Archive for the US Category

Dream 286 – Scars 7”

Posted in 1983, new wave, ohio, post-punk, US on October 4, 2022 by Frankie Teardrop

Happy to share this one-off 7” from 1983 by Dream 286 – fresh off the needle and into your eardrums.  This four-piece band hails from Cincinnati, Ohio and has an excellent dark new wave/post-punk sound that I can never get enough of. On paper, the band reminds me quite a bit of UK-based punk band Action Pact!, but with more synthesizers in tow. Otherwise, from what I can tell, the band was fairly active throughout the midwest, playing a slew of shows throughout the area, including a prominent gig opening for Factual, whose track “Psychotic Romance” is worth hearing for those unfamiliar. Sadly, these three tracks are all that were released to the general public, but I hope there’s some more material floating around out there somewhere…

After Dream 286 called it a day, bassist Randy Cheek would also play in local band The Libertines (not the UK revival band) with drummer Joe Hamm. Cheek would go on to form indie rock stalwarts Ass Ponys, while synth player Doug Hallet remained a fixture in the scene, also performing with Latex Theatre, Danse Macabre, Ubu Roi, and Tesla Coil. He is currently active in The Science of Deduction. Vocalist/guitarist Janette Pierce Davis also performed with Latex Theatre.

Without any further ado, here’s the single:

Dream 286 – Scars 7”
1. Scars
2. End of the World
3. I Don’t Believe

*download it here*

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*

Nu-Este- From This Side of the Window 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1982, indie, jangle, Nu-Este, post-punk, US on June 23, 2021 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s a rather excellent, if but unassuming 7” from a US-based trio called Nu-Este. I was originally turned on to this single by way of my Harrow bandmate Greg, who sold me on it as a guitar-band who sounds quite a bit like For Against, which I’m inclined to agree… Also has a bit of that early R.E.M./jangle feel, just in time for summer. I dig both tracks, but the b-side is a little more my speed overall!

This is the band’s lone single, released in 1982 on Intense Intents records, which was based in Philly. Not sure if the band was from there as well, but my guess is they’re from the area, as producer/engineer Chas Gerber also worked on Pretty Poison’s excellent Laced 12”.

Enjoy!

Nu-Este- From This Side of the Window 7”
1. From This Side of the Window
2. If You Want It

*download it here*

The Telling- The Telling 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1986, california, dreampop, ethereal, synth, synthpop, US on May 4, 2021 by Frankie Teardrop

It’s no small secret that I tend to go wild for things on the more ethereal/dream pop side of the spectrum, especially now more than ever before. With that in mind, today’s post was originally recommended by Goutroy and has become a fast favorite these last few weeks. Here we have the first 12” by The Telling a band from California. The band, consisting primarily of Don and Sheri Swanson, released this debut single in 1986 and followed it up with two albums in 1990 and 1998, respectively. I’ve heard a bit of the first record, which mixes in some more folk influences, via YouTube and immediately ordered a CD copy, but I haven’t heard much of the second record just yet.

This debut 12” features two vocal tracks and two dreamy, instrumental passages. While it may be easy to pick out the usual 4AD influences on this single, I also hear the playful art-pop influence of Kate Bush throughout, especially on closing track “Heaven Never End.” Other natural touchstones include latter-era Japan/early Sylvian solo works, and of course, the highly underrated Bel Canto, who were operating around the same time with their own blend of ethereal, atmospheric synth pop.

Hope you all enjoy!

The Telling- The Telling 12”
1. Ghost of Tokyo
2. Cocoon
3. Sand Mass
4. Heaven Never End

*download it here*

A Deux Voix- Reaction 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1989, a deux voix, synth, synthpop, US on March 29, 2021 by Frankie Teardrop

Spring is here in NYC. Brighter skies, more hope on the horizon, and much more in the coming weeks, I hope. With that in mind, here’s a quick post to keep things moving along here. This particular 12” is by a Dallas, TX-based synth pop project called A Deux Voix. Released in 1989, this single is the only release by the band, which is a two piece, judging from the back cover details.

Obvious touchstones here are Celebrate the Nun, Red Flag, and the slew of Depeche Mode-esque synth pop bands that were pretty common at the time. Even though the sound is a familiar one, the songs are stellar slabs of big beat synth pop that should get you aching for the dance floor again, or at the very least, eager to run to Discogs to score a copy asap. The b-side of this 12” is comprised of instrumental versions, which may or may not be up your alley, depending on your particular tastes.

Anyway, I can’t share too much more about this one, but I’m happy to get straight to the details. Enjoy!

A Deux Voix- Reaction 12”
1. Reaction
2. Choices
3. Choices (Instrumental)
4. Reaction (Instrumental)

*download it here*

The Psalms- A Story I Was Told 7”

Posted in 1982, arizona, gin blossoms, jangle, new wave, post-punk, US on October 22, 2020 by Frankie Teardrop

First things first I’d like to thank Bret Helm of the excellent post-punk band Audra and from the Life on This Planet blog for clueing me into this one, as well as for providing the rip to share with you all. This particular 7” is one of those rare nuggets that only pops up once in a blue moon, and goes for an extraordinary amount, but in my opinion, is totally worth the asking price.

The Psalms were a new wave/post-punk band from Tempe, Arizona. The biggest touchstone here is guitarist/synth player Doug Hopkins and bassist Bill Leen, both who would form the Gin Blossoms a few years later. I could probably get into a big rant here about how the Gin Blossoms were REM in the time of Hootie, unfortunate timing for an otherwise solid jangle pop band. I’ll defend them to my dying day, but that all being said, this single is its own beast, and certainly should find lots of love around these parts. The A-side has an excellent airy synth lead and some power pop overtones, while the B-side has a little bit of a darker and harder edge. Both songs are incredibly catchy, and fans of bands like The Lucy Show, Weeping Messerschmitts, and Wild Flowers. More info about the band (including some lineup change info) can be found here.

This single was released in 1982 on Reilly Records and is the only piece of wax The Psalms released. The band put out a cassette in 1983, the single-sided No Great Cathedrals, with four more tracks. I’ve heard one of them on Youtube, but if anyone out there has the cassette (or a nice rip of it), please do get in touch! Otherwise, here’s the details for this 7”:

The Psalms- A Story I Was Told 7”
1. A Story I Was Told
2. Christmas Island

*download it here*

Lisa Lee- I’m Taken By You 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, synth, synthpop, US on August 20, 2020 by Frankie Teardrop

Hope everyone is keeping safe and well out there. Here’s a little slice of 7” synth pop bliss that should keep you cool on these hot summer nights (or vice versa if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere).

This 7” was released in 1984 and features vocalist Lisa Lee, a US-based singer. Both tracks were co-written by Lee and her band. According to Discogs, Lee released a separate 12” in 1990, produced by Ronald Burrell and featuring a more house/electro style, but I’m not at all convinced that this is the same Lisa Lee, based on a comparison of both tracks. Perhaps someone can shed a little light on this one (or update the dang Discogs entry, accordingly).

As for this single, both tracks hit the same sweet spot as early Berlin or SSQ/Stacey Q recordings – fast, high energy synths and catchy hooks galore. Not much more I can tell you about this one, so we’ll keep it brief – hope you all enjoy!

Lisa Lee- I’m Taken By You 7”
1. Taken By You
2. Goner

*download it here*

Passion Theatre – Strange Desire/Mannequin 12”s

Posted in 1980s, 1986, passion theatre, US on July 14, 2020 by Frankie Teardrop

I’ve had this pair of singles kicking around the collection for years now, and I’m not sure why it’s taken so long to post them, but here we are all the same. Here we have the two 12” singles from Passion Theatre, a trio from the US. Passion Theatre would gain a fourth member for their second single, though it seems like they don’t credit the female vocals on their first single, so perhaps they were always a quartet?  The band released two singles of exclusive material and were never heard from again, sadly. So it goes… Strangely enough, these records were released on an electro/hip-hop label which might be why they didn’t get too much traction in the new wave market? Also, it appears that the executive producer for both singles also worked with Stacey Q. on “Two of Hearts.”

…A lot of questions to be answered here.

Based on the cover art and rarity of these singles, you might expect some tried and true minimal synth sound (that’s actually what I expected when I picked these singles up ages ago) but they’re a little more on the breezy new wave/synth pop tip, maybe even a little power-poppy in spots. The real winner of the bunch is “Mannequin,” (aka “In Love With a Mannequin”) the title track from their second 12”. It’s a playful song about being in love with an in-store display figure, and it’s really a shame they didn’t make a movie about this exact premise, as I’m sure it would have been a hit…

Here’s the details for both singles, which were both released in 1986:

Passion Theatre- Strange Desire 12”
1. Strange Desire
2. International Love Affair
3, Menage A Trois
4. No For Answers

Passion Theatre- Mannequin 12”
1. Mannequin (Fiesta Mix)
2. Vacation Day
3. In Love With a Mannequin

*download them here*