jueves, 31 de agosto de 2017

Miracle Workers


While the Pacific Northwest may now be quite renowned as a hotbed of rock & roll activity, Portland, OR's the Miracle Workers were wowing the kids with a gigantic, no-holds-barred rock sound that borrowed more from The Sonics and The Wailers than from Hendrix. After a couple of EPs in this vein, Greg Shaw of Bomp! Records recorded them for a less-barbaric but equally aggressive and very fast record, 'Inside Out', which reigns as the Miracle Workers' most fully realized effort. After numerous members departed, the band shifted its sound yet again, accommodating a penchant for Stooges/MC5-style blitzkrieg. The band finally disbanded after the release of 1991's 'Roll Out the Red Carpet'. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 30 de agosto de 2017

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions


Lloyd Cole and the Commotions were a British pop band that formed in Glasgow, Scotland in 1982. Between 1984 and 1989, the band scored four Top 20 albums and five Top 40 singles in the UK. After breaking up in 1989, Cole embarked on a solo career but the band reformed briefly in 2004 to perform a 20th anniversary mini-tour of the UK and Ireland. The band were formed whilst Cole (who was born in Derbyshire, England) was studying at the University of Glasgow. They signed to Polydor Records; their debut single "Perfect Skin" reaching number 26 in the UK charts in Spring 1984, while the second single "Forest Fire" reached 41. The first album, 'Rattlesnakes', was released in October 1984. Produced by Paul Hardiman and featuring string arrangements by Anne Dudley, the album peaked at No. 13 in the UK and was certified Gold for sales over 100,000 copies. NME included in its Top 100 Albums of All-Time list, and the title track was later covered by the American singer Tori Amos. The Welsh band Manic Street Preachers included the album amongst their top ten list. 


Due to the insistence of their label, the follow-up album, 'Easy Pieces', was produced by Clive Langer & Alan Winstanley (who had previously produced Madness, The Teardrop Explodes and Elvis Costello and the Attractions). Released in November 1985, the album was a much quicker commercial success than its predecessor (entering the UK album chart at No. 5 and certified gold within a month). The singles "Brand New Friend" and "Lost Weekend" were the band's first and only UK Top 20 hits (reaching No. 19 and No. 17 respectively). Two years later, the band released their third and final album, 'Mainstream'. Produced by Ian Stanley (former writer and keyboard-player of Tears for Fears), the album peaked at No. 9 in the UK and was also certified gold, but contained only one UK Top 40 single, "Jennifer She Said" (No. 31). First single "My Bag" and later release 'From The Hip EP' failed to make the Top 40. 


In 1989, the band decided to split up and released a "best of" compilation, '1984-1989', which was their fourth Top 20 album (UK No. 14) and fourth Gold certification. Following this, Cole embarked on a solo career with the release of his eponymous album in 1990. On the first two Commotions albums, Cole was the band's main songwriter (though he co-wrote several songs with various bandmembers). The third album is credited to the band as a whole, though Cole remained the sole lyricist. Particularly notable were Cole's knowingly pretentious lyrics (he was studying philosophy at the University of Glasgow when the band started) and namedropping the likes of Norman Mailer, Leonard Cohen, Arthur Lee, Grace Kelly, Truman Capote, Simone de Beauvoir, Nancy Sinatra, and Eva Marie Saint as well as referring to Sean Penn (somewhat sympathetically) as "Mr. Madonna". In 2006, Scottish band Camera Obscura released the song "Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken" as an answer song to The Commotions' 1984 hit "(Are You) Ready to Be Heartbroken?". [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

martes, 29 de agosto de 2017

The Gruesomes


Consisting of teens who dressed like they were stuck in the '60s -including bowl haircuts- the Canadian group known as The Gruesomes formed in 1985 in Montreal. Original members were guitarists and singers Bobby Beaton and Gerry Alvarez, and a pair of brothers, drummer Eric Davis and bassist John Davis. Drummer John Knolls replaced John Davis a couple of years later. The Gruesomes recorded three albums in the '80s and made a couple of music videos. 

When the members of The Gruesomes first came together, they had very little musical experience -at least in performing. Somehow they managed to build a fan base through local clubs, and to put together a debut EP, 'Jack the Ripper', all within the first year of the group's existence. The debut was quickly followed by another EP, 'Unchained'. Both were released under the Primitive Records label. 


In 1986, The Gruesomes recorded their first full-length album, 'Tyrants of Teen Trash', switching over to the Og Music label. The local fan base had expanded greatly in that first year and the album did well, not only in the group's Canadian homeland, but also in the United States and Europe. In the middle of a heavy touring schedule, the group put out two more albums over the next two years, 'Gruesomania' and 'Hey!' Even with a number of its songs landing on the charts, and a continuous growth in popularity, the band called it quits in 1990. 

For the new millennium, the members of The Gruesomes reunited. The group was welcomed back with open arms in Canada, and found itself playing for a sold-out audience in Toronto, even though it had been a decade since the guys had shared a stage together. Along with a large live audience, the show was also taped for television. There was a new album for 2000 as well, 'Cave-In'. 

Some of the tracks on the group's many recordings are "Buried & Dead", "Get Outta My Hair", "My Broken Heart Will Never Mend", "Jack the Ripper" "Cry in the Night", "I Never Loved Her" and "Bloodhound." [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

lunes, 28 de agosto de 2017

Front Line Assembly


Front Line Assembly is the best known of the various electronic music projects undertaken by the prolific Vancouver-based duo of Bill Leeb (vocals, synthesizers) and Rhys Fulber (synthesizers, samplers). After working in the mid-'80s under the pseudonym Wilhelm Schroeder with Skinny Puppy, the Austrian-born Leeb formed the industrial/techno-based Front Line Assembly in 1986 with Fulber -who initially joined on as a studio assistant- and synth player Michael Balch. After a handful of compilation appearances and cassette-only releases, Front Line Assembly issued its first three full-length efforts -'The Initial Command', 'State of Mind', and 'Corrosion' -on a monthly basis between December 1987 and February 1988. Later in 1988, 'Corrosion', a subsequent mini-album titled 'Disorder', and a number of exclusive bonus tracks were compiled and released as 'Convergence'. 

In 1989, the group returned with the album 'Gashed Senses & Crossfire', which contained the dance-flavored singles "Digital Tension Dementia" and "No Limit". A European tour in support of the record yielded a live album -titled simply 'Live'- that was released and deleted on the same day in a limited edition of 4,000 pressings. After Balch departed Front Line Assembly in 1990, Fulber stepped in as a full partner; the streamlined duo soon released the electro-styled album 'Caustic Grip', while 1992's 'Tactical Neural Implant' found the group's music moving in a harder-edged disco direction. 


By 1994, the sound evolved yet again, with the album 'Millennium' displaying a newfound reliance on guitars; both the title track and "This Faith" scored as club hits. Fulber departed the lineup by 1997, while his replacement Chris Peterson debuted with 1998's 'Monument'. 'Implode' appeared one year later. Sticking with a heavy dose of synth pop trance and throbbing melodies, Leeb and Peterson issued 'Epitaph' in fall 2001. Rhys Fulber returned for the 2001 album 'Civilization' and remained for the 2006 release 'Artificial Soldier', which found guitarist/keyboardist Jeremy Inkel joining the band. The remix album 'Fallout' followed in 2007. 

The group returned in 2010 with 'Improvised Electronic Device' (Metropolis), featuring new members Jeremy Inkel and Jared Slingerland, as well as "Stupidity", with Al Jourgensen. 'AirMech', the electronic instrumental soundtrack for the video game of the same name, was released in 2012. The dubstep-influenced 'Echogenetic' arrived in 2013 -the remix album 'Echoes' a year later- and saw Front Line Assembly touring with Skinny Puppy. 'Circuitry 2' -a sequel to the 1995 single- was issued in early 2017. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 27 de agosto de 2017

Los Seres Vacios


The birth of Los Seres Vacios at the end of 1982 was due to the constant creative activity of Ana Isabel Fernandez (Ana Curra) and Eduardo Benavente who, not happy with the success they were having with Paralisis Permanente, decided to create this new group. Los Seres Vacios are framed in the sinister Spanish wave, although with its own style. Their songs are capable of creating dark atmospheres, dark but always with subtlety. The band was formed by Paralisis Permanente members Ana Curra (solo voice and keyboards), Eduardo Benavente (guitar, bass and drums) and Rafa Balmaseda on bass. The band had a certain instability, passing for Los Seres Vacíos musicians as Adolfo Barberá (Valencian guitarist ex Glamour, Ceremonia), Enrique Bastante (guitar, ex Flash Strato; Gabinete Caligari), Carlos Torero (drums, ex Espasmódicos) or José Battaglio (guitar, ex Esqueletos, later in La Frontera). 


Los Seres Vacios edited three EPs, all of them on the Tres Cipreses label. The first of them, 'La Casa de la Imperfección', was published in 1982 and produced by Eduardo Benavente. With the death of Eduardo Benavente and the consequent dissolution of Paralisis Permanente, Ana decided to go ahead with Los Seres Vacios. The second EP saw the light in 1983, with songs "Luna Nueva and "Más". Finally in 1984 their last EP appeared, with two studio songs ("Recuerda" and "Otros Tiempos") and three live, recorded in February 84: "Desnúdate", "Los Celos se Apoderan de Mi" and "Ratas", perhaps Los Seres Vacios's darkest song. [SOURCE: GRUPOS NACIONALES NUEVA OLA 80

sábado, 26 de agosto de 2017

Fastbacks


One of the few first-wave punk bands who not only survived to the end of the century but did so with their original sound and focus intact, Fastbacks were formed in Seattle, WA, by three high school friends, Kurt Bloch, Kim Warnick, and Lulu Gargiulo. Bloch and Warnick began playing guitar in high school while Gargiulo took lessons in classical guitar at age seven but never played rock & roll until joining the band (though photos she took at local rock shows caught Bloch's eye, sparking a friendship). All three shared a great enthusiasm for both Queen and the Ramones; Gargiulo also loved '60s pop music, Warnick was big on '70s hard rock, and Bloch's taste embraced both. In classic punk rock fashion, Fastbacks were born when Gargiulo saw some nameless band playing at a local punk club who were so horrible that she was convinced even she could do better. With Gargiulo teaching herself rock guitar, Bloch on drums, Warnick on bass, and a friend named Shannon Wood on vocals, Fastbacks began practicing in the fall of 1979 and played their first show the following February. Later that year, Wood dropped out, Warnick stepped up to the vocal mike, and Bloch abandoned the drums to take over as lead guitarist, resulting in a core lineup that would remain in place for the next 20 years. The band then hired the first of a very long line of drummers, 15-year-old Duff McKagan, who would leave after about a year to move to Los Angeles, where he later joined a fairly popular hard rock band (estimates at the number of drummers who have worked with Fastbacks range from 12 to 20). In April 1981, the band released their first single, 'It's Your Birthday / You Can't Be Happy', which found their basic sound already firmly in place -loose, scrappy punk rock with strong pop hooks, punctuated by Bloch's Rick Nielsen-meets-Johnny Ramone guitar solos, Warnick and Gargiulo's singalong harmonies, and Bloch's songs, which struck a balance between self-effacing humor and introspective self-analysis without sounding pretentious. 


Over the next ten years, the Fastbacks were a largely local phenomenon; while they gigged fairly often in and around Seattle and scored the occasional show opening for bigger bands (including the Ramones, Public Image Limited, and John Cale), like most Seattle bands of the day, their popularity failed to spread outside the Pacific Northwest. While they never broke up, the group's activities slowed down in the mid-'80s, and it wasn't until 1987 that they released their first full-length album, '...And His Orchestra'. Bloch joined the Young Fresh Fellows as a guitarist in 1989 and started producing other bands; Warnick began working at the offices of Sub Pop records, and Gargiulo pursued her career as a cinematographer. But Fastbacks had a small but loyal fan base, and when Seattle became the epicenter of the rock world in 1992 in the wake of Nirvana's commercial breakthrough, the group finally began receiving national attention. Sub Pop released a collection of the band's many singles and compilation tracks that year, 'The Question Is No', which became their first widely distributed album; while sales were modest, the press was wildly enthusiastic. Three more albums for Sub Pop followed, with 1994's 'Answer the Phone Dummy' offering the group the luxury of being able to record an entire album in one studio over a period of two weeks. Even more importantly, some of their local fans had become rock stars, and the Fastbacks began opening for the likes of Mudhoney and The Presidents of the United States of America. The big payoff was when Eddie Vedder invited the band to open three West Coast arena shows for Pearl Jam in 1995, and then 28 dates in America and Europe the following year. These high-profile dates didn't propel Fastbacks in rock stardom (which they certainly weren't expecting anyway), and the band continued to schedule themselves around Bloch, Warnick, and Gargiulo's other commitments until 2002, when Warnick, to the surprise of her band mates, announced that she was quitting the band, telling a reporter "As much as those songs mean to me, I've just grown tired of having to be a singer in a rock band." A collection of stray singles tracks and unreleased recordings, 'Truth, Corrosion and Sour Bisquits' was released in 2004; it captured the band in typically tuneful and energetic form, and proved that the Fastbacks called it a day every bit as fresh, enthusiastic, and powerful as when they began. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

viernes, 25 de agosto de 2017

Girl Trouble


Girl Trouble were the band that bridged the gap between the Pacific Northwest sound of the '60s (the high-energy garage rock attack of The Sonics, The Wailers, and Paul Revere & The Raiders) and the grunge scene of the '80s and '90s, playing wild rock & roll that was influenced by the past but embraced the snot, energy, and attitude of punk and its offshoots. Girl Trouble were formed in 1983 by three friends from Tacoma, Washington -drummer Bon Von Wheelie (real name Bon Henderson), guitarist Kahuna (aka Bill Henderson, Bon's brother), and bassist Dale Philips. When Kurt P. Kendall, born in Spokane but a then recent transplant to Tacoma, teamed up with Bon, Kahuna, and Dale on vocals and saxophone, Girl Trouble were born, and after jamming at a few parties, the band made its proper debut March 9, 1984 at a Battle of the Bands at Fort Steilacoom Community College. To their relief, Girl Trouble's set earned them second place, since first place would have meant they'd have to play another 45 minutes. 

Girl Trouble became a presence on the Pacific Northwest scene, known for their tough but high-spirited sound as well as their insistence on giving their fans a show -featuring go-go dancers on-stage, giving out prizes, staging themed shows, anything to add a new element of fun and excitement to their gigs. In 1987, the band made its recording debut, cutting a single for Olympia's K Records, 'Riverbed b/w She No Rattle My Cage'. A second 7" for K, 'Old Time Religion b/w Tarantula', followed a few months later, and in 1988 they went into the studio with producer Steve Fisk and cut a full-length album in a weekend, 'Hit It or Quit It'. The LP was the first album released by an ambitious Seattle indie label called Sub Pop Records, and Fisk would become a valued ally of Girl Trouble, producing several of their future releases and occasionally playing keyboards with them in the studio and on-stage. Girl Trouble's third single, 'When Opposites Attract b/w Gospel Zone / Homework', was also the debut release from their own label, Wig Out Records, an offshoot of the band's own fanzine. 


In 1990, the band paid homage to its influences in the Pacific Northwest scene of the '60s with the EP 'Stomp and Shout and Work It on Out', while a second album, 'Thrillsphere', was issued by PopLlama Records by the end of the year. By this time, the band was touring frequently, sharing stages with like-minded acts such as The Mono Men, Crackerbash, Beat Happening, Phono-Comb, and The Woggles. In 1992, Girl Trouble released a project close to their hearts, an EP of theme songs from four of their favorite Elvis Presley movies, and the following year the band unleashed its third album, 'New American Shame', a title that would be borrowed as the name of a Seattle-based rock outfit. (Bon in turn borrowed the phrase from an old scandal sheet.) Girl Trouble toured extensively in the United States, Canada, and Europe in support of 'New American Shame', and released an EP of highlights from a gig in Chicago. In 1996, Girl Trouble appeared in the documentary "Hype!", about the Pacific Northwest rock scene, and album number four, 'Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays', dropped in 1998, but as the demands of real life began to intrude, Girl Trouble pulled back on their schedule, never breaking up but touring less and staying out of the recording studio except to cut occasional compilation appearances. 

However, Girl Trouble continued to play memorable shows in the Northwest, and in 2008, when Sub Pop Records staged a 20th anniversary festival in Seattle and Girl Trouble were left off the bill, the band responded by playing a brief acoustic set in the same park where the big show took place. In 2013, Girl Trouble celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of 'Hit It or Quit It' by reissuing the album through K Records, playing a handful of special shows in the Seattle area to mark the occasion. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

jueves, 24 de agosto de 2017

U-Men


Along with bands like Limp Richerds and Mr. Epp and the Calculations, the U-Men were one of the first bands to inspire and develop into what would become Seattle's grunge scene. In their seven-year career, the U-Men toured various regions of the United States, went through a succession of four bass players, and even had a song recorded in their honor by the Butthole Surfers ("The O-Men" from the album 'Locust Abortion Technician'). The time was early 1981 in Seattle when guitarist Tom Price (aka the Prune) and friend/drummer Charlie Ryan (aka Chaz) decided to start an original hard rock band. They enlisted vocalist John Bigley and bassist Robin Buchan to round out the lineup. After a short time, Buchan grew tired of the group, and of being broke, and moved to England. 

Over the next few years, the U-Men played various shows with new bassist Jim Tillman until they finally recorded their self-titled, four-song debut EP in 1984 for Bombshelter Records. This was followed by an appearance on the C/Z Records' 'Deep Six' compilation in 1985, alongside bands like Green River, Soundgarden, Andy Wood's Malfunkshun, and Skin Yard. The U-Men also worked out a deal with Homestead Records, who had released Green River's 'Come on Down' EP. Homestead released the U-Men's second EP, 'Stop Spinning', that same year. Following the release of the U-Men's single 'Solid Action' on Black Label Records in 1987 and an extensive tour, Tillman felt that the U-Men weren't making enough income from their shows and records and quit the band. In the meantime, Price and Ryan were asked by former Girl Trouble singer and U-Men roadie David E. Duet if they were interested in performing with his new band, Cat Butt. Price joined the group on bass and Ryan on drums. By the end of the summer of 1987, though, Price and Ryan had recruited Amphetamine Reptile Records' founder Tom Hazelmeyer to play bass for the U-Men. Both Price and Ryan quit Cat Butt to return their full-time attention to the U-Men once again. 


This new lineup immediately began recording the material that would comprise their first official full-length release. Since Hazelmeyer owned Amphetamine Reptile, he released the LP, dubbed 'Step on a Bug the Red Toad Speaks'. The album, which hit indie store record bins in 1988, proved to be the only full-length release of the band's career. Hazelmeyer released one last single, titled 'Freezebomb', from the group and included them on an Amphetamine Reptile compilation. Hazelmeyer was replaced by Tony Ransom (aka Tone Deaf) halfway through the year, due to Hazelmeyer's responsibilities with Amphetamine Reptile. It was the end of the road for the U-Men, though. No one had told Price that the band had ended, and he showed up to an empty practice space three times before realizing that it was over. 

Following the demise of the U-Men, Price worked at Seattle's Fallout Records, where he formed the Kings of Rock with co-worker Tim Hayes. After the Kings of Rock broke up, Price joined Gas Huffer and The Monkeywrench. Bigley and Ryan broke off into The Crows, who recorded for Amphetamine Reptile until Ryan left in 1994 to join Duet in Bottle of Smoke. As for Ransom, he eventually moved to Alaska. In 1997, the U-Men reappeared on a Sub Pop compilation album to promote the Seattle music documentary 'Hype!' The song "Dig It a Hole" was included on the CD, which had originally been included on the U-Men's 'Solid Action' single. A few years after that, Mike Stein of Chuckie-Boy records approached the U-Men about releasing a CD retrospective of the band. The members agreed, and Stein released the comprehensive collection 'Solid Action', which was titled after the single of the same name. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 23 de agosto de 2017

The Beasts Of Bourbon


The Beasts of Bourbon grew from simply being a side project to being a true supergroup on the Australian pub rock scene. Forming in Sydney in 1983, the original Beasts of Bourbon lineup comprised Tex Perkins (vocals, later of The Cruel Sea), Spencer Jones (guitar, also with The Johnnys), James Baker (drums, Hoodoo Gurus), and a pair of Scientists in guitarist Kim Salmon and bassist Boris Sudjovic. The band began playing together in small venues in Sydney, recording their first album, 'The Axeman's Jazz', in a single afternoon in 1984. Despite the album becoming an underground success, The Beasts of Bourbon continued to be just a side project for its members. It wasn't until 1988 that this situation began to change. With both The Johnnys and The Scientists imploding, The Beasts of Bourbon re-formed to record arguably their best album, 'Sour Mash'. The swamp rock of 'The Axeman's Jazz' had given way to a fusion of blues-based pub rock and punk with great effect. 1990's 'Black Milk' expanded on this idea. 1991's 'The Low Road' saw the addition of two new members. Baker and Sudjovic left the group to concentrate on their band The Dubrovniks, and were replaced by Tony Pola and Brian Hooper from Salmon's then band The Surrealists. In 1993, a double album ('From the Belly of the Beasts') was released to mark the group's ten years together, and the group toured extensively in support of the album. Following the tour, it appeared as if The Beasts of Bourbon would announce their demise. Salmon left the group to concentrate on The Surrealists, and Perkins' group The Cruel Sea was achieving huge success with their album 'The Honeymoon Is Over'. However, the group re-formed in 1996 with former Divinyls Charlie Owen on guitar and released 'Gone' in 1996. The album received lukewarm reviews, but managed to produce a minor single in the form of "Saturated". [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

martes, 22 de agosto de 2017

Urinals


Los Angeles punks the Urinals formed in a UCLA dormitory in 1978. The group's original five-piece lineup consisted of vocalist Delia Frankel, guitarist Steve Willard, bassist John Talley-Jones, organist Kjehl Johansen, and drummer Kevin Barrett, but after making their public debut at a campus talent show, Frankel and Willard exited over creative differences. Johansen switched to guitar, and the remaining trio soldiered on, teaching themselves a sufficient number of rudimentary notes and chords to begin writing original material. Vitus Mataré, keyboardist with L.A. power pop combo The Last, soon agreed to produce the Urinals' self-titled debut EP, issued on their own Happy Squid label in 1979. The self-explanatory 'Another EP' followed. Favoring jagged, blink-and-you-miss-them songs and a defiantly minimalist approach to melody, the Urinals established themselves as a singular presence on the L.A. punk landscape, even if their reluctance to perform off-campus guaranteed the band's existence remain a mystery to the populace at large. Finally, in early 1980 the Urinals accepted an invitation to play the Austin, TX, club Raul's, returning home to open for the fledgling Go-Go's at the Sunset Strip club Gazzarri's. In addition, the trio played occasionally under the alias Arrow Book Club, a vehicle for their improvisational leanings. Indeed, as the Urinals' musicianship and songwriting skills grew, the group felt increasingly uncomfortable performing under an aegis chosen with so little care, and in 1980 officially rechristened themselves 100 Flowers, taken from the Maoist edict "Let 100 flowers bloom and 100 schools of thought contend." Tracks for a planned Urinals full-length were scrapped, and 100 Flowers began work on a new LP. Tensions within the band mounted, however, and by the time their self-titled debut appeared in February 1983, their farewell show was already a month past. Johansen next collaborated with Mataré in Trotsky Icepick, a group Talley-Jones joined several years later, while Barrett played in God and the State. In 1996 the classic Urinals lineup came back together to play at a Wednesday Week record release party and decided to make the reunion permanent, touring in support of avowed fans like Sonic Youth and Mudhoney. When Johansen exited in 1998 to resume his solo career, the remaining duo recruited former Ten Foot Faces guitarist Roderick Barker as his replacement; the Urinals' first-ever studio LP, 'What Is Real and What Is Not', finally appeared in 2003, while their classic early material is available via the compilation 'Negative Capability...Check It Out!' [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

lunes, 21 de agosto de 2017

Trio


A minimalist German outfit responsible for a number one hit across Europe in 1982, Trio used little more than guitar and drums to frame their monotoned vocals and industrial-based songs. The band's self-titled 1981 debut originally appeared only in their native country, but when the following year's single "Da Da Da" became successful -it hit number two in England and sold a million copies- the U.K.'s Mobile Suit Corporation re-released the album with a version of the track. Trio released a cassette-only live album in 1982, and signed to Mercury in the U.S., where their first release was another self-titled work, though only of EP length. Of course, it also included "Da Da Da," and set the stage for 1983's 'Trio & Error', which had a version of "Da Da Da" as well. Finally, in 1983, Trio released an album without a version of their most famous track, and 'Bye Bye' proved quite prophetic. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 20 de agosto de 2017

Donación Agnelli


Donación Agnelli was a band from Barcelona formed in 1983 by Cristina Bagan and Pepe Barrancos (both vocals), José M. Mauriz (guitar), X. Vidi (guitar), Tito Villalonga (bass) and Alberto Carreras (drums). With only half a dozen tracks, but with a compact and forceful sound, in September 1983 they recorded a EP with two tracks they share with Primera Linea, also on the Gira Discos label. The songs were "Asfixia" and "Azul" and were recorded at Sono Centro Studios in Barcelona.

That year of 1983 also means the beginning of their live performances, among them the anniversary party of the program "A Fluor" of Radio Obrera. They played in the mythical Zeleste of Barcelona, ​​another of the most underground and modern centers of the city. At the end of that year they participated in the festival Va de Lona Viva!! in the Pavilion of La Plana of Badalona with Claustrophobia, New Buildings and the local group Kremlin. In July 1985 they recorded a four songs demo entitled "Ritmos Inéditos", including "La Harpía", "Lo Antiguo", "Ritmos Inéditos" and "Convaleciendo". 

In 1986 they participated in the First Festival of Young Artists, held in the city of Tebessa (Algeria) with their music and painting show and as the only Spanish representatives. Shortly afterwards in the same year they played in Beziers (France) at the festival Reencontrées Rock-86. After some more performances in different parts of Barcelona, ​​they played in the famous 666 of Pueblo Nuevo, center of all the new wave of the city, a three storey room that had been part of the underground history of those days. That same year they appeared in the compilation of the independent label Grabaciones Góticas '6 Nuevas Bandas Catalanas' with the songs "Ritmos Inéditos" and "Convaleciendo", and along with emergent bands from the Catalan panorama like Avant-Dernieres Pensées, New Buildings, Sangre Cristiana, Los Humillados and Ai Las Tibet. [SOURCE: GRUPOS NACIONALES NUEVA OLA 80

sábado, 19 de agosto de 2017

Made For TV


Perhaps because of the cachet of having ex-Velvet Underground John Cale as its producer, this D.C. quartet's "So Afraid of the Russians" became a new-music hit in 1983. It can't be said that "So Afraid of the Russians", a recitative dig at right-wing paranoia, has aged poorly: It wasn't very interesting the first time around. Still, their craggy industrial-funk owes so much to Pere Ubu that it seems to make sense when singer Tom Lyon starts aping Pere Ubu singer David Thomas. [SOURCE: THE WASHINGTON POST

viernes, 18 de agosto de 2017

Grauzone


Grauzone (German for "grey area") was a band from Berne, Switzerland that was active and disbanded in the early 1980s. Grauzone is most famous for their 1981 hit "Eisbär" ("Polar Bear"). The single charted at #12 in Germany and #6 in Austria. In addition to "Eisbär" they had some success with the singles "Film 2" and "Wütendes Glas". 

At the end of 1979, Marco Repetto (drums) and GT (bass) left the punk band Glueams to form a new band called Grauzone with Martin Eicher (guitar, vocals, synthesizer). Martin had already supported Glueams on their single 'Mental'. They gave their first concert in March 1980 at club Spex in Berne. Martin's brother Stephan Eicher (guitar, synthesizer), Max Kleiner and Claudine Chirac (saxophone) supplemented the group temporarily in live appearances and recordings. After ten concerts, four singles and an album the group split up at the end of 1982. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

jueves, 17 de agosto de 2017

Cowboys International


A band that managed to bridge the gap between Bowie, Eno and the new wave that would follow, Cowboys International was basically an all star group collected by vocalist and songwriter Ken Lockie that put out one tremendous album in 1979 and a handful of 45s ("Thrash", "Aftermath", "Nothing Doing", "Today Today") before retreating into obscurity. 

With punk icons from The Clash's Terry Chimes to Public Image Limited's Keith Levene contributing, 'The Original Sin' actually garnered a rave review from Rolling Stone's David Fricke and was included as number 11 on Melody Maker's Best Albums of 1979 list alongside such classics as Michael Jackson's 'Off the Wall', The Clash's 'London Calling', Talking Heads' 'Fear of Music' and Elvis Costello's 'Armed Forces'. "Here Comes A Saturday", the album's official single became a minor hit in the United States and "Thrash" and "Pointy Shoes" were staples of the New York City club scene (despite the superiority of the Soft Boys-esque "Aftermath"). Still, the loose collective of a band didn't stick together and 'The Original Sin' went out of print for over two decades. 

In 2003, Ken Lockie reissued his masterpiece of days gone by along with non-album material and alternate mixes as 'Cowboys International Revisited' and began work on more original material with the intent of releasing a new record. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 16 de agosto de 2017

Chi-Pig


Chi-Pig was a new wave power trio hailing from Akron, Ohio. During the 1960s and 1970s, Susan Schmidt (daughter of Marjorie H. Schmidt of The Co-Eds) and Deborah Smith were active in several area bands, notably The Poor Girls, Cinderella's Revenge, and Friction. Smith and Schmidt formed The Poor Girls with Pam Johnson and Esta Kerr in 1965, while studying at Litchfield Junior High School, the first significant rock band to come from Akron and the first to consist only of women. They played regularly and opened for bands such as Cream and Steppenwolf. The group continued during their time at Firestone High School, until splitting up in 1969.

Around 1977, Schmidt and Smith teamed up with Richard Roberts to form Chi-Pig, taking their name from a local barbecue restaurant that sold both chicken and pork (whose sign featured a cartoon drawing of a pig with wings). The band was known for wearing flamboyant flamenco-style Latin-American outfits, even though this had nothing to do with their musical style. The band released a single, 'Bountiful Living / Ring Around the Collar' with lyrics by Mark Mothersbaugh, of Devo, in 1978. Despite active participation in the local music scene and national interest in the Akron area due to the popularity of Devo and Tin Huey, Chi-Pig was unable to land a record deal, ultimately splitting up in 1981. During the fall of 1979, they recorded an album at Criteria Studios in Miami with Bruce Hensal. Although the album was not released at the time, in 2004 the band released a CD of the Criteria recordings along with their earlier recordings, including "Apu-Api (Help Me)" that appeared on the Stiff Records album 'The Akron Compilation'. Their CD, 'Miami', was critically acclaimed as "25 years ahead of its time even now" by Richard Riegel in The Village Voice.

Chi-Pig's music was made up of smart pop rock songs addressing the concerns of women living in a consumerist society with just a touch of humor on the side. Musically, Schmidt and Smith had developed a tight sound over their many years of playing together. Unfortunately, the band fell apart just as other female led groups such as The Go-Go's and The Pretenders were breaking out. In 2005, the band appeared in the PBS documentary, "If You're Not Dead, Play", which detailed the Akron Sound that sprung out of the Ohioan punk rock and new wave scene in the second wave during the 1980s. "Bountiful Living" was used in the soundtrack of the Klaus Nomi documentary film, "The Nomi Song" (2004). Chi-Pig members Susan Schmidt and Deborah Smith co-wrote the Devo song "Gates of Steel" with Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

martes, 15 de agosto de 2017

Big Dipper


A great band that never quite fulfilled their enormous potential, Boston's Big Dipper had impeccable indie credentials and an excellent line in crunchy post-post-punk guitar pop, but their later albums were no match for their early work. Big Dipper was formed in 1985 when guitarist Gary Waleik and bassist Steve Michener left the original lineup of Volcano Suns, which they'd formed with drummer and vocalist Peter Prescott after the breakup of Prescott's earlier band Mission of Burma. Both uncomfortable with the idea of taking lead vocal chores, Waleik and Michener recruited singer/guitarist Bill Goffrier, who had moved to Boston after his former band, the Lawrence, KS-based indie pioneers The Embarrassment, had split up in 1983. Completing their lineup with local drummer Jeff Oliphant (formerly in an early lineup of Dumptruck), Big Dipper gigged around Boston and Cambridge for a while before recording their first EP, 1987's 'Boo-Boo', at the soon-to-be-famous Fort Apache Studios. Leading off with the killer "Faith Healer" (a song Goffrier had brought with him from the final days of The Embarrassment that would prove to be one of Big Dipper's most popular tunes, even getting covered by Shonen Knife), 'Boo-Boo' was well-received on both the local and national indie scenes. Later the same year, the full-length 'Heavens' was released (with no overlap from the EP, which was included on the CD issue) to even greater acclaim. An excellent synthesis of sunny power pop, neo-psychedelia, and indie rock angst featuring gems like "She's Fetching" and "All Going Out Together," 'Heavens' is one of the finest American indie albums of its era. 


Unfortunately, 1988's 'Craps' is a comparatively weaker effort, with less sharp songwriting and a more sedate vibe. (Goffrier at this point was dividing his time between Big Dipper and a temporary Embarrassment reunion, which might account for his less striking contributions.) After that release, Big Dipper surprisingly signed with Epic Records. Like their Boston compatriots O-Positive, who had signed with the same label around the same time, Big Dipper's one and only major-label release is a major disappointment; 1990's 'Slam' features far-too-slick production, with intrusive brass sections and too much emphasis on the rhythm section. Demoralized by the lack of critical and popular success for the album, Big Dipper broke up shortly thereafter. Michener moved to California and briefly worked with Barbara Manning before retiring from music to become a nurse. Other than the short-lived supergroup Crush, which released one album in 1993, Waleik also retired, becoming a producer for National Public Radio. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

lunes, 14 de agosto de 2017

Volcano Suns


Volcano Suns was an American alternative rock band from Boston, Massachusetts formed by Mission of Burma drummer Peter Prescott in 1984, the only founding member to remain until their break-up in 1991. Prescott had auditioned for the position of drummer with Disneyland, but took two of that band's members to form Volcano Suns. The other original members were Gary Waleik and Steve Michener who would leave after a few months, before the release of the first Volcano Suns album, to form Big Dipper. Prescott then added Jeff Weigand on bass guitar and Jon Williams on guitar. This second line-up created the band's debut album 'The Bright Orange Years' (1985), as well as its follow-up, 'All-Night Lotus Party' (1986), both released on the now-defunct Homestead Records. In 1987, Bob Weston and Chuck Hahn replaced Weigand and Williams respectively for 'Bumper Crop', the band's final release on Homestead. Other contributors included Roger Miller on piano and Gary Waleik on sitar. 


In 1988, the band moved to Greg Ginn's SST Records for their 4th release, 'Farced'. The line-up however was the same as on 'Bumper Crop', including Miller on piano and Waleik on sitar. 1989 brought their most experimental release, 'Thing of Beauty', also on SST, on which David Kleiler (formerly from the band Sorry) replaced Chuck Hahn on guitar. This would be the Volcano Suns' final line up. The band moved to Chicago-based indie label Quarterstick Records for their final release, 'Career in Rock' in 1991. The album was engineered by Steve Albini, who would later work with Bob Weston in their band Shellac. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

domingo, 13 de agosto de 2017

Beirut, La Noche


New wave quartet from Madrid formed by Juan Carlos Martín Blanco (voice), Alberto Cedrón (guitar), Manolo Sirvent and Luís Gómez Rubio (drums), they were a very good guitar pop band, with really funny lyrics, catchy melodies and a very good singing voice. They recorded two singles in the middle of the 80's; one of them contained the cuts "Ella se Hizo Monja" y "Vómitos", edited for the sub-label of the Compañía Fonográfica Española (Ref. F-003) El Fantasma del Paraíso in 1983, which was recorded at Audiofilm Studios in Madrid in July that year. A second single, edited by the same label (Ref. F-012) and recorded in the same studios, in this case in February 1984 was 'Expaña / Ruinas del Imperio'. [SOURCE: GRUPOS NACIONALES NUEVA OLA 80

sábado, 12 de agosto de 2017

Toxin III


Hailing from Crowley, Louisiana, Toxin III named themselves after a strain of anthrax rumored to be used in the Iran-Iraq war, then used against Saddam's own citizens 10 years later. They opened for Black Flag in 1980 for their "Jealous Again" tour. Their only release was a 6 song 7" that had a picture of the Confederastika (a Swastika with stars on a Confederate Flag) that was conceived from a Time Magazine article claiming that the Confederate Flag was the new Swastika in America. The band was NOT by any means Antisemitic or racist. The EP was later re-released (with 5 additional studio outtakes) as a CD on Hyped2Death in 2003, an LP with a few added tracks on Rave-Up Records in 2004 and most recently on Burka For Everybody Records in November 2009. [SOURCE: LAST.FM

viernes, 11 de agosto de 2017

The Sting-Rays


Born in the early 80's they were one of the most important bands of Brithish rock'n'roll sound, even one of the best british bands. They are one of the first bands who made a sound nowdays we called psychobilly. Their sound mixed rock'n'roll and garage and that make it really savage. Founded in Crouch End (north of UK) they were sticking and alive from 1981 to 1987 touring all along Europe. The members of the band changed in those years but the spirit and writer of almost all the songs was Alec Palao. 'Dinosaurs', their debut album, caught The Sting-Rays crossing a bridge most other bands would have fallen off, poised between styles that would take them a while to reconcile. As the time passes The Sting-Rays changed and their sound turned less savage (you will notice it if you hear their last album). At the end of the life of the band Alec played with The Go-Betweens and The Pogues, getting turned on to folk rock. In 1988 when the band was already disolved Alec finished playing in The Sneetches, a band whose sound remember the 60's. During the six years that they were playing edited five albums, six singles and appeared in lot of compilations albums, but if you want to know what's the meaning of savage R'n'R try with their compilation album 'The Essential (Early) Sting-Rays Recordings'. [SOURCE: WRECKINGPIT

martes, 8 de agosto de 2017

Ruth


It’s the early ‘80s, and Thierry Müller, a graphic artist and krautrock fan from Paris, has decided to put his experimental rock group Ilitch on hold and make something, as he puts it, “that people could dance to”. The result is Ruth, a conceptual project that exists for just one album, 1985’s 'Polaroïd/Roman/Photo'. Seven tracks long, it is a remarkable piece of experimental but danceable new-wave, and nowhere more remarkable than the title track -an icy-cold cut of flickering synthesiser, taut guitar and jagged saxophone featuring disconsolate boy-girl vocals and the mechanical click-spool sound of a Polaroid camera. 'Polaroïd/Roman/Photo' is not a success. History has it that the record sells in the region of 50 copies, and before long, Müller’s interest has strayed elsewhere – his next project, recorded 1985, is an EP called 'Pile ou Face', recorded under the name Crash in homage to the JG Ballard novel of the same name. [SOURCE: MINIMAL WAVE RECORDS

lunes, 7 de agosto de 2017

Pieter Nooten & Michael Brook


It's hard to imagine this collaboration between Pieter Nooten (from Xymox) and ambient, experimental guitarist Michael Brook working any better. 'Sleeps With the Fishes' comprises 15 excellent, moody soundscapes, given depth by Nooten's subtle vocals and instrumentation that sounds piped in from some dreamy other world. Brook's guitar rings and chimes, sounding cleaner, and his guitar work is more precise than ever. Synthesizers creep in and around the vocals and guitar to stunning effect. The album seems to define the word "mysterious." Nooten's vocals are gloomy, yet angelic as he sings about walking over clouds and worlds of unease. At times, he sounds like Martin Gore from Depeche Mode, only there's no sign of anything pop within miles. His voice is as much of an instrument as any other element in the songs; it's not important which lyrics are decipherable and which are not, as the vocals work mostly as a highlight to the mood-setting instrumentation. Some songs form out of dead silence, such as "Several Times II," which eventually layers on peaceful ambient sounds, before fading away again. An uncredited female vocalist on "Equal Ways" echoes both Lisa Gerrard and Nico, as violins, cellos, and a somber piano swirl and twirl darkly around her. "Searching" might be the album's most accessible moment; pairing gentle vocals, interesting electronic sounds (possibly courtesy of Brian Eno, and Brook's remarkably vibrant guitar, the song is a virtual manifesto, dictating the pace and themes of the remainder of the album. 'Sleeps With the Fishes' is quite dark, but it's equally beautiful and uplifting in the same instance. Nooten and Brook are restrained in the creation of their moody aesthetic, but the songs are a delight from start to finish. It's amazing that material that's so calmly paced and atmospheric is so enjoyable. Whether a listener is playing the album as background music or paying close attention to each note or sound, there's equal reward to be found. 'Sleeps With the Fishes' could not be a more perfect dark ambient, experimental album. It's essential listening for fans of 4AD, ambient music, minimalism, experimental electronic music, and morose themes alike. This album is an overlooked masterpiece. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 6 de agosto de 2017

Camara


Camara was one of the first bands that managed to bring some luster to the pop-rock from Málaga emerging at the height of the new Spanish wave. Formed in 1980 in Torremolinos, the foundation of  the group was led initially by Ricardo Teixidó, drummer from Sociedad Anónima. About a year later, in mid-1981, Ricardo left Camara to found the later famous Danza Invisible alongside with the former members of Adrenalina (pioneering Andalusian punk band) Chris Navas and Manuel Rubio. After recording their first demos, Camara were edited in 1981 through a mythical EP shared with other leading bands of the Malaga scene of the moment: Danza Invisible, Spray and Krazy Boys. This record was the starting signal for the local new wave and was the result of a demo competition promoted by a station in the area, being edited under the auspices of Polifonía, a record store in Torremolinos. 


The song Camara contributed with was "Electricidad", a composition influenced by the British dark-pop of the time that revealed as the best of that album. So, encouraged by the good response, the group decides to try their luck in Madrid, getting in 1982 a single with the independent label Tres Cipreses under the musical direction of Eduardo Benavente. The songs chosen for that work (one of the first productions of Eduardo Benavente) were "El Frio en mis Manos" and "Pecado Mortal", two examples of goth-rock that surprised by their effective melodies, fine guitars and the outstanding voice of his singer. By then, the formation was constituted by Conde (voice), R. Arenas (guitar), M.J. Bandera (bass), J. Carlos Rosas (drums) and J. Gómez (keyboards). In 1984 the band reorganized and, after a brief parenthesis, presented with a renewed lineup. At that time, the group began to be branded as an "imitator" of Danza Invisible, which by then (already converted into a quintet) dazzled the rest of Malaga bands of that time: Camara, Tamaño Natural and Requiem. Months later, Camara dissolves and Conde and Horacio formed in 1985 the duo (later quartet) Serie B with the intention of recalling the "elegant pop" under the influence of bands like Roxy Music and Japan. The trace of the primitive formation continued a decade later in new bands as Los Mosquitos. [SOURCE: GRUPOS NACIONALES NUEVA OLA 80]