Archive for the post-punk Category

The Archaic Smile- Last Words 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1981, post-punk, the archaic smile, uk on December 1, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

Sorry for the delay, y’all. I have  few things ripped to wrap up the year, so I hope to trickle out a few more posts before 2017 comes and goes. First up, here’s an excellent two-track 7” from 1981. In true DIY fashion, this is The Archaic Smile’s only release, on an unheard of label featuring a two tone paper sleeve. Sadly, there’s not much I can tell you about the band itself, outside of a probable origin in Yorkshire, Englad, so we’ll have to let the music stand for itself.

With that in mind, I don’t care too much for the A-side, a spastic number that seems more influenced by the likes of XTC and early Elvis Costello. It’s sufficiently springy and energetic, and thus, your mileage may vary on this. The real winner here is the B-side, a heavier, darker, and more driving affair that seems more inspired by Bauhaus and Joy Division, as if the band was aiming to wrap up the two polar post-punk extremes into one compact single. If that was the intention, it definitely succeeds! The single reminds me quite a bit of the Pop Stress single overall- especially the dynamic between sides as well as the sonic textures explored on each.

On that note, here’s the details:

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The Archaic Smile- Last Words 7”
1. Last Words
2. Never Spoken

*download it here*

Razor Penguins- Discography

Posted in 1980s, 1981, 1986, cassette, demo, goth, goth-rock, post-punk, razor penguins, US on October 24, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

As the wind picks up and the sun sets earlier, I find myself clutching my post-punk records close to the chest. What better time than to post the full 7” discography by US goth/post-punk band Razor Penguins. Though they sound inspired by both the UK scene as well as the budding LA “desert-goth” scene at the time, the band hailed from Columbus, Ohio.

These two releases appeared with a five year gap in between, quite a long time to wait for a follow up… The first 7” is incredible, both tracks gloomy and incisive as ever. “Paris” sounds right at home with Lung Overcoat, another US band with a similarly UK-inspired sound. The flip is far gloomier, with a nasty churning guitar working its way throughout much of the backing track. The second 7” is a bit more of an instrumental affair, though their style hadn’t changed much in five years. The title track has a bit of spoken word vibe throughout, while the second song is a straight instrumental, akin to the likes of the recent Savage Republic reissues which stripped their otherwise classic material of vocals.

I’ve also included a demo tape that’s been floating around the web elsewhere, in case you may have missed it on other blogs… I can’t take credit for the cassette rip, which is extremely murky and is very likely a transcode, but in case you want more Razor Penguins, this cassette features seven unfamiliar songs that may have been slated for a full length record. The only track that appears in duplicate here is “The Math Professor,” which may explain the single’s otherwise demo-esque vibe… I don’t have a year on the cassette, but I reckon it was recorded between 81 and 85…

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Razor Penguins- Paris 7” (1981)
1. Paris
2. Indifference

Razor Penguins- Demo K7 (???)
1. The Math Professor
2. Less
3. Tides and the Moon
4. Untitled 1
5. At All
6. Exchanges
7. No Expectations
8. Untitled II

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Razor Penguins- The Math Professor 7” (1985)
1. The Math Professor
2. August

*download all three here*

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.

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

*download it here*

The Lucy Show- Extended Play 12”

Posted in 12'', 1980s, 1984, canadian, new wave, post-punk, the lucy show on August 26, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

I’ve covered The Lucy Show here a few times before, and even after all these years, they remain an absolute favorite of the era, a band whose records I cherish deeply and would never leave home without. They’ve never been the rarest band on these pages, with most of their releases in mass production and easily found in used bins across the states, but it’s never really about the rareness, is it? Note for note, The Lucy Show deliver, and this EP is of no exception, featuring three exclusive tracks and what appears to be a slightly different and darker version of the “Resistance,” one of many highlights from their debut album Undone.

It’s hard to tell without exact release dates, but this EP appears to predate both the Electric Dreams 7” as well as their first LP, which might explain the more club-friendly sound from Leonardo Da Vinci still intact here. The lead-off track is a forever favorite, and appears in nearly all my post-punk focused DJ sets these days, though it’s always hard to pick just one from this band.

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The Lucy Show- Extended Play 12”
1. The Price of Love
2. Resistance
3. See It Goes
4. Is It

*download it here*

The Blessed- Taboo 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1985, goth, post-punk, the blessed, US on August 23, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

I was out last night with a few pals, digging through my favorite NYC record store bin when I came across this one. At first glance, the cover piqued my interest, and after a ten-second preview at the listening station (I am often quick to judge), I was sold. This particular slice of wax is the second release from The Blessed, a US-based post-punk band. Their first 7”, a more traditional punk affair, fetches obscene prices, but this particular record can be found for just a few bucks. The stylistic change makes sense given the gap between releases (six years), as this record definitely adds a darker approach to an already incisive guitar palate.

As for the songs- I could do without the first track’s lyrics and vocal melodies (though I do enjoy the prominent synth stabs), but the following tracks definitely have a fair amount of bite to them, a welcome addition to the mid-80s goth/post-punk cannon. Hope you enjoy!

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The Blessed- Taboo 12”
1. Rubbernecking
2. Rags to Riches
3. Potter’s Field

*download it here*

Various Artists- Unexpected Silenzio 12”

Posted in 12'', 1980s, 1986, ambient, canadian, compilations, dark ambient, moonlight society, odds, post-punk, silent sound on August 8, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

I picked up this particular 12” on a more recent carpet bombing of a NYC shop, and I’ve been meaning to share it for some time. Released in Canada on Bad Zoo Records in 1986, this collection features three vastly different bands and two styles that don’t seem to go together on paper, but make for a very enjoyable compilation EP.

I’m particularly wild about the first track, “People Walk on By” from Moonlight Society, a band who dominates the a-side with their Chameleons-inspired post-punk. Lots of guitar interplay with some chirpy synths for good measure across both tracks. I really wish they had more songs out there, because I’m a sucker for this kind of sound, through and through. Meanwhile, the flip features two dark ambient tracks by two separate bands, both of which are sprawling in comparison to the a-side’s immediacy. Both are excellent, however, and like the flip, neither band was heard from again, though Silent Sound features a synth credit from David Kristian, who joined Psyche a few years later…

All in all, an excellent, if unknown little compilation that’s still rather cheap to pick up (for the time being, ha ha!). Hope you enjoy!

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Various Artists- Unexpected Silenzio 12”
1. Moonlight Society- People Walk On By
2. Moonlight Society- I’ll Live
3. Silent Sound- Skin of Sorrow, Soul Without End
4. Odds- Hyaloide Hypercycle

*download it here*

One Life- The Crowning 12”

Posted in 12'', 1980s, 1988, boston, goth, goth-rock, post-punk, US on June 2, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

Quick and dirty- both this post and the sound of this record. Released on Beautiful Sounds and based in the Boston area, One Life put out but one 12” of raw, incisive post-punk in 1988, and were never heard from again. Definitely recommended for fans of the first Choir Invisible LP, The Blessing, and The Bolshoi. As for larger touchstones, some major Psychedelic Furs overtones- as if Richard Butler lived in LA in 1985 as far as the title track is concerned. Funny though, as the vocals are a bit less monotone on the other tracks.

Your mileage may vary with the extended remix that kicks off this 12”, but otherwise, I can’t recommend this one enough! Many thanks to Goutroy and Glenn for turning me on to this one.

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One Life- The Crowning 12”
1. The Crowning (Extended Mix)
2. The Crowning
3. Never Sleep Again
4. Fate
5. Holy Grace

*download it here*

Various Artists- 041 Compilation K7

Posted in 1980s, 1989, goth, goth-rock, post-punk, punk, yugoslavian on March 16, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

Wow, been a spot of time, ladies and gents. Sorry about that! To make up for it, here’s an incredibly obscure compilation I just recently picked up on cassette, featuring a slew of European post-punk and goth tracks. The tape was released in 1989 by FV Založba, the Yugoslavian label run by members of Borghesia. While there are a handful of excellent exclusive releases (case in point), the label often released unofficial copies of alternative classics, including Sonic Youth, Pere Ubu, Nick Cave, and the like.

That all said, there’s plenty to love on this compilation. Nearly every track is a winner, from the opening cover of The Beatles’ “The Fool On the Hill” by Endymion, Lepra’s “Soba” (which reminds me quite a bit of Paralisis Permanente), and several excellent contributions from the female fronted Nemesis, who run the gamut from trashy post-punk and indie across four tracks. There isn’t a slew of information about any of these bands, as none of them survived the late 80s underground.

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Various Artists- 041 Compilation
1. Endymion- The Fool On the Hill
2. Nemesis- Silent War
3. Nemesis- Stranger
4. Nezaboravan San O…- Hladni Simboli
5. Lepra- Soba
6. Jozo Oko Gospa- Reci Omm
7. Lepra- Bol
8. Nemesis- Icarus
9. Nemesis- The Autumn Song

*download it here*

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.

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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!

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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!