Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Yo La Tengo - Shaker EP

Unusually for me, a respected band who are still around. As opposed to a band that only me and you, dear reader, ever liked and lasted two years tops. And then reformed last year and played two festivals and a show at The Garage in Highbury.

Anyhew, this is one of the hypnotic-style Yo La Tengo tunes, and nice on headphones. Quite rocking and repetitive, all good stuff. They're one of those bands I tend to dip in and out of, sometimes a single or an album will really grab me, and other times I can really take or leave them. This I like.

The a-side was originally off a soundtrack, so wasn't on an album, so if you're a fan you might be interested. The second track on the CD is a Richard and Linda Thompson cover, which is really good, and has lovely harmonies on the chorus. Track 3 is more acoustic (but with feedback and brass, nice), and also a good song.

Good stuff overall. Hope you like it.

1. Shaker
2. For Shame Of Doing Wrong (Slide Version)
3. What She Wants


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Mega City Four - Stop (CDS)

According to the sticker on the CD case this was £3.99 from HMV. Well I got it for LOADS less, so that's socking it to the man. Although the man in this case is dead, apparently, hence no Mega City Four reformation as every shit 90s band takes their turn.

The first song I ever heard by Mega City Four was "Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely", which I never realised was by Husker Du when I first bought their "Inspiringly Titled" live LP way back in the day. I did realise it was clearly the best track on the record. Kind of figures. I was never a huge fan of Mega City Four, but this is something of interest from the time. One of the best of their own songs, and b-sides which are worth a listen, certainly if you're a fan.

1. Stop
2. Desert Song
3. Back To Zero
4. Overlap

Here you go.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Airhead - Counting Sheep CDS

I put it to you that there are fewer bands more indie than Airhead. They had the one reasonably big hit, which isn't this, but I've always had a soft spot for them, as their brief poke up into the limelight coincided with some happy times for me.

This track is pretty good, if not quite up to 'Funny How', and track 2 is very much the Airhead formula, if a little more laid back. Number 3 is good, I can see how it maybe didn't quite fit in with their album, but I like it.

Never much of a fan of the added "demo version" on CD singles, but when it's track 4 of 4 I guess it's excusable. If you're a massive Airhead fan, this might be the tune which completes your life.

1. Counting Sheep
2. Take My Train
3. Keep The Apple
4. Counting Sheep (Demo)

1990s are here.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Freewheelin' Mark Arm - Masters Of War 7"

Happy New Year everybody. It's going to be a fucking weird one.

Another curiosity out of the box of 7"s, this time Mudhoney's Mark Arm covers Bob Dylan, on Sub Pop from 1990. It's actually really good, with a lot of venom, as befits the song. Produced by Jack Endino, so it wasn't just a throwaway home-recorded kind of thing.

Side 2 is a lot sillier as lyrics go, variously clean-ish and very distorted guitar with a shaker which kind of wanders around the rhythm. It's worth a listen, if possibly only one.

1. Masters Of War
2. My Life With Rickets

Mark it Bob, Dude.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Lo-Fi Christmas with Urusei Yatsura

Here's something special for you all from Santa Freedom. I won't write much, other than to wish you all a Happy Christmas and all the best for 2017. Take care of yourselves, and enjoy this bumper post of three (count 'em) Urusei Yatsura 7"s, kings (and queen) of the coloured vinyl single.

Plastic Ashtray b/w Got The Sun
Kewpies Like Watermelon b/w Majesty
Strategic Hamlets b/w Down Home Kitty and Kozee Heart (Luxury Pave-Style)

If you like this lot, please take a look at this link, which is a collection of session tracks, and I can assure you it is worth buying.

I hope you enjoy the 7"s. See you next year.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Amps - Tipp City (CDS)

This is good stuff. I didn't know much about this little bit of Deal history, but it's the one single off the one album by the band that Kim Deal formed between the early and late periods of The Breeders. It's a nicely chaotic tune, as is the first b-side (clocking in at a mammoth 1:14 - can see why they played with Guided By Voices). The sound and feel fits in very nicely with her other work, I really like it. It's kind of The Breeders but more nuts.

And a lot less polished, particularly the third track, which is great, if shouty and 110% distorted.

All good stuff, and interesting to hear if you're as poorly informed about The Amps as I was.

1. Tipp City
2. Just Like A Briar
3. Empty Glasses (Kim's Basement 4-track Version)

Here you go.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Cud - Rich & Strange CDS

Hit after hit after hit, this blog, I tell you. I've got a lot of time for Cud, which I think is probably 40% nostalgia and 60% quality. Ned's Atomic Dustbin is 60/40 the other way. The Family Cat is 90% fondness through quality. I could go on. (Catch me at the right time with the right beer and I will.)

This is great. A bona fide pop hit, smashing its way to number 24 in the charts. Number 24! Imagine. And that was 24 years ago. Imagine.

Thing with Cud is that on record they sound great, I really like the sparing sound, little guitar noodling and bass wandering around the place. Always nice to listen to. Live, I don't remember from the time, as it was a long time back I saw them at the Anson Rooms in Bristol, but I saw their reformed show in London a while back and they sounded bad. Fun, but bad. Just kind of weedy.

Anyway, the b-sides of this one are both good, so I hope you enjoy them. Track 3 has a particularly good chorus.

1. Rich And Strange
2. Do It Again
3. A Song Called That

It's right here for your very much enjoyment.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Superchunk - Tower 7" EP

Another from the big 7"s box of (mostly) junk, but one of the few gems. If not financially helpful ones. This is from Superchunk in 1990, on an Australian label called Messiah Complex. It says there were 1000 only, 200 on green vinyl, 800 on purple. Mine is on yellow, which suggests repress I suppose.

The a-side is great. The Chunk at their raucous best, particularly on Fishing, which sounds like it was recorded live apart from the lack of crowd noise. Both killer tunes.

Side B has a Shangri-Las cover, which is less good. Interesting as a fan, but I can't imagine I'll be rushing back to it. 'What Do I' is great, though. Both the b-side tracks were off the 1989 'Chunk' EP on Merge, the a-sides were recorded in 1990.


1. Fishing
2. Tower
3. Train From Kansas City
4. What Do I

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Mudhoney / Melvins split - H.I.V. Groupie Hits-Pack! 7"

I bought a load of 7"s of some guy on eBay ages ago, in the hope that there might be some gems in the collection. To be honest I did it also in the hope there might be, say, a load of early Smiths singles or something, and I could make some cash. Needless to say, most of the 300+ in the collection was 2000s-era indie dross.

This is the only record which is worth anything (and only a tenner), but it's a happy exception in quality terms too.

It's a weird record, in terms of content and labelling. The sleeve gets the bands right, but all the songs are labelled wrong, at least partly. The centre label of the record not only gets the songs at least partly wrong, but the names of the bands wrong too; Mudhoney are The Psycho Surgeons, The Melvins are The Professors.

Anyhew, the songs are pretty cool all round. Side a has three Mudhoney tracks, the first two are demos, and the third a kind of murky live recording, but it's good. Side b is one Melvins track, which is labelled as one thing (Just Sixteen) on the sleeve, another (The Sails of Charon) on the label, but is actually a KISS cover.

1. Here Comes Sickness (Mudhoney)
2. Sweet Young Thing Ain't Sweet No More (Mudhoney)
3. Chain That Door (Mudhoney)
4. Going Blind (The Melvins)

There. I've done the working out for you. Enjoy the record.

Oh, also I've changed to Mega for storage, so that (hopefully) stuff stays available for longer and I don't have to keep putting the Teenage Fanclub Scotland on Sunday CD up.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Beck - The New Pollution CDS

You all know the a-side, I'm sure. It's a good one of his, for sure, off the awesome 'Odelay' LP. However the big interest in this single is the b-side, which is an Aphex Twin remix of 'Devil's Haircut', and as you'd expect is fairly strange. I particularly like the section somewhere in the middle where the vocal sample bears no resemblance to the rhythm of the track. Good stuff.

Track three seems like a home-recorded kind of thing, and doesn't have the Dust Brothers credited as producers. Maybe not quite to the standard of the album, but it's a good track still. Sounds like it might have been fun to make.

1. The New Pollution
2. Richard's Hairpeice (remix by Aphex Twin)
3. Electric Music and The Summer People

Here you are now, entertain you.