Pop Stress- So Good To Be In Love 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1981, canadian, montreal, pop stress, post-punk on November 19, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s an excellent two track 7” from Montreal’s Pop Stress, a generous gift from Megon at Only Death Is Fatal. This single, the only release by Pop Stress, was released in 1981 on Micatube Records. At first glance, the band seems heavily inspired by Magazine’s first two pioneering records. The A-side is a nervous pop song with bouncy organ synths and rock ‘n’ roll rhythms. It’s perfectly enjoyable in its own right, but the real gem here is the flip; a dark, tom-heavy, claustrophobic number that really gets under my skin. The song was allegedly inspired by Janov’s Primal Scream.


Pop Stress- So Good To Be In Love 7”.
1. So Good To Be In Love
2. Neurotic

*download it here*

It seems like I’m not the only one who prefers the b-side for this one, as a video for “Neurotic” was shot prior to the single’s release and premiered on a Canadian music program, with a short interview with the band’s vocalist at the end. Check it here:

Breathless- Waterland 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, breathless, dreampop, post-punk, uk on October 9, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

We’ve discussed UK post-punk band Breathless here before in the past, and I can’t overstate their importance enough. They are, by and far, one of my all-time favorite bands- such beauty, brilliant songs, and one of the best male vocalists of all time. Also, unlike most of our artists here, they are still active, releasing the incredible Green to Blue LP in 2012.

Most of their catalog has since been reissued digitally for download/streaming. That said, a few of their earliest singles have yet to be compiled, perhaps a tape sourcing issue or oversight. Most absent from their digital catalog (outside of the cathartic “Bad Blood”) is their debut 7”, Waterland from 1984. With that in mind, I’ve finally picked up a copy and made a passable rip for you all to enjoy. A few words of warning- the pressing on this 7” was a bit dodgy, but a little cleanup went a long way with this one. More importantly, while the ingredients that make them such a compelling band are still on display here, these two tracks are more primitive- darker, heavier, much more intense than some of the material that would follow. There is heavy dub-inspired bass and buzzy synths on the excellent “Second Heaven”- the real standout for me on this single, though the powerful ending of “Waterland” is nothing to shake a stick at either. Either way, perfect sounds to kick off your Autumn. Enjoy!


Breathless- Waterland 7”
1. Waterland
2. Second Heaven

*download it here*

PS- be sure to check out the lyrics for these tracks on the Tenor Vossa website!

Various Artists- Systems of Romance Vol. 7 & 8

Posted in 1980s, coldwave, compilations, Intro, mélopée, New deutsche welle, new wave, post-punk, synth, synthpop, systems of romance, uk, various artists, Vibø, wave on September 1, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

I’ve been talking a big game about this Various Artists compilation series for a long time. So many allusions to the next installment of loose tracks have been made over the past few years, always saying the same thing. Stay tuned, etc. Well, it just occurred to me that it’s been THREE (3) years since the last installment, which is just pathetic on my part. That said, in order to atone for these missed opportunities and empty promises, I’ve assembled not ONE, but TWO compilations, just like the old days. Some of these tracks were passed on by friends and allies of the blog, others by band members themselves, and as always, quite a few come from the record shelves. Little writeups to follow below, but for now, let’s get to the tracklisting, shall we?


Various Artists- Systems of Romance Vol. 7
1. Blood Brothers- Beyond The Nightmare
2. Unfamiliar Skies- Loveland
3. I Wish- The Name
4. 4711- New Holland
5. Glass Lady- Glass Lady
6. Lovers- Siam
7. Forever Till Never- When Kids Are Alone
8. Dancing On Your Own- Martin & Martin
9. Loss- Camouflage
10. Saison Fleurie- Cello
11. The Haunting Moon- Lyon in Winter
12. ふり返った男- Imitation Brain
13. Epics- Moravagine
14. Deutschland Brennt- D.U.R.
15. GG Man- Underjordiska Lyxorkestern
16. Pathetical Twat- Weaveworld
17. Ansassa- Tiistai
18. Symétrie (Live)- Pro Memoria
19. Zondagsplicht- Vibø
20. Pour Everyone- Irrelevant


Various Artists- Systems of Romance Vol. 8
1. The Tribute- Christophe Grelier
2. Sisters- Carter Burwell
3. Dancing to Kill- Almost Alone
4. Curtain of Love- Ce Soir
5. Ultraviolet- Fade to Black
6. L’Arbre- Mélopée
7. Frozen (Demo)- Yvonne
8. Uomini di Vetro- Sirtaki
9. Darkness- A Distant Echo
10. Clever Dancers- Paul Piacentini
11. Grey Day- Nick Haward
12. Nuclear Car- Chapter 13
13. Tornado- The Blue Law
14. In Your Window- Indians Fall In Love
15. Korea- European Toys
16. Grind- October Game
17. Stormy Weather- Systems of Romance
18. Apynee- Laughing Out Loud
19. Disunion- Baby Hotel Hunger
20. Is This the End?- Avo-8

*download both compilations here*

Vol. 7 credits:
1. French band, released in the mid 90s, early 2000s. Also known as Beyond the Nightmare About Claudia.
2. Rare compilation appearance from these US-based synthpop greats, responsible for this trashy 12”. This track was released in 1993 on the American Independence- The New York Underground compilation. They were never heard from again.
3. Another track with virtually no information to be found out in the ether. Welcoming any tips on this one!
4. Incredible post-punk with cold synths from the Netherlands. They have a wealth of unreleased material, all available on Youtube.
5. Sleazy italo disco vibes from the UK, This is their lone single, the flip being an instrumental dub version.
6. Not related to the Israeli band of the same name, but instead the second project from Jacqui Brookes, aka Shox and Intro, respectively. This is the b-side of their Catrix 7”, a much better song than the intended single.
7. The a-side from a killer post-punk/wave 7” from the US, released in 1985.
8. An old Wierd party favorite, donated by a friend some time ago. Has seen many a play on the NYC dancefloors, but I’ll be damned if I can tell you anything about this otherwise italo/synthpop smash.
9. Not related to the German synthpop titans, but instead the centerpiece of this Swedish wave band’s second record, released in 1986.
10. Neoclassical darkwave vibes from Portugal, released the mid-90s. This track hails from their third record.
11. Gloomy new wave track from a lone US 12”, released in 1986.
12. Japanese a-side, also from 1986.
13. Early Martial Canterel demo, recorded under the Moravagine alias and released on a 6 track cd-r of similarly early demos.
14. The A-side from a 1982 NDW single, released on Zenzor.
15. The standout track from this Swedish band’s lone LP from 1982. The rest of the album is a mixed bag of new wave/prog tracks, but this one is a cold gem.
16. Four piece UK band featuring frequent members and collaborators of The Chameleons, The Sun & The Moon, Black Swan Lane, etc. Features the same trademark sound as all three of these bands. Also appears in demo form under the name Music For Aborigines.
17. Standout track from this Finnish band’s debut LP, released in 1987.
18. Unreleased live track from this otherwise amazing French coldwave project, with heavy similarities to Cocteau Twins. Get their first demo tape here.
19. Unreleased demo track from these Belgian darkwave greats, whose 12” appears on these back pages as well.
20. Unreleased demo from Philippe Planchon’s post-Asylum Party project.

Vol. 8 credits:
1. Neoclassical track from the mid-90s, released on the Cantara I compilation. Christophe was mostly active in No Words.
2. Plucked from the Psycho 3 soundtrack and featuring Stanton Miranda, yet another killer collaboration between the pair that brought you Thick Pigeon and the killer Wheels Over Indian Trails 12” on Factory Benelux. This is Carter’s first soundtrack work, a world where he is still active today.
3. Unreleased demo from this UK synthpop duo.
4. Flip side from a Scandanavian synthpop single from 1983. This is the first of three singles by Ce Soir. The A-side is nice, but this is the real standout of the two.
5. Lone compilation appearance from these US goth greats. It’s by far my favorite track of theirs, with a menacing edge and a slightly questionable organ line. Released on an otherwise mixed bag compilation. Miller High Life wave?
6. Centerpiece of this French coldwave band’s CD release from 1995. Get their earlier material here.
7. Demo track from mid-90s Sweden.
8. I couldn’t tell you a thing about this one!
9. The only released track from this Belgian synth band, released on the Blitz Pop 2 compilation in 1983.
10. Standout from the 1985 Out of the Box LP, recorded in one continuous take. Another Wierd party favorite.
11. The a-side from an extremely rare UK minimal synth single, released in 1983.
12. The b-side from a US-based 7” from 1982.
13. Gloomy, standout new wave track from a lone US 12”, released in 1988. If I recall, this is the only track that sounds anything like this.
14. Unreleased track from this UK-based post-punk/goth band, originally featured on the band’s Myspace page. This one goes out to Michael B. Wood from Return of the East, who passed away recently, but not before sharing this obscure band with the world.
15. Title track from this rickety UK post-punk band’s second release from 1984.
16. Probably the most well-known band on here, if only because it features a young, pre-Nettwerk Sarah McLachlan on vocals. Originally released in 1986 on the Out of the Fog (The Halifax Underground 1986) compilation.
17. US-based 12”, named after this blog just kidding, but still a nice slice of excellent new wave from 1983.
18. Another one I know virtually nothing about, and welcome any further information!
19. AKA Hotel Hunger, a Danish post-punk band. This track hails from their first 12”, released in 1986.
20. UK-based indie-rock/pop in the style of Shop Assistants, Flying Nun records, etc. This is the title track from their 1987 12” of the same name. Thanks to Goutroy for passing on an extra copy!

Tone Set- Calibrate Mini-LP

Posted in 1980s, 1983, arizona, minimal synth, synth, synthpop, synthpunk, tone set, US on August 22, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Been slacking for a bit here, my apologies. Skipping to the top of my imaginary queue is a fresh rip of Tone Set’s classic Calibrate mini-LP/12”, released on Valentine’s Day in 1983. I originally covered this band in 2007, back when I was posting only a handful of tracks and maybe a video or two, and it took eight years to track a semi-affordable copy of this gem down. Man, time flies!

Click here for a refresher on this Arizona-based synthpunk band, who invoke the same spirit as Devo, The Units, Voice Farm, Oppenheimer Analysis, etc. It’s also worth noting here that the A-side features upbeat pop songs while the B-side features re-recorded versions of their earlier tape experiments.


Tone Set- Calibrate LP
1. Life Is Busy
2. Living In Another Land
3. Slim
4. Out Out!
5. What Good’s A Hit Song?
6. Wigglin Around In Middletown

*download it here*

More soon, I promise!

Colour Scream- 12” Discography

Posted in 1980s, 1988, 1989, new wave, synthpop, US on July 6, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

I’ve been kinda loving this band for some time, and finding a few cheap copies of their discography has solidified it over the past few weeks. Colour Scream were a US based new wave band from southern California that flirted with a variety of styles across one mini-LP and remix 12”, released in 1988 and 1989 respectively via Whet Reign Records.

I’d recommend starting with the Dance No More 12”, which features several similar remixes of the title cut, a synthpop SMASH that hits hard where it counts. Equally nasty as it is catchy, it’s definitely ripe for the dance floor. There are two additional tracks on this 12” (one that’s exclusive) that are more indicative of their overall style, a hybrid of Flock of Seagulls-esque wave with college rock leanings. Closest comparison I can come up with is the underrated Vigil LP from 1987.

If you dig the additional tracks from the 12”, there’s more to be found on the mini-LP. But even still, no track is the same, and while some are pure wave goodness, the acoustic dirge “So Long” is a standout for me, almost like a precursor to Radiohead’s “Exit Music (For a Film)” as far as mood is concerned. The version of “Dance No More” from the mini-LP is very different, more dramatic and a bit darker than the remix version, almost beatbox-esque. Kinda took me surprise after playing the hell out of the remix!

Here’s the deets:


Colour Scream- Living and Dying (1988)
1. Will My Fear
2. Across the Sky
3. Jasmines Faith
4. Walls In the Way
5. So Long
6. Dance No More


Colour Scream- Dance No More 12” (1989)
1. Dance No More (Radio Mix)
2. Across the Sky
3. The Monster and I
4. Dance No More (Sir Arthur Mix)
5. Dance No More (Tiananmen Square Mix)

*download both here*

The Severance- Dreams Of Youth 12”

Posted in 12'', 1990, 1990s, ebm, synth, synthpop, the severance on June 24, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Sometimes I forget just how much I love synthpop. We’re talking giant beats, huge hooks, almost shameless use of electronics and a tremendous command of melody. Mostly I just love stuff that sounds like classic-era Depeche Mode. Meanwhile, I picked this one up in a cheap-o bin in the bowels of NYC, and with just one glance to both the front & back covers, I knew exactly what to expect and knew it would hit that sweet spot…

This particular German 12” kicks off with a killer four-on-the-floor track. This track could have fit nicely in a set with “Strangelove,” Cetu Javu, Few Boys, Secession, Celebrate the Nun, and so on and so forth. While hearing three tracks of solid synthpop without any variation would have suited the works just fine, there’s a bit more to this record than meets the eye. While “Dreams Of Youth” will satisfy even the most thirsty of palates, the second track is the clear winner in my book, a more aggressive track with a little EBM flavor. Fans of The Arch, Aimless Device, and A Split Second should adore this one. The third track falls back to the synthpop sound, but is just as catchy as the A-side, with a slower tempo and a chirpy arpeggiator running throughout.

This is the first of three releases from The Severance, released in 1990 (arguably the peak of this sound), and I haven’t heard their 1994 LP to see how the band evolved over the years. Two members would reconvene as Winterkälte in the mid 90s, with a harsher, more industrial/ebm sound.

That all said, hope you enjoy!


The Severance- Dreams Of Youth 12”
1. Dreams of Youth
2. Electrocult
3. Crying Child

*download it here*

In other news, I just returned from San Francisco, which after a few days of record digging with Goutroy, I found some more gems to share, as well as a few to re-rip in higher quality. Stay tuned over the next few weeks for some West Coast goodies and some other surprises!

Bangah- Bangah 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, baltimore, indie, new wave, US on June 4, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s an excellent four song 12” from US band Bangah, released in 1984. The band, like most US bands featured here, were from Baltimore, which was apparently THE town for underground wave music in the States, so it seems… As for sound, Bangah employ a great mix of new wave and indie/jangle pop, with a slight Factory Records influence thrown in for good measure. My favorite here is “It Means Very Little” which reminds me of a mid-period Wake song with a more vibrant singer (think Ultravox) and excellent, icy synths. In general, the band remind me quite a bit of underrated UK bands The Icicle Works and Wild Swans.

Vocalist Eric Snyder was also active in the Ultra Violets, whose record I’ve seen in a few bins over the years but haven’t checked out yet…


Bangah- Bangah 12”
1. Every Wave
2. Trapped/Hide & Seek
3. It Means Very Little
4. Pale Fire

*download it here*

The band also appeared on Baltimore dance program Shakedown, performing an unreleased song. The audio isn’t great here, but definitely a decent look at the band in their prime:

Various Artists- 13 CD & L’Appel de la Muse LP

Posted in asylum party, coldwave, compilations, ellysgarden, france, french, goth, goth-rock, little nemo, lively art, post-punk on May 13, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s a two for Tuesday post- two indispensable French compilations that you may have seen around before over the years, but both of these may serve as upgraded versions of what’s available in the ether.

Let’s start with 13, a near-perfect sampler of the Lively Art roster released in 1990, just as the label was hitting its peak. Just one glance at the artists gives the impression that Lively Art was truly on par with Factory Records, if nowhere near as well known outside of France and Belgium. It’s easy to forget that And Also the Trees had several releases on Lively Art, since they stick out like a sore thumb amidst a slew of French coldwave bands. That said, they certainly share the label’s aesthetic, in many ways a touchstone for La Vague Froide. Otherwise, you have classic tracks by Asylum Party, Museum of Devotion, and arguably Little Nemo’s best song… Not too shabby! The CD version provided here features three additional bonus tracks, to boot- bringing the total number of tracks to…well…….

While 13 is incredibly strong, L’Appel de la Muse is an all-time favorite. Track after track of dark French perfection. This is the first of five comps bearing this title, this series was perfect for showcasing new, underground French post-punk acts, oftentimes broadening their geographical horizons over the years. This first installment was the only release on vinyl, and kicked things off for the Alea Jacta Est in 1989. Alea Jacta Est would go on to release most of Lucie Cries’ discography, as well as Ellysgarden‘s debut release. Meanwhile, there are several repeat offenders across both of these compilations. Little Nemo’s “Alan’s Waiting” appears in re-recorded form here, and this version has never been compiled elsewhere. You also have killer exclusives from Excès Nocturne, Message, and a delightfully bizarre, yet satisfying track from Medikao, just to name a few. All in all, a flawless compilation, and part of a perfect pair. Enjoy!


Various Artists- 13
1. Tribes Are Meeting- Teepee
2. Love or Madness- Asylum Party
3. This Place- Data-Bank-A
4. Lover Pot Pie- Sky Cries Mary
5. Stiff- Numb
6. City Lights- Little Nemo
7. The Party- Mary Goes Round
8. Quimbi Come Home- Museum of Devotion
9, Istante (Live)- Club De Rome
10. Anton’s Mind’s Getting Blind- Collection d’Arnell~Andréa
11. The Subject Animal- Anechoic Chamber
12. (In the) Name of Surival- Circle Confusion
13. Wallpaper Dying- And Also the Trees


Various Artists- L’Appel de la Muse
1. The Muse’s Calling- Lucie Cries
2. Froh- Clair Obscur
3. Les Enfants- L’An III
4. Sex Gore- Medikao
5. Alan’s Waiting (2nd Version)- Little Nemo
6. Excès Nocturne
7. Anastoria- Tuatha De Danann
8. The Nightmare (1st Version)- Mary Goes Round
9. The Grave- Message
10. Dreaming- Asylum Party

*download both here*

Crashblack Big Orange- Crashblack Big Orange K7

Posted in 1980s, 1989, chicago, crashblack big orange, darkwave, goth, goth-rock, post-punk, US on April 15, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Today’s post is a supplement to Goutroy’s excellent post from 2012. His original post featured the lone full length LP from Chicago based husband and wife duo Crashblack Big Orange, which was a surprisingly excellent late 80s darkwave record in the vein of Intelligence Unit, Stimmen Der Stille, Xmal Deutschland, & Insulin Reaction. I’ve always thought these guys were kind of like a gothier version of X (or even a much less campy version of Rumania-era Nuns).

In his post, Goutroy mentioned that the band released three demo tapes prior to the LP, so this is one of the three missing pieces to the puzzle. This particular demo from 1989 is a single sided, self-titled affair, and features three tracks- two of which are exclusive to this release. The final song appears on the LP as well, and doesn’t seem to be too heavily altered, so it’s hard to tell if they just re-used this version or re-recorded it in exactly the same manner. The two exclusive tracks are exactly what you’d expect if you’re already a fan of the LP. The uninitiated can expect plenty of trashy, distorted deathrock-style guitars, high energy drum patterns, a mix of excellent male and female vox, and plenty of menacing hooks to go around.


Crashblack Big Orange- Crashblack Big Orange K7
1. Voices
2. Nerves
3. Strange Sky

*download it here*

If anyone has a copies of the remaining two demos, feel free to drop a comment or an email! Would love to hear them!

The Chrome- The Same Journey 7”

Posted in 1980s, Belgian, post-punk, the chrome on March 30, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Hey kids. Still alive and kicking here, and I’ve been gathering up some cool things to share over the next handful of posts. First up is an excellent post-punk 7” from The Chrome, a Belgian band. This is the first of two releases by this four piece outfit, the second being a split 12” with De Hufters. This particular 7” was released in 1982 while the split followed a year later.

After The Chrome split sometime in the mid-80s, it seems that only one member continued on making music (that we know of!). Frank Ermgodts would go on to form The Popgun with Patrick Nicasy. Most notably for SOR readers, Frank would also sing backup vocals on Poésie Noire’s Love Is Colder Than Death LP from 1989.

Otherwise, this particular 7” is more of the same great post-punk sounds we all know and love, with a little stab of new wave sensibilities for good measure. The band reminds me quite a bit of the early Comsat Angels material, if that helps place it on the spectrum a bit. The A-side is a bit darker and edgier, while the flip side has a bit of the ol’ angular jerk to it. Either way, an excellent, if but criminally obscure slice in the post-punk cannon, hope you all enjoy!


The Chrome- The Same Journey 7”
1. The Same Journey
2. Your Eyes

*download it here*