Archive for the US Category

The Sophist- Subliminal Control LP

Posted in 1980s, 1987, minimal, minimal synth, new wave, US on February 6, 2019 by Frankie Teardrop

I’ve had this LP kicking around for ages, but never really thought much about it. One of my recent great purges had me reconsidering this record, and after careful consideration, I’m all in. Here we have a private press, gonzo minimal synth record from 1987, the lone album by an otherwise mysterious project from the NY/NJ area. There’s a tape edition of this album, as well as a single-sided flexi 7” of the title track, which in itself is worth the price of admission alone.

There are quite a few experimental pieces in play here, dark ambient passages mixed with short industrial landscapes, and a long, evolving piece that fills out side B. As mentioned though, minimal synth heads will love the title track, a furious 18-minute KR-55 workout that starts with gusto, begins to wear out its welcome, and by the time it finishes, comes back around again and commands the utmost respect. It’s one helluva ride.

With all that in mind, here’s the rundown:

The Sophist- Subliminal Control LP
1. Attention All People
2. Subliminal Control
3. Baby
4. Eternal Performance

*download it here*

Fourwaycross- Fourwaycross K7

Posted in 1980s, 1985, california, fourwaycross, post-punk, US on December 4, 2018 by Frankie Teardrop

Picking back up where our last post left off, here’s an album that’s been near and dear to my heart for many moons, hailing from the same general area and scene as Drowning Pool, Abecedarians, etc. While there seems to be a lot of activity in the area, there doesn’t seem to be as much love out there for Fourwaycross, who began in 1984 in Los Angeles. Though the main core of the band was Tom Dolan, Biff Sanders, Steve Gerdes and Courtney Davies, the band has shifted lineups and styles seamlessly over the years, most notably drafting Brad Laner and Beth Thompson, who would then go on to form Medicine upon the band’s demise.

Despite the lineup changes, the original core of the band offered up what is in my opinion, their strongest work, 1985’s self-titled cassette. The release is haunting, singular, and transcends genres to allow for neo-classical passages, Savage Republic-esque tribal post-punk, ethereal instrumentals with flutes in tow, and psychedelic, haunting folk. The cassette was reissued several times over in a variety of formats, including a vinyl pressing (affordable and essential), cassettes with alternate artwork, and even a CD-R issue in 2011 as interest in post-punk music was thriving. That said, this rip comes from an original cassette from 1985, in pristine condition.

This is the band’s earliest material, not counting a posthumous release of outtakes, demos, and rare tracks on Independent Project Records, released as Pendulum. The band would issue three equally strong albums following this debut, and have released a handful of excellent singles in the last year featuring the original core lineup. You can listen and purchase the new work via the band’s Bandcamp, and you can also find them all on Facebook. Courtney and Steve have also launched a new project called The Roogs, who are currently working on material.

Without any further ado, here’s the info on this cassette:

Fourwaycross- Fourwaycross K7
1. Intro
2. When Will You
3. Apologize
4. Sharpened Knives
5. Long Talk
6. Driving Thru Trees
7. MF
8. Strictly Morphine

*download it here*

Drowning Pool- Satori LP

Posted in 1980s, 1987, drowning pool, los angeles, post-punk, US on November 5, 2018 by Frankie Teardrop

Are y’all down with the sickness?

If so, this one is a request for the 1987 comp. from Drowning Pool, the nu metal bandthe post-punk band from Los Angeles, California. The band were also featured on the Ultraviolet compilation I posted last time around, so the name should certainly sound familiar… You may also recognize the band via their debut single under the name Landscape of Sound, which has also been featured here previously.

This particular double LP is a compilation of sorts, collecting a series of rare tracks alongside centerpieces from their four major LPs. This LP may have been shared in the past, but certainly at a low bitrate according to all sources I could find. As such, it’s an excellent introduction point AND a solid record to fill in the gaps, even if you have their other LPs in your collection. This record was released in 1987 via Nate Starkman and Son, an offshoot of Independent Project Records. It’s actually some small mystery they weren’t officially on IPR, as the sound and style and location all line up. They would have certainly been a welcome addition to the roster.

For those unfamiliar with Drowning Pool, there’s lots to love here across the post-punk spectrum. On paper, the band come off like a much more sinister and experimental take on Dead Can Dance, with tribal passages and ethereal soundscapes nestled among pure post-punk fury and avant-ghetto chaos. I’m also reminded of In the Nursery’s earlier, more primitive records. Of course, apt comparisons could also be made to local scene bands Autumnfair and Savage Republic, as the band no doubt ran in similar circles.

Soon after this LP was released, Drowning Pool changed their name to Mumbles and released one LP before disbanding. If you like what you hear here, you’d do well to seek out the band’s LPs, which are all rather affordable and all worth pouring over in great detail. For those who like to check on these things, the band keep an active social media presence, so you can check in on them for some old photos, details, stories, and more. Otherwise, here’s all the info:

Drowning Pool- Satori LP
1. Petit Malfacteur
2. Ritual Regeneration/Toy Soldiers*
3. Ruts
4. Nierika
5. Festival Of Healing
6. Fired From Within
7. Uncork The Mind
8. Game Room
9. You Are My Rescue
10. Weaving Petals
11. Muted Streak
12. Master Bebra
13. Ghirlandaio’s Apprentice/Macaulay Call*

*ripped as one track

*download it here*

—–

Also seems fitting to post a band from LA, as I’ll be landing there tomorrow to kick off a tour with Public Memory, who I’m playing synths with these days. Perhaps we’ll cross paths? Check here for full list of west coast dates, and come say hi if you’re in town!

Various Artists- Ultraviolet LP

Posted in 1980s, 1989, abecedarians, california, post-punk, US on October 15, 2018 by Frankie Teardrop

Fresh off the needle, here’s an updated rip of a favorite US post-punk compilation from ’89, released on Sketch Records. Ultraviolet collects nine tracks of California-based post-punk and new wave tracks, several of the bands who were seldom heard from again. The first two bands are likely the most well-known of the lot, as both Abecedarians and Drowning Pool (not the nu metal band of the same name, mind you) have respectable cult followings. Abecedarians of course, have been covered here before a handful of times (and have their debut 12” release on Factory Records), and Drowning Pool’s body of work is incredibly enjoyable, in line with many of the other bands from the time period (Red Temple Spirits, Savage Republic, etc.).

The most notable standout, and one of the best reasons to own this compilation is for the track “Eleven Is Waiting” by Homeland. Not only is the song an absolute corker, an five-minute post-punk workout with haunting melodies, a chorus-drenched bass line, flutes, and a tempo that changes tempos near its close, it’s also a curious footnote to the Brian Jonestown Massacre story, as Homeland was singer Anton Newcombe’s first project. The band released one excellent demo cassette in 1989, which has since been reissued on CD-r, as has a slew of unreleased work including additional demos and live tracks, all of which likely exist due to the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s indie success over the years.

That all said, here’s the good stuff:

Various Artists- Ultraviolet
1. Laugh At Yourself (Live)- Abecedarians
2. Edith, Hold Out Your Hand- Drowning Pool
3. In Their Eyes- 3D Picnic
4. During Moss- X-1 Whiteman
5. Blue Roses- Electric-Cool-Aide
6. Green Gel- Blue Death Ride ’69
7. Eleven Is Waiting- Homeland
8. Tundra- Man From Missouri
9. Sesso Fantasma- Prison of Socrates

*download it here*

Superdude- Face the Music 7”

Posted in 1980s, minimal, minimal synth, new wave, New York, new york city, superdude, synthpop, US on August 7, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

Apologies in advance for being sparse this summer and completely missing my official ten year anniversary! With that in mind, I’d love to offer up a few posts today, starting with an excellent slice of minimal synthpop- extremely rare and incredibly catchy- just the way you all love it.

Superdude was a pseudonym for NYC-based musician John Pergamo, who wrote the track with his brother Anthony. It was released in 1983 on Ace Records, which looks to be Pergamo’s own imprint, judging from the various latter-day Superdude releases that appeared. This is Superdude’s only release in the 80s, though it looks like he kept the synthpop feel for some of his later releases, though I haven’t heard them to confirm.

That said, please enjoy this little slice of electro-pop heaven, backed with an instrumental cut of the track!

Superdude- Face the Music 7”
1. Face the Music (Vocal)
2. Face the Music (Sound Track)

*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…

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

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.

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

*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!

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

*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.

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*

Tone Set- Calibrate Mini-LP

Posted in 1980s, 1983, arizona, minimal synth, synth, synthpop, synthpunk, tone set, US on August 22, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Been slacking for a bit here, my apologies. Skipping to the top of my imaginary queue is a fresh rip of Tone Set’s classic Calibrate mini-LP/12”, released on Valentine’s Day in 1983. I originally covered this band in 2007, back when I was posting only a handful of tracks and maybe a video or two, and it took eight years to track a semi-affordable copy of this gem down. Man, time flies!

Click here for a refresher on this Arizona-based synthpunk band, who invoke the same spirit as Devo, The Units, Voice Farm, Oppenheimer Analysis, etc. It’s also worth noting here that the A-side features upbeat pop songs while the B-side features re-recorded versions of their earlier tape experiments.

Tone Set- Calibrate LP
1. Life Is Busy
2. Living In Another Land
3. Slim
4. Out Out!
5. What Good’s A Hit Song?
6. Wigglin Around In Middletown

*download it here*

More soon, I promise!