Thursday, October 31, 2013

Top 5 Records (October)

1) Various artists - Everything is fine (Filipino indiepop scene)
2) Ruthann Friedman - Windy : a Ruthann Friedman songbook
3) Emily Bindiger - Emily
4) My Bloody Valentine - eps 1988-1991
5) Various artists - Lasting fun, forever young (Indonesia indiepop scene vol 2)


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sensitize - falling through

The early 90s were littered by countless indie pop/rock bands who released the odd single then sank without trace. Sensitize were one of these bands who produced decent enough music and "falling through" is a pretty good single full of noisy energy with a cracking chorus and nice guitar work but... how did they stand out from the dozens of other indie bands at the time? To be truthful they didn't, their single was good but so were 4-5 others that week at least. Its a shame but not everyone can win.

I'm glad this single survived in my collection from 1992 though. Its not iconic. Its not genre defining. Its just a good song and sometimes that just what you want. Good feedback drenched cover of "Teenage kicks" too.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Warriors OST

Not content with being one of the best films of all time, the soundtrack of the late 70s NY gangs epic The Warriors is also one of the best soundtrack albums of all time. A pulsating mix of hot and heady funky pop and rock such as Arnold McCuller's insanely catchy and dancey "Nowhere to run". Energetic and messy (in a good way) it is just one of a number of superb tunes.

Johnny Vastano's "You're moving too slow" is a steamy boogie woogie stomp you could imagine rocking many a honky tonk. Kenny Vance's "In Hanana" is nicely slinky and fun. Joe Walsh's "In the city" which played over the film's closing credits in a wonderful poignant rock track, slabs of blues rock and 70s rock-esque big vocals. Genya Ravan's "Love is a fire" is a sultry funky rock epic that throws the kitchen sink at you, leaving you as breathless as the vocalist at the end. Superb collection of songs, soundtracks can sometimes be throwaway, this one is essential.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

This album, released in 1967 followed Sgt. Pepper (you have heard of that i'm sure), and originally was a pair of EPs containing songs from a film Magical Mystery Tour. Later it was filled out into an album by including some singles from 1967. Oddly this accidental album is maybe one of the best Beatles albums you can get as it includes immortal songs like "Strawberry fields forever", "Penny Lane" and "I am the walrus".

Its a psychedelia tour de force therefore and much better received than the film was. Despite the amazing singles included to pad the album out one of the best tracks is from the film soundtrack "Your Mother should know" is a typical piece of McCartney retro nostalgic nonsense and is terrific.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Brighter - demo recordings 1988-1990

Ah Brighter, the band that encapsulates the fragile glory of twee pop to some and the banality of it to others. I am firmly in the former camp, to me Brighter so often produced perfection in the early 90s. So "demo recordings" then, not that they sound too different from the definitive Brighter studio recording sound. A little rougher maybe around the edges, but that kind of suits Brighter...

As far as i can tell none of the songs (or final versions of) appeared on Sarah releases though a good number appeared on the brilliant Matinee compilation "Out to sea" collection, though not all the songs do.

"Wallflower" has a simple pop beauty to it. "Sunburst" sounds like it was recorded in a phone kiosk but still has an irresistible urgency to it. "Top of the world" grinds its way to your heart despite nearly falling apart a few times. "If i could see" is totally wonderful and one of Brighter's best ever songs, a jangle of pop delights and a delicate joy. One song i definitely haven't heard today is the somewhat haunting instrumental "Painted angels".

If you love Brighter you'll love this, if you don't... well... your loss.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Moments - shining eyes (Dufflecoat 7" single)

Dufflecoat Records have a knack of finding sparkling pearls in the mighty ocean that is indie pop. The Moments is another pearl, and a Japanese dose of twee. Delicate and sweet jingle jangle starts off "Shining eyes" moving seamlessly into shy restrained vocals. It ticks the twee pop box, in fact it draws a box inside the twee box and ticks that.

B-side "Past light" is even better, it shimmers and shines with a beautiful guitar line. In the real world twerking and other nonsense gets the attention, in a better world gorgeous melodies like this would instead.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Milk - oubliette

Razor sharp guitars screech, driving bass rumbles, then spacey beats drive us on into a wail of elevated guitar noise that propels you into hyperspace. Whew thats just the first track too of this EP released back in 2010 "William Posters", a terrific piece of shoegaze noise.  The track that follows "South Audley Street" is like chalk and cheese, sparse and atmospheric but no less wonderful. "Stars and the sea" experiments with light and shade.

The title track jangles along urgently before exploring plateaus of power rock and noise heaven. An epic of a track. Finally the "The long division" is an atmospheric acoustic treat. Noisy, experimental but still accessible, a really enjoyable EP.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

EEC Punk Rock Mountain

"We should be out boozing. And pogoing. Its Saturday night innit?"
And so begins this Sarah Records bootleg containing songs from all your favourite Sarah pop bands. The Orchids' "bemused, confused and bedraggled" starts us off and is very well recorded, the band being in fine form too. Added whoops adds to the fun and the pop thrills.

The album recorded Sarah bands on the 1st of July 1991 in six concerts across the world which began and ended simultaneously, to commemorate the Bristol indie pop club which closed in 1987. Gentle Despite's "if i touch" sounds great, waves of scratchy guitar noise backing the downbeat vocals. The lo-fi-ish sound quality adding not detracting. The Wake's tracks suffer a bit from the patchy recording, but the somewhat far-away feel of the vocals adds to the intimacy.

The Field Mice sound a bit off but still put on a decent pop show with their two tracks including a frantic "coach station reunion". Well maybe you had to be there, but if you couldn't be then this is a lovely addition to your Sarah indie pop mountain.