And Motion Study Man, and Comin’ On Down were near classic efforts though, with a sound rooted in Australia’s burgeoning psychedelic culture. In 1968, the Twilights released their final album, Once Upon A Twilight. Once Upon A Twilight was a critical success though sales were very low, signaling the beginning of a downward spiral for the group. The album is consistent and full of brilliant production quirks, being one of the very few Aussie albums to have a classic British psych-pop sound.

It’s loaded with great songs, standouts being the minor key gem What A Silly Thing To Do (complete with Ringo drum fills and phased wah-wah) and the classic Stop The World For A Day. Even the softer numbers like Bessemae, Tomorrow Is Today, and Mr. Nice work really well, highlighted by very pretty string arrangements and strong melodies. Other worthy numbers are the sitar drenched Devendra, which sounds like a lost Dave Mason Traffic track from 1967, and the dramatic psychedelia of Paternosta Row. On the latter track the band feeds its vocals through Leslie cabinets. The lp’s only daft moment is the horrible cockney country-rocker, The Cocky Song.

Once Upon A Twilight is a classic pop-art album, that’s warm, friendly, and well worth a spin. A near mint original copy can cost you between $150 to $300 and was notable for its elaborate pop-up gatefold art. In 2006, Aztec Music released this great album on cd for the first time, in both mono and stereo sound
Tracks:
1. Once Upon A Twilight
2. What A Silly Thing To Do
3. Bessemae
4. Stop The World For A Day
5. Mr. Nice
6. Take Action
7. Blue Roundabout
8. Devendra
9. Found To Be Thrown Away
10. Tomorrow Is Today
11. The Cocky Song
12. Paternosta Row
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Edwards Hand - Edwards Hand (1969)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 1:14 AM 0 comments

Formerly known as Piccadilly Line, Edwards Hand are a musical group formed by Englishmen Rod Edwards (keyboard and vocals) and Roger Hand (acoustic guitar and vocals). After a 1968 album released under their former name, in 1969 Edwards Hand released an eponymous album produced by George Martin who, taking a break from working on The Beatles' White Album, described their music as "exceptional".
Recorded in stereo at the EMI studios in St John's Wood, London, the album was released in the United States on vinyl and cassette by GRT Records of Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. The cover art is a golden autumnal scene featuring two faces, presumably those of Rod Edwards and Roger Hand, with a tree in the background. All songs were written by Edwards and Hand except If I thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind by John Cameron.
Tracks
1. Banjo Pier
2. Friday Hill
3. Episodes, Being The First Part
4. Close My Eyes
5. House Of Cards
6.If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind
7. Characters Number One
8. Orange Peel
9. Sing Along With The Singer
10. Magic Car
11. Days Of Our Life
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Brings together every surviving recording made by The Brood and Turquoise between 1966 and 1969, including a virtual album's worth of prime 1968 pop in a Kinks/Who/Small Faces/Move style as well as alternate versions and demos. Includes the much-loved singles '53 Summer Street', 'Tales Of Flossie Fillett', 'Woodstock' and 'Saynia'! It features liner notes by noted psych/Apple authority Stefan Granados and brand new in-depth interview material with Turquoise main man Jeff Peters. Rev-Ola. 1966-1969.
Tracks
1. Tales of Flossie Fillett
2. Flying Machine [Second Version]
3. Sister Saxophone
4. 53 Summer Street
5. Sea Shines
6. Village Green
7. Saynia
8. Sunday Best
9. Woodstock
10. Stand Up and Be Judged
11. Woodstock [First Reduction]
12. Flying Machine [First Version]
13. Leana [Backing Track]
14. What's Your Name
15. Mindless Child of Motherhood
16. You're Just Another Girl (As the Brood)
17. Wrong Way (As the Brood)
18. Turquoise 1968 Christmas Record
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Prince Jammy - Destroys the invaders (1982)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:36 AM 0 comments

Before he set out to rule modern dancehall as King Jammy, Lloyd James earned the lesser, but still regal title Prince Jammy, as a protege of legendary dub producer King Tubby. Following on the heels of similar sci-fi themed albums from Scientist and others on the On-U Sound label, this 1982 effort,DESTROYS THE INVADERS, shows the producer at the top of hisgame. Anchored by the rock-solid Roots Radics rhythm section, the spacious echo and reverb effects are peppered with strange noises--suggesting an alien encounter or outer-space battle.
Tracks
01. Conspiracy on Neptune
02. Martian encounter
03. Saturn bombardment
04. Attack on Ganymede
05. War in the asteroid belt
06. The great red spot
07. Life on Uranus
08. Final destruction
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