Archive for the US Category

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*

Idle Rood- Tolerance Bride 7”

Posted in 1990s, 1992, florida, idle rood, post-punk, US on June 16, 2020 by Frankie Teardrop

Sorry for the delay, everyone… Easy enough to say the world’s been weird all around, and while everyone’s fine over here at SOR headquarters, it just hasn’t felt like a priority to post lately. That said, I’ve been spending a lot of time quietly ripping and cleaning up some of the more rare records in my collection, some as updates to previous posts, some for future posts, and some just for posterity. I’ll try to be a little more proactive about uploading, if you all are still out there and thirsty for more rare tunes.

With that in mind, here’s one that Goutroy originally turned me onto a few years back, and I’ve since tracked down myself. This is the lone 7” by Idle Rood, a post-punk band from Tampa, Florida. This 7” dropped on clear blue vinyl in 1992, an interesting time for such incisive synth and guitar-driven post-punk (remember, this is the same era where bands like Nirvana, Jane’s Addiction, and Lush were at the forefront). That said, this record definitely has much in common with early Modern English, Razor Penguins, and as my quarantine-mate puts it, Husker Du.

While the band formed in 1988, they released this 7” the same year they split up. The band briefly reunited a few years back to play some local gigs, and have issued a handful of additional recordings on their Soundcloud page. For those interested in following the band and checking out some older photos of the band in action, they have an extensive Facebook page as well! Otherwise, here’s the info for the 7”:

Idle Rood- Tolerance Bride 7”
1. Tolerance Bride
2. Manifest

*download it here*

Living Links – Discography

Posted in 1980s, 1983, 1985, baton rouge, indie, living links, louisiana, post-punk, US on February 25, 2020 by Frankie Teardrop

To celebrate Mardi Gras- here’s another rare US entry from the post-punk pantheon, consisting of a two piece husband and wife duo from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Living Links originally started as a side outlet for Hans and Margie Van Brackle, who were first active in a band called Times (not to be confused with the Venus in Furs side project of the same name). Margie came from a background of opera, religious, and musical theatre, which can be heard in her playful, almost child-like soprano vocals. The pair recorded with a drum machine, layering overdubs for their debut single in 1983.

After picking up steam, the duo began occasionally performing live with a drummer, headlining regional shows and performing at the World’s Fair in 1984, which was held in New Orleans. This gig was followed up by their lone full-length record, 1985’s Gathering the Forces, which explored several styles outside of traditional post-punk. The duo would soon fade away, though allegedly the Van Brackles still play music together…

Fans of Talking Heads, The Wake, and more playful, yet still well-executed post-punk and indie pop will find much to love across these releases. I’ve included a fresh rip of the debut single (Every Sad Night) and the LP, and while it isn’t my personal rip, I’ve attached the a-side of their second single “Manger” just to sweeten the pot. I’d include the b-side, but it’s identical to the album version, so it’s a bit redundant to have here twice. The duo also released a final 7” in 1990, which also contained two repeat tracks from the LP.

So with that in mind, here’s the (pretty much) full discography for this excellent band. Enjoy!

Living Links- Every Sad Night 7” (1983)
1. Every Sad Night
2. You and the Unknown
3. I Stop Short

Living Links- Manger 7” (1983)
1. Manger
2. I’m Not Streetwise

Living Links- Gathering the Forces LP (1985)
1. I Live In Here
2. Gathering The Forces
3. I’m Awake When I Should Be Sleeping
4. Remember The Battle
5. For The Paramecium
6. Do You Dream In Color
7. Two Girls
8. Like An Animal
9. I’m Not Streetwise

Download all three here

Nebraska- The House of Strangeness LP

Posted in 1989, goth, goth-rock, New York, new york city, post-punk, US on December 31, 2019 by Frankie Teardrop

Happy New Year, everyone! Been a minute again, and with that in mind, here’s an extremely rare post-punk/goth LP from a NY-based four-piece band curiously named…Nebraska, released in 1989. I’ve been on the hunt for this one for some time now and just now picked up a copy for myself, but deep thanks to Ilya for lending his copy for ripping it some time ago.

According to a comment left on the Discogs entry, this LP was recorded in Staten Island, and the cover photo is of an old abandoned hospital nearby the studio. Very curious to hear these kind of sounds coming from Staten Island, but always nice to hear a local gem.

As for touchstones, this LP sits nicely alongside some of the more anthemic, yet darker guitar driven records – think along the lines of Into Paradise, Blue In Heaven, Beg For Eden, etc. A little more primitive and razor sharp as far as the production is concerned, but a lot of top notch post-punk churning to be found. Hope y’all enjoy, and see you in 2020!



Nebraska- The House of Strangeness LP
1. Georgia
2. Whipping Wind
3. Love Is Hate
4. It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood
5. So This Is The Real World
6. Twilight Zone
7. A Thought Of Your Own
8. She Could Be A Bride

*download it here*

RJ/8- Tomorrow Never Listens 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1981, post-punk, power pop, US on June 5, 2019 by Frankie Teardrop

I can never get enough of rickety, DIY post-punk from 1981. This 7” fits the bill perfectly, two razor sharp energetic tracks from US band RJ/8. This is their only release, one and done, the way these things often go. The band recorded these tracks in Virginia, where they were likely from, also home to Fresh Tracks, the label responsible for pressing this 7”.

Early Sad Lovers and Giants vibes here, mostly due to the copious use of saxophone and call-and-response echoes. Overall, a very UK sound mixed with a smidge of power-pop energy, very rare to hear in the States around this period of time.

Wish I could tell you more about this one, but hope y’all enjoy!

RJ/8- Tomorrow Never Listens 7”
1. Tomorrow Never Listens
2. The Game

*download it here*