Archive for the 1980s Category

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*

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*

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!)

The Myst- Nothing Can Stop Me 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1987, new wave, ohio, the myst, US on March 6, 2022 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s a very rare new wave-infused 7” from the US, one that’s been under-the-radar for me for some time now. I finally decided to spring for a copy just to quell my curiosity. The Myst were a trio from Ohio, and this is the only recording that I’m aware of. A single, lone 7” from 1987, when hair metal ruled the world.

Now, the original Discogs listing (since changed) is a bit misleading, as I wouldn’t really call this post-punk OR coldwave (especially by the American definition), though it’s not a completely unrelated genre trying to pass off as dark synth, which is a thing I’ve seen far too much out there (hint hint, sellers). That said, I’d say there’s a lot more of a new wave and light indie rock/jangle/power-pop flavor here, which is certainly a vibe I can hang with all the same. Some R.E.M. touchstones, though obviously not mysterious or esoteric as their earlier material. Both tracks could have appeared on a late 80s film soundtrack, especially the first song, with its uplifting chorus (get the girl, get the job, nothing can stop me, yeah!). I slightly prefer the b-side, myself. In general, I’m here for those guitar tones, and both tracks deliver in spades here. This might fit nicely in a playlist with The Psalms 7”.

After releasing this single, The Myst were never heard from again. Perhaps one of their members developed the popular 90s point-and-click computer game? 🤔 Bad jokes and associations aside, here’s the deets for this single. Let me know what you make of it!

The Myst- Nothing Can Stop Me 7”
1. Nothing Can Stop Me
2. Shattered Dreams

*download it here*

 

Anodyne- Anacelica 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1985, anodyne, post-punk, US on October 20, 2021 by Frankie Teardrop

Second post for today, ladies and gents. This one in particular may look unassuming from its white label, cover-less presentation, but contained within are two of the best DIY post-punk tracks I’ve heard in a second. This particular band hails from Alabama, and they appear to have only self-released this one single in 1985. Copies of this one can prove to be quite scarce, though maybe this post will help shed some light on this otherwise mysteriously obscure band who take their name from either a 19th century term for a painkilling breed of medicinal drugs or a term for something “inoffensive.” My guess is the reference refers to the former…

As for touchstones, you can expect some Three Imaginary Boys-esque post-punk (ie, a Buzzcocks sense of songwriting with darker overtones) though of course there might be a little bit of Bauhaus in the otherwise driving, monotone vocals. I’m reminded a bit of Here Today, a similarly influenced band who were from Baltimore. Either way, both tracks here have become favorites in recent months. Enjoy!

Anodyne- Anacelica 7”
1. Anacelica
2. The Sea

*download it here*

Again & Again & Again – Dreams Are Never Enough / Forever 7”s

Posted in 1980s, 1982, 1983, new jersey, new wave, post-punk, US on October 20, 2021 by Frankie Teardrop

I’m going to attempt a DOUBLE post today, so bear with me, folks. Here we have two obscure 7”s from New Jersey-based post-punk band Again & Again & Again. Just you try and Google that name, I triple dog dare you…

This four piece released these two singles in 1982 and 1983 respectively. The first single has a bit of a power pop vibe for the first track, which may be appealing to some of y’all. I vastly prefer the b-side of this one overall, though your mileage may vary. The second single is my preferred offering from this band, as both tracks have that early, rickety post-punk sound I tend to go wild for in general.

Both singles were released on Public Records, who were based out of Pittsburgh, PA. In general, it’s always great to hear new US-based bands with this style/sound. With that in mind, here’s the download/rundown:

Again & Again & Again- Dreams Are Never Enough 7” (1982)
1. Dreams Are Never Enough
2. Hello Angel

Again & Again & Again- Forever 7” (1983)
1. Forever
2. A Cold Place

*download both here*

Selena Moor- Medio Eva LP

Posted in 1980s, 1988, darkwave, ethereal, neoclassical, selena moor, still life on September 21, 2021 by Frankie Teardrop

A few posts back, I alluded to this stunning LP on Angel Records, the Italian label owned and operated by Fotoscura. This lone LP by Selena Moor was released in 1988 on the label, and is truly gorgeous in every which way. Despite the name on the sleeve, this is not a solo artist, but instead a four piece band that formed in the wake of Still Life, a more proper post-punk project with some crossover sounds. This LP continues in their footsteps, but adds a heavy ethereal atmosphere that should be perfect for those ready to slip into Autumn. Obvious touchstones here include Dead Can Dance, mid-period Cocteau Twins, but also Black Tape for a Blue Girl. While there are some very delicate passages on this LP, there’s also plenty of driving force throughout, just enough to keep things grounded.

After this LP, Giulia Lippolis went on to sing with Engel Der Vernichtung, who continue on unraveling the ethereal/darkwave/neoclassical threads here.

Without any further ado, the details:

Selena Moor- Medio Eva LP
1. Oasi Mandarina
2. Oniria Nel Quadro
3. Mahijora
4. Islanda
5. Orizzonte
6 Agueira #1
7. Aurore
8. Agueira #2

*download it here*

PS- for those hip to “the social media,” I’ve started an Instagram account for the blog, which you can find over here (systemsofromanceblog). Follow if you like, and see you soon enough!