Thursday, April 29, 2010

Various - Echos From the Nation's Capital: A Washington D.C. Compilation (1993, Third World Underground)

Thought I'd share this fairly vintage compilation featuring ten bygone artists from a little town I paid a nice visit to last week. True, there's not a trace of Fugazi, Shudder to Think, or even Bad Brains to be found on Echos From the Nations Capital, however in their place we're treated to fine tuneage from such less oft heard '90s D.C. scenesters as the power poppin' High Back Chairs, indie demi-gods Tsunami, and a pair of my favorites, Trusty and Edsel, the latter of which I've dedicated some considerable space on these pages to. Lungfish check in with one of their best post-hardcore, slow-burners "Abe Lincoln," Liquor Bike offer the righteously heavy sludge rawker "Plain to See," while Wingtip Sloat and Candy Machine opt for a decidedly more avant bent.

01. Trusty - Capital Hill
02. Lungfish - Abe Lincoln
03. Tsunami - Crackers
04. Derf - Duct Tape
05. Wingtip Sloat - Waxing Neurotic
06. Edsel - Derelict Fancy
07. Liquor Bike - Plain to See
08. High Back Chairs - $1.60
09. Candy Machine - From a Boat
10. Revision - Turn Back the Clock

http://netkups.com/?d=537c3956da907

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Situation at 1200 - De-Luxe ep (1999, Your Best Guess)

I caught this New Jersey four-piece live in the act when they were opening for Braid and Jejune in 1999 (or was it 2000?). In fact, I still have my Jejune t-shirt from that gig, but I digress. Let's see, what can I tell you about Situation at 1200? The De-Luxe ep may have been their only formal release, though I also have a demo tape, and mp3s of even more demos and such. This is one band that was not likely to have shied away from the emo tag, and in fact they probably quite embraced it. Scott Shields' strained vocal maneuvers could strike maudlin heights, but his (sometimes) achingly apparent tone-deafness was compensated by sheer enthusiasm and earnestness. A little wet behind the ears for sure, but that's what added oodles to the charm and persuasion of Situation at 1200.

01. Crash
02. Gemini
03. Parachute Fails
04. Al Rischa
05. Tranquility Basin

http://netkups.com/?d=f3a3388d5fc1d

Monday, April 26, 2010

Singles Going Single #123 - Six Going on Seven 7" (1996, Hydra Head)

Thought this would be an appropriate prelude to what I plan on sharing tomorrow, but I shan't give any more clues as to what that will entail. Six Going on Seven were one of hundreds of respectable indie/emo outfits that were relegated to basement gigs and the like, back in the mid '90s when the genre had yet to be usurped by mainstream radio outlets and properly "marketed" (i.e. exploited). This is somewhat reminiscent of post-hardcore stalwarts of the era, Garden Variety, particularly the b-side "New Faith in Loss," while "Method Acting" veers more towards early Jimmy Eat World and Promise Ring. Though I gave it a fair shake at the time, I wasn't a convert to Six Going on Seven's Heartbreak's Got Backbeat album. Dare I say they peaked on this single? Sweet die-cut sleeve on this one too.

A. Method Actor
B. New Faith in Loss

http://netkups.com/?d=5e3df31dcd84d

Singles Going Single #122 - The Mary Onettes 7" (2010, Labrador)

In theory, Record Store Day is nothing short of a phenomenal idea. Increase traffic to indie record shops (ever dwindling sadly) via in-store performances, and even more enticingly, the release of hundreds of limited edition records and CDs by in-demand and up and coming artists. In practice unfortunately, too many RSD releases this year (and just as much in 2009) were issued in ridiculously sparse quantities like this Mary Onettes single, containing two exclusive tracks which saw a worldwide run of a scant 500 copies! From what I understand that statistic is no exaggeration. In the end, who really wins with kind of sales model, aside from Ebay opportunists? I'm sure the label and band barely recouped their recording and sleeve design costs, meanwhile thousands of would be customers and dedicated fans left stores without this commendable 45. I consider myself damn lucky to have obtained one myself, which is why I felt obligated to share it with you. The Onettes are a Swedish quartet who do a deftly remarkable job of retooling the icy sonic aesthetics of classic Echo and the Bunnymen, early-New Order, and for that matter even a little Cure for good measure, into something all to themselves. These two songs are presumably leftovers from their recent Islands LP, also on Labrador Records, but their self titled debut from 2007 was even more of a revelation, at least to my ears. BTW, last week the Onettes had to scrap their entire US tour due to inclimate travel conditions caused by the Icelandic volcano situation.

A. The Night Before the Funeral
B. The Benefits of Being Young

http://netkups.com/?d=818d38f4bd5da

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Gladstones - Jeremy (1990, Tall)

What little has been spoken of Lincoln, NE's Gladstones is the band's connection to local contemporaries, For Against. Initially dubbed Playground, when the Gladstones were put to pasture in the early '90s, guitarist Stephen Hinrichs eventually migrated to For Against, joining Jeffery Runnings and Co. for four of the groups most effortlessly pristine albums, Aperture (1993), Mason's California Lunchroom (1995), Shelf Life (1997) and Coalesced (2002). Hinrichs' sublimely chiming chords that utterly defined those flawless records were already in fine form during his Gladstones tenure, as evidenced wherever you queue the needle on Jeremy, their lone album. A tad less austere than For Against, the Gladstones nevertheless indulged their flair for atmospheric indie pop and heightened melodic structures. "Mary I," "Top of the World" and "Hurting In," are quite frankly far beyond excellent, making Jeremy every bit as recommendable as the aforementioned For Against albums I just rattled off. This is an absolutely stunning find, but you'd hardly go away with that opinion if you read Trouser Press' assessment of the album before hearing it for yourself:

This Nebraska quartet offers the exact elements that people who used the term "college rock" as a pejorative by the mid-to-late-'80s were thinking of: jangly, arpeggiated guitar lines lifted directly from Murmur, a hint of Morrissey in the vocals, a toothless rhythm section. The Gladstones are painfully earnest even at their most obtuse, and their material sounds like songs the Connells threw away because they weren't catchy enough. They occasionally come up with a neat atmospheric bit, like the vocal harmonies on "Garden," but the material is so slight that it absolutely disappears when the tone arm moves back to the rest position. The fact that they were peddling this long-since-clichéd sound as late as 1990 is probably at the top of the fairly long list of reasons they were ignored.
An amusing argument I suppose, but an inaccurate and delusionary one at best. I think you'll agree on first listen, there's no reason not to love the Gladstones. Bon appetit.
01. Garden
02. Oludvai
03. Energy
04. Top of the World
05. Ten Times a Minute
06. Mary I
07. Hurting In
08. Gallery Key

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lazy Fare

Going on vacation folks. Now's a good time to catch up on some of my earlier posts, plus while you're at it, check out some of the sites on my blogroll. Should be back in about a week.

Phantom Planet - Polaroid (1999)

I've wanted to do a Phantom Planet post almost as long as I've been blogging, but since just about everything they've committed to tape is still available, I restrained myself from doing so...until I remembered Polaroid, a CD sold exclusively through their now defunct fan club. Polaroid was a clearinghouse of sorts for outtakes from their 1998 debut, Phantom Plant is Missing, and other shelved recordings from the mid to late '90s. For a lot of folks, myself included, P/P peaked with their quantum leap of a sophomore album, The Guest, which came down the pike some four years later. That being said, what I really wanted to do was share two subsequent Phantom Planet outtake disks, Negatives and Negatives 2, which contained roughly 40 songs between the two of them that were more contemporary to their '00s albums, but their availability from digital retailers (iTunes, Emusic) made that too much of a risky proposition, so in their place I leave you with Polaroid, which in itself contains about two albums worth of material, including early versions of "Recently Distressed" and "So I Fall Again." If the fact that Phantom Planet's signature song, "California," adopted as the theme for The O.C. , has scared you off all these years don't knock them until you've acquainted yourself with some of their albums, especially The Guest and ...Missing, though Polaroid isn't a bad place to start either.

01. Reprise
02. Simon
03. Break it Off
04. Candlewax
05. Powered by Scotch
06. Cam You See Me Now?
07. Recently Distressed
08. So I Fall Again
09. Asteroid G
10. Lava Light
11. Dying of Silence
12. Last Glance
13. Darker Shade
14. Bust a Move
15. Please Apply Yourself to Me Sweetly
16. Rise the Setting Star
17. Devon’s Rejection
18. Invasion of the Sunlight Snatchers
19. Nightmare
20. Grip
21. She’s Gone
22. Winter Wonderland

http://www73.zippyshare.com/v/64158064/file.html

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Singles Going Single #121 - The Kinetics 7" (1986, Etiquette)

They're on the same label as the Sonics, they're decked out in mod/2 Tone attire, and their best song is on par with UB40? Kind of. The Kinetics were IMO an enigmatic trio, apparently hailing from the Pacific Northwest, who released an LP, Snake Dance around the same time as this single. They nail it big time on "Hey La La Lee," an addictive slice of blue-eyed reggae pop, wrapped up in a minimalist construct, none too dissimilar to UB40 as I noted above, or for that matter Vampire Weekend. It definitely exudes the temperament of a lost classic. "Take a Train" is more reliant on power chords, but not particularly garagey or mod as their cover snapshot might suggest. Enjoy (or not).

A. Hey La La Lee
B. Take a Train

http://netkups.com/?d=d18503f834c2f

Singles Going Single #120 - Frontier Salesman 7" (1989, Blue Lunch)

I'm afraid I don't have a smidgen of biographical info to dispense regarding this Albany, NY duo, but then again that's the case withe half the bands featured in the Singles Going Single series, isn't it? Pensive, sinewy indie-rock is the flavor du jour here, with Frontier Salesman's Marc Jones riffing on the then ongoing, and for that matter still ongoing conflict in the Middle East, on the a-side of this single. The liner notes on the back sleeve read like something akin to a disclaimer to prevent any misconceptions, but as for the song ("Palestine") itself, it's not particularly incendiary. The other side of the coin, "Not the Center of Town" is propelled by a gnarly, post-punk guitar line that admittedly sounds a little dated some 21 years after the fact, but still pretty gratifying.

01. Palestine
02. Not the Center of Town

http://netkups.com/?d=ce8c3aa801245

Putters - two 7"s (1991/92, Bag of Hammers/eMpTy)

Everyone knows that so called "punk" in the '90s had become a safe, watered down commodity, so much so that mainstream acts (who need not be name) were are a sad caricature of that grossly misled movement itself. Then again, some of the smallest indie bands of the era were making the biggest noise, and Seattle's all but overlooked Putters were amongst a hardy cavalcade of aesthetically minded period acts including the New Bomb Turks, Fumes, not to mention early Supersuckers. This pair of three-song 45s and a blistering album, Fear of Women on eMpTy Records are left to tell the tale. High octane, two-fisted, leave ‘em chokin’ the god damn dust, punk-as-fuck rock n roll. That's the Putters in a nutshell. In other words people, this stuff smokes. Used and new copies of the aforementioned Fear of Women are in abundance on Amazon, and for those of you who'd like to read up further on this quartet 10 Things online has a few words to say.

01. Gun 'n a Bullet
02. Picnic
03. Kill Me Quick
04. Muscle Car
05. Mistakes
06. Drink

1-3 from John Hicks 7" (1991, Bag of Hammers)
4-6 from Muscle Car 7" (1992, eMpTy)

http://netkups.com/?d=538ff2b8b1a3d

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Mad Turks - Toast (1990, Festival)

This is a followup to my recent share of the Mad Turks From Istanbul's phenomenal debut LP, Café Istanbul. There was a three year layover between that album and this sophomore successor, and in the intervening years, the group truncated their name to simply, The Mad Turks, and lost original guitarist Hank M. Turk (actual moniker Matthias Eckhardt - thank you Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop). The aforementioned Café possessed a walloping, visceral urgency that this album is somewhat deficient in, but the band's progression is at the very least logical, if not a bit too straight laced for their own good. Nevertheless, Toast succeeds with a handful of poignantly sprite moments, namely "Bloodmoney," "Left the Right," and "Tempers Fire" that adequately rekindle some of the Turks early fervor. After the band itself was "toast," various members evolved into an equally respectable power pop troupe, The Icecream Hands, noted in the comments to this post, as well as in a thorough and must read article on Noise For Heroes. Big thanks to Kouzie for furnishing me with the artwork.

01. Walking Disaster
02. Tempers Flare
03. Not So Long Ago
04. The Last Mile
05. Nothing Will Have Changed
06. You In Mind
07. Bloodmoney
08. 1,001
09. Our Little Rumour
10. Somebody Said
11. Goodnight
12. Left the Right

http://netkups.com/?d=0a35a3fc78d33

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pollyanna - Delta City Skies (1999, Mushroom)

My previous Pollyanna features seamed to to make a big impression on a lot of you, so I thought I'd up yet another out of print album from this Australia trio, who never really had a shot outside of their continent. I've always been a big proponent of Pollyanna's second LP, Hello Halo, rife with impassioned fury and Matt Handley's visceral songcraft. The preceding Longplayer was a keeper as well, though it couldn't quite foretell the corker that was waiting in the wings just one year later. At any rate, Delta City Skies landed two years on the heels of Hello..., and though it doesn't always bear the bittersweet incisiveness and alt-rawk crunch and moxie of that album, Delta finds Pollyanna settling into a more mature modus operendi, without any austere ennui. In other words another winner, though I can't say their swan song, 200o's, Didn't Feel a Thing was nearly as endearing.

Yes, mine is a signed copy, for better or worse.

01. S.S.A.E.
02. Black Bear
03. Feeding Circle
04. In Love With Doubt
05. Home Is Where My Heart Sank
06. Office Relations
07. Hermit Inertia
08. Disclaimer
09. Vanilla Coated Salesman
10. Frayed
11. Cicada Sounds
12. Crave the Comfort You Give

http://netkups.com/?d=530110c01144c

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cartoons - Toys of Destruction ep (1984, Zig-Tone)

T'aint never heard of this vintage Connecticut quartet 'til I saw this ep sitting in a rack at the nearby Record Theatre, but that didn't stop me from taking a chance on it. Toys of Destruction kicks off with the spicy enough "Society Girl," a pedestrian yet appealing there minute salvo of punked-up power pop. The ep ensues on a downward trajectory from there, with the Cartoons dipping into a ska/dub-lite motif on "Self Conscious," and finally closing things out with the rhythmically attuned, synth-enhanced title track. You have been warned.

01. Society Girl
02. Middle Class
03. Self Conscious
04. Toys of Destruction

http://netkups.com/?d=6910e85b83b2f

Friday, April 9, 2010

Singles Going Single #119 - Big Drama - Museum at Night 7" (1989, South East)

Over the years Ebay has become an increasingly fertile destination for discovering bands of yesteryear, at least as far as I'm concerned. For example, a genre search of "power pop" yielded this Big Drama 7" that I might have been oblivious to otherwise. At any rate, I don't have an abundance of background info to offer on this Iowa City, IA four-piece, whose discography may begin and end with this very single. Spearheaded by mouthpiece/guitarist John Svec, the group's recipe of ringing chords and left of the dial aesthetics is a familiar but highly effective one. In the credits, they thank a couple of hometown contemporaries (Full Fathom Five and the Dangtrippers) who just so happen to have prior entries on this blog. Can't decide on a favorite for this single. Hope ya like.

A. Weathervane
B1. Museum at Night
B2. All Up to You

http://netkups.com/?d=55668cf1683b0

Thursday, April 8, 2010

further - sometimes chimes (1994, Christmas)

Recently had a request for this long overlooked mid-90s artifact. I shared a further ep way back in '07 called Golden Grimes, that's still available for the taking. Consisting of Darren and Brent Rademaker, once of major label flunkies Shadowland, further was something of a 180 degree reaction to that regrettable endeavor. After imbibing an overdose of SST-era Dino Jr, Sentridoh, and perhaps a swig or two of Polvo, Darren and Brent decided to extend their spin on mid-fi indie rawk to a rather indifferent public, save for a few college radio djs and fanzine scribes. Sometimes Chimes, their second and final proper LP, was by far and away their lengthiest release, clocking in at over an hour with two-dozen plus selections of clangly noise pop. If you ever wondered what the "bridge" between post-Bug Dinosaur Jr and Lou Barlow's fully realized vision of Sebadoh (circa Bubble and Scrape) would amount to, Chimes will give you a fairly spot on idea. It features some of their finest moments, including "She Lives By the Castle 2," "Generic 7," and a cover of Unrest's "Isabel." Look for more further to come on Wilfully Obscure.

01. surfing pointers
02. generic 7
03. duck pond
04. ferrets and weasels
05. brian and ray
06. she lives by the castle 2
07. the kindergarten set
08. phase out
09. j.o. 2
10. unstuck
11. sometimes too
12. pioneer 10
13. isabel
14. jaded ball
15. doof amuz 6 (the love machine)
16. going to glendora
17. traction in the rain
18. ride
19. big spoon
20. katdancer
21. sickness
22. organ doner
23. further doh jr-q
24. alternative ulcer
25. new glass
26. untitled

http://netkups.com/?d=85ef80317cc11

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Black Tambourine - s/t (Slumberland, 2010) - a brief evaluation

To this day I still argue that mix tapes trump mix cds, if only for one empirical fact - a blank cassette is 90 to 100 minutes long, while a cd-r maxes out at a mere 80. Back in the day, even if you weren't making a mix tape per se, and were just recording a straight album to each side, there was always the tricky little matter of what to do with the unused remainder of tape (if any was left to begin with that is). If you were anything like me and my friends, there was an unspoken practice of taking advantage of that extra blank five to ten minutes of tape and filling it out with more music, even if it wasn't exactly pertinent to the "main course" so to speak. Some 16 years or so ago, when a friend was kind of enough to share a pre-release of a Velocity Girl album on a 100 minute, high bias TDK cartridge, he had the smarts to flesh out the few remaining minutes with a couple of songs from a related band called Black Tambourine. Given that Black Tambourine was a female fronted quartet, my first assumption was that Sarah Shannon of Velocity Girl was involved. Not true. In fact the vocalist was none other than one Pam Berry, who was accompanied by two future V/G alumni, Archie Moore and Brain Nelson (and another guy, Mike Schulman who released Black Tambourine's singles on the very label that's reissuing them, for the second time I might add).

Recorded over a two year span, B/T's slim body of work nevertheless proved to be influential. Setting up shop in the metro D.C. environs circa 1989, it was clear from the start that Pam Berry and Co, were indie Anglophiles to the hilt, who surely got a lot of mileage out of their 4AD Records imports. Dangling from a Mary Chain of feedback and wielding a bevy of C-86 and Brit-psyche influences, Black Tambourine were a few minutes ahead of the shoegazer express that was on the verge of enrapturing both sides of the pond. I'll go out on a limb and suggest that the band Lush usurped a thing or two from Tambourine (though it must have been fairly simultaneous). The quartet's robust sonic backdrop was tempered by Berry's slight, dare I say mildly disconnected vocal aplomb, which largely blended in as an instrument unto itself. Meager as their ten-song discography was (drawn from only two singles and a handful of compilations) B/T possessed some indelibly genius moments like "Throw Aggi Off the Bridge," which would became their de facto signature song. "Black Car" was nearly as affecting and sublime. The original Black Tambourine collection, Complete Recordings, came out in 1999 and was designed to be the final word on the band, but for better or worse, it wasn't. Fast forward another ten years to find a "trans-Atlantic" Tambourine reunion for the purpose of recording four songs (two originals/two covers) to include as bonus material for 2010s definitive release, Black Tambourine, which also tacks on early demos of "Throw Aggi..." and "For Ex-Lovers Only." An extra six tracks in all alongside the original ten. As I've already emphasized, B/T's recorded legacy may have been as minimal as it gets, but in post-mortem, thoroughly crucial.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mad Turks From Istanbul - Café Istanbul (1987, Greasy Pop)

Damn. Where has this album been my whole life? A couple months ago when I posted the Bad Timing Perth, Australia retrospective compilation, I name dropped a band that I could have sworn hailed from Perth, but actually didn't. The group in question was the Spliffs, an '80s jangle outfit in the mold of the Someloves that I unfortunately discovered way too after the fact. I did some poking around on Google to satisfy my Spliffs jones, and in the process learned of one of their contemporaries, The Mad Turks From Istanbul, or more commonly referred to as simply the Mad Turks. Originally based in Adelaide, and eventually migrating to Melbourne, the Turks would parley themselves into the Ice Cream Hands by the early '90s, though neither achieved mainstream notoriety.

Their debut, Café Istanbul is something of a revelation, though it doesn't sound far removed from such period acts as the Smithereens, Close Lobsters, and their own countrymen the Hoodoo Gurus and the Ups and Downs. Monstrous, gargantuan hooks, hard strummed Rickenbacker chords, and brisk tempos eminently define the dozen aces ensconced within this powerhouse of a record. "Under Review," "Chances Lane," and "Honestly Rita" all brandish an utterly timeless power-pop panache that parallel the work of any of the aforementioned. A second album, Toast was issued in 1990, and though I have not had the privilege of hearing it, one needs no further convincing of the Turks talent than Café Istanbul. The online "branch" of the South Australia State Library (linked above) provides further biographical info, a full discography, plus 30 second samples of this LP and some of the Turks singles. A great article on the group and their segue into the Ice Cream Hands can be read over at the venerable Noise for Heroes website.
 
01. Chances Lane
02. Lolene
03. Honestly Rita
04. Forbidden Fruit
05. Ten Words
06. Purdy Baby
07. Looking Forward to Destroy
08. Under Review
09. Holding My Breath
10. Suicide Style
11. The Crescent Moon
12. Café Istanbul
 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Enuff Z' Nuff - Enuff Demos Already! (198?)

They say perception is reality, and nowhere was that notion more tragically applicable than with '80s glam rock/metal. Something tells me that when the suits pressed the four fellows in Chicago's vastly misunderstood Enuff Z' Nuff to don mascara and spandex for MTV, the band must have been crying a collective river inside. Their 1989 self-titled disk (the one with the peacenik motif that I cleverly inverted the hue of above) went gold, propelled by a pair of irresistible singles, "New Thing," and "Fly High Michelle." Much like the baby with the bath water, Enuff Z' Nuff was quickly disposed of alongside the hair-farmer contingent as a whole by mainstream ears come the early '90s. It was an image the band never quite shook despite their Herculean efforts over the following decades to eschew their poseur transgressions. Yet those of us who were open minded enough to consider the fairly enlightening 1985 collection of early, unreleased studio recordings, issued by Big Deal Records in 1994, discovered that our suspicions had been confirmed - Enuff Z' Nuff, though by no means purists, belied a power-pop pedigree underneath those layers of gaudy surface makeup and Aqua Net.

This collection of rather raw, cassette-sourced demos for that fabled first album gives further credence to the band's hidden credibility. True, you'll find your fair share of wailing guitar solos among these songs, but nevertheless, Enuff demonstrably bowed to the alter of Cheap Trick, not Bon Jovi. The early versions of album-to-be cuts, "Little Indian Angel" and the ultra infectious Strength single, "Baby Loves You," are at least a little more organic in their initial frameworks. Quite a few completely unreleased compositions here as well, including "Backstreet Kids," and a commendable reading of "Dear Prudence." Enjoy (or not).

01. Baby Loves You #1
02. Backstreet Kids
03. Day by Day
04. I'll Be the One
05. For Now
06. In the Groove
07. Runaway
08. Fingers on It
09. Little Pigs
10. Nothing
11. Baby Loves You #2
12. Kiss the Clown
13. Good Love
14. Sharp Shooting Trouble Maker
15. Superstitious
16. Fly High Michelle
17. Indian Angel
18. Dear Prudence

http://netkups.com/?d=511ee3aaccb8e

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Travis Cut - Complicated ep (1997, Fluffy Bunny)

If you're one to partake in such bygone British punk-pop groups like Mega City Four, The Senseless Things, Midway Still, Snuff, and even Ned's Atomic Dustbin you may already be familiar with Travis Cut. Doling out four albums and a bevy of singles and eps throughout much of the '90s and beyond, this caffeinated three-piece had a knack for speedy, melodic tuneage, and this 1997 ep is sure to make for a fine introduction. These four tracks are also available on a Travis Cut singles compilation, Another Day Another Drummer, which might still be available here. Word is the band has reconvened and aims to release an album in the near future.

01. Complicated
02. Look I'm Wrong
03. Scars
04. Interrupted

http://netkups.com/?d=f909cc1c1c538

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fig Dish - Unleash the Cracken (1991)

This is kind of an obvious tie-in with the new remake of Clash of the Titans hitting the big screen this weekend, though the only thing this ancient Fig Dish album and the movie have in common is the famous one-liner. I have reservations in sharing this disk, given the band is rumored to be a little ashamed of it, so if anyone has a problem, shoot me an email (click my profile). Most Fig Dish fans latched onto the group via their 1995 major label LP, That's What Love Songs Often Do, chockablock with hook-laden, hard rock scorchers like "Seeds" and "Rollover, Please" (the latter song originally appeared on a single in a different incarnation, which I posted a couple years ago right here). Cracken is very much a respectable Fig Dish album, albeit it's a kinder, gentler F/D, a la say It's A Shame About Ray-era Lemonheads. Contrary to the what I just rattled off, there are a couple songs here, specifically "Birthday Clowns" and "Pretty Karen Record," that crank just as mightily as their more seasoned offerings. I dunno. Make what you will of Unleash the Cracken. Their definitive album it's not, but if you ask me this is an above average springboard release. BTW, I don't possess an original copy of this, so thanks once again anonymous peer-to-peer sharer on Soulseek.

01. Diet Song
02. Lita Stay
03. Wide Open Skies
04. Pop Wonders
05. Birthday Clowns
06. Midnight Dragon
07. Much Sense
08. Pretty Karen Record
09. Tube
10. Anything Black

http://netkups.com/?d=53cabe11c0edc

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Singles Going Single #118 - A Picture Made "God Loves a Hell of a Man" 7" (1986, Beam)

This single was noted in the comments for my recent sharing of A Picture Made's ep, Past. Offering the same song, "God Loves a Hell of a Man" on both sides, we don't exactly get double the pleasure from this very limited 45 (ostensibly sent to subscribers of the defunct Jet Lag music 'zine and radio types), but it's a sparkling Ricken-pop tune bejeweled with chiming chords and a decent enough hook. Just what the doctor ordered. You can also investigate Ritual, another set of recordings from this Kansas-based outfit on the website linked above.

http://netkups.com/?d=70d8f3813185f