Pitch Black – Suspiria/Renee 12”

Posted in 1990, Claude Raines, darkwave, ebm, New York, pitch black, synthpop, US on February 3, 2023 by Frankie Teardrop

Can’t stop/won’t stop!

Keeping with the theme of the last post, this single is a perfect compliment, featuring a series of dancefloor-friendly remixes of darkwave tracks, also released in 1990. Our friend Goutroy turned me on to this one some weeks ago, tipping me off that this NY-based trio consisted of three members of Red Violet Red, who, which you may recall, also shared a key member with Eleven Pond. The remaining members, bassist Jerry Dellapietra, guitarist Lyle Wells (RIP), and vocalist/synth player/programmer Cedric Herrera (who also formed this project after recording with Claude Raines) and recorded two killer darkwave songs that at their core, sound similar to their previous project, but run through a very dance culture filter. There’s quite a bit of acid/new beat influence, as well as nods to hip-hop, freestyle, and house music, but the vocals and songs themselves cut deep with dark energy that make this single a true hybrid success.

A quick note that there’s a hidden remix of “Suspiria” buried on the “Renee” side of the 12”, which is unlisted on the record itself. I’ve labeled it simply with the name of the track, but if anyone knows the title of this mix, feel free to leave a comment!

Otherwise, hope you enjoy!

Pitch Black – Suspiria/Renee 12”
1. Suspiria (College Radio Edit)
2. Suspiria (12″ Mix)
3. Suspiria (Hip Hop Remix)
4. Renee (College Radio Edit)
5. Renee (Acid Dance Remix)
6. Suspiria*
7. Renee (Stringapella)

*download it here*

Tanz Waffen – Big Strong Man 12”

Posted in 1990, austin, darkwave, synth, synthpop, tanz waffen, US, zyx on February 3, 2023 by Frankie Teardrop

Happy belated new year, folks! I’ve been struggling to find time to keep this thing going, but I still have a huge backlog of things I’ve been digitizing in my spare time, so it’s time I kick back into gear here, I suppose. Let’s see if I can get two posts done today!

The first: a big big synth pop single from 1990 on ZYX Records. The project: Tanz Waffen, which translates to Dance Weapons. Despite their German name, the band hailed from Austin, Texas, and consisted of Jeff Campbell of The Secret Six and vocalist Nanz Campbell. After releasing this one single, the duo would join forces with like-minded Austin EBM project Mark of Kane to form Voodoo Dali, who released one cassette in 1991.

As for this single, the clear dance floor filler here is “Big Strong Man,” which appears in extended and 7” form. However, the third track, “Memories of Voices,” is a moodier, more esoteric track that showcases Nanz Campbell’s vocals and features some darkwave guitar throughout. The A-side certainly has Celebrate the Nun-esque vibes, while the flip reminds me a bit of Six Sed Red or Soma Holiday. Either way, the single is an absolute banger, and as with most of the ZYX catalog, is worth picking up!

Tanz Waffen – Big Strong Man 12”
1. Big Strong Man (Wild Boys Remix)
2. Big Strong Man (Wild Boys 7” Remix)
3. Memories of Voices

*download it here*

Crashing Plastic – Gretchen 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1989, goth, synth, synthpunk, US on December 8, 2022 by Frankie Teardrop

Thanks to Goutroy as always for turning me on to this one and making the original rip. A Viable Romance!

Here we have three icy guitar-wave tracks from Crashing Plastic, self-released in 1989. There’s a touch of deathrock/synthpunk flavor in both Gwen Alyson’s vocals and synth melodies and Chris Daya’s musicianship, with razor-sharp guitars, punchy drum programming, and synths galore to round out their sound. I’m reminded of the early Pretty Poison releases, before they went freestyle. This tracks in a sense, as this duo also appears to be from Philadelphia, PA. As always, if anyone has anything more to share about this band, please do.

Otherwise, hope y’all enjoy!

Crashing Plastic – Gretchen 12”.
1. Gretchen
2. Time Tunnel
3. Take Me Away

*download it here*

 

 

Ear Trumpet – Bring on the Dirt LP

Posted in 1980s, 1987, art-punk, art-rock, bc gilbert, buzzcocks, ethereal, experimental, siouxsie and the banshees, steve severin, tony barber, uk, wire with tags on October 14, 2022 by Frankie Teardrop

Back in the early pandemic days, I (and a few pals) started going through our collections with the sole intention of re-digitizing and improving digital copies of our records across the board. So many LPs and singles that exist out there ripped poorly with low bit rates, from back in the long long ago, when digital space was a premium and hearing the record by any means necessary was the one true goal. While we all can be grateful that those rips existed back then to give us a taste of unheard pleasures, now’s the time to improve things. You’ve likely seen me updating posts here and there over the last few years, and I’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes as well,  spending most of my free time (that isn’t taken up with child care, band responsibilities, and horror movies), sifting through gigabytes and gigabytes of rare records, meticulously separating tracks, de-clicking with the most careful of hands, ensuring that all the music remains intact at the best quality possible. It’s been a labor of love, and I probably have enough posts to keep me going another decade or two. That all said (getting to the damn point), back in 2020, someone asked me to make a new rip of this classic experimental record from UK project Ear Trumpet, and while I can’t remember who asked for it at this point, this post is for you…

Ear Trumpet were a supergroup of sorts, if one could call it that… Aside from two fellows named Neil and Gary, some of the more famliar players include The Banshees/The Glove’s Steve Severin (on organs/synths), Wire/Cupol/Dome’s Bruce Gilbert on guitar, and latter day Buzzcocks/Lack of Knowledge’s Tony Barber on bass, all of which lend their immense talents and knack for experimentation to this LP. This is their lone LP, released in 1987… and while on paper it could easily sound like a goth/punk hybrid by the numbers with these alumni on board (and I’d be perfectly happy with that, mind you), the results are actually quite unique – ethereal in spots, experimental art rock in others, with a solid post-punk bedrock coursing through its veins. I feel like this album is rather underrated in circles – not discussed nearly as much as other Banshees or Wire offshoots, to my knowledge. A blog back in 2008 spoke about it with similar affinity, but otherwise, I don’t see it discussed as much in music groups, forums, etc.

The project released a follow up in 1987, a three-track 12” that continues the story a bit, though I don’t believe Gilbert or Barber performed on that release. It’s been a minute since I’ve listened to the 12”, but I recall it being much heavier/less subtle and nuanced than the LP, hitting more like a Loop/Swans kind of thing. While I like those bands quite a bit, the second release doesn’t hit me quite the same way as the LP, but your mileage of course, may vary.

All that said, here’s the info for the debut LP.

Ear Trumpet – Bring on the Dirt LP
1. Acts Of Devotion
2. Whack
3. Ask My Mother
4. You Go On There
5. The Smell You Get From Old Books
6. Fall Back In Houses
7. No Spill Over
8. Bring On The Dirt
9. Fetch My Bag
10. Last Bus Fever

*download it here*

Dream 286 – Scars 7”

Posted in 1983, new wave, ohio, post-punk, US on October 4, 2022 by Frankie Teardrop

Happy to share this one-off 7” from 1983 by Dream 286 – fresh off the needle and into your eardrums.  This four-piece band hails from Cincinnati, Ohio and has an excellent dark new wave/post-punk sound that I can never get enough of. On paper, the band reminds me quite a bit of UK-based punk band Action Pact!, but with more synthesizers in tow. Otherwise, from what I can tell, the band was fairly active throughout the midwest, playing a slew of shows throughout the area, including a prominent gig opening for Factual, whose track “Psychotic Romance” is worth hearing for those unfamiliar. Sadly, these three tracks are all that were released to the general public, but I hope there’s some more material floating around out there somewhere…

After Dream 286 called it a day, bassist Randy Cheek would also play in local band The Libertines (not the UK revival band) with drummer Joe Hamm. Cheek would go on to form indie rock stalwarts Ass Ponys, while synth player Doug Hallet remained a fixture in the scene, also performing with Latex Theatre, Danse Macabre, Ubu Roi, and Tesla Coil. He is currently active in The Science of Deduction. Vocalist/guitarist Janette Pierce Davis also performed with Latex Theatre.

Without any further ado, here’s the single:

Dream 286 – Scars 7”
1. Scars
2. End of the World
3. I Don’t Believe

*download it here*

A Motion Industry – Pylon the Pressure 7” / compilation tracks

Posted in 1980s, 1986, 1987, A Motion Industry, post-punk, uk on August 18, 2022 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s another one lovingly ripped by Goutroy of A Viable Commercial – from his shelves to your hearts. This is the lone single from UK post-punk quartet A Motion Industry, released in 1986. A solid two-track affair, for fans of driving, anthemic bands like Rhythm Corps, The Sound, U2, etc. Lots of guitars here. Aside from this lone 7”, the band does appear to have two additional loose tracks out there, one on the cassette-only compilation Against the Tide and another on 1987’s Sample & Hold compilation. Goutroy was kind enough to rip the latter as well for us, and I’ve found the former out on the internets (not either of our rips), so happy to include both tracks for y’all to complete the discography.

If anyone can help fill in the gaps on their story, we’re all eyes! Otherwise, straight to the good stuff:

A Motion Industry – Pylon the Pressure 7”
1. Pylon the Pressure
2. Re-Union

Various Artists- Against the Tide (1986)
6. Ignorance Is Bliss

Various Artists-  Sample & Hold (1987)
5. Man In a Bottle

*download it here*

Front and Fantasy – Treatment 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1985, Danish, darkwave, Martin Hall, minimal synth, new wave on July 25, 2022 by Frankie Teardrop

It’s been a minute since we’ve had a post here – sorry about that, folks. Been a rough few months here. It’s ALSO been a minute since we’ve had a true dark synth/wave classic featured on these pages, so with that in mind, let’s highlight this lone 12” by Front and Fantasy, a Danish duo featuring a pair of Martins: Martin Krogh and the ever-prolific Martin Hall. This 12” is the only release by the duo, dropping in 1985, the same year Hall himself released his first non-cassette solo recording, the equally excellent Relief. Martin Krogh was in a handful of goth/post-punk bands, many of which only had a handful of tracks, and sadly, he passed away in 1987.

For those uninitiated, Hall and his many collaborators certainly had a knack for creating some of the most arrestingly powerful darkwave records, many of which could have been heard on a weekly basis at NYC’s Wierd party (and elsewhere across the globe, I’m sure). Tracks like SS-Say’s “Care,” Ballet Mécanique’s “Lied,” and Under For’s “Free-Force Structure” were staples in my own personal DJ sets, and it’s easy to decree the A-side from this 12” in as an instant classic in the same vein, from the moment the stabbing synth bass lines take hold. I can almost taste the fog now, as those warm synth pads kick in, while Hall’s deep croon cuts through the pulsing electronics.

The B-side is an interestingly deconstructed mix of the track- focusing primarily on the isolated vocals and empty spaces, with a distant beat and the otherwise minimal guitar line driving the second half of the piece. It’s a curious addition, worth a listen or two. Come for the icy dance floor smash, stay for the more experimental dub mix.

Enjoy! More posts to come soon!

Front and Fantasy- Treatment 12”
1. Treatment
2. Re-Treat

*download it here*

The Heart Throbs- Early 12” Recordings

Posted in 1987, 1988, dreampop, indie, the heart throbs, uk on April 20, 2022 by Frankie Teardrop

Trying to stay more active these days, for my sanity as well as for your ears’ sake. Up on the slab are 5 (FIVE) 12”s by late 80s dream pop/indie pop band The Heart Throbs. This band has been a forever favorite since I first saw the video for “Dreamtime” back in the early 2000s. That song kills me in every which way. But before that blissful melody was recorded and the band got traction via One Little Indian, the band cut their teeth on a slew of successful 12” singles, each one as good as the last. Some of the tracks were remixed for inclusion on their underrated debut record, Cleopatra Gripwhich came out in 1990.

I reckon a lot of folks are already familiar with this band, but if not, best touchstones are bands like Kitchens of Distinction, Darling Buds, Lush, The Primitives, early Throwing Muses, The Sundays, and so on. Rough Trade ahoy!

The Heart Throbs- Toy 12” (1987)
1. Toy
2. I, the Jury
3. Make My Day

The Heart Throbs- Bang 12” (1987)
1. Bang
2. Sick At Heart
3. Naked Bang

The Heart Throbs- Too Many Shadows 12” (1988)
1. Too Many Shadows
2. I See Danger
3. Things That Linger

The Heart Throbs- Here I Hide 12” (1988)
1. Here I Hide (Extended Version)
2. Pale Fire
3. Come (First Version)

The Heart Throbs- Blood From a Stone 12” (1988)
1. Blood From a Stone
2. Cry Hard Cry Fast
3. Smothered

*download it here*

Club Tango- Performance & FTN 7”s

Posted in 1980s, 1981, 23 skidoo, Disco Zombies, mystery plane, post-punk, uk, worldbackwards on April 13, 2022 by Frankie Teardrop

Fresh from the mailbox to the turntable, here’s the full 7” discography by UK band Club Tango, all of which was released in 1981. I love both singles, though have slight preference for FTN,” the track I first heard and fell in love with ages ago (with many thanks and much love to Only Death Is Fatal blog for turning me on to originally).

All four tracks have that excellent rickety 1981 post-punk sound I generally go wild for. The first single features male vocals, while the second adds a female vocalist, who is unknown as far as I can tell. The band features several musicians who also were involved in various well known projects. Alex Turnbull would join 23 Skidoo, Andy Ross also was a member of The Disco Zombies, and Dave Henderson, Paul Hood, and Nigel Lackey would carry on as minimal post-punk outfit Worldbackwards with Dinah Mulholland. Is Mulholland the same singer on the FTN single? Do tell, if so! Lackey would also play in Mystery Plane, whose “Curse of the Bodysnatcher” is a stone cold classic.

Henderson eventually became a music journalist, while Ross became a music executive for British label Food, and is likely more well known these days for being the genius to sign Blur, one of my all-time favorite bands. He just passed away in January of this year, so this one’s for you, Andy. <3

Club Tango – Performance 7”
1. Performance
2. Fun Specialists

Club Tango- FTN 7”
1. FTN
2. Get the Picture

*download both here*

The Nevermen- Monitor LP

Posted in 1980s, 1988, canadian, goth, goth-rock, goutroy, post-punk on April 3, 2022 by Frankie Teardrop

This record might tick boxes for fans of late 80s alternative. The band is The Nevermen, a four piece from Canada. This is their lone LP, which was released on Amok Records (Courage of Lassie, Psyche, Preison’s Shade) in 1988. While all the late 80s goth touchstones are here – the reverb drenched drum machines, the thick bass grooves, and the gloomy guitar, I sometimes find the vocal melodies to be somewhat close to Alice in Chains or bands from that era – even though naturally this record predates the band for a few years. Producer Michael Wojewoda provides backing vocals, which complement the main vocals with a similar kind of dual attack. I also get some early Faith No More vibes throughout with the soaring synths and bass tones.

Now don’t get me wrong folks, there are still plenty of familiar sounds here to keep all us 80s lovers interested – I also hear traces of Simple Minds, Midnight Oil, Big Country throughout this LP, if these bands ditched their stadium sounds and leaned darker overall. This record would definitely have picked up some 120 Minutes airplay if they made a video. Maybe they did?

Either way, if I haven’t scared you away with all this rawk talk, here’s the details for this LP:

The Nevermen- Monitor LP
1. Real Life
2. Across The Room
3. The Waltz
4. Waiting For Rain
5. Living In The Past
6. She’s Got Me
7. Burning
8. Cacophony And Dance (Silver Crown Cement Mix)

*download it here*

(thanks as always to Goutroy for ripping this one initially – keeping A Viable Commercial alive and well!)