jueves, 29 de diciembre de 2016


Of all the quirky, Captain Beefheart-indebted groups to reside at Manchester’s Ron Johnson label, Stump were not only the most distinctive, but also the most endearing. Unlike their manic stablemates, mad-eyed Mick Lynch (vocals), Chris Salmon (guitar), Kevin Hopper (bass) and Rob McKahey (drums; ex-Microdisney) avoided an aggressive, staccato-guitar onslaught, opting instead for awkward chord and rhythm changes and a wacky, humorous lyrical content, first heard on the charming EP 'Mud On A Colon' in March 1986. BBC disc jockey John Peel was an early admirer and while the band's Peel session of that year would eventually surface on vinyl the following January, Stump were caught up in the C86 programme organized by the New Musical Express, and appeared on The Tube television show with the offbeat video for their contribution, "Buffalo". A debut album, 'Quirk Out', was issued on the Stuff label as Ron Johnson ran into financial problems, and it was not long before Ensign Records lured the band into major territory. ‘Chaos’ preceded a second album, 'A Fierce Pancake', revealing a Stump that had lost none of their individuality, but it was "Charlton Heston", with its ‘lights camel action’ line and frog-dominated video, that attracted most attention. A full-scale single release for the excellent ‘Buffalo’ looked set to break the charts in November, but after it failed, the band disappeared. Hopper continued to record as a solo artist. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 28 de diciembre de 2016

Mega City Four

Mega City Four were an English indie band in the UK in the late 1980s and early 1990s consisted of guitarist and vocalist Wiz, his brother and rhythm guitarist Danny Brown, bassist Gerry Bryant and drummer Chris Jones. According to Uncut magazine, the group "earned a reputation across the globe as an exciting live band". Wiz and Bryant were in a band together at school called Stallion, who performed two shows together (one at Cove Secondary School, where "Stallion will come for you" stickers were handed out, and the show was ended when the school cut the power) before Wiz decided he wanted to form a new band with Bryant and Danny Brown, named Capricorn, after the brothers' shared the star sign. 

Mega City Four were formed in 1987 and the band's career started with performing gigs around their local town of Farnborough before making their vinyl debut in September 1987 with 'Miles Apart / Running In Darkness'. The single led to a round of gigs with fellow punk-influenced bands like Senseless Things and Snuff. "Miles Apart" and "Running" were reissued (separately) in 1988 on the independent label Decoy, along with the more melodic 'Distant Relatives' and 'Less Than Senseless'. A healthy following latched on to them, and supported the band's 1989 debut album, 'Tranzophobia'. 

The band continued to tour extensively in the UK, Europe and North America, working with bands including Les Thugs, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine and Doughboys, amongst many others. The band's second studio album, 'Who Cares Wins' (1990), was followed by a compilation album of their early 7" singles, called 'Terribly Sorry Bob' (1991). The band subsequently moved to a major record label to record two further studio albums, 'Sebastopol Rd.' (1992) (recorded by Jessica Corcoran at London's Greenhouse Recording Studios) and 'Magic Bullets' (1993). After falling out with their record label, they moved to Fire Records to record their final studio album, 'Soulscraper' (1996). In addition to their studio albums, the band also released a live album, a Peel Sessions disc, and a number of singles. The British music journalist, Martin Roach, wrote a biography of the band, "Mega City Four: Tall Stories and Creepy Crawlies", published in 1993. 

The band had been together for over a decade when they broke up in early 1996. Wiz moved to Montreal and joined Canadian alternative rock band, Doughboys. Wiz and Bryant continued playing together in Serpico after the demise of Mega City Four. After Serpico, Wiz went on to form Ipanema, who were still playing and recording until late 2006. Having just returned from a tour of the United States, Wiz collapsed at a band rehearsal. It was announced on 7 December 2006 that Wiz had died at St George's Hospital, Tooting, South London from a blood clot on the brain on 6 December.

Bassist Gerry Bryant currently owns and runs The Rooms Rehearsal Studios in Farnborough, Hampshire. British band Muse released a cover of the Mega City Four song "Prague", as a b-side to their single "Resistance" on 22 February 2010. This was dedicated to Wiz, as Muse had been inspired by Mega City Four's music. 'Sebastopol Rd.' was reissued through 3 Loop Music in September 2013. The re-issue has previously unreleased demos and also John Peel session tracks. The album was issued for the 21st anniversary of its original release. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

martes, 27 de diciembre de 2016

The Fleshtones

Often tagged as garage rock revivalists, The Fleshtones mix the fuzz guitar and Farfisa organ sounds of that genre with rockabilly, '50s and '60s R&B, and surf into a potent retro stew the group likes to call "super rock." The group formed in 1976 in Queens, New York with vocalist/keyboardist Peter Zaremba, guitarist Keith Streng, bassist Jan Marek Pakulski, and drummer Bill Milhizer and aimed to return rock & roll to the simplicity and unselfconsciousness of the '50s and early '60s. (The group was often joined on-stage and in the studio by sax player Gordon Spaeth, who passed on in 2005.) The group fit nicely into New York's punk and new wave scene, and an early single, 'American Beat', attracted the attention of independent label Red Star and, in time, IRS. The group's debut EP, 'Up-Front', was released in 1980 and was followed by its first full-length album, 'Roman Gods', and 'Blast Off!', an unreleased studio album recorded for Red Star in 1978. 

'Hexbreaker', widely regarded as The Fleshtones' finest album, arrived in 1983. The band continued to record through the '80s and released 'Powerstance' in 1992 and 'Beautiful Light' in 1994. ('Powerstance' also marked the debut of new Fleshtones bassist Ken Fox, who replaced Pakulski in the lineup and has been with the group ever since.) While the group's popularity dipped under the radar in the last half of the '90s, in 2003 The Fleshtones bounded back when they were signed to the potent indie label Yep Roc Records and released one of their best albums, 'Do You Swing?' An equally solid follow-up, 'Beachhead', was issued in 2005 and was produced in part by Detroit garage rock kingpin Jim Diamond. In 2008, more than 30 years after The Fleshtones formed, they released 'Take a Good Look', proving their ability to be just as raucous as they were in the good ol' days, and a few months later, the group dropped its first Christmas-themed release, 'Stocking Stuffer'. 

The band brought in Lenny Kaye to guest on guitar for 2011's 'Brooklyn Sound Solution', a change-of-pace album dominated by covers and interwoven guitar work, and in 2012 The Fleshtones tipped their hats to their Spanish-speaking fans with a four-song EP recorded en español, 'Quatro x Quatro'. The Fleshtones returned to typically raucous form for 2014's 'Wheel of Talent', a set recorded in Spain, Detroit, and Brooklyn. And in 2016, the tireless Fleshtones celebrated their 40th anniversary as a band with an album named for one of the group's mottos, 'The Band Drinks for Free'. 

Fleshtones side projects have included Keith Streng's band Full Time Men, which featured R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck; Peter Zaremba's Love Delegation; and The Master Plan, featuring Streng and Milhizer collaborating with Andy Shernoff of The Dictators. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

lunes, 26 de diciembre de 2016

The Creatures

The Creatures first surfaced in 1981 as a side project of Siouxsie and the Banshees frontwoman Siouxsie Sioux and the band's drummer, Budgie; after debuting with the EP 'Wild Things', they returned two years later with the full-length 'Feast'. With their work in the Banshees remaining the duo's top priority, however, they did not assume The Creatures guise again until issuing the album 'Boomerang' in late 1989; after the Banshees dissolved in the wake of 1995's "The Rapture", Sioux and Budgie -who had since married- announced The Creatures would now be their primary creative vehicle, issuing the EP 'Eraser Cut' in 1998. The full-length 'Anima Animus' followed the next year, as did the remix collection 'Hybrids'. In 2000 the band issued 'U.S. Retrace', a collection of previously unreleased tracks from the time of the 'Anima Animus' sessions. 'Sequins in the Sun', a live recording from the June 1999 Glastonbury Festival, was released in 1999, followed by 'Hai!', a studio recording featuring KODO drummer Leonard Eto, in 2003. In 2007 Siouxsie announced that she and Budgie had been divorced, which effectively brought their musical collaboration under The Creatures moniker to a close. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 25 de diciembre de 2016

The Bodines

The Bodines, consisting of Mike Ryan, Paul Brotherton, Tim Burtonwood and Paul Lilley, emerged from Glossop, England, near Manchester, in 1985. Fronted by the floppy-fringed Ryan, they became one of the better-known outfits from a crop of jangly indie bands that sprang up around that time. They made their debut with 'God Bless', an early release by Creation Records. Shortly afterwards, Lilley was replaced on drums by John Rowland. Two further singles followed; their second, 'Therese', was included on the famous "C86" compilation album. Like their contemporaries Primal Scream, The Mighty Lemon Drops and The Weather Prophets, The Bodines went on to sign up with a major label with great hopes of transferring their success to the mainstream charts. The group joined Magnet Records, where a remix of "Therese" became their major label debut. 

In July 1986, The Bodines participated in the Festival of the Tenth Summer. The Bodines's debut album, 'Played' (produced by Ian Broudie, later to enjoy success as a recording artist as The Lightning Seeds) scraped in to #94 in the UK Albums Chart, in the summer of 1987. None of The Bodines' singles got into the UK Singles Chart. Under pressure for failing to deliver the hit record that their major label backers required, The Bodines split up, albeit temporarily. Rowland went on to play with The Rainkings

In 1989, a reformed line-up of Ryan, Brotherton, new bassist Ian Watson, and new drummer Spencer Birtwistle released the single 'Decide' on Manchester's Play Hard label and contributed a further new track to the same label's "Hand to Mouth" compilation. A couple of years later, Ryan reappeared with a new band called Medalark Eleven (misnamed after Harlem Globetrotters' Meadowlark Lemon), assisted by Gareth Thomas on bass and Adrian Donohue on drums. Reunited with Creation Records, they released a couple of singles ahead of the album "Shaped Up, Shipped Out". On 23 August 2010, The Bodines debut album 'Played' was reissued with seven bonus tracks on the Cherry Red label. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

sábado, 24 de diciembre de 2016

Strawberry Switchblade

From the ominous shadows of goth suddenly appeared two young girls in polka-dot dresses, flaming red lipstick, and hair ribbons. Looking like the brides of Robert Smith, Strawberry Switchblade made a brief splash on the U.K. charts and then abruptly vanished in the mid-‘80s, leaving their fans with a handful of collectible singles and one LP of deceptively sweet-sounding dance-pop. The duo of Rose McDowall and Jill Bryson first met in 1977 in Glasgow, Scotland, united by their love for punk and new wave. The pair became friends with James Kirk of Orange Juice, who encouraged them to start their own group. In 1981, the new act named themselves after a fanzine devoted to the legendary Postcard Records in Scotland: "Strawberry Switchblade". The band originally consisted of four members, but the two other women eventually split from the group, leaving McDowall and Bryson on their own. Strawberry Switchblade became the opening act for Orange Juice. Signed to Postcard Records, the band didn't record their first single, 'Trees and Flowers', until they were picked up by Zoo. Echo & the Bunnymen's manager Bill Drummond became a fan of the group and convinced Ian McCulloch to pay for the manufacturing costs of 'Trees and Flowers'. The song, which featured Aztec Camera's Roddy Frame on guitar, was released in July 1983 and sold 10,000 copies. Strawberry Switchblade gained mainstream attention by performing on BBC DJ Janice Long's radio program. Drummond then signed the group to Warner Bros. Their next single, 'Since Yesterday', hit number five on the British charts in 1984, providing a sneak preview for their self-titled debut album a year later. However, the LP never made it to the U.S. Saturated with colorful, jubilant keyboards that disguised the sadness in the songs' lyrics, the hook-laden 'Strawberry Switchblade' didn't achieve the commercial success that the popularity of "Since Yesterday" promised. Subsequent singles such as 'Let Her Go' and 'Who Knows What Love Is?' did well in the Philippines -played heavily on the country's new wave radio stations- but weren't as warmly embraced in the U.K. The band covered Dolly Parton's "Jolene," their last futile stab at mass acceptance. Strawberry Switchblade broke up in 1986, burned out from the pressure of having to sell records. McDowall collaborated with various dark, experimental acts like Nurse with Wound and Current 93; she also briefly played guitar for Felt. Although short-lived, Strawberry Switchblade developed a worldwide cult following years after they quit recording, and their only full-length was reissued on CD in Japan in the early ‘90s. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

viernes, 23 de diciembre de 2016

Meat Puppets

Out of all of the bands that made SST Records a towering force in the American underground during the mid-'80s, Meat Puppets lasted the longest, surviving where other bands fell apart. Meat Puppets never had the dedicated following of Hüsker Dü or the Minutemen -two fellow SST bands who played the same circuit as the Puppets- but they were able to carve out a long career where other hardcore bands could not, because they always drew from conventional hard rock as well as punk. Not only did they play hard, loud, and fast, but they also had elements of the blues-rock of ZZ Top, the ambling folk-rock of The Grateful Dead, and Neil Young's country-rock and hard rock. As they grew older, the band matured musically, developing an accomplished instrumental technique and moving closer to the traditional hard rock that was always underneath their punk. But they never quite abandoned their punk roots, even when they briefly broke into the mainstream in the early '90s. 

The core of Meat Puppets was Curt (guitar; born January 10, 1959) and Cris Kirkwood (bass; born October 22, 1960), a pair of brothers born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. As teenagers, the Kirkwoods played in local rock & roll bands, primarily playing mainstream rock and hard rock. After graduating from a Jesuit prep school, the brothers formed Meat Puppets in 1980 with drummer Derrick Bostrom. Unlike the Kirkwoods' earlier bands, the Meat Puppets were directly inspired by punk rock; they were so committed to keeping the music punk that they refused to rehearse. 

A little over a year after their formation, Meat Puppets released their first EP, 'In a Car', on World Imitation. At this point in their career, the band was at its noisiest, playing furious hardcore with avant-garde leanings. Greg Ginn, the lead guitarist for Black Flag and the head of SST Records, heard the record and offered the Meat Puppets a contract with SST. In 1982, the band released their full-length eponymous debut album on SST, which continued in the experimental vein of their EP. 

Meat Puppets didn't develop their own distinctive voice until their second album, 'Meat Puppets II', which was released in 1984. On 'Meat Puppets II', the band created a fusion of punk and country that sounded unlike anything else in the American underground. With their second album and constant touring, Meat Puppets began to cultivate a dedicated cult following across the U.S. that continued to grow throughout the rest of the decade. In 1985, the group released their third album, 'Up on the Sun', which earned them their first reviews in mainstream music publications. 'Up on the Sun' also demonstrated that the band was beginning to streamline their sound, moving closer to traditional blues-rock, country-rock, and psychedelia. This shift toward conventional hard rock continued throughout the late '80s, as the band gradually sanded away their rougher punk edges. 

After releasing an EP called 'Out My Way' in 1986, Meat Puppets released two critically acclaimed albums -'Mirage' and 'Huevos'- in 1987. By the release of 'Mirage', Meat Puppets had established themselves as college radio stars, as well as popular attractions on the American underground circuit. 'Monsters', their final album for SST Records, was released in 1989, and its heavy rock attack foreshadowed the approach the band would adopt in the following decade. The straightforward sound of 'Monsters' wasn't greeted favorably by the band's cult following, and the record stiffed on college radio. 

Following the weak reception of 'Monsters', Meat Puppets broke up. In 1991, they re-formed and signed a major-label deal with London Records. Before they recorded their first album for London, SST issued the compilation 'No Strings Attached' in 1990. The following year, 'Forbidden Places', the group's major-label debut, appeared in the stores. 'Forbidden Places' was neither a commercial nor underground success.
For two years after the release of 'Forbidden Places', Meat Puppets were relatively quiet, playing a couple of gigs every once in a while. In 1993, they re-emerged as an opening act on Nirvana's "In Utero" tour. Toward the end of the tour, Nirvana taped an appearance for "MTV Unplugged", during which they covered three songs from 'Meat Puppets II' with Meat Puppets themselves. The exposure on "MTV Unplugged" helped set the stage for the commercial breakthrough of the band's second major-label album, 1994's 'Too High to Die'. 

Released around the same time as "MTV Unplugged" originally aired, 'Too High to Die' didn't gather much attention at first, but after Kurt Cobain's suicide in April, the record and its first single, 'Backwater', began to move. This was due to radio's acceptance of "Backwater", but also to MTV's constant airings of Nirvana's "MTV Unplugged". By the summer of 1994, "Backwater" was a genuine hit, climbing to number two on the album rock charts and just missing the pop Top 40. None of the other singles from 'Too High to Die' performed quite as well, but the album was a success, becoming the group's first to go gold. Meat Puppets released 'No Joke!', their follow-up to 'Too High to Die', in the fall of 1995. However, this album received mediocre reviews and little airplay, and disappeared from the charts and radio a few months after its release. 

Following this setback, the Pups effectively went on hiatus. Derrick Bostrom recorded a one-off EP of goofy, saccharine pop covers for the Amarillo label in 1996 under the name "Today's Sounds"; he subsequently took a job with a multimedia company, also overseeing both the band's website and Rykodisc's 1999 Meat Puppets reissue campaign. Cris Kirkwood, unfortunately, did not fare so well. With the influx of fame and cash, his drug problem had worsened during the 'No Joke!' sessions, and in 1995, he married Michelle Tardif, whose own addictions and run-ins with the law sent things spiraling out of control. Tragedy struck in December 1996, when the Kirkwoods' mother died, and again in August 1998 when Tardif died of a drug overdose. After virtually disappearing for a short time, Cris began to sort out his addictions in rehab programs, and his attendant legal problems in court. Meanwhile, the band's label, London Records, was swallowed up by Universal in a corporate mega-merger.
An overloaded Curt Kirkwood had already relocated to Austin, Texas, prior to Tardif's death; there he formed a new outfit dubbed The Royal Neanderthal Orchestra with ex-Pariah members Kyle Ellison (guitar) and Shandon Sahm (drums; also the son of Doug Sahm), plus former Bob Mould bassist Andrew DuPlantis. Eventually, this group took over the Meat Puppets name (although neither Bostrom nor Cris Kirkwood was ever officially removed from the lineup). Curt secured a release from his prior contract and signed with Breaking, an Atlantic subsidiary. 'Golden Lies', Meat Puppets' first new album in five years, was released in the fall of 2000. Seven years later, after a lengthy struggle with substance abuse, Cris Kirkwood reunited with brother Curt and new drummer Ted Marcus for the release of 'Rise to Your Knees'. Touring lasted through the end of 2007, while sporadic shows kept the bandmates busy in 2008. 

They also returned to the studio that year, and their 12th studio effort, 'Sewn Together', was released in the spring of 2009. The band continued to stay busy, announcing that they would be performing 'Up on the Sun' at the Animal Collective-curated All Tomorrow's Parties in 2011. They also continued to work on new material, and went into Spoon's HiFi Studio in Austin to work on their 13th studio album, 'Lollipop'. It was released in April of 2011 by Megaforce Records. In 2013, Meat Puppets attempted to take a simplified approach for their 14th album, 'Rat Farm', and the Kirkwood brothers were joined by return drummer Shandon Sahm and Curt's son Elmo on guitar. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

jueves, 22 de diciembre de 2016

The Feelies

Of the countless bands to emerge from the New York City underground during the post-punk era, few if any were as unique and influential as The Feelies; nerdy, nervous, and noisy, even decades later their droning, skittering avant-garde pop remains a key touchstone of the American indie music scene. Named in reference to Aldous Huxley's paranoid classic "Brave New World", The Feelies formed in 1976 in suburban Haledon, NJ, where singers/guitarists Bill Million and Glenn Mercer first met while in high school; bassist John J. and drummer Dave Weckerman rounded out the original lineup, although they were replaced in 1977 by bassist Keith Clayton and drummer Vinny Denunzio. The revamped group soon made its N.Y.C. debut, quickly creating a buzz throughout the city's new wave circuit -a Village Voice headline even dubbed them "The Best Underground Band in New York." 

Drummer Anton Fier replaced Denunzio in 1978, and a year later The Feelies cut their debut single, 'Fa Ce-La', for the British indie Rough Trade. Their refusal to work with outside producers jeopardized their immediate hopes for a major-label deal, however, and so their brilliant 1980 LP, 'Crazy Rhythms', instead appeared on another U.K. indie, Stiff; the record's manic melodies, jittery rhythms, and opaque lyrics made it a huge critical favorite, and although it made little impact outside of underground circles, many latter-day acts -R.E.M. chief among them- cited the album as a major influence. Still, 'Crazy Rhythms' commercial failure sat badly with Stiff, which began pressuring The Feelies to produce a hit single; the pressure ultimately forced the group into a kind of suspended animation, with Fier soon exiting to join The Lounge Lizards and later mounting The Golden Palominos

With The Feelies out of action for the better part of the early '80s, the remaining members turned their focus to a variety of side projects -in 1982, Million and Mercer reunited to compose the score to Susan Seidelman's film "Smithereens", concurrently playing in a series of Jersey-area bands including Weckerman's new outfit Yung Wu, The Trypes (who issued the 1984 EP "The Explorers Hold"), and the instrumental Willies. Finally, Million and Mercer reactivated The Feelies banner in 1983, reuniting with Weckerman as well as two of their Willies bandmates, percussionist Stanley Demeski and bassist Brenda Sauter; still, the revitalized group's performance schedule was sporadic at best, limited primarily to holiday appearances. Finally, they entered the studio with producer Peter Buck of R.E.M., releasing the folky 'The Good Earth' on Coyote in 1986. 

That same year, The Feelies appeared in director Jonathan Demme's film hit "Something Wild"; combined with critical praise for 'The Good Earth', the group's raised media visibility caught the attention of A&M, which released the follow-up, 'Only Life', in 1988. 'Time for a Witness' followed in 1991, but on July 5 of that year The Feelies gathered at the Maxwell's club in Hoboken, NJ to play their final show -soon after Million unexpectedly moved to Florida without telling any of his bandmates, not even leaving a forwarding address. In the months to follow Demeski began playing in Luna, Sauter worked with Speed the Plough and Wild Carnation, and Mercer and Weckerman reteamed in Wake Ooloo; when that band fell apart in 1998 after three LPs for the Pravda label, the duo again joined forces to form another new unit, Sunburst

In the summer of 2008 the classic 1983 lineup held a low-key reunion, opening for Sonic Youth and playing two sold-out shows at Maxwell's. A year later they appeared at a tribute to R.E.M. concert at Carnegie Hall and performed at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Monticello NY, playing the 'Crazy Rhythms' album in its entirety. The band signed with Bar/None that same year, and began work on a new album. Recorded at Water Music in Hoboken, 2011's 'Here Before' represented the outfit's first collection of new music in nearly 19 years. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 21 de diciembre de 2016

Dead Kennedys

The Dead Kennedys merged revolutionary politics with hardcore punk music and, in the process, became one of the defining hardcore bands. Often, they were more notable for their politics than their music, but that was part of their impact. The Kennedys were more inspired by British punk and the fiery, revolutionary-implied politics of the Sex Pistols than the artier tendencies of New York punk rockers. Under the direction of lead vocalist Jello Biafra, the Dead Kennedys became the most political and -to the eyes of many observers, including Christians and right-wing politicians- the most dangerous band in hardcore. By the mid-'80s, the band had become notorious enough to open themselves up to a prosecution for obscenity (concerning a poster inserted into their 1985 'Frankenchrist' album), and the ensuing court battle sped the band toward a breakup, but they left behind a legacy that influenced countless punk bands that followed. 

The Dead Kennedys formed in 1978 in San Francisco when Biafra (vocals; born Eric Boucher) and bassist Klaus Flouride responded to a magazine ad placed by guitarist East Bay Ray. Drummer Ted (born Bruce Slesinger) joined soon after and the band played locally for the first two years of their career, occasionally venturing outside the Bay Area. Within a year, the band released their first independent single, 'California Über Alles', an attack on the then-current governor, Jerry Brown. It was followed shortly afterward by their second single, 'Holiday in Cambodia'. In 1979, Biafra ran for mayor of San Francisco; he finished fourth. By this time, the band had become quite popular in both the American and British underground. Finally, in 1980, the band released their debut album, 'Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables', on IRS Records. After its release, Ted left the band; he was replaced by drummer Darren H. Peligro

Following the release of 'Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables', the Dead Kennedys formed their own independent record label, Alternative Tentacles, in 1981. The first release on the label was the Kennedys' EP, 'In God We Trust'. That same year, the single 'Too Drunk to Fuck' scraped the bottom of Britain's pop Top 40, despite being banned from airplay. In 1982, the Kennedys released their second full-length album, 'Plastic Surgery Disasters'. After its release, the band took a hiatus, during which bandmembers -most notably Klaus Flouride- performed with various side projects. During that time, Alternative Tentacles began to establish itself as a major force in the American underground. 

The Dead Kennedys returned in 1985 with 'Frankenchrist', which was the record that earned the band its greatest notoriety. Included with the album was a poster of the Swiss artist H.R. Giger's "Landscape #XX", a garish illustration of penises and anuses. A year after the release of the album, the Kennedys and Alternative Tentacles were prosecuted under revised Californian anti-obscenity laws for distributing pornography to minors because of the poster. For the next two years, the band was embroiled in a bitter legal battle, during which Biafra emerged as one of the most articulate advocates for free speech and vocal opponents of the PMRC. In the summer of 1987, the case ended with a hung jury and was dismissed. 

Although the Dead Kennedys emerged victorious from the court battle, they didn't remain a band for much longer. Just before the prosecution began in 1986, the band released 'Bedtime for Democracy', which turned out to be their last official album. After the case was settled, the Kennedys split, releasing the posthumous compilation 'Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death' in 1987. Biafra embarked on a solo career, releasing musical and spoken-word recordings sporadically over the next couple decades. Flouride returned to his fledgling solo career, releasing two albums in the late '80s and early '90s. The DVD format of Dmpo's On Broadway, the Dead Kennedys' June 1984 performance marking the closing of San Francisco's avant-garde theater and nightclub, was released in May 2000. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

martes, 20 de diciembre de 2016

Creaming Jesus

Creaming Jesus were a London-based UK band influenced by gothic rock, punk and thrash metal. Formed in 1987, their original line up was Andy (vocals) Lil (vocals) Tally (bass) Roy (drums) Lindy (drums) and Paul (guitar); their original sound was a wall of percussive noise (two drummers and a drum machine) Slayer type thrash metal guitars and screamed vocals.

The band's first release was a track on the House of Dolls fanzine covermounted 7" single. They then self-released the 12" EP 'Nailed Up For Nothing', before being signed to Jungle Records of London, who re-released the EP and put them in the studio to record two further EPs, 'Mug' and 'Bark' (which included a cover version of The Cure's "A Forest"). Guitarist Paul Scanlan left following the release of their first three 12" EPs, and joined the Satanic metal band Akercocke. The group then recruited Richard and Mario as guitarists, and Des replaced Lindy on drums, to produce their most enduring line up.

In 1990 Creaming Jesus went on tour with Fields of the Nephilim to coincide with their debut album 'Too Fat To Run, Too Stupid To Hide'. The band returned almost immediately to the studio to record two more singles, 'Deadtime' and 'Ditchdweller V'. Their second album, 'Guilt By Association' produced by Brian Chuck New, remained in the indie charts for months, as they toured the country. Following the departure of Des, who was replaced by percussionist Roger, a further session yielded the original 'Headrush E.P.' which coincided with a full four-week UK tour. They also toured extensively throughout Europe and Scandinavia, and were one of the first UK bands to play in the newly independent country of (what was) Czechoslovakia. Overseas demand led to their first three singles being compiled for an album 'It's Dance Magic'. 

For their third album, the band took time off from touring to prepare the new material and after much planning recorded with Dave Fridmann of Mercury Rev as producer in Sweetfish, an isolated converted barn in upstate New York. They had met when Creaming Jesus and Mercury Rev toured the UK and Europe together on Mercury Rev's first ever dates in Europe. The result of this session being the album 'Chaos for the Converted', preceded by the single 'Hamburg', their style evolving away from the relentless industrial gothic thrash of their previous releases to explore a more experimental psychedelic sound. 

The band's final performance in 1994 was at the Venue in New Cross, South London, a gig which was recorded and later released by Jungle Records under the title 'End of an Error'. By this time their sound was further augmented by the addition of violin player Ffion, who now plays in the band Pronghorn. The track "Reptile" from the 'Guilt By Association' album made an appearance in an episode of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, renewing interest in the band's career. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

domingo, 18 de diciembre de 2016

Blyth Power

Blyth Power are a British rock band formed in 1983 by singer and drummer Joseph Porter, formerly of Zounds and The Mob. Blyth Power's music shows strong influences from punk rock and folk music, and the band members have described their sound as a cross between The Clash, Steeleye Span and The Rubettes.

Established in 1983 and named after a railway locomotive, the one constant in an ever-shifting lineup has been drummer, vocalist, and songwriter Joseph Porter (real name Gary James Hatcher, born 21 February 1962 in Templecombe, Somerset). The band's lyrics often deal with episodes from history, ranging from the Trojan War to the Cod War -as well as aspects of English culture such as cricket, village life and trains. Porter is an avowed trainspotter, and in August 1998 the band appeared on the LWT television programme Holy Smoke! in a slot in which musicians discussed their individual religions -with trainspotting cited as his religion.

Since 1993, Blyth Power recordings have been released on their own label, Downwarde Spiral. Since 2000 they have cut back on their touring schedule due to various personal commitments, but they have organised an annual mini-festival, The Blyth Power Ashes. The festival takes place in August of each year, and combines live music with a cricket match featuring band members and their associates. From 2011 the event moved to The Plough, in Farcet Fen near Peterborough due to its ever-increasing popularity. From 2015 The Ashes takes place at The Hunters Inn in Longdon, near Tewkesbury.

Joseph Porter has also been involved with various side-projects, such as doing solo guitarist/vocalist performances and collaborating in two other bands, Red Wedding and Mad Dogs & Englishmen. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

jueves, 15 de diciembre de 2016

The Afghan Whigs

Evolving from a garage punk band in the vein of The Replacements, Dinosaur Jr., and Mudhoney to a literate, pretentious, soul-inflected post-punk quartet, The Afghan Whigs were one of the most critically acclaimed alternative bands of the early '90s. Although the band never broke into the mainstream, it developed a dedicated cult following, primarily because of lead singer/songwriter Greg Dulli's tortured, angst-ridden tales of broken relationships and self-loathing. The Afghan Whigs were one of the few alternative bands around in the late '90s to acknowledge R&B, attempting to create a fusion of soul and post-punk. 

The Afghan Whigs were formed when the members -vocalist/rhythm guitarist Greg Dulli, bassist John Curley, lead guitarist Rick McCollum, and drummer Steve Earle- were attending the University of Cincinnati. Dulli, who was raised in Hamilton, Ohio, was studying film at the university, where he met fellow students McCollum and Earle. Unlike the rest of the band, Curley didn't attend the University of Cincinnati. He arrived in the city to intern as a photographer at The Cincinnati Enquirer, which his father -who published USA Today- arranged for him; for the next few years, Curley continued to shoot pictures for the paper, quitting only when the band's schedule became too busy for him to work both jobs. Dulli happened to meet Curley when visiting a friend's apartment building. Eventually, the pair formed The Afghan Whigs in 1986, along with McCollum and Earle. 

In 1988, The Afghan Whigs released their debut album, 'Big Top Halloween', on their independent record label, Ultrasuede. The album received good word-of-mouth in underground music publications and college radio. A copy of the record worked its way to the influential Seattle-based independent record label Sub Pop, and the label arranged for the Whigs to release a one-off single. The single led to a full-blown record contract with Sub Pop. 'Up in It', their first Sub Pop album, was released in 1990. For the next two years, The Afghan Whigs toured America consistently, occasionally heading over to Europe and England. In 1992, their third album, 'Congregation', was released to very positive reviews. After its release, the band was courted by a number of major labels. The band released one more record on Sub Pop, an EP of soul and R&B covers called 'Uptown Avondale', and signed to Elektra Records. 

'Gentlemen', the band's major-label debut, was released to considerable critical acclaim in the fall of 1993. 'Debonair', the first single pulled from the album, received major play from MTV, and all of the reviews were positive. Nevertheless, the band wasn't able to ascend past cult status and all the critical praise even engendered a backlash, most notably in the form of an anti-Whigs fanzine called "Fat Greg Dulli". In the summer of 1994, the Whigs released the 'What Jail Is Like' EP to coincide with their American tour. Upon the completion of their international tour in the fall of 1994, the Whigs took an extended break. Steve Earle left the band in the spring of 1995; he was replaced by Paul Buchignani, just before the group entered the studio to record its fifth album. 'Black Love', the Whigs' second album for Elektra, was released in the spring of 1996. Again, the album received positive reviews but the band failed to break out of its cult status. '1965', their first effort for new label Columbia, followed two years later. However, with the bandmembers living in different states, it would prove to be their last; in February of 2001, the band called it quits, citing geographical separation. 

In 2006, the band reunited for a brief recording session for the release of the best-of compilation 'Unbreakable: A Retrospective 1990-2006', which featured two newly recorded tracks: "I'm a Soldier" and "Magazine." With the members going their separate ways once again, the future of the Whigs was once again put on hold until 2011. In a surprise announcement from British festival organizers All Tomorrow's Parties, it was revealed that the band would headline ATP's I'll Be Your Mirror festival at London's Alexandra Palace in May 2012. Kicking off a world tour that would span 2012 and 2013, the original lineup -minus drummer Steve Earle- returned with gusto. 

At the beginning of 2014 the group members announced that they had recorded their first album in some 16 years and had returned to the label that had originally launched them, Sub Pop. 'Do to the Beast' was slated for an April 2014 release, and featured a new lineup of the band. Greg Dulli and John Curley were the only original members to return for 'Do to the Beast', while their accompanists included guitarist Dave Rosser (The Twilight Singers, The Gutter Twins), multi-instrumentalist Mark McGuire (Emeralds), bassist Jon Skibic (Gigolo Aunts, The Twilight Singers), drummer Cully Symington (Okkervil River, Shearwater), and string player Rick Nelson (St. Vincent, Polyphonic Spree). A subsequent concert tour took the new Whigs to major venues in the United States and Europe, including a major spot at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival. In October 2014, the band capped off the year with a deluxe reissue of 'Gentlemen', expanded to a two-disc set with the addition of B-sides, unreleased demos, and live tracks. 

2016 found The Afghan Whigs once again revisiting their back catalog with an expanded two-disc edition of 'Black Love', featuring outtakes and alternate mixes along with a remastered version of the original album. Greg Dulli announced that The Afghan Whigs would play two shows in conjunction with the 'Black Love' reissue, one in New Orleans and the other in Los Angeles. Both shows were benefits for latter day Afghan Whigs' guitarist Dave Rosser, who was diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer earlier in the year. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 14 de diciembre de 2016


SPK were an Australian industrial music and noise music group formed in 1978. They were fronted by mainstay member, Graeme Revell on keyboards and percussion. In 1980 the group travelled to the United Kingdom where they issued their debut album, 'Information Overload Unit'. In 1983 Sinan Leong joined on lead vocals. The group disbanded in 1988, two years later Revell and Leong relocated to the United States, where Revell has worked as a Hollywood film score composer. According to Australian rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, SPK were "at the forefront of the local post-punk, electronic/experimental movement of the late 1970s ... [their] music progressed from discordant, industrial-strength metal noise to sophisticated and restrained dance-rock with strange attributes". 

SPK was formed in 1978 in Sydney when New Zealand-born Graeme Revell (aka "EMS AKS", "Operator", "Oblivion") met Neil Hill (aka "Ne/H/il"). Revell was working as a nurse on a psychiatric ward at Callan Park Hospital where Hill was also working. Hill and Revell shared a house and an interest in the manifesto of the German radical Marxist group known as the Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv (SPK). The duo were influenced by Kraftwerk, Can, Neu!, Faust, and John Cage –they started playing their own variety of industrial music as SPK. According to rock music historian, Ian McFarlane the acronym SPK is variously given as "SoliPsiK, SepPuKu, Surgical Penis Klinik, System Planning Korporation and Sozialistisches Patienten Kollektiv". The band recruited two teenagers, Danny Rumour (later of The Cruel Sea) on lead guitar and David Virgin on bass guitar (both ex-Ugly Mirrors, and went on to form Sekret Sekret), on early recordings by SPK in 1979. In that year they independently released three 7" pressings: 'SoliPsiK' as a three-track extended play in April, 'Factory' as a single in August and 'Mekano' in November. 

Dominik Guerin (aka "Tone Generator") joined on synthesisers in 1980, and later concentrated on the band's visual content. In May they issued an EP, 'Meat Processing Section', as Surgical Penis Klinik. Without Hill, SPK relocated to London where Guerin and Revell recorded their debut album, 'Information Overload Unit', in a Vauxhall squat with the help of Revell's brother Ashley Revell (aka "Mr.Clean") and Mike Wilkins (guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals). The album deals with psychotic states and mental retardation. The original 1981 release on Side Effects has a black cover with a small picture of head being operated on, the 1985 version on Normal is blue and pictures a man in a wheelchair and the 1992 CD reissue has System Planning Korporation with the initials SPK highlighted in red. McFarlane suggested "the album's harsh, thumping sound appealed to fans of Throbbing Gristle and early Cabaret Voltaire". In June 1980 they issued the single, 'Slogun', with lyrics inspired by the Marxist manifesto: "Kill, Kill, Kill for inner peace / Bomb, Bomb, Bomb for mental health / Therapy through violence!" Other musicians working with SPK included James Pinker (drums, percussion) and Karel van Bergan (violin, vocals), who toured with them to the United States. In July 1981 in Australia, the M Squared label released another single, 'See Saw'. The cover depicts SoliPsiK with members given as Kitka (aka Kit Katalog), Sushi (aka Margaret Hill), Charlyiev (aka Paul Charlier) and Skorne (Neil Hill). Both tracks are co-written by Charlier and Hill.

In 1982 SPK's Guerin and Revell were joined by Brian Williams (aka Lustmord), John Murphy of Forresta di Ferro (aka "Kraang") and Derek Thompson (who later had a brief stint in The Cure and went on to record as Hoodlum Priest). SPK's second album, 'Leichenschrei' (English: The Scream of the Corpse) (1982), shows Sozialistisches Patienten Kollektiv (English: Socialist Patients' Collective). After its recording they were joined by Sinan Leong on vocals, who had initially auditioned for a planned SPK side-project, Dance Macabre. Leong and Revell later married. In 1983 Thompson left SPK because Revell "wanted to make a very commercial sounding album which I did not". McFarlane found that "SPK had softened the approach somewhat with discernible synth melodies and dance beats coming to the fore amongst the noise". In August 1983, the group issued a compilation album, 'Auto Da Fé', showing SepPuKu written with SPK in red capital letters. It included three studio tracks recorded in 1981. Bush suggested the album was the "beginning of a more organized approach for SPK material, 'Auto Da-Fé' presents an intriguing industrial-disco fusion, reminiscent of prime contemporary material by Cabaret Voltaire and DAF ... Although fans probably thought of [it] as an unconscionable crossover attempt, it's still quite experimental in retrospect". The three-track EP, 'Dekompositiones' (also by SepPuKu) followed soon after. Its tracks were added to a later version of 'Auto Da Fé'. 

In early February 1984, just before his 28th birthday, Neil Hill committed suicide. Two days later his wife Margaret Hill (née Nikitenko) died as a result of complications from anorexia. In March SPK issued another single, 'Metal Dance', which was co-written by Revell, Leong and Thompson. SPK returned to Australia for a tour and recorded their third album, 'Machine Age Voodoo', in Sydney which was issued in 1984 on WEA Records. For the album, SPK's Revell and Leong were joined by Jeff Bartolomei on keyboards, Mary Bradfield-Taylor on vocals, Graham Jesse on saxophone, James Kelly on guitar, Sam McNally on keyboards and Phil Scorgie on bass guitar. McFarlane saw the album as "mixed mainstream disco-pop and sweet vocals with electronic experimentation (sort of like Blondie meets Kraftwerk)". While Bush felt it was "another leap towards dance-rock and away from the group's industrial past". The album spawned a single, 'Junk Funk' in 1985.

Leong and Revell returned to Australia and added Karina Hayes as vocalist. They issued 'Zamia Lehmanni: Songs of Byzantine Flowers' in 1986 which provided a single, 'In Flagrante Delicto'. It was followed by 'Digitalis Ambigua: Gold & Poison' in 1987. Allmusic's Sean Carruthers observed that Revell "was in a period of transition... [s]omewhere between the industrial noise of the early years and his later soundtrack work". In 1988, the band issued a live album, 'Oceania... In Performance 1987' but disbanded during the year. In 1989, Revell moved into work on scores and soundtracks. SPK's track "In Flagrante Delicto" was used by Revell for his work on the soundtrack for the 1989 film, "Dead Calm". By 1991 Leong and Revell had moved to Los Angeles. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA]

martes, 13 de diciembre de 2016

The Primitives

British indie pop band The Primitives were formed in Coventry, England in mid-1985 by singer Kieron, guitarist Paul Court, bassist Steve Dullaghan, and drummer Pete Tweedie; after a handful of gigs Kieron was replaced by vocalist Tracy Tracy, a peroxide-blonde bombshell whose presence inspired a more melodic approach, which earned the group inevitable comparisons to Blondie. The Primitives' debut single, 'Thru the Flowers', appeared on their own Lazy label in 1986 and was quickly followed by radio sessions for Janice Long, Andy Kershaw, and John Peel. Their second effort, 'Really Stupid', preceded the band's first European tour, with 'Stop Killing Me' appearing in early 1987. Tweedie was dismissed from the group (allegedly for mistreating Tracy's cats) prior to The Primitives' signing to major label RCA, and with new drummer Tig Williams the group recorded its 1988 debut LP, 'Lovely', scoring a major U.K. pop hit with the masterful "Crash." After completing an American tour, Dullaghan exited the lineup, with bassist Paul Sampson stepping in for 1989's 'Pure'; the album failed to re-create the success and excitement of its predecessor, however, and when 1991's Ian Broudie-produced 'Galore' met a similar fate, The Primitives disbanded. 

Tragedy brought the band back together in 2009 when bassist Steve Dullaghan passed away. Tracy, Court, and Williams re-formed the band (with Raph Moore on bass) to play a couple of shows in October of that year. Things went so well that they decided to make a true comeback, launching a 2010 tour of England and even a show in New York City. They returned to the studio with original producer Paul Sampson and soon released a four-song EP of newly written songs ('Never Kill a Secret') in 2011 and an album of covers of obscure female-fronted songs from the '60s ('Echoes and Rhymes') in 2012. Both were released by Spanish label Elefant and showed that the band still had plenty of charm left, even after two decades. Not content to call it quits, the trio of Tracy, Court and Williams began work on a new album with Sampson on bass guitar and in the producer's chair. Featuring all original material that harked back to their classic sound, their fourth LP, 'Spin-O-Rama', was released by Elefant in October of 2014. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

lunes, 12 de diciembre de 2016

Meat Beat Manifesto

Beginning in 1987 as an experimental/industrial duo inspired by the cut-and-paste attitudes of hip-hop and dub, Meat Beat Manifesto increasingly became a vehicle for its frontman, Jack Dangers, to explore the emerging electronics of techno, trip-hop, and jungle. Though the group was initially pegged as an industrial act (simply appearing on Wax Trax! was enough to do the trick), its approach to studio recordings influenced many in the new electronica community during the 1990s, even while Dangers remained a superb producer working in much the same way. Born John Corrigan in 1967 in Swindon, England, Dangers played with Jonny Stephens in the pop band Perennial Divide in the mid-'80s. The two formed Meat Beat Manifesto in 1987 initially as a side project, and released the singles 'I Got the Fear' and 'Strap Down' that year. The dense, danceable material surprised many critics used to the duo's previous work, and the singles received good reviews. 

Dangers and Stephens left Perennial Divide by 1988 and recorded an album that same year -using a touring group of up to 13 members for occasional live shows. The tapes were damaged in a fire, so the two recorded 'Storm the Studio' a year later. Just as dense and sample-heavy as the first singles, 'Storm the Studio' included four songs but added three remixes of each -no need to explain the title- encompassing high-energy dub, hip-hop, and noise rock. With an American deal through Wax Trax!, Meat Beat Manifesto became known in the U.S. as an industrial band, though Dangers and Stephens felt themselves pigeonholed. The duo moved to the San Francisco area soon after, and formed a rough political collective with the members of Consolidated and The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. (Jack Dangers and Consolidated's Mark Pistel co-produced early Disposable Heroes material.) Meat Beat Manifesto, meanwhile, continued their audio terrorism with '99%', a 1990 album that added some jazzy rhythms to the collage of noise. That same year, Wax Trax! recycled the remaining tapes from the aborted first album and released them as 'Armed Audio Warfare'. 

When Dangers and Stephens signed away from Wax Trax! to the major label Elektra in 1992, the duo finally shook the industrial tag that had stuck with them previously. Instead, the media christened the follow-up, 'Satyricon', a techno album, due to both the duo's tour of the U.S. with Orbital and Ultramarine and the album's groove-heavy update of old synth groups such as Depeche Mode. Dangers' early material began to be name-checked as at least a partial motivation for the trip-hop and drum'n'bass movement, due to the studio mechanics inherent in the music. The late-'90s full-lengths 'Subliminal Sandwich' and 'Actual Sounds + Voices' increased Dangers' devotion to the experimental side of electronica, though his first Meat Beat Manifesto LP of the new millennium ('RUOK?') was a more Spartan affair. 

Dangers moved Meat Beat Manifesto to the Thirsty Ear label in 2005. His first release on the label, 'At the Center', became part of Thirsty Ear's Blue Series, a series of recordings that explored new avenues of jazz. Keyboardist Craig Taborn, Bad Plus drummer Dave King, and flutist Peter Gordon joined Dangers on the album, which was followed three years later by 'Autoimmune' on Metropolis Records. Dangers has also contributed to the "Tino's Breaks" series of records released on the Tino Corp. label he co-owns with Ben Stokes (aka DHS), and he has released several solo albums, including 2001's "Hello Friends!", 2002's "Variaciones Espectrales", and 2004's "Forbidden Planet Explored". [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 11 de diciembre de 2016

The Family Cat

Formed in Yeovil, England in 1988, the noisy Family Cat comprised vocalist Paul Frederick, guitarists Stephen Jelbert and Tim McVay, bassist John Graves and drummer Kevin Downing. After making their London debut the following April, the group was promptly signed to the fledgling Bad Girl label, soon issuing their debut single 'Tom Verlaine' to widespread acclaim. With ex-Jam member Rick Buckler handling production chores, The Family Cat recorded their first mini-LP, 'Tell 'Em We're Surfin', in 1989; the follow-up, 'Remember What It Is That You Love', was also a major hit on the indie charts. 

After releasing 'A Place With a Name' at the end of 1990, The Family Cat jumped to the Dedicated label, and spent the whole of 1991 on tour and in the studio. Finally, in 1992 the 'Steamroller' single appeared to favorable reviews, but little chart interest; a similar fate met the subsequent 'Colour Me Grey' and 'River of Diamonds', both of which featured backing vocals from Polly Jean Harvey. After 1992's 'Furthest From the Sun' LP, The Family Cat fell silent for close to a year, resurfacing in August 1993 with 'Airplane Gardens'. Another lengthy tour followed before the release of 1994's 'Magic Happens'; although both 'Wonderful Excuse' and 'Goldenbook' narrowly missed the U.K. Top 40, the band, having grown frustrated by its lack of success, separated soon after the record's release. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

sábado, 10 de diciembre de 2016

Dead Can Dance

Dead Can Dance combine elements of European folk music -particularly music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance- with ambient pop and worldbeat flourishes. Their songs are of lost beauty, regret and sorrow, inspiration and nobility, and of the everlasting human goal of attaining a meaningful existence. 

Over the course of their career, Dead Can Dance have featured a multitude of members, but two musicians have remained at the core of the band -guitarist Brendan Perry and vocalist Lisa Gerrard. Perry had previously been the lead vocalist and bassist for the Australian-based punk band The Scavengers, a group that was never able to land a recording contract. In 1979, the band changed its name to The Marching Girls, but still wasn't able to sign a contract. The following year, Perry left the group and began experimenting with electronic music, particularly tape loops and rhythms. In 1981, Perry formed Dead Can Dance with Lisa Gerrard, Paul Erikson, and Simon Monroe. By 1982, Perry and Gerrard decided to relocate to London; Erikson and Monroe decided to stay in Australia. 

Within a year, Dead Can Dance had signed a record deal with 4AD. In the spring of 1984, they released their eponymous debut album, comprised of songs the pair had written in the previous four years. By the end of the year, the group had contributed two tracks to "It'll End in Tears", the first album by This Mortal Coil, and had released an EP called 'Garden of the Arcane Delights'. In 1985, Dead Can Dance released their second album, 'Spleen and Ideal'. The album helped build their European cult following, peaking at number two on the U.K. indie charts. 

For the next two years, Dead Can Dance were relatively quiet, releasing only two new songs in 1986, both which appeared on the 4AD compilation "Lonely Is an Eyesore". 'Within the Realm of a Dying Sun', the group's third album, appeared in 1986. In 1988, the band released its fourth album, 'The Serpent's Egg', and wrote the score for the Agustí Villaronga film "El Niño de la Luna", which also featured Lisa Gerrard in her acting debut.
'Aion', Dead Can Dance's fifth album, was released in 1990. Also in 1990, the group toured America for the first time, earning rave reviews. The following year, the group was involved in various festivals and theatrical productions. In 1991, the compilation 'A Passage in Time' was released on Rykodisc, making it the first American release of Dead Can Dance music. Early in 1993, the group provided the score to "Baraka" and contributed songs to "Sahara Blue". In the fall of 1993, they released 'Into the Labyrinth', which became their first proper studio album to receive an American release. 'Into the Labyrinth' was a cult success throughout the U.S. and Europe. It was followed by another American and European tour, which was documented on the 1994 album and film 'Toward the Within'. In 1995, Lisa Gerrard released her debut solo album, "The Mirror Pool". 

In the summer of 1996, Dead Can Dance released 'Spiritchaser' and embarked on an international tour. The duo officially disbanded in 1999; Gerrard continued working as a solo artist and composed music for films such as "Heat", "The Insider", and "Gladiator". Perry also established a solo career, issuing "Eye of the Hunter" in 2000. In 2001, Rhino released the band's first comprehensive box set, 'Dead Can Dance 1981-1998'. Rumors of their reunion also began to swirl around this time; however, Gerrard's solo career remained steadfast. Her work with composer Patrick Cassidy, "Immortal Memory", followed in 2004. Several months later, Gerrard and Perry made it official and reunited for a world tour. Dates in North America and Europe followed in 2005, while Rhino once more recognized the duo with a greatest-hits collection. 'Memento: The Very Best of Dead Can Dance' appeared in October 2005. The band embarked on a world tour in August 2012 in support of the release of a brand-new studio album, 'Anastasis'. The tour was documented on the 2013 release 'In Concert'. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

viernes, 9 de diciembre de 2016


This guitar band, formed in Leicester, England, in 1986, were signed to the fledgling Food label. Their first two releases saw quick independent chart success, ‘(What Gives You The Idea That) You’re So Amazing Baby?’ and ‘Baby Turpentine’ both reaching number 2. In common with Gaye Bikers On Acid, Bomb Party and Pop Will Eat Itself, the group was linked with the media-fuelled ‘biker’ or ‘grebo’ rock genre. By the time of their third single, ‘Time Has Taken Its Toll On You’, and the debut album in 1988, their career was in decline, despite later minor national chart success in 1989 with the 'Have Love, Will Travel' EP and "Like Princes Do" on the Food label’s 'Christmas' EP. Enjoying ludicrous names such as Vom, Superfast Blind Dick, Ian ‘Anderson Pork Beast’ (vocals) and stranger still, Kevin, they were dropped from Food in 1989. Their second album, produced by Pat Collier, found them housed on Black records. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

jueves, 8 de diciembre de 2016


Blurt was founded in 1979 in Stroud, Gloucestershire by poet, saxophonist and puppeteer Ted Milton along with Milton's brother Jake, formerly of psychedelic group Quintessence, on drums and Peter Creese on guitar. After three albums Creese left the band to be replaced by Herman Martin on synthesizers who, after a year of constant touring left the band, and was replaced by Steve Eagles, former member of Satan's Rats, The Photos and Bang Bang Machine

Shortly thereafter Jake Milton left to be replaced by Nic Murcott, who was subsequently replaced by Paul Wigens. Eagles was replaced by Chris Vine as guitarist from 1990 to 1994, and returned to the band following Vine's departure. Wigens was briefly replaced by Charles Hayward between May and October 2001 before returning to the band, before departing the band for good in 2005. His replacement was Bob Leith, who stayed with the band until 2008, at which time he was replaced by the band's current drummer Dave Aylward

Most of Blurt's compositions feature simple, repetitive, minimalistic guitar and/or saxophone phrases, but they can also explore more abstract musical territories, often serving as an atmospheric backdrop for Ted Milton's existentialist poetry. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

miércoles, 7 de diciembre de 2016

Spear Of Destiny

Spear of Destiny was formed by Kirk Brandon and Stan Stammers from the wreckage of Theatre of Hate, and named, with characteristic grandeur, for the weapon with which the Roman centurion Longinus pierced the body of the crucified Christ. Much of the group's debut album was already in place before Lasette Ames and Chris Bell joined; released on the band's own Burning Rome label, 'The Grapes of Wrath' echoed Theatre of Hate's final demos with astonishing precision. 

This original quartet did not survive for long. The album had barely hit the street when Ames and Bell quit, the latter citing both personal and religious reasons (he subsequently resurfaced in Gene Loves Jezebel). Theatre of Hate's Nigel Preston, fresh from a stint with Sex Gang Children, and Diodes' saxophonist John Lennard were drafted in for live work, but by the time Spear began work on their second album, 1984's 'One Eyed Jacks', both had been replaced, by former Tom Robinson Band / Stiff Little Fingers drummer Dolphin Taylor, Case sax player Nick Donnelly, Neil Pyzer, and guitarist Alan St Clair from Howard Devoto's first post-Magazine lineup. 

This, the definitive Spear aggregation, toured constantly -three outings during 1984 saw them saturate the U.K. and incite Melody Maker to enthuse, "this time next year, [this band] should be huge... that they aren't already is down to nothing more than... criminal bad luck"- the bad luck which denied three successive 45s, "Rainmaker," "Prisoner of Love," and "Liberator" even a Top 50 berth. The failure of 'One Eyed Jacks' did much to knock Brandon back, dealing a blow from which he would not recover even after 1985's 'World Service', a less cohesive, but occasionally superior album just missed the Top Ten. Two further indelible singles, "All My Love" and "Come Back," were barely noticed, and when attempts to record a new album on the Manor Mobile collapsed in bad-tempered disarray, Brandon sacked the entire group. (This material was subsequently released within Spear's 'Psalm' series of archive collections). 

Spear of Destiny vanished for much of the next two years, and when the band did return, it was with a completely new lineup of Brandon, bassist Chris Bostock, drummer Pete Barnacle, former Adam & the Ants guitarist Marco Pirroni, and keyboardist Volker Janssen. Ironically, it was now that Spear finally achieved the destiny which had evaded them for so long. Released on Virgin's 10 subsidiary, 'Outland' spawned Spear of Destiny's biggest hits yet, "Stranger in Our Town," "Never Take Me Alive," "Was That You," and "The Traveller." The group also toured with U2, an outing which culminated at Wembley Stadium in June, 1987. But before the group could capitalize on their sudden success, tragedy struck. Literally on the eve of an appearance at the Reading Festival, Brandon was diagnosed with Reiter's Syndrome and ordered to bed. He spent a year flat on his back, barely able to move at a time when Spear of Destiny's commercial stock had never been higher. 'Outland' was their biggest seller yet; their first tour of America was beckoning... and the brightest spot on the horizon was the possibility that Brandon might be able to learn to walk again. 

He struggled back into action just in time to see Spear of Destiny fall apart. Their 1988 album, 'The Price You Pay' and single "So in Love with You" foundered in the face of his inability to promote them, and while Brandon bravely tried to relaunch the group in 1990, reuniting with Stan Stammers alongside drummer Bobby Rae Mayhem and guitarist Mark Thwaite, his future drifted even further out of reach when sundry legal problems meant he couldn't even continue using the band's name. Two largely unsatisfying albums document this era, the comeback 'Sod's Law', released in 1992, and 'Live at the Lyceum' (1993). 

Abandoning Britain, Brandon relocated to Philadelphia, where he hooked up with the two American musicians who would become the backbone of his future activities, guitarist John McNutt and drummer Art Smith. Demos recorded by this team, under the tentative name Elephant Daze, would subsequently be issued on the 'Psalm Three' archive collection; they went unreleased at the time, however, and Brandon returned to Britain, bringing his new bandmates with him. For a time, the team toured as Theatre of Hate and briefly worked under the unlikely name of 10:51 releasing the single, "Children of the Damned," and the album 'Stone in the Rain'. Brandon finally took the Spear name back for himself in 1998, when he began work on a new album, 'Religion'. 

Since that time, both Brandon and Spear of Destiny have worked constantly -2003's 'Morning Star' album was followed by 'Imperial Prototype' in 2007, while 2006 brought 'Tons of Sods', a collection of re-recorded classics hailing from radio sessions that same year. The band's U.K. tour that same year spawned the 'Reanimation' live DVD, while Brandon has also supervised a major reissue campaign, not only restoring the band's most crucial albums to bonus-track-stacked life, but also compiling the essential four-CD 'Kirk Brandon Anthology' box set. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]