jueves, 29 de septiembre de 2016

The Smithereens

Dressed in leather, brandishing heavy guitars, and exhibiting an unabashed fetish for British Invasion pop, The Smithereens were an anomaly in the American college rock scene of the late '80s. Lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Pat DiNizio stood out not only with his strange beatnik goatee, but also because his catchy hooks were haunting, not punchy, and because his lyrics were morose. As time wore on, the group became more straightforward, turning into an excellent bar band, one that attacked pop songs with the weight of AC/DC. A few hits followed, but The Smithereens seemed hopelessly out of date in the alternative rock explosion of the early '90s, and they quietly faded into a working cult band. 

Of course, The Smithereens essentially started out as a working band. After playing in several cover bands, including a handful of prog rock and metal groups, DiNizio was inspired to form his own band after listening to Buddy Holly. Placing an advertisement in a New York paper for musicians influenced by Holly, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, and The Clash, DiNizio eventually came into contact with New Jersey high-school students Dennis Diken (drums), Jim Babjak (guitar), and Mike Mesaros (bass), who had all played together in school. By the end of 1980, they had independently released 'Girls About Town', an EP featuring four songs with "girl" in the title that was a moderate local success. For the next three years, the group played around New Jersey and New York, not releasing another record until 1983's 'Beauty and Sadness'. While the EP earned some play on college radio and received a positive review in Rolling Stone, they still had trouble gaining an audience, so they began supporting traveling oldies artists like Otis Blackwell, with whom they recorded an album's worth of material, and The Beau Brummels

By 1985, The Smithereens were growing frustrated by their lack of progress, as most of the demos they sent to labels were ignored. They did send a demo to Enigma, where Scott Vanderbilt, a former college DJ who was a fan of the band several years earlier, signed the group. In 1986, the band released its debut album, the Don Dixon-produced 'Especially for You', to positive reviews. On the strength of college airplay, as well as MTV's airing of "Blood and Roses" -a video financed by a film studio that included the song in the B-movie "Dangerously Close"- the album became a moderate hit, climbing to number 51 on the charts and leading to a major-label contract with Capitol. The Smithereens supported the album with an extensive tour, and they recorded their second record weeks after they left the road. 

'Green Thoughts' appeared early in 1988, and the first single, "Only a Memory," not only became a college and modern rock hit, but it crossed over to album rock stations as well. The Smithereens made their attempt for big-time album rock success with their third album, '11'. Hiring producer Ed Stasium brought a heavier guitar sound, which made "A Girl Like You" -a song rejected as the theme for the comedy "Say Anything"- a Top 40 hit, sending 11 to gold status. "Too Much Passion," the first single from their fourth album, 'Blow Up', indicated that the new record was more adventurous and produced, and the single did become a Top 40 hit, yet the album itself failed to replicate the success of its predecessor. 

'Blow Up' was their last album for Capitol, and they moved to RCA for 1994's 'A Date with the Smithereens', their first album since 'Green Thoughts' to be produced by Don Dixon. By that time, the alternative and mainstream rock scenes had been heavily altered by grunge, which essentially left the band without an avenue for their records to be heard. The album bombed, but The Smithereens retained a sizable cult following that helped them tour successfully into the late '90s. In 1995, they released a pair of compilations, the hits package 'Blown to Smithereens' and the rarities collection 'Attack of the Smithereens'. 

After a five-year recording hiatus, the group returned to the studio for 1999's 'God Save the Smithereens'. Another series of compilations and live recordings appeared between 2000 and 2006, with 'Meet the Smithereens!' arriving the following year along with a holiday album, 'Christmas with the Smithereens'. 'Live in Concert! Greatest Hits and More', recorded at the Court Tavern in New Brunswick, NJ, appeared in 2008. Two tribute albums would follow, with 'B-Sides the Beatles' arriving in 2008 and 'The Smithereens Play Tommy' following in 2009. In 2011 they issued 'Smithereens 2011', their first album of original songs in 11 years. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 28 de septiembre de 2016


Synth-pop band Propaganda was formed in Germany by vocalist Claudia Brücken and drummer Michael Mertens plus keyboard players Susanne Freytag and Ralf Dorper. The quartet moved to England in 1983 and signed to ZTT Records, also the home of Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Art of Noise. Propaganda's first single, "Dr. Mabuse," reached the British Top 30 in early 1984, but the band's second release was more than a year in coming. Finally, in May 1985, "Duel" trumped the debut single by hitting number 21. 

Propaganda's first album 'A Secret Wish' appeared one month later, and the resulting tour necessitated the addition of bassist Derek Forbes and drummer Brian McGee -both formerly with Simple Minds. After the release of the remix album 'Wishful Thinking' later that year, Dorper became the first original member to leave the band, and Propaganda splintered soon after, due to a prolonged legal battle to leave ZTT. The group finally re-emerged in 1988 with Mertens, Forbes, McGee and American vocalist Betsi Miller. The quartet signed with Virgin, and released '1234' in 1990. The single "Heaven Give Me Words" broke the British Top 40 in 1990, and "Only One Word" placed modestly later that year. 

Meanwhile, Claudia Brücken -who had stayed with ZTT in large part because of her marriage to label-owner Paul Morley- formed Act with Thomas Leer. The duo charted "Snobbery and Decay" in mid-1987 and released their only album, 'Laughter, Tears, and Rage' in 1988. Brücken became a solo act by the turn of the decade, and charted only one single, "Absolut (E)," from her 1991 album 'Love, And a Million Other Things'. Though neither the band nor Brücken had recorded recently, rumours flew during the mid-'90s that a Propaganda reunion was in the works. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 25 de septiembre de 2016

Mood Six

Neo-psychedelic combo Mood Six was formed in London's West End in 1982; emerging from the remnants of mod revival groups like The Merton Parkas and The VIP's, their original lineup included Phil Ward, Tony Conway, Andy Godfrey, Guy Morley, Paul Shurey, and Simon Smith. Debuting with a pair of tracks on the "A Splash of Colour" compilation, the group immediately launched itself to the forefront of the short-lived British psychedelia revival; signing to EMI, Mood Six issued their first offical single, "Hanging Around," but were dismissed from the label when the follow-up, "She's Too Far (Out)," proved a commercial disappointment. In 1985, Mood Six resurfaced on the Psycho label with the LP 'The Difference Is...', jumping to Cherry Red to issue 'A Matter Of!' a year later. After a long period of seeming inactivity the band returned in 1993, releasing 'And This Is It' on their own Lost Recording Company label. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

sábado, 24 de septiembre de 2016

The Freshies

The seeds of this UK pop group were sown in 1971 when Chris Sievey and his brother hitched a lift to London and staged a sit-in at The Beatles’ Apple Records headquarters -eventually going on to record a session. Subsequently Sievey recorded numerous demos which were sent to record companies, resulting in an avalanche of rejection slips he later published as a small book. Another book was dedicated to Virgin Records rejections alone. His own label Razz was formed in 1974, releasing a variety of singles, videos and over 60 cassettes. In the meantime, Sievey attempted to form his own band under the title The Freshies. Among a stream of musicians who collaborated were Martin Jackson (later Magazine and Swing Out Sister) and Billy Duffy (later The Cult). The most consistent line-up, however, was Barry Spencer (guitar), Rick Sarko (bass, ex-Ed Banger And The Nosebleeds) and Mike Doherty (drums, ex-Smirks), the line-up operating between 1980 and 1982. After several small pressings on Razz, Sievey finally hit the charts with ‘I’m In Love With The Girl On The Manchester Virgin Megastore Checkout Desk’, when it was re-released by MCA in 1981. Two other curious but enduring singles were also released on the major, the ambiguous anti-war ode ‘Wrap Up The Rockets’, and the paean to record collecting, ‘I Can’t Get (Boing Boing) Bouncing Babies By The Teardrop Explodes’. However, after a solitary single on Stiff Records the band split. Sievey, ever the optimist, went on to a similarly bizarre solo career alongside appearances as his alter ego Frank Sidebottom. Incredibly, for a band with literally hundreds of songs behind them, the Freshies never released an official album. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

jueves, 22 de septiembre de 2016

Dolly Mixture

This pop threesome of Debsey Wykes (vocals, bass), Hester Smith (drums), and Rachel Bor (guitar) formed a sharp contrast against the ruling post-punk and angst building up in London around 1979 with bands like Gang of Four being heralded in the popular press as the big things. 

Originally, Dolly Mixture was a joke, put together by three friends pretending they were in a band together. In February 1978, they were offered a show and decided they had better begin learning to play instruments. Their love of glam, '60s pop melody and The Undertones combined for a breed of infectious pop, self-proclaimed as post-punk, that would go on to influence the entire genre of indie pop. A&R executives at Chrysalis picked up the hype around the band and quickly attempted to turn them into a "girl group" with a cover of Betty Everett's song "Baby, It's You." The track failed and the group began to record with Paul Weller's new label Respond. The resulting single, "Been Teen," was produced by Captain Sensible and Paul Gray of The Damned. The second single, "Everything and More" caught the band at their best -breezy yet sassy and smart. 

Off this momentum, the band played shows across England, recorded several sessions with John Peel, and appeared on Top of the Pops as backup to Captain Sensible on the songs "Happy Talk," "Wot!," and "Glad It's All Over." This exposure was viewed with mixed emotions by the band, who were suddenly recognized more for their backing musicianship than for their own work. 

In 1983, they released the "Remember This" single on their own label, Dead Good Dollys Platters, which had an strange B-side with fragmented voices, Wykes on piano and Bor on strings, a combo that threw off their more traditional pop-loving audience. This sound would continue on the 1984 'The Fireside' EP on Cordelia. 

Their full-length album was a collection of demos -both originals and covers- and was released on Dead Good Dollys Platters in 1984, shortly before the band broke up. The double LP was packaged in The Beatles' "White Album" sleeve and was autographed and numbered. Significant tracks include Mott the Hoople's "Foxy Foxy" and The Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale," as well as originals such as "Dead Rainbow," which was a tribute to glam rock singer Gary Glitter

After Dolly Mixture, Wykes and Smith formed Coming Up Roses, a pop-dance group that existed until November of 1986. Smith then retired from music and Wykes began Birdie with collaborator Paul Kelly of Saint Etienne. Bor played with the band Fruit Machine until 1999. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 21 de septiembre de 2016


One of the legendary 4AD label's earliest and most under-recognized acts, Colourbox were among the first artists outside of the realm of hip-hop to rely heavily on sampling techniques; ultimately, their arty blue-eyed soul -a fusion of far-ranging influences spanning from classic R&B to dub to industrial- reached its commercial and creative apotheosis through their work on M/A/R/R/S' seminal "Pump Up the Volume" project, a reflection of the group's longstanding interest in the burgeoning underground dance music scene of the 1980s. 

Colourbox were primarily the work of London-based brothers Martyn and Steven Young, who recruited vocalist Debbion Currie to sing on their 1982 4AD debut, "Breakdown." Curry was replaced by Lorita Grahame in time for the trio's 1983 re-recording of the same track, this time produced by Mick Glossop. Colourbox's self-titled debut EP -a collection of dub and scratching experiments heralding their first plunge into sampling technology, edited down from three hours of studio sessions- appeared later that same year, with the single "Say You" following in 1984. After another 12", "Punch," the group issued 1985's "The Moon Is Blue," a teaser for its upcoming full-length LP, also a self-titled affair; "Baby I Love You So" and "The Official Colourbox World Cup Theme" both appeared the following year. 

In 1987, at the behest of 4AD chief Ivo Watts-Russell, the Young brothers teamed with labelmates A.R. Kane as M/A/R/R/S to record a single fusing the rhythms and beats from classic soul recordings with state of the art electronics and production. Complete with scratches by champion mixer Chris "C.J." Mackintosh and London DJ Dave Dorrell, "Pump Up the Volume" -a breakthrough effort heralding sampling's gradual absorption from hip-hop into dance music and ultimately the pop mainstream- soon topped the British charts, the first 4AD release to accomplish that feat. Plans for a follow-up never materialized, however; stranger still, despite M/A/R/R/S' success, both the Youngs and Colourbox seemed to vanish, with no future recordings forthcoming. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]

martes, 20 de septiembre de 2016

Biting Tongues

This Manchester, England-based unit was formed by Graham Massey and Howard Walmsley in 1980, ostensibly to provide soundtracks for the latter’s live film screenings. With Massey on guitar and Walmsley on saxophone, they added local writer Ken Hollings as vocalist, Colin Seddon on bass and Eddie Sherwood on drums. Fusing jazz, punk and dance music influences, Biting Tongues went on to release four albums over the 80s, the last of which saw them move to influential Manchester independent Factory Records. By this time Hollings and Sherwood had both departed, the latter going on to join Simply Red. Their replacements were Basil Clarke (vocals) and Phil Kirby (drums). The Factory album, accompanied by singles ‘Trouble Hand’ and ‘Compressor’, acted as a soundtrack to another Walmsley film (in addition, there was a full-scale video album in 1988, "Wall Of Surf"). However, as the 80s progressed, Clarke and Kirby drifted off into the ranks of the increasingly successful Yargo, leaving the band’s founding duo to return to work on video/soundtracks. A fifth album was aborted when their fifth record company, Cut Deep, collapsed. A final single, ‘Love Out’, was issued, after which Massey moved on to 808 State, while Walmsley returned to full-time film and video pursuits, among his other engagements, constructing visuals for his old partner’s new group. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

lunes, 19 de septiembre de 2016

The Associates

Formed in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1979, The Associates comprised vocalist Billy Mackenzie and multi-instrumentalist Alan Rankine. Built on an eclectic mix of influences and interests ranging from art rock to glam and disco, the group debuted with a manic cover of David Bowie's "Boys Keep Swinging," which earned them a contract with Fiction Records. Their 1980 debut LP, 'The Affectionate Punch', was a critically acclaimed work which expanded the duo's sound into both stark minimalism and melodramatic ballads, earning Mackenzie's powerful voice favorable comparisons to Scott Walker

After jumping to the Situation Two label, The Associates released a series of singles which explored a continually diverse array of styles and textures. With 1982's "Party Fears Two," issued under their own Associates label imprint, the group finally hit the U.K. Top Ten, and the follow-up singles "Club Country" and "18 Carat Love Affair" both reached the Top 30. 1982's 'Sulk' was the group's definitive statement, a fascinating blend of lush, New Romantic popcraft and dark, surreal cabaret stylings. 

Following the LP's success, however, relations between Mackenzie and Rankine soured, and the latter left the group for a solo career, releasing the albums 'The Day the World Became Her Age' (1986), 'She Loves Me Not' (1987), and 'The Big Picture Sucks' (1989). Undaunted, Mackenzie retained The Associates name and teamed with Martin Rushent to record an album which went unreleased, although a few of the tracks later emerged on 1985's 'Perhaps', fleshed out by keyboardist Howard Hughes and guitarist Steve Reid. A long layoff followed, with another album, 'The Glamour Chase', recorded but rejected by label chiefs. In 1990, the Euro-disco-flavored 'Wild and Lonely' emerged, and its lack of success effectively ended The Associates' story. In early 1997, while in the midst of preparing for a projected comeback, Mackenzie committed suicide. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 18 de septiembre de 2016

True West

Out of the same mold as L.A.'s Paisley Underground bands, True West didn't fit because they were from Davis, CA (operating out of the nearby nexus for guitar bands, San Francisco) and a little darker and less dreamy than the others. They debuted with 'True West', an EP in 1983 on Bring Out Your Dead Records. It was produced by the band's Russ Tolman and The Dream Syndicate's Steve Wynn. 'Hollywood Holiday', released by France's then-very hip New Rose label that same year, contained the debut EP as well as some new tracks. By 1984, the band signed a deal with U.S. indie label PVC for 'Drifters'. Drummer Josef Becker left to join the similar, though darker California-centric roots band Thin White Rope, and after recording, so too did Tolman. 1986's 'Hand of Fate' for CD Presents features guitar work by the Rain Parade's Matt Piucci and Green on Red's Chuck Prophet in place of Tolman. Shortly after, the band called it quits. 'West Side Story' (Skyclad, 1989) is an odds-and-sods collection, 'Best Western' (Skyclad, 1990) a compilation of of old demos, and 'TV Western' (Skyclad, 1990) adds some live tracks to the demo sessions. Singer Gavin Blair and guitarist Richard McGrath worked as Fool Killers after the breakup, and Tolman is a prolific singer/songwriter. Becker went on to play with Game Theory. The group's bassist was Kevin Staydohar. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

sábado, 17 de septiembre de 2016

The Slits

Along with The Raincoats and Liliput, The Slits are one of the most significant female punk rock bands of the late '70s. Not only did they bravely (or foolishly, you be the judge) leap into the fray with little, if any, musical ability (on their debut tour with The Clash, Mick Jones used to tune their guitars for them), but through sheer emotion and desire created some great music. This was especially true when they worked with veteran reggae producer Dennis Bovell, setting the stage for a future generation of riot grrrls. Though much derided in their short existence, what The Slits achieved and what they meant to succeeding generations of young female rockers cannot be underestimated. 

The Slits formed in 1976 when 14-year-old Ari Up (sometimes Air Upp) ran into her friend Palmolive at a Patti Smith gig in London. The latter suggested the former consider becoming the lead singer for a new all-girl punk band. Up agreed on the spot, and The Slits, with borrowed equipment and knowledge of two, maybe three chords, were a reality. They made some crude recordings (so crude that they make early Mekons recordings sound like 64-track by comparison) that were never widely circulated, and it wasn't until they nabbed the opening spot on The Clash's "White Riot" tour of England in 1977 that The Slits became a part of the punk pantheon. 

Despite this sudden notoriety, little was recorded by The Slits in the early days, save for a couple of sessions of John Peel's BBC radio show. These recordings place The Slits firmly in the punk rock aesthetic of blaring guitars and braying vocals. But it's not generic-sounding rant: Up's voice bounces along, alternately hiccuping and bellowing to the stiff rhythms; the songs are meditations on alienation, but have a satiric, tongue-in-cheek quality instead of strident preachiness. 

It wasn't until 1979 that The Slits made their first proper record under the watchful, supportive eyes and ears of reggae vet Dennis Bovell. By the time 'Cut' was released, the raging guitars were replaced by subtle reggae riddims, the band was now a trio (Palmolive had been replaced by new drummer Budgie, soon to join Siouxsie and the Banshees), and there was a stylistic suppleness that The Slits had heretofore never displayed. Up's voice still warbled uncertain of the key, but for a band that had been playing its instruments for a little more than two years, this is a remarkably confident record. 

It was two years before a second album was released ('Return of the Giant Slits'), which was denser, darker, and full of surprises. But The Slits, due primarily to their interest in incorporating other forms of ethnic music into their mix, were leaping beyond what was commonly accepted as punk rock and, as a result, were no longer seen as a punk band. This probably didn't distress them in the least, as they were more interested in expanding the barriers of punk rock rather than simply adhering to "rules" that claimed all punk bands must bash out simplistic guitar rant. 

By the close of 1981, Up was singing in Adrian Sherwood's dub/funk aggregation the New Age Steppers, and The Slits had become both legendary and somewhat notorious. After releasing a solo album -'Dread More Dan Dead'- in 2005, Up revived The Slits with Tessa Pollitt and new members and began gigging. The group released a three-song EP, 'Revenge of the Killer Slits', in 2006. The first new full-length Slits album in 28 years, 'Trapped Animal', appeared in 2009. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

viernes, 16 de septiembre de 2016

The Professionals

This UK band was an offshoot from the notorious Sex Pistols and originally featured Paul Cook (b. 20 July 1956, London, England; drums/vocals) and Steve Jones (Stephen Phillip Jones, 3 September 1955, Shepherd’s Bush, London, England; guitar/vocals) plus Andy Allen (bass). The trio began recording sessions in mid-1980 but Allen departed after the release of two singles, ‘Just Another Dream’ and ‘1-2-3’ (an album featuring the Cook/Jones/Allen line-up was eventually released in 1990). Cook and Jones were then joined by Ray McVeigh (guitar/vocals) and Paul Myers (bass, ex-Vic Goddard And The Subway Sect). The quartet received plenty of press attention thanks to the involvement of Cook and Jones, but their 1981 debut album and a handful of singles could not convince either the critics or the record-buying public that they had anything to offer. The Professionals split the following year after completing a second US tour. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

jueves, 15 de septiembre de 2016

The Monochrome Set

When the British art school punk band The B-Sides changed their name and direction to become Adam & the Ants, guitarist/vocalist Bid and guitarist Lester Square opted out to form their own group, The Monochrome Set. Founded in London in 1978, the band (also comprising ex-Gloria Mundi and Mean Street bassist Jeremy Harrington and former Art Attacks drummer J.D. Crowe) was quickly snapped up by the Rough Trade label, and during 1979 issued three singles -"He's Frank," "Eine Symphonie des Grauens," and its signature number, "Monochrome Set"- all completely different in content and stylistic approach.

After former B-Sides bassist Andy Warren grew tired of life in Adam & the Ants, he rejoined bandmates Bid and Square, replacing Harrington. In 1980, The Monochrome Set released their debut album, the cabaret-flavored 'Strange Boutique', followed later that year by the singles "405 Lines" and "Apocalypso" as well as another, more accessible full-length effort, 'Love Zombies'. Complete with new guitarist Foz, keyboardist Caroline Booth, and drummer Nick Wesolowski, they returned in 1982 with a cleaner, more melodic sound on the LP 'Eligible Bachelors'; "The Jet Set Junta," a satiric jab at the Falklands Islands conflict, became a significant hit the next year. The compilation 'Volume, Contrast, Brilliance: Sessions & Singles, Vol. 1' also appeared in 1983.

Following the departure of Square, The Monochrome Set veered even closer to light pop fare on singles like 1985's "Jacob's Ladder"; the sound subsequently crystallized on the nostalgically themed LP 'The Lost Weekend'. When the record met with a dismal commercial response, the group disbanded, only to re-form in 1989 around the nucleus of Bid, Square, and Warren along with new keyboardist Orson Presence. The 1990 album 'Dante's Casino' did little to raise The Monochrome Set's chart visibility, but the band soldiered on, releasing 'Charade' in 1993, 'Misere' in 1994, and 'Trinity Road' in 1995. They broke up in 1998 while Bid formed a new band, Scarlet's Well. In 2011, members of the Well joined a reunited Monochrome Set, which also featured Bid, Square, and Warren. Signed to the Disquo Bleu label, the band released 'Platinum Coils' in 2012 and 'Super Plastic City' in 2013. 'Spaces Everywhere' (2015) found them on their new home of Tapete Records, the label that a year later would release 'Volume, Contrast, Brilliance: Unreleased & Rare, Vol.2', a sequel to their 1983 set. The group stuck with Tapete for their next album, 2016's 'Cosmonaut', which featured Bid playing all the guitars due to the departure of Square. They also welcomed John Paul Moran back on keyboards. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]

miércoles, 14 de septiembre de 2016

Frazier Chorus

British pop group Frazier Chorus was formed in Brighton, England by singer/keyboardist Tim Freeman, percussionist Michelle Allardyce, flutist Kate Holmes and clarinetist/programmer Chris Taplin. Originally dubbed Fishing for Clouds, and later Plop!, the quartet took the Frazier Chorus name from an American beseball jacket belonging to Allardyce; their dreamy, pastoral sound lent itself perfectly to the 4AD label, and in 1987 they issued their debut single, "Sloppy Heart." For 1988's "Dream Kitchen," however, the band jumped from 4AD to Virgin, where a year later they released their first full-length effort, 'Sue'; upon completion of the album Allardyce was dismissed from the lineup, with the remaining trio issuing "Cloud 8" in 1990. After releasing 'Ray' a year later, Frazier Chorus disbanded; although Freeman reformed the group for 1995's 'Wide Awake', he was the original roster's sole remaining member, adding his brother Jamie on guitar, keyboardist Max More, former Bonzo Dog Band accordionist General de Gaulle, horn player Johnny Knowles and longtime Cocteau Twins drummer Benny DiMassa. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC] 

martes, 13 de septiembre de 2016


Do-Ré-Mi aka Do-Re-Mi was an Australian rock/pop band formed in Sydney in 1981 by Deborah Conway (lead vocals), Dorland Bray (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Helen Carter (bass, backing vocals) and Stephen Philip (guitar). They were one of Australia's most respected and successful post-punk groups. Do-Ré-Mi recorded self-titled EP and 'The Waiting Room' for independent label Green Records before signing to Virgin Records and recording their first LP, 'Domestic Harmony' in 1985 with Gavin MacKillop producing. 'Domestic Harmony' contained their most played song, "Man Overboard", which was a top 5 hit single in 1985. This song was notable for its lyrical references to penis envy and pubic hair. Do-Ré-Mi's follow-up singles and second album, 'The Happiest Place in Town', produced by Martin Rushent, had little chart success. After Conway was offered a solo deal by Virgin Records, Do-Ré-Mi disbanded in late 1988. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

lunes, 12 de septiembre de 2016

Colenso Parade

This interesting pop/rock act was formed in October 1984 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The band played the Futurama festival in Ireland and then moved to London where they released two singles, ‘Standing Up’ and ‘Down By The Border’, on their own Goliath label. Stiff Records put them in contact with promoter and manager Dave Bedford. Soon afterwards, they moved to London where Bedford had built up Fire Records. From the original line-up, Oscar (vocals), Linda Clenndining (keyboards) and Neil Lawson (bass) remained the nucleus of the band. Terry Bickers (later of House Of Love and Levitation) replaced the original guitarist Jackie Forgie after the first single, and was in turn dropped in favour of John Watt (although Bickers was in place for the album sessions, by the time 'Glentoran' appeared he had moved on). Owen Howell (ex-Big Self) would also replace Robert Wakeman as drummer. Following ‘Hallelujah Chorus’, they secured heavy airplay with "Fontana Eyes" in 1986, a classic 12-bar blues workout founded on captivating lyrical epigrams: ‘I’m holding my breath, cos there’s no-one to hold’. A split came soon after their only album when a contract with a major label fell through. Further demos were recorded but nothing surfaced, although Oscar was asked to join Echo And The Bunnymen as singer following the departure of Ian McCulloch. He declined the invitation, and is now working in video. Lawson is currently an aircraft photographer, while Linda Clandinning has trained as a hairdresser. Only Robert Wakeman has continued in the music industry, with indie hopefuls Salad. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 11 de septiembre de 2016

The Birthday Party

The Birthday Party were one of the darkest and most challenging post-punk groups to emerge in the early '80s, creating bleak and noisy soundscapes that provided the perfect setting for vocalist Nick Cave's difficult, disturbing stories of religion, violence, and perversity. Under the direction of Cave and guitarist Rowland S. Howard, the band tore through reams of blues and rockabilly licks, spitting out hellacious feedback and noise at an unrelenting pace. As The Birthday Party's career progressed, Cave's vision got darker and the band's songs alternated between dirges to blistering sonic assaults. 

Originally, the Australian band was called The Boys Next Door, comprising Cave, Howard, Mick Harvey (guitar, drums, organ, piano), bassist Tracy Pew, and drummer Phill Calvert. After the 'Door Door' album and 'Hee Haw' EP under that name, the band moved to London and switched its name to the deceptively benign Birthday Party. Once they arrived in Britain, their demented, knotty post-punk began to gel. They released their first international album, 'Prayers on Fire', in 1981, earning critical praise in the U.K. and U.S. While the band was preparing to record the follow-up, Pew was jailed for drunk driving; former Magazine member Barry Adamson, Harry Howard, and Chris Walsh filled in for the absent Pew on 1982's 'Junkyard'. 

After the release of 'Junkyard', The Birthday Party fired Calvert and moved to Germany, where they began collaborating with such experimental post-punk acts like Lydia Lunch and Einstürzende Neubauten. Harvey left in the summer of 1983. The group briefly continued with drummer Des Heffner, but it soon disbanded after a final concert in Melbourne, Australia. Cave had the most successful solo career, recording a series of albums in the '80s and '90s that maintained his status as a popular cult figure; Harvey joined Cave's backing band, The Bad Seeds. Howard joined Crime & the City Solution, which also featured his brother Harry and Harvey. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

sábado, 10 de septiembre de 2016

Articles Of Faith

A Chicago-based hardcore band that took a strong political stance, Articles of Faith were considered one of the vanguards of that Midwestern city's scene and released a handful of highly influential records. Fronted by former protest singer and eventual history instructor Vic Bondi, Articles of Faith first came on the scene in 1981. Their first EP, 'What We Want Is Free', was released in 1982 and was followed by the 'Wait' EP in 1983 and the LPs 'Give Thanks' (1984) and 'In This Life' (1985), which were both produced by Bob Mould. While their early releases contained a mélange of differing styles, their last release, 'In This Life', is one of the records credited with kick-starting the emocore sound. The band (Bondi, vocals and guitar, Dave Shield, bass and vocals, Virus-X, drums, Dorian Tajbakhsh, guitar, and Joe Scuderi, guitar) broke up in 1985. Bondi went on to form Alloy and Jones Very, released the EP 'Fortunate Son' in 2003, and appeared in the 2006 documentary "American Hardcore". In 2002 punk rock label mainstay Alternative Tentacles released 'Complete, Vol. 1' and 'Complete, Vol. 2', a comprehensive anthology of the band's work. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

viernes, 9 de septiembre de 2016

The Triffids

Australian folk-pop band The Triffids was formed in Perth in 1980 by singer/songwriter David McComb, his guitarist/violinist brother Robert, and drummer Alsy MacDonald. Although chiefly influenced by The Velvet Underground, McComb's songs also drew heavily on the stark desolation of his rural upbringing, incorporating elements of country and blues to paint haunting portraits of isolation and longing. 

Various members passed through the lineup during The Triffids' early years, although the core trio remained intact throughout. Shortly after the additions of Martyn Casey and keyboardist Jill Birt, the band recorded their 1983 debut, 'Treeless Plain', for the Hot label, followed a year later by the EP 'Raining Pleasure'. Heralding the arrival of steel guitarist Evil Graham Lee, 1986's 'Born Sandy Devotional' was The Triffids' creative breakthrough, and after recording the low-budget follow-up, 'In the Pines', in a wool-shearing shed in the Australian outback, the group signed to major label Island to issue their 1987 masterpiece 'Calenture', their first recording with guitarist Adam Peters

Unfortunately, commercial expectations for 1989's Stephen Street-produced 'The Black Swan' weren't met, and The Triffids disbanded soon after, with the live 'Stockholm' appearing posthumously the following year. David McComb went on to work with The Blackeyed Susans before mounting a solo career with 1994's 'Love of Will'. Three days after a car accident, McComb died of unknown causes on February 2, 1999. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

jueves, 8 de septiembre de 2016


Though largely overlooked during their relatively brief lifespan, Slint grew to become one of the most influential and far-reaching bands to emerge from the American underground rock community of the 1980s; innovative and iconoclastic, the group's deft, extremist manipulations of volume, tempo, and structure cast them as clear progenitors of the post-rock movement that blossomed during the following decade. 

Whatever the extent of Slint's own influence, the group grew out of Louisville, Kentucky's legendary Squirrel Bait, another seminal band that languished in relative obscurity during its own lifetime but ultimately spawned the likes of Gastr del Sol, Big Wheel, and Bastro. Guitarist/vocalist Brian McMahan formed his first group at the age of 12; within a few years, he teamed with drummer Britt Walford, and after the addition of vocalist Peter Searcy, guitarist David Grubbs, and bassist Clark Johnson, they founded Squirrel Bait in the mid-'80s. After two ferocious records, a self-titled 1985 effort and 1987's 'Skag Heaven', the group disbanded, leaving McMahan and Walford to continue on as Slint with guitarist David Pajo and bassist Ethan Buckler.

With producer Steve Albini, the quartet recorded 1989's 'Tweez', issued on their own Jennifer Hartman label; a collection of odd stylistic approaches, fractured rhythms, and strange lyrical fragments, the album owed debts to few (if any) historical precedents and steadfastly defied easy classification. Shortly after the record's completion, Buckler left to form King Kong, and was replaced by bassist Todd Brashear for 1991's 'Spiderland', an even more sophisticated and adventurous set. 

With the exception of a posthumous 1994 EP (originally recorded between the two full-length albums), 'Spiderland' was Slint's swan song, although the individual members remained key figures in the independent scene. After attending art college, Pajo joined the ranks of Tortoise, while Walford (under the alias Shannon Doughton) played drums with The Breeders before rejoining Buckler in King Kong. McMahan and Brashear, meanwhile, aided Will Oldham in his ever-shifting Palace aggregate (which additionally housed Pajo and Walford at one point or another); McMahan and Pajo also briefly reunited as members of The For Carnation, while Slint came together for a well-received series of reunion concerts in 2007. 

In 2014, Touch & Go released an ambitious expanded edition of 'Spiderland' that included a remastered version of the original album, as well as 79 minutes of outtakes, demos, and other bonus material. The new edition of 'Spiderland' also included a DVD of "Breadcrumb Trail", a documentary by Lance Bangs about Slint and the making of 'Spiderland'; the film also received a limited theatrical release. To celebrate the release of the film and the 'Spiderland' box set, Slint reunited for a brief U.S concert tour. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 7 de septiembre de 2016

The Prisoners

This mod-influenced 60s revival band originated from the UK’s Medway Valley in Kent. Chief songwriter Graham Day (guitar/vocals), Allan Crockford (bass), James Taylor (Hammond organ) and Johnny Symons (drums) emerged in 1982 with a rough and raucous debut, 'A Taste Of Pink', on their Own Up label. A contract with the Ace Records subsidiary Big Beat yielded 'The Wisermiserdemelza' in 1983, a far more laid-back, considered effort that ranged from powerful, 60s-influenced rock (the single ‘Hurricane’) to tranquil ballads. The EP 'Electric Fit' followed in 1984 and was notable for the excellent ‘Melanie’. The band was featured on UK television’s The Tube with other Big Beat acts, celebrated on the EP "Four On Four: Trash On The Tube", The Prisoners contributing the awesome "Reaching My Head". The band was unhappy with the sound on their second album and returned to Own Up for 1985’s 'The Last Fourfathers', a less slick production, but a more mature offering. It was enough to secure a recording contract with Stiff Records /Countdown, but from the start relations between band and label were poor. Although 'In From The Cold' was an impressive album, it was far poppier and cleaner than The Prisoners had wished. Preceded by "Whenever I’m Gone" (a re-recording from 'The Last Fourfathers'), the album was badly promoted and the band, disillusioned with proceedings, split soon afterwards. 

Aside from two live albums shared with The Milkshakes, an album’s worth of rarities was also issued. As to The Prisoners themselves, Taylor carved out a niche with his originally Booker T. Jones-influenced, and later rare groove-inspired, James Taylor Quartet. Crockford joined him for a while before reuniting with Graham Day (after his spell with Milkshakes offshoot Thee Mighty Caesars) in the Prime Movers. The Prisoners’ lasting influence can be detected in many of the later Manchester bands of the early 90s, notably The Charlatans and the Inspiral Carpets, who also utilized the Hammond organ to propel their quasi-psychedelic pop songs. The Prisoners reunited briefly in 1997 to record a new single. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

martes, 6 de septiembre de 2016


Momus was the alias of Nick Currie, a Scottish-born singer, songwriter, and provocateur whose music careened from acoustic ballads to electro-pop to acid house and back again. Born in 1960, Currie spent time living in Greece and Canada before returning to Scotland to attend university; in 1981, he dropped out of school to form The Happy Family, a band additionally comprising three prior members of Josef K. After signing to the 4AD label, the group recorded only one LP, 1982's 'The Man on Your Street', before disbanding. 

After returning to (and graduating from) university, Currie moved to London in 1984. He cut a deal with el Records and released 'Circus Maximus' in 1986, the first offering released under the Momus name (chosen in honor of a Greek god banished from Mount Olympus for daring to criticize the wisdom of Zeus). The album spotlighted Currie's rich baritone and fascination with themes of psychosexuality and cultural crises, recurring motifs throughout his extensive catalog of work. 

A move to Alan McGee's Creation label preceded the release of 1987's melancholy 'The Poison Boyfriend', followed by 1988's homoerotic 'Tender Pervert'. Even more frankly sexual was the next year's 'Don't Stop the Night', a collection exploring taboo topics including incest and necrophilia. With 1991's 'Hippopotamomus' -dedicated to the late Serge Gainsbourg- Momus came under attack; the album, dubbed "a record about sex for children," drew fire from feminists as well as a lawsuit from Michelin U.K., which objected to a lyrical reference to their mascot, the Michelin Man. (The suit was subsequently settled out of court, and all remaining copies of the album were destroyed.) 

Undeterred, Momus returned in 1992 with a pair of new records, 'The Ultraconformist' and the ambient-styled 'Voyager', inspired by the work of Yukio Mishima. After writing the 1993 album 'Shyness' for Japanese performer nOrikO (who adopted her stage name Poison Girlfriend in tribute to Momus) and releasing 'Timelord' (his final work for Creation), Currie made tabloid headlines for his 1994 marriage to 17-year-old Shazna Nessa, the daughter of a Bangladesh-born restauranteur. Currie and Nessa first met when she was just 14; after her parents learned of the relationship, she was sent back to Bangladesh to enter into an arranged marriage, but escaped to return to London to marry Currie, forcing the couple to go underground for fear that Nessa's family would kidnap her. 

Currie, living in exile in Paris, subsequently signed to the Cherry Red label and resurfaced in 1995 with 'The Philosophy of Momus', an eclectic set veering from reggae to blues to techno that featured "The Sadness of Things," an indie hit recorded with Ken Morioka of the Japanese pop band Soft Ballet. 'Slender Sherbet', a collection of re-recordings of material from the 'Tender Pervert' era, followed later in the year as Momus suddenly found success in Japan writing and producing for pop songstress Kahimi Karie, with whom he notched a string of five consecutive Top Five hits. 

'20 Vodka Jellies', a collection of demos performed by Momus and intended for Karie, appeared in 1996, and was the first of his records issued in the U.S. In addition to writing and producing material for Nessa's band Milky and the CD-R magazine "Blender", Currie rounded out the year by writing, producing, and programming the CD-R collection "This Must Stop". He issued 'Ping Pong' in 1997, returning a year later with 'The Little Red Songbook'. Released in 1999, 'Stars Forever' was arguably Momus' most controversial and provocative artistic statement yet -mounted to help defray massive legal costs facing Currie's U.S. label Le Grand Magistery, each of its songs was commissioned for $1000 apiece by various patrons, from Japanese pop mastermind Cornelius to the staff at New York City publicity firm "Girlie Action", and written to the patrons' specifications. 'Folktronic' followed in early 2001, and two years later, Momus debuted on his own American Patchwork label with 'Oskar Tennis Champion'. 

Analog put out the two-disc 'Forbidden Software Timemachine: Best of the Creation Years, 1987-1993' compilation in 2003, followed by 'Otto Spooky' and 'Ocky Milk' in 2005 and 2006. In 2008, Currie teamed up with Glaswegian producer Joe Howe for the album 'JOEMUS', released on the Analog Baroque imprint. Momus released the YouTube-inspired album 'Hypnoprism' in 2010. 'Thunderclown', a collaboration with John Henriksson, arrived in 2011, followed by 'Bibliotek' and 'Sunbutler' in 2012. The year 2013 saw the release of 'Bambi', as well as the first installment of 'MOMUSMCCLYMONT', a collaboration with ex-Orange Juice member David McClymont. 'MOMUSMCCLYMONT II' dropped in 2014, followed in 2015 by 'Turpsycore' and 'Glyptothek'. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC] 

lunes, 5 de septiembre de 2016

Frank Chickens

The female duo Frank Chickens -vocalist Kazuko Hohki and Kazumi Taguchi- usually cover both sides of the spectrum: born in Japan but residents of London; respectful of classical Japanese culture but equally at home paying homage to cheap monster movies; as likely in their lyrics to launch into scathing feminist criticisms of Western society's view of Japanese women as they are to enjoy absurd, campy silliness for its own sake. Hohki and Taguchi met in 1978 in an organization called the Japanese-American Toy Theatre, which performed classic plays and stories using toy robots, action figures, and Godzilla dolls. The publicity given the endeavor by a BBC radio program eventually helped the two launch a recording career, whose first LP was 1984's 'We Are Frank Chickens'. The record spawned a minor hit in "Blue Canary" and was produced by Steve Beresford and David Toop, both of whom helped write musical material; the style was a mixture of synth-pop, funk, jazz, dance, and Japanese traditional music. When Taguchi left the project, the Kaz label issued 'The Best of Frank Chickens' compilation, which gathered album highlights and early non-LP singles. However, Hohki regrouped with Atsuko Kamura for 1987's more openly political 'Get Chickenized', returning again in 1989 as bizarre as ever with 'Club Monkey'. In between musical ventures, Hohki made herself an important figure in introducing karaoke to Great Britain through her BBC television series "The Karaoke Klub"; she also continued to perform with Frank Chickens at clubs and theaters into the 1990s. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 4 de septiembre de 2016

Divine Horsemen

Divine Horsemen were a punk/roots band founded in 1983 by Chris D. (Desjardins), formerly of L.A. punk rock band The Flesh Eaters. The band developed a distinctive (and at the time, very new) alt-country-type sound. They took their name from a voodoo term; a worshiper who is possessed by loa during a ceremony is said to be being ridden by "the divine horsemen". The term was also used as a song title by The Flesh Eaters. Desjardins re-worked several old songs by The Flesh Eaters, notably "Poison Arrow", and exercised his literary side by namechecking Chester Himes, Jim Thompson, Donald Goines, James Ellroy, Harry Crews, Ambrose Bierce and James Joyce amongst others on the track "What Is Red" from the 'Snake Handler' LP. Other band members included Julie Christensen (Chris' then-wife), Matt Lee and Peter Andrus, as well as The Flesh Eaters stalwart Robyn Jameson. They were joined at times by members of L.A. punk bands like Kid Congo Powers of The Gun Club and The Cramps, or Jeffrey Lee Pierce of The Gun Club. They broke up in 1988. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

sábado, 3 de septiembre de 2016


Initially established in 1982 as a solo outlet for vocalist and percussionist John Balance, the experimental sonic manipulation unit Coil became a full-fledged concern a year later following the arrival of keyboardist/programmer Peter Christopherson, a founder of Psychic TV as well as a member of Throbbing Gristle. After debuting with the 17-minute single 'How to Destroy Angels', Balance and Christopherson recruited the aid of Possession's Stephen Thrower, J.G. "Foetus" Thirlwell, and Gavin Friday to record their full-length 1984 bow 'Scatology', an intense, primal work of sculpted industrial noise thematically devoted to the concepts of alchemy and transmutation. 

Coil spent the next period of its existence exploring visual media. In late 1984 they recorded a rendition of the Soft Cell smash "Tainted Love," producing a widely banned, hallucinogenic video clip featuring Mark Almond as the Angel of Death; despite considerable controversy at home, the video ultimately found its way to the archives of the Museum of Modern Art. After spending several years working with filmmaker Derek Jarman on the feature "The Angelic Conversation", Coil issued a remixed edition of their soundtrack. Following 1986's 'Nightmare Culture', a collaboration with Boyd Rice produced as split release with Current 93, Christopherson and Balance invited Stephen Thrower to join the group in a full-time capacity. As a trio, they recorded 1986's 'Horse Rotorvator', an LP introducing classical, jazz, and Middle Eastern textures into the mix, as well as the EP 'The Anal Staircase'. 

In 1987, Coil issued 'The Unreleased Themes for Hellraiser', a collection of atmospheric gothic instrumentals commissioned for but ultimately cut from the Clive Barker horror film, followed by 'Gold Is the Metal (With the Broadest Shoulders)', a remixed history of the group's first several years of work. 'Unnatural History', another career overview, effectively ended the first phase of the band's career in 1990; when Coil resurfaced a year later with 'Love's Secret Domain', their music reflected the strong influence of the acid house culture. Another long layoff brought on by financial difficulties ended in 1995, when the group -now consisting of Christopherson, Balance, and Dean McCowall- signed to Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor's Nothing Records label to release 'Backwards'. Additionally, they recorded the LP 'Worship the Glitch', issued under the name ELpH, and in 1996 cut 'A Thousand Lights in a Darkened Room' as Black Light District, the first in an ongoing series of Black Light District releases. 

Across 1998 and 1999, Coil issued a series of four themed EPs: 'Spring Equinox', 'Summer Solstice', 'Autumn Equinox', and 'Winter Solstice' (later compiled for 'Moon's Milk [In Four Phases]'). After adding Thighpaulsandra to the lineup, they issued 'Astral Disaster' (1999), 'Musick to Play in the Dark, Vol. 1' (2000), 'Queens of the Circulating Library' (2000), and 'Black Antlers' (2004). On November 13, 2004, Balance fell from the second floor landing of his house and passed away. The final Coil recordings featuring his involvement, including '...And the Ambulance Died in His Arms' and 'The Ape of Naples', were released the following year. 

Following Balance's tragic death, Christopherson relocated to Thailand, continued recording music as the Threshold HouseBoys Choir, and performed concerts with a briefly reunited Throbbing Gristle, in addition to beginning several Coil archival projects, including a projected reissue of their entire catalog. 'The New Backwards', an updated version of the 'Backwards' sessions, was given a limited release in 2008 as part of a vinyl reissue of 'The Ape of Naples' on Important Records, followed by a standalone CD release. A massive box set of live Coil DVDs called 'Colour Sound Oblivion' appeared in 2010. Christopherson passed away in his sleep on November 24, 2010. Coil associate Danny Hyde authorized the 2014 Cold Spring release 'Uncoiled', which consisted of previously unreleased Coil remixes of tracks from Nine Inch Nails' "The Downward Spiral". The following year, 'Backwards' was given a release on the label, and several Coil reissues surfaced as part of the long-gestating "Threshold Archives" series. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]

viernes, 2 de septiembre de 2016

Big Wheel

Following the dissolution of Louisville, KY's seminal post-hardcore punkers Squirrel Bait, lead singer Peter Searcy put together the calmer, more traditional Big Wheel. Squirrel Bait had drawn from the thrashy punk-pop of bands like Hüsker Dü and The Replacements, and Searcy's vocals had drawn comparisons to Paul Westerberg. With Big Wheel, Searcy's music matured in a rough parallel to Westerberg and Bob Mould, drawing from jangly collegiate rock and reflective singer/songwriters like early Elton John and James Taylor. He co-founded the band with guitarist and songwriting collaborator Glenn Taylor, not long after Squirrel Bait's breakup. Taylor was then playing in a local cover band with bassist Mike Braden and drummer Scott Lankford, who both joined Big Wheel as well. A demo tape got them a deal with Giant/Rockville, and in 1989 they issued their debut album, 'East End', most of which would have fit comfortably into the adult alternative rock format that would emerge a few years later. Difficulties with their label left Big Wheel in legal limbo for a frustratingly long time, but they were eventually able to move over to the Mammoth label. Lankford had departed in the midst of the sessions for the band's second album, and was replaced by Tom Tompkins. That second album, 'Holiday Manor', was released in 1992 and featured more polished, commercial production, but failed to break the band onto alternative radio. 1993's 'Slowtown' was their most critically acclaimed album, reinventing Searcy's Squirrel Bait angst in the context of a wistful, evocative set of mature pop songs. It too failed to win Big Wheel a wider audience, and bassist Braden departed; his replacement, Dave Ernst, proved to be a divisive presence, and Big Wheel disbanded by the end of 1993. Searcy and Tompkins soon formed Starbilly, which released its lone album in 1995; Searcy subsequently moved to Atlanta and resurfaced in 2000 with his solo debut, 'Could You Please and Thank You'. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

jueves, 1 de septiembre de 2016


The artsy post-punk band Artery formed in Sheffield, England, in 1979, consisting of vocalist/guitarist Toyce Ashley, bassist Neil McKenzie, drummer Garry Wilson, and guitarist Mark Gouldthorpe. The quartet was originally called The But they wisely opted for a change. Artery made their debut on Limited Edition, a label run by their manager, with 1979's 'Mother Moon' single, and were featured a couple months later in a major NME article that rounded up the then fertile Sheffield scene. On the Aardvark label, the band released a double-pack single in May of 1980, which featured two studio songs and a second 7" consisting of four others recorded at the Rotherham Arts Centre. They appeared on the "Bouquet of Steel" compilation around the same time, which was another Aardvark release showcasing a number of Sheffield bands, including The Comsat Angels and I'm So Hollow. The band was relatively quiet until the release of the 'Afterwards' single in November of 1981 on Armageddon, which saw the replacement of Ashley by keyboardist and guitarist Simon Hinkler, a big fan of the band who had endeared himself to the members by driving them to gigs (Gouldthorpe abandoned his guitar seat to become the vocalist). Guitarist/saxophonist Mick Fidler also joined the group at some point earlier in 1981. Signed to Red Flame, a single called 'The Clown' predated the 'Oceans' EP by a week in September of 1982. Fidler was sacked for missing rehearsals and Hinkler left soon thereafter to tune pianos. Pianist Chris Hendrick filled the void for the recording of 1984's honky tonk-tinged 'One Afternoon in a Hot Air Balloon' LP but exited after determining that he didn't want to tour; Hinkler rejoined and brought his trombone-playing brother, David, along. By this point, McKenzie had been replaced by Dave Hendrick and guitarist/saxophonist John White was also in the picture. For 1985's 'The Second Coming', the band underwent more lineup changes and went in a heavier direction. McKenzie returned for the recording of the album, and guitarist Murray Fenton joined; Wilson and leader Gouldthorpe remained. McKenzie left prior to touring and was replaced by manager Tony Perrin for the live record 'Number 4: Live in Amsterdam'. Shortly after that, Fenton jumped ship to join The Batfish Boys and Artery folded. Hinkler became a studio rat, working with the likes of Pulp (pre-fame) and All About Eve; throughout the '80s and '90s, he also spent time in The Mission and Mindfeel and worked with Gouldthorpe as The Flight Commander. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC