Archive for November, 2013

Various Artists- Treviso Underground Vol. 1: Nuovo Rock/Wave

Posted in 1980s, coldwave, italian, post-punk on November 27, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s an amazing Italian cassette compilation from 1988, generously ripped by Carlo. This is the first in a two part series of homebrew tape compilations from the 80s featuring bands from the Treviso region of Northern Italy. This edition focuses on new wave and post-punk bands, while the second volume caters more towards experimental and ambient bands. You can get the second volume here.

I was originally drawn to this cassette via Wax Heroes and Scent Merci, two excellent post-punk bands that only have a handful of releases between them.  However, the entire compilation is awesome, with the exception of the Nicotine Spyral Surfers songs, which aren’t bad if you prefer things on the more garage-y side. However, the true standout to me is Inside Loneliness, a band who truly invokes the cold Cure-esque vibes of Seventeen Seconds as well as other bands of that ilk.  I can’t get enough of “It’s Over Again,” (which builds to the same simple, but perfect chord progression as The Chameleons’ “Second Skin”), while their second track here is no slouch, either.  Inside Loneliness also contributed more tracks (including an alternate version of “It’s Over Again” that lacks the synth intro) to the Opere Senze Ombre compilation, which features the German Shadowplay, Opera Multi Steel, and the Venus Fly Trap. As you can see, that compilation wasn’t as ethnocentric as this one is, but is still worth hearing and can be found here.

As for the rest of the bands here, Domus Tedii plays a darker, organ driven style of post-punk, while Em’s Dream all but sounds like Robert Smith singing.  In fact, Marathon’s contribution is also reminiscent of the Cure’s Head On the Door/Kiss Me period (see above), with the trademark keyboard flute sounds and sad, yet boisterous melody.  Turbe Psichiche Di Origine Dolosa are the most punk-inspired of the bands, with backing vocals that are both anthemic as well as slightly Byrds-esque.  Aside from Inside Loneliness, my other favorite track on this compilation comes from Lacrima Christi, with some great cold sounds and solid atmosphere.  I’m not sure if this is the same band that appears on a 1991 compilation, but I’d love to hear more from them either way.

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Various Artists- Treviso Underground Vol. 1: Nuovo Rock/Wave
1. Miky Mouse- Wax Heroes
2. Wake Me Up Wizard!- Wax Heroes
3. It’s Over Again- Inside Loneliness
4. Trees Out of My Way- Inside Loneliness
5. School Days II- Scent Merci
6. The Bright Moonlight- Scent Merci
7. You Make Me Fly (So High)- Nicotine Spyral Surfers
8. Are You Surprised?- Nicotine Spyral Surfers
9. Non Presenza- Domus Tedii
10. Rachele- Lacrima Christi
11. Bloodless (Not Buried)- Em’s Dream
12. Sun of the Awning- Marathon
13. Questo E’ Il Tuo Giorno- Turbe Psichiche Di Origine Dolosa

*download it here*

 

Thanks again, Carlo!

Bloody Ice- Bloody Ice 12”

Posted in 1990s, 1993, bloody ice, ebm, electro, electronic, industrial, placebo records on November 18, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Second post in one day, this one as a request from Goutroy over at A Viable Commercial, who featured one track off this scarce 12” on his latest various artists compilation.  The song “Dying in Arms” was my favorite from the compilation, and I’ve since tracked down the full 12”, which employs the same bleak industrial/ebm sounds throughout.  If you like Front Line Assembly and the Klinik, this one is definitely for you…

Bloody Ice was the moniker for German musician Eini, who co-founded Placebo Records in 1993 to release his own recordings.  The label is also responsible for the amazing New Dimension 12” (which has since disappeared from the blogosphere).  This appears to be the only Bloody Ice release, though “Dying in Arms” also appears on the Nyctalopia Compilation from the same year and an “Intro” track appears on To Be Stun, a CD compilation.  Eini was also involved with Kabelbrandt, who were even less prolific.  You can find a track of theirs on Strange Sounds Vol. 2.

According to a website run by Eini, The Bloody Ice tracks were recorded in a span of two years before being released in 1993.  At this point in time, vinyl was on the decline, and with only 300 copies pressed, this one is hard to come by.  The LP was released on Blood Red vinyl (naturally), and both sides of this 12” have different playback aspects, depending on where you drop the needle.  Side A only has the first two songs back to back, and you can only listen to the “Senses in Crossfire” and “French Girl” by placing the needle elsewhere.   Meanwhile, Side B is a double groove, so there’s a 50/50 chance of hearing either “Dying In Arms” or “Firehouse.”

The question here is, “do you feel lucky…?”

bloody ice

Bloody Ice- Bloody Ice 12”
1. Bloody Ice
2. Rullas Gyros
3. Senses In Crossfire
4. French Girl
5. Dying In Arms
6. Firehouse

*download it here*

Quite Simple- Victims 7” & Unknown Stranger LP

Posted in 1980s, 1987, 1989, darkwave, Dutch, goth, goth-rock, post-punk on November 18, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

I have two posts today, both request from friends so I thought I’d drop both on you in one day.  This first post fulfills a request by Xerfrank for the official discography of post-punk/goth band Quite Simple, from Holland.  I’ve seen these two records go for moderate prices over the years, so they certainly warrant some more attention for those unaware of the band.

Fans of hook-driven Leeds bands such as March Violets and the Lorries should love this one, straight down to the male/female vocal dynamics and big, shameless production.   For a private pressing, the production on the LP is especially impressive, and sometimes it sounds like the LP is only a major label away from being Floodland II.

Unknown Stranger was released in 1989, while the 7” (which I prefer by a small margin) was released in 1987.  There’s also another track released on the Made In Brabant compilation in 1987, and since that collection pre-dates the LP as well, I’m assuming the recording of “Visions” from the compilation is different than what would appear two years later.  If anyone has this compilation, feel free to drop a line!   Otherwise, enjoy!

quite simple

Quite Simple- Victims 7” (1987)
1. Victims
2. Light In the Dark

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Quite Simple- Unknown Stranger LP (1989)
1. Unknown Stranger
2. Mistery of the Night
3. Visions
4. Age of Miracles
5. China Town
6. Curious Eyes
7. Nightmare
8. Out of the Spirit World

*download both here*

Here Today- Whistle In the Yard 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1983, goth, here today, new wave, post-punk, vigil on November 13, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

I’ve always had a soft spot for the self-titled Vigil record, which I first heard via Hi-Fi Hillary.  The album has made the blog circuits before, and is notorious for being the first rock album to have been recorded and mixed digitally.  It was released on Chrysalis records in 1987, and while a vinyl pressing of the LP and the I Am Waiting 12” can be easily found for a few bucks (I have bought/passed out several copies among friends and DJs in the scene), the CD is much more scarce, fetching between $40-60 bucks whenever it pops up.  The album is a hybrid of catchy new wave hooks and post-punk guitars, a bit of grit beneath the gloss.   I’ve always dug it.

However, before Vigil there was Here Today, who formed in Baltimore in 1983 (see also The Mission, Immortal, and The Unknown for more flagship acts of Baltimore’s fertile post-punk scene).  They recorded just one 3-track 12” in 1983, before courting major label interest from CBS.  Without swapping band members, they changed their name to Vigil and began work on their debut record in 1984.   However, the A&R rep who signed the band departed CBS, and the band agreed to a buyout in order to sign with Chrysalis records.  This entire process took three years, and the band were soon dropped after contributing a song to the Nightmare on Elm Street 4 soundtrack, but the title track of this 12” survived the test of time, with a re-recorded version appearing on the Vigil LP.   The Here Today version of the track is leaner, meaner, and darker, and the two b-sides are exclusive to this release.  While ‘Whistle’ is still the standout, the other tracks are enjoyable.  “In the Maze” is a slow, bass driven dirge that picks up mid-way through, while “Del Centro 86/99” is a futuristic themed track that sounds like a hybrid of Devo and Bauhaus’ more spastic tracks (“Kamikaze Dive”).

Meanwhile, Vigil recorded a second album after leaving Chrysalis, which was self-released on cassette in the late 1980s.   There are plans to reissue the first Vigil album in 2014, so perhaps the second album and other assorted rarities will see the light of day.  You can find Vigil here on Facebook for any future updates.

whistle in the yard

Here Today- Whistle In the Yard 12”
1. Whistle In the Yard
2. Del Centro 86/89
3. In the Maze

*download it here*

Jo Connor has also uploaded a bunch of live Vigil clips from 1986.  Click here to check out his youtube page.  I also remember seeing an official video for the re-recorded version of “Whistle in the Yard,” but it must have been removed.  I’ll link it here if I ever come across it again!

The Floor- Discography

Posted in 2000s, 2003, 2005, canadian, edmonton, post-punk, synth, the floor on November 5, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

The+Floor

A good friend of mine recently gave me some sage advice.  To paraphrase, he mentioned that it’s a crime to dig too much into the distant past, for fear of ignoring more recent bands who are making incredible music.  By doing this, it only dooms modern bands to the same fate as their forgotten predecessors.

I can’t agree more, and while I’m still on the hunt for forgotten 80s treasures (and have plenty more coming in the mail, mind you), there are quite a few bands from the turn of the century that have already fallen by the wayside in lieu of their more Pitchfork-centric peers.   While the post-punk resurgence of the mid-2000s wasn’t the true second coming we all hoped it would be, there are still several bands who managed to make some incredible music, overshadowed by bands like Interpol, The Strokes, The Rapture, etc., who dominated the scene.

I received a lot of great feedback about Branches, another band that Jason recommended and shared a rip of here, and with his advice in mind, I plan to share a handful of more recent bands that we’re both fond of.  First up is The Floor, a Canadian band who flirted with electronics, classic post-punk bass tones, and shoegaze textures, mixing those timelessly great techniques with big hooks, solid musicianship, and killer songs.  I discovered their only full length back in 2006, shortly after it was released, and it’s a seasonal favorite.  Over the years, I’ve clocked more plays on Personnel than I have any other album from that era, and know the whole record like the back of my hand.  However, I hadn’t heard anything else from them, and as like many bands from that era (including many of my own), I presume they broke up soon after.

However, Jason was able to provide a rip of the two EPs that preceded Personnel, completing the official discography.  The EPs are just as good, as one might suspect…  In general, fans of bands like The Chameleons, A Flock of Seagulls, and For Against’s December should LOVE these guys, and I hope you enjoy these records as much as I do…

doll

The Floor- Doll (2003)
1. Catastrophe
2. Seconds Later
3. Feature 74
4. Doll
5. Warning Signs
6. Mistake to Make
7. Daffodil

Autonomy+OffOn+Cover

The Floor- Autonomy Off/On (2003)
1. Drown Inside
2. Isolene, I
3. Automation
4. Impossible
5. Noncom
6. Blank Reaction
7. Cloud of Blinding Light

personnel

The Floor- Personnel (2005)
1. Fallout Forever
2. Someone Else
3. In the New World
4. The Guilt of Silence
5. Personnel
6. Glass Heart
7. Freeze/Frame
8. What Do You Know?
9. Occur
10. Never After
11. Alone On Your Own

*download all three here*