Archive for August, 2013

The Beloved- Demos & Peel Sessions 1983-85

Posted in 1980s, 1983, 1984, 1985, post-punk, synth, the beloved on August 28, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

I’m pretty new to The Beloved, having been turned on to their early singles/Where It Is compilation LP late last year. I had originally heard their later material, generally more dance/club friendly affair in the vein of Cause & Effect, Anything Box, etc. While the UK band (now a duo) has enjoyed tons of success since embracing the electronic club scene, the Cure-loving post-punk kid in me was very surprised and excited to hear that the band’s earliest material had more in common with B-Movie, The Chameleons, Modern Eon, and other emotive post-punk bands from the turn of the decade. Sure, there were still synths around every corner, but the keyboards were more focused on mood and atmosphere, leaving the sparse hooks to the vocals, guitars, and bass. Songs like ‘Saints Become Us,’ ‘In Trouble and Shame,’ and ‘Slow Drowning’ (oh god, ESPECIALLY ‘Slow Drowning‘) quickly became all-time favorites, and moody Wierd barn-burners in the last few months of the party’s existence.

These tracks here predate even the earliest singles, and employ the same early post-punk vibes heard on the singles that followed two years later. The demos were recorded in 1983/1984, and the peel sessions were recorded in 1985, just before the release of their first singles.  Only two tracks from the Peel Sessions would appear on various singles, the aforementioned ‘Trouble and Shame’ and the excellent ‘A Hundred Words.’  ‘The Flame’ appears as both a Peel cut as well as a demo, while the rest of these tracks are new- two of which were recorded as The Journey Through, as the band was known until guitarist Guy Gausden joined.  My favorite of the entire lot is easily ‘Privacy (Sometimes),’ which features the same sort of arpeggiated gloom explored in ‘Slow Drowning’– perhaps the track evolved from this early demo, but either way, I love that song so much it’s great to hear something that lives in the same world… 

All of these tracks (and more spanning the band’s career) were originally made available on The Beloved’s website, where you can also hear newer material and read up on the band over the years. So with that in mind, please excuse the bitrate. I normally handle my own rips and give you guys the best quality possible these days, but in light of what’s available, I feel these tracks deserve to be heard regardless, so I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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The Beloved- Demos 1983-1984
1. The Flame
2. A Search
3. The Last Detail
4. Privacy (Sometimes)

*tracks 1-2 recorded as The Journey Through (though I have them tagged here as The Beloved for easy organisation)

The Beloved- Peel Session Jan. 1985
1. The Flame
2. A Hundred Words
3. Idyll
4. A Beautiful Waste of Time

The Beloved- Peel Session Oct. 1985
1. So Seldom Solemn
2. In Trouble and Shame
3. Jospehine
4. Up A Tree

*download everything here*

Sculpteurs D’Ombres- L’Ange Noir 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1987, coldwave, france, french, post-punk, sculpteurs d'ombres on August 22, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Apologies for being sparse these days, but I’ve been keeping busy with a new project.  That said, here’s an amazing 7” from France, private pressing from 1987.  Great coldwave sounds on both tracks, gloomy yet driving- the perfect combination.  Both tracks are both dark and incredibly catchy, with deep French vocals.  Hooks all around, driving drums (edit-thanks for clarifying, Phil). Really, the perfect package.

There’s not much more I can tell you about this band, though I’ve been told that there may be more material out there waiting to be revealed.  I shall certainly update this post if and when there’s news or more info to be had!  Otherwise, I promise to be more active in the coming weeks…

Thanks to Phil for filling in a few gaps in the comments:
Our group became “In Extremis”. We composed some good songs in the southwest of France (Hossegor) then we separated some years later. I regret it now. Thank you for your compliments. I still have some 45 tours vinyl to me, if somebody is interested.

 

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Sculpteurs D’Ombres- L’Ange Noir 7”
1. L’Ange Noir
2. Later in the Night

*download it here*

Psi Com- Worktape 1 and Demos

Posted in 1980s, 1984, alternative, deathrock, goth, goth-rock, jane's addiction, LA, los angeles, mazzy star, perry farrell, post-punk, psi com, red temple spirits, US on August 12, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

psi com group 2

Before there was Jane’s Addiction, there was Psi Com, a post-punk/deathrock band fronted by Perry Farrell.  The band released one demo tape and one 12” (re-released on CD and 10” in the mid-90s) in 1985.  The band began in 1983, when Perry answered an ad from guitarist Vince Duran looking for a drummer, as his fledgling band was primarily using a drum machine.  Instead, Farrell took over as vocalist, adding Rich Evac on bass, Aaron Sherer on drums, and Mariska Lassius on keyboards.  This was the lineup for their demo tape that was eventually sold at shows in 1984 with elaborate packaging reminiscent of Independent Project Records releases.  The photo above depics the lineup for these recordings.  Soon after the demo was released, Lassius and Evac left the band, replaced by bassist Kelly Wheeler for their 12” sessions.

Based heavily in the psychedelic roots of Pink Floyd as well as the UK post-punk movement, Psi Com’s sound was much more in line with Savage Republic, The Ex, and Bauhaus than the horror punk sound that was developing on the West Coast.   If anything, Psi Com was a vessel for the Red Temple Spirits sound moreso than the hedonistic excesses of Jane’s Addiction, though both bands continued exploring their psychedelic influences and alternative leanings.  Even Perry Farrell’s trademark wail is downplayed on these recordings, though there’s no mistaking it during certain key passages.

Psi Com broke up suddenly in 1985, after gaining a heavy local following.  Legend has it that Eric Avery, bassist for Jane’s Addiction, was drafted as a new bassist for Psi Com, changing direction as Stephen Perkins and Dave Navarro joined.  Bassist Kelly Wheeler played briefly with Dino Paredes of Red Temple Spirits, and Aaron Sherer eventually retired from music after playing drums on several tracks from Mazzy Star’s excellent Among My Swan LP.

Here we have a fan circulated collection of demos and additional tracks, including the debut Worktape cassette as well a series of studio recordings and instrumentals that originally appeared on a Jane’s Addiction bootleg CD from 1991.  While the 12” has received a fair amount of attention as Farrell’s pre-Jane’s vessel, these demos are still rather obscure, and definitely worth hearing even if you’re not a fan of what came next. 

psi com worktape art

Psi Com- Worktape 1 and Demos
1. Hopeful
2. Them
3. Psi Com Theme
4. 14th Floor
5. Cat
6. Karuna
7. 14th Floor (Instrumental)
8. Cat (Instrumental)
9. Karuna (Instrumental)

*download it here*

The Unknown- Fall LP

Posted in 1980s, 1990, 1990s, baltimore, post-punk on August 2, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s another joint post with A Viable Commercial- this time bringing you the full discography of Baltimore post-punk/indie band The Unknown.  Their first album is an excellent hybrid of Unforgettable Fire-era U2, early For Against, and Grapes of Wrath, with some slight Bolshoi vibes here and there.  They also remind me quite a bit of 86, an Atlanta band with similar influences.  Goutroy turned me on to the first record, especially the final song “Songinsee” and I was hooked instantly.  Seriously one of the best songs I’ve heard in a while, tested successfully at a night I just recently DJed at. Nothing like trying a new, obscure obsession out for the first time and receiving a positive response- the crowd kept dancing for all six minutes of the song.

The band was tough to trace at first, as their name is not only difficult to Google in general, but virtually impossible to narrow down on discogs due to the 30+ other projects with that name. After some finesse, I was able to find both albums for a fair price, and ripped them both.  You can get their debut, self-titled record (even harder to Google) from 1987 HERE via A Viable Commercial, and I’ll be posting the second record, released three years later.  While 1990 was an otherwise dark and barren period for this sort of sound (and perhaps that’s exactly why these two LPs couldn’t find a bigger audience), their sophomore record holds up as a worthy successor to the first.   The general vibe is the same, though the band plays slightly heavier on this record, perhaps a reflection on the indie/alternative scene that was just starting to break at the time.  There’s nothing on this album that’s as perfect as “Songinsee” but it’s still a great listen from front to back.

This album was released on Merkin Records, a rather…curious name for a record label, especially with bands such as Meatjack, Monkeyspank, and Buttsteak filling up the roster…  Can’t comment on any of those bands, but if they aren’t in the Jesus Lizard/Meat Puppets sort of vein, I’d be surprised.

Anyway, The Unknown split after this second record, but reunited in 2012, playing some shows in hometown Baltimore, most infamously at The Ottobar, which I’ve actually played at as well.  Not sure what the future holds for The Unknown, but hopefully these posts help the band find a new audience!

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The Unknown- Fall
1. Empty House Of Night
2. Reasons
3. Route 99
4. Handwriting
5. Green Room
6. As They Sleep (Rachael)
7. Fall

*download it here*