Archive for the indie Category

The Bell Jar- Beginnings of Ends 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1986, indie, post-punk, US on September 16, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

I have this ritual where I occasionally parse my shelves and purge a dozen or so records every now and then to make room for all the new things coming in. Quality over quantity in a city where every square foot is key. Sometimes, I’ve purged records I’ve re-bought later down the line, misjudging them, or changing my mind in a very expensive manner. In this case, this one made the latest pile of purges, but after listening one last time, I realized it’s actually better than I remembered!

That all said, this is the first 12” from The Bell Jar, a post-punk/indie band based from California who take their name from the Sylvia Plath novel. This record was released in 1986 on Out There Records, with a full length LP appearing a year later. I haven’t heard that one just yet. As for the sound, this one definitely fits in with a lot of the C86 things happening at the time, falling right in line with the Mighty Lemon Drops (especially in the vocals), Echo and the Bunnymen, Railyway Children, Icicle Works, etc. It also reminds me of a less bleak version of the Black Sea LP. I could do without the Dylan-esque “Kid Talk,” but “Walking Through Fire” is wonderful, and the prominent synths in “Where To From Here” are equally excellent.

1. Walking Through The Fire
2. Kid Talk
3. Where To From Here
4. Jimmy’s Cold December
5. Water

*download it here*

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…

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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:

The Wild Flowers- Melt Like Ice & Things Have Changed 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1983, 1984, indie, mighty lemon drops, post-punk, the wild flowers, uk on February 13, 2012 by Frankie Teardrop

Many thanks to Jeffo for ripping these early singles from The Wild Flowers. If you aren’t already familiar with this UK based post-punk band (most famous, perhaps, thanks to Mighty Lemon Drops guitarist Dave Newton’s involvement), grab their first LP over at Phoenix Hairpins. I listen to that LP at least once a week, and I’m not one to get too repetitious with my listening habits, so that’s saying something…

The version of “Melt Like Ice” was released in 1983, and is rather different than the version we’ve all come to know and love. I can’t rank one over the other, but folks seem to prefer the 7” version. The second A-side is the same as the LP version, so you won’t find it zipped up here. However, both B-sides, two excellent slices of post-punk bliss, are contained within. Dig it:

The Wild Flowers- Melt Like Ice 7” (1983)
1. Melt Like Ice
2. The Chosen Proof

The Wild Flowers- Things Have Changed (Which Should Have Stayed The Same) 7” (1984)
1. Things Have Changed (Which Should Have Stayed The Same)
2. Second Thought

*download both here*

EDIT: Reuploaded 2.28.12—-> I obtained a test pressing of the Melt Like Ice 7” and decided to make a follow up rip, as the one previously posted here has a little bit of sibilance issues on the first 7” only.

The Pollen- Factory Hours 12” & Contrasts CD

Posted in 1980s, 1989, adrian borland, coldwave, dreampop, french, indie, post-punk, the pollen, the sound on December 12, 2011 by Frankie Teardrop

For those who enjoyed the Pollen LP posted a few entries back, here’s a post that is both supplemental and one which renders the previous post obsolete. Contained within we have the band’s 12” release, Factory Hours, as well as the CD issue of Contrasts, complete with several bonus tracks plucked from the band’s 12” releases from the era. So if you dug the mini-LP, be sure to download this one as well, for additional songs and higher fidelity! “Factory Walk” is also a killer track, complete with that Touching Pop sound we all know and love, with poppier and more celtic inspired b-sides. Your mileage may vary on those.

That said, still a plethora of enjoyable tracks to be found here, so have at it!

The Pollen- Factory Hours 12”
1. Factory Hours
2. (In Your) Head
3. Bushes and Briars

The Pollen- Contrasts CD
1. Nurturing Desire
2. Passionate Reading
3. Military Tactics
4. Dream
5. Like the Wind
6. Killer
7. Heathen World
8. Peel the Skin
9. Faraway
10. Hard Times
11. Breaking Out

*download both here*

The Pollen- Contrasts Mini-LP

Posted in 1980s, 1989, adrian borland, coldwave, dreampop, french, indie, post-punk, the pollen, the sound on October 14, 2011 by Frankie Teardrop

A recent, but welcome discovery, I’ve had this record in my possession for a few weeks now, and I’m just now finally able to offer it up here for you all to enjoy. Here we have a mini-LP from French band The Pollen, produced by The Sound’s Adrian Borland. Naturally, you can expect some great post-punk sounds here, more of the dreamy variety. The album strikes me as a cross between Lush & Lively Art acts, with a little bit of that Borland magic thrown in for good measure.

Released in 1989, this record is a vast improvement over their unfocused full length, released the same year (I’m guessing, as there’s no date on this LP and sources on the Adrian Borland tribute page also peg 1989 for this one as well). The full length seems a little more indie-flavored, as opposed to the cold sounds on this release, but perhaps I’ll reassess it down the line. I also have a 12” from the same era that fits more with this album, and will post that as soon as I have the chance!

The Pollen- Contrasts Mini-LP
1. Killer
2. Military Tactics
3. Faraway
4. Like The Wind
5. Peel The Skin
6. Breaking Out
7. Hard Times

Check here for the CD rip for this & a bonus 12”.

We Are Going To Eat You- Everywhen LP

Posted in 1980s, 1989, indie, paisley underground, post-punk, uk, we are going to eat you on August 3, 2011 by Frankie Teardrop

This one may border conspicuously on 80s indie turf, but it’s been hitting the spot lately as the summer creeps on and my interests turn to more guitar driven tunes.

In all honesty, I’ve had this 1989 LP kicking around for a while now, purchased sealed for a dollar at an upstate NY record fair (other scores included Trisomie 21’s Playing the Pictures and the Winter Hours record I posted ages ago). It took a post over at Kentucky Fried Wave to remind me that I had it lying around, unopened and deserving of a rip.

You can read quite a bit about these guys via Kill Your Pet Puppy, where you can also find their first two 12” EPs and a slew of photos. Pretty much all you could ever want to know about them appears in their writeup, so check it out!

As far as touchstones are concerned, this album does fit in quite nicely with the likes of the 80s paisley underground. Fans of Rain Parade, Winter Hours, early R.E.M., and Game Theory should be familiar with the sounds, which with a female singer in tow, also remind me of Ghost Dance and latter-day Xmal Deutschland. For me, the LP starts pleasantly enough but ends on the stronger side, with tracks such as “If You Believe” and “Her Dreamworld” standing out and giving it a bit of that dark flavor I like so much. Don’t take my word for it, however. Here’s the info:

We Are Going to Eat You- Everywhen LP
1. Photograph
2. Heart In Hand
3. This Conspiracy
4. Each Life A Mystery
5. Glory
6. Ride Upon The Tide
7. Eye To Eye
8. On A Day Like This
9. Just Another One
10. Here Always
11. If You Believe
12. Her Dreamworld

*download it here*

This LP was released on TVT records, which had a series of successful LPs (The KLF, Nine Inch Nails) under their belt. With that in mind, this band earned a bit of commercial attention, and filmed a video for “Each Life a Mystery.” Peep it here:

My Dad Is Dead- The Best Defense LP

Posted in 1988, indie, my dad is dead, post-punk, US on July 22, 2011 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s a collection of rarities by My Dad Is Dead, a post-punk/indie project from Cleveland, Ohio. My Dad Is Dead formed in 1984 after the breakup of Riot Architecture, and since then has been primarily a solo outfit for drummer Mark Edwards. Revolving door lineups came and went over the years, and the band enjoyed some underground success as well as opening spots for bands such as Modern English and Butthole Surfers.

Edwards is still active to date, releasing MDID records well into the 2000s. Recently, Edwards put the lid on MDID and is now working under the moniker Secular Joy. A debut LP is currently in the works.

This particular collection consists of several leftovers from the band’s early career. Tracks 1, 3, and 10 were slated for a 1987 EP release, while the rest of the tracks are a combination of album sessions (recorded during the Let’s Skip the Details sessions) and home 4 track demos. The sounds here are definitely raw and guitar-driven, definitely recommended for fans of Big Black, Game Theory, Husker Du, early R.E.M., etc. Not a sound generally explored on this blog, but a cool record by a cool band that some of you may find enjoyable. It’s certainly hitting the spot during this NYC summer heat wave. Here’s the info:

My Dad Is Dead- The Best Defense
1. In The Morning
2. When The Elephants Fight, The Grass Gets Trampled
3. Anti-Socialist 2
4. For Your Trouble
5. Pile It On
6. Cut Out
7. It’s Not What You Said
8. Chopsticks
9. Hole In My Eye
10. The Best Defense

*download it here*

Note: You can get a lower bitrate recording of this release (as well as enjoy several other freebies) via the band’s website, viewable here. Lots of information and multimedia for anyone curious about the band’s history!