Key: (RK: Rich Kroneiss)(MS: Mike Sniper)(SB: Late Twenties Steve)(CM: Collin M.)(DH: Dave Hyde)

Andwella's Dream "Love and Poetry" LP
Great debut LP from '69 by this N. Irish group. Straddling the line between freakbeat and heavy psych, their style is reminiscent of the later stuff by the equally great Attack. There's a heavy, gloppy mix with all kinds of sounds and fuzzed guitar breaks, it was 1969, you know, and this was the underground sound. Occasionally there's a sparseness (as in "Lost a Number, Found a King" and "Man Without A Name") that is similiar to the early wogginess of Krautsters like Amon Duul II and Witthuser and Westthrup, or maybe even the first Traffic LP. Don't be afraid of that first Traffic LP for chrissakes, that's a great record. Lightning Tree did a pretty bang up job on the packaging and sound. The vinyl reissues of $1000 UK psych records continues and as a result a lot of my friends are getting free copies of these records on CDs. (MS)
(Lightning Tree // www.lightning-tree.com)

The Byrds "Under Review" 2xDVD
I've never seen any in the "Under Review" series since this one, and let me say if they are at all similar to this, I don't think I need to. I suppose it's unauthorized, since none of the surviving original members are interviewed here. I could live with that, however, instead of having to see music "experts" talk about this stuff, how about some goddamned archival material?!? You would think in a 2 DVD set that this would have to be the ultimate Byrds historic overview, right? Well, The name "Beefeaters" does not get mentioned ONCE!!!! ACROSS 2 DVD's! You gotta be kiddin' me!? Sweetheart of the Rodeo gets pretty much pffff'ed by the majority of the "Under Reviewers," and Gram Parsons gets dissed by Gene Parsons, because Clarence White (not that I dislike the late Mr. White) is pretty much Jimi Hendrix and Tony McPhee wrapped up in one guy. "Untitled" is given as much (if not more) airtime as "Notorious Byrd Bros." "Well, they were a better band live when they had all those studio musicians.." I'd rather listen to Chris Hillman talk about his shoes than watch this again (not kidding.)(MS)

Clap "Have You Reached Yet?" LP
Self-deception is a vital skill, especially if your itch is collecting dead wax by guys who never sold a damn. Yes sir, failure-rock fixation leads us all to some pretty wide suspensions of disbelief. …like the Flamin Groovies’ should’ve outsold Bad Company or that Elliot Murphy (or Garland Jeffreys) run circles around Springsteen (and in better wheels to boot). Yup, speculation shore is the most – most of all when it comes to a record you feel you’ve got the curtain closed on: a rotating, black vinyl Sutter’s Mill - your own private tip-for-the-top! …and, of course, it helps if the record and artistes in question are any good. In Clap’s case, they’re practically Nietzschean (good-bad, no evil).
Proto-punk! Ahhh, perhaps self-deception’s FAVE-OH-RITE genre, wherein wide-eyed Webelos are recast as desolate gangs of teenage Narodniks, advancing the tinny sub-standard of the Rimbaud/Iggy vanguard – sometimes with mustaches – always with acne. To the linear progressive crowd, this model works – they buy it up by the bushel-basket: ignoring always that most of these dopes would have been quite happy playing in a Grand Funk cover band; happier still attending a LIVE AND IN PERSON Grand Funk concert. But we’ll let the theorizing and sermonizing alone for the time-being. Turn with me in your Black To Comm reader to ish numero Veinte Dos...
Right, now, you’ll see on the inaugural cover of seminal South Bay fanzine, Back Door Man (“For Hardcore Rock & Rollers Only”), some goofy (possibly Jewish) guy inciting mayhem at a Freddy & The Dreamers reunion concert. What a jerk! I wanted to hear an encore! Trail your eyes southwards and you’ll encounter words – read ‘em! NOT ALL OF ‘EM THOUGH! Only the ones that read CLAP! Fuck JIMMY PAGE, MOODY BLUES, ENO, ALL THAT CRAP TRAP – CLAP is the words your eyes wannabe readin’. And maybe hearin’ too, if you’re not of the same tribe as that smiling doofus up above.
Clap. Not Thunderclap, so forget bluezzz. Not Clap Your Hands, Stamp Your Feet so forget Bonnie St. Claire, Slade and Jobriath (if you could remember ‘em at all in the first place). Clap: prolly a not-so-subtle reference to the affliction most commonly acquired via the ‘rithmetic of free outdoor shows + jug wine + dirt weed and loose hippie chicks on Quaaludes. And that’s NOT what they sound like either!
Imagine Danny Wilde of the Quick swallowing Mick’s semen instead of Dave Bowie (or Rod Stewart or whoever it was that supposedly suckled him). And throughout said fellatio-show, imagine him being egged on and AROUSED by the stickiest, sicky-iest riffs of ‘Tumbling Dice’ Stones and ‘Slow Death’ Flamin’ Groovies. Now we’re getting somewhere!
"Have You Reached Yet?" is the question Clap pose to YOU THE DISCERNING ROCK/ROLL LISTENER throughout this great, long-playing album. Call it a theme; I call it a damn fine sight of rock n roll. Snotty woman-baiting songs, snotty ballad singing, snotty good time songs, snotty bad time songs – just plain SNOTTY! Clap are the ultimate South Bay punk pool party heroes. Like the Berlin Brats if they were a completely different and better band with similar influences (but from TWO YEARS EARLIER!). Check your self-deception cloaks at the door – they won’t be needed for this – dare-I-say-it – PROTO PUNK affray!
Not bombastic enough for ya? FINE! CLAP – The missing link between ‘Have You Seen Your Mother Baby’ and ‘Just Head.’
(Skyf Sol // )

The Contents Are "Through You" LP
Nice n' moody 1967 barely-released full length from this Iowa band. All originals, a rarity in itself for the time, and a good thing, too as there's some good songwriting here. The main influence seems to be the 1st Buffalo Springfield LP, which is never a bad thing in my opinion. Harmonies, fresh Byrdsy guitarwork and a lot of class. "In Trouble" in particular is a great, taut, restrained song stripped to the guts with some excellent vocals. The lyrics are the typical post-Dylan fodder, sometimes going off into utopia-lusting idealism, but done in a pretty intelligent way. A nice little record.(MS)
(Shadoks // )

The Eat "It's Not the Eat, It's The Humidity" 2XCD/2XLP
Totally massive double disc collection of nearly everything The Eat ever recorded. 30 studio cuts on one disc, comping their three singles and 10" (or cassette, if you want to be a stickler) containing their half-dozen good-to-great tunes ("Communist Radio", "Kneecappin'", "Dr.TV", "Nut Cop" and whatever other two you prefer) plus some unreleased tracks of "Hialeah"-era vintage. That's a lot of The Eat for mere mortals. I can live with it, there's plenty of amusement to be found in their repertoire. I always thought of them as a way less funny Angry Samoans. But hey, they're were from Miami, so lets give them some credit. Disc Two is all live...29 tracks worth, including the Polish American Club set from '81 that was released on LP recently and some dodgy late-Nineties reunion stuff. That's way more live Eat than anyone except the staunchest of Florida punk fans could ever need. You're not going to listen to this stuff more than once or twice, let's face it. The studio side is a deserving reissue though (even if it might be a bit much), as they even fixed the drop-outs from the "God Punishes" EP material. A really nice package, with two good liner essays, but I have to imagine the track list must be whittled down some on the LP version. This is all The Eat you could want and more. (RK)
(Alternative Tentacles // www.alternativetentacles.com)

Ensemble Pittoresque "The Art of Being" LP
NYC's own synth reissue label, Minimal Wave, knocks another one out of the park with this great release of unissued material by Ensemble Pittoresque. E.P. were formed in 1979 and immediately began recording in their house in coastal Holland. Some of these recordings can be heard on the bands website, which has archival material spanning their career. This LP presents recordings from 1982 they submitted as a cassette to Polydor, who of course found the material "too uncommercial." Well, it's a good thing this stuff has surfaced, on offer here is brilliantly executed classic synth that easily straddles aggressive and beautiful, mixing raw analog buzzsaw keyboards with lush "strings." Most songs feature layers and layers of keyboard harmonies and excellent drum machine programming. The vocals have that classic "detached" sound we've all come to expect and love from this kind of music. an excellent record and one that would have made them as popular as Front 242 if it had seen the light of day when it was supposed to. An essential pick-up for fans of this type of music.(MS)
(Minimal Wave // www.minimal-wave.org)

The Family Tree "Miss Butters" CD
Ahh, The Wackers: Great White Hope of the first polar fanzine generation. Unfortunately, some folks’ (tunes) was even whiter than Bob’s so that now the Wackers stand as not much more than an anomalous, mediocre curio – a period-piece that never matured or accrued, like an uncomfortable arm chair or flannel condom.
Not so head-Wacker Bob Sergarini’s first ‘real’ group, The Family Tree! Said Wack-ancestors you’d be happy (moreso maybe) to count amongst your kith and kine. You’d show their pictures to the bank-teller. Brag about ‘em to your neighbor. Yup, whatabunchaswellguys: bright futures – goin’ places!
Maybe to the right-most-side of your radio-dial heart (if analogies like these are your kinda thing)!
Did gramophones have dials? ‘Cos that’s the era + sense + sensibility the Family Tree celebrates. Think of it as Idle Race-lite with a slice of Nilsson and your noodle will be feeling fine. Are noodles a key theme of this work? Naw, but the record is called ‘Miss Butters’ and there’s a picture of a pooch dressed as a hot dog on the bottom of the LP. And if that ain’t quite enough to sell ya, the grooves of this vinyl are also completely edible! Ya see, back IN THE SWINGING SIXTIES, RCA stood for Real Coon Asses and all their 33 and 45 records came imbued with the flavour of various Cajun favourites. The Guess Who’s ‘American Woman’ – gulp it down – yum - andouille sausage! ‘Miss Butters’ offers a more subtle combination of tastes for a more subtle and refined palate. I won’t give it away, but lemme just say, you will need a napkin.
...only this review concerns the Cee Dee reish, which will hurt your teeth and throat and impair your record-eating ability and make you mute as Daniel Miller’s tomb - so don’t eat it! Play it instead!
Me? I don’t need this disc – swallowed the vinyl yore ago and the tunes are with me still - swimming, simmering and stewing - blowing bubbles forever like a lysergic kidney stone.
(Rev-Ola // www.cherryred.co.uk)

Fire Engines "Hungry Beat" CD
Basically, the complete released works of Scotland's Fire Engines on one convenient disc, which amounts to sixteen tracks, with bonus cuts included. Often name-dropped in the same breath as Orange Juice and Josef K, the Fire Engines staked out similar ground in the Eighties UK post-punk scene, although they may have been somewhat rawer than their Scottish contemporaries. Definitely beholden to the haggard UK-DIY aesthetic inspired by The Fall and not afraid to use a cowbell, they had a short eighteen month run as a functioning band and utilized that time fully, releasing three singles and a mini-LP in that span. The non-chronological CD begins with their second single, the deceptively jangly-pop "Meat Whiplash", then runs into their first single (and my personal fave) featuring "Get Up and Use Me", the sort of Fall-inspired stuff that The Male Nurse and the Country Teasers to some extent would utilize later. "Big Gold Dream", from their very last record, is wedged in next and shows them really slicking it up for a last grasp at the gold ring, and is not their finest moment. The 'Lubricate Your Living Room' mini-LP (and actually their second release) that follows more than makes up for it, seven tracks, largely instrumental (excluding the fantastic "New Things In Cartons"), a bit busier and faster and more serious than their other output and not as funk/No Wave as some might have you believe. The lengthy non-vocal passages sometimes remind me of Swell Maps colliding with Television (or Gang of Four actually having fun). A fantastic record on its own. Four bonus tracks are tacked on the end, versions of "Get Up and Use Me", "New Things in Cartons" and "Sympathetic Anaesthetic" (plus a reprise of "Plastic Gift") that sound somewhat beefier than the originals, perhaps laden with a bit more studio muscle, and they are worthy add-ons. I would've loved to have this as an LP, but I'll settle for the CD (with beefy booklet). The Fire Engines may not have received the acclaim of many of their UK post-punk era brethren, but they're certainly deserving of some posthumous kudos. (RK)
(Acute Records // www.acuterecords.com)

Graf+ZYX "Early Recordings 77-83" LP
This should be titled 83-77, as the tracks go in that order, from the latest to the earliest. Inch-resting choice, VoD. Again, more archived material dug up by the fine people at VoD. Graf-ZYX were a performance art/music venture from Vienna. Whelp, side one is their early 80's material, and it's pretty good. Early EBM in the mold of same-era Front 242. I really like "I Look Out V.2.O." which is a creepy waltz with a great Syd Barrett-esque melancholic vocal line. A great example of electro-psych.
Side Two is where it really gets interesting. 2 years-ahead of it's time recordings from '77-78. Sparce and playful but with a rough edge, a bit like a Residents/CabVolt jam session, something that we all would have wanted to occur, I'm sure. Guitars make an appearance and there's lots and lots of distortion on the keys. And what!?!? More versions of "I Look Out!" They're pretty much different songs, but one is "V.3.0" and it's fucking awesome. I mean, really great, complete with distorted viola.
Whelp, I need all these cassettes from the 70's by this band, killer stuff. Side one is good, but I could have used a full release of just the 70's stuff.(MS)
(Vinyl On Demand // www.vinyl-on-demand.com)

Grapefruit "Around..." LP
Grapefruit were a "good little band" featuring George Alexander (born Young, of the same family of Easybeats and AC/DC) who made a very nice pop-psych LP in 1968. The record was released on Decca in the US and on John Peel's Dandelion imprint of ABC/Dunhill in the States. It's a classy record, with good songwriting and a lot of the harmony/phased vocals/loping McCartneyesque basslines that were flying around like crazy in the just-post-Sgt. Pepper world of '67-8 England. Great production and Alexander's (the Young family's?) knack for writing a hook really bring it towards the front of the pack for their sub-genre. This reissue looks and sounds good, the only gripe is the price-tag is very near to the price of an original copy!(MS)
(Grapa Records // )

Grupo Amigos "Paloma Mensajera" LP
If you've excavated the recesses of 70's South American rock (and you have, haven't you?) you might already be aware of the Cornejo brothers. The pair were both in Laghonia and We All Together, both of which bands put out some of the best South American LP's of the era. Grupo Amigos were their fellow Peruvian buddies, and Manuel Cornejo is behind the traps while Saul Cornejo engineered.
Their LP was made in a small test press run for them to listen to themselves....and that's it! Finally, the good people at Guerssen have released this bombshell of perfect 70's pop into our grateful laps. Looking for the Peruvian equivalent of Emmit Rhodes, Badfinger and The Raspberries? Here ya go. Jam-packed with Hollies-esque harmonies and killer, catchy chord changes, every tracks a winner, including the the tuff-ish track "Dirty Girl" (a bonus 45-only cut) with a killer fuzz guitar lead.
A can't miss for fans of the early/mid 70's pop sound! Highly recommended.(MS)
(Guerssen // www.guerssen.com)

Hubble Bubble "Faking" LP
Let's get one thing clear at the start: the Hubble Bubble that recorded "Faking" wasn't the same band that recorded the first LP. Only one original member remained by this point, and they were obviously trying for a far more commercial sound at times. Once you accept that this record is the product of a different group of musicians than those who created the debut LP, it become easier to judge this record on its own merits rather than against the genius of the far more famous Hubble Bubble LP. It would be a shame to write this album off too, since there are some really great songs on here. It's impossible to deny the greatness of rockers like "Bad Thrashing," ""Come With Us," and "I Don't Mind" but there are also some first-rate pop tunes as well. What makes these particularly interesting to me are the solid sixties roots that show through when listening to, say, the obviously Kinks' derived "It's Over Baby." Probably the most memorable pop song on here is the utterly fantastic "Number Sixty Four," which has a hook that is total pop perfection. There are also a couple songs that lead one to suspect that Alan was jealous of his ex-bandmates' success as Plastic Bertrand - in particular "Diana Diana" – but there's nothing wrong with that as long as the tunes are good, which in this case they are. I can't defend the awful reggae-beat cover of "Hello I Love You," but by the same token I absolutely loathe the "If You're Going to San Francisco" cover on the first album. If you think about it, it wouldn't be a Hubble Bubble record without an ill-advised hippie cover song. That's really the only stinker on here though; the rest ranges from great punk – if slightly less damaged than the first LP – to unique powerpop. If the name of the band on this record wasn't Hubble Bubble, I bet it would be considered a minor classic. As it is, it's a great record that I you need to hear.(SB)
(Radio Heartbeat // myspace.com/radioheartbeatnow)

Instant Orange 2xLP
Oh, Shadoks, you bastard. Instant Orange's "Five Year Premier" LP from 1973, the entirety of which makes up disc one of this set, is a classic slice of psychedelic americana of the highest order. Pressed in an edition of 100, this record was pretty much unknown up until this point. Crisp-crisp-crisp guitar, imagine a completely raw McGuinn circa '67, only the right leads, no bullshit, stripped and cleaned, making chords as sweet as the color of the sleeve. Spaced-out, there/not-there vocals blend in behind the mix. It's really difficult to describe, actually. Somehow they manage to bridge songs with oscillators and odd burping noises yet remain completely honest and earthy, but don't get stuck in the standard blues/country malaise that afflicts the greater portion of this kind of music. Maybe if Skip Spence never went nuts, this is what Moby Grape would sound like or maybe even this is the folk-rock Velvet Underground? That seems too high a praise, but three listens in and I'm still hooked. Second LP is bonus tracks, including their first single from '68 and some later EPs. Nothing as good as LP #1, but that's no big deal as this thing is vying for Dandelion's spot as out-of-nowhere psych reissue of the year. I'm an Instant Orange fan.(MS)
(Shadoks // )

The Joneses "Keeping Up With..." LP/CD
More Joneses reissue material from the Full Breach label, who really love Jeff Drake a lot. This is a reish of their LP from '86 (remastered with some bonus material), and it is what it is: Heartbreakers/Dolls-style '77 rock'n'roll played by some super glammed out dudes (anyone not in the know would't be able to pick The Joneses out of a line-up with any number of hair-rockers from Poison or LA Guns or whoever...). The sleazy junkie-rock fix is accented by quite a bit of harmonica and some piano, and is certainly palatable for this style of revisionistic rock. And at least these cats were doing it in 1986 instead of 2006. But I have doubts about anyone who places this stuff on a pedestal as a classic (no offense Mr. Rutledge). It's competent grave robbing and rock re-creation, and a genre that was perhaps streamlined and perfected further down the evolutionary chain by Jeff's own brother Scott in The Humpers. "She's So Filthy" is one of their better tunes, and I don't think this is bad stuff (okay, their cover of "Chip Away..." is cringe-worthy...), but this band's legacy can be summed in two songs ("Pillbox" and "Criminals") that aren't even on this LP. It's well-done enough for this genre and if I were teaching a class on the evolution of this style this record would be a talking point for sure. They ape some classics really well, and may have been ahead of their time in doing it. That countless clowns with huge amounts of hairspray and eyeliner and low amounts of talent have come since them and essentially ruined this genre is no fault of The Joneses. They were there first, sure. And that they leave out the pretty-boy metal influence that most other LA bands of their ilk succumbed to certainly says something. But quite honestly, there's nothing here that you absolutely have to hear either. That says something as well. (RK)
(Full Breach Kicks // www.fullbreach77.com)

Key "Fit Me In" LP
I’m tired of writing and trying to sound clever!!
Let’s do this quick and be done with it! Do you object to any of the following (if yes to more than two, desist reading and go back to Pink Reason):

No? Well this CD reish’s obviously for you! Long-time, high-price mystery-band trading in high-gloss candy-floss - the kind Mike Batt used to make before he starting writing songs about rabbits - take you to the valium rubber-room and nurse you back to adequacy. Recycled Beatle riffs, multi-tracked vocals, (BONUS TRACKS!) whimsical ye olde lyrical themes: it’s all here for you, the jaded pop fan who enjoys listening to records that your neighbor will never own.
In terms of cajones, these guys make Badfinger look like Status Quo - as wimpy as it gets - and, for me, I mourn that there weren’t more of these wonderful 70’s pop eunuchs. Shame. Now where’s my Saft LP?
Note: mistaking this for a ‘power pop’ LP – while similar - would be akin to comparing a Honda Cub to the Triumph Speed Twin. GET THE FUZZ, FROCK!(CM)
(Rev-Ola // www.cherryred.co.uk)

The Kids s/t LP
We don't need to to talk about this record. Hands down, one of the best punk LPs ever made. I guess we need to talk about why reissue now? It's been booted to death over the years. Felix von Havoc here is trying to do the right thing (with help from Montreal's Sonik's label, who have put out legit CD versions of the first two Kids records), and maybe get some money in the band's pockets instead of shady Euro bootleggers. It's a noble gesture, and a venture I think should pay dividends. Everyone who likes rock'n'roll should have a copy of it, and it appears this record will sell and sell until the end of time. I'd be interested to know how many copies of this have sold throughout the years, via both legal and "fan club" channels. And I think Mr. Havoc has the right idea, to hit his target demographic with an unrelenting punk masterpiece such as this. So the kid looking for a DS-13 or Caustic Christ record picks this thing up as well...chances are he's gonna like it. Sounds like a good plan to me, and who knows what doors The Kids can open to young minds looking for something beyone hardcore. I like the idea of that. So, you get the entire first LP, spiced up with two A-grade bonus cuts ("City Is Dead" and "No Work", which I believe appeared on 7" back in the day) and an insert with lyrics and a couple pics. Being sold at the nice price ($10) as well. If you don't already own this, I feel bad for you. (RK)
(Havoc Records // www.havocrex.com)

Liverpool Echo s/t LP
When I saw news of this reissue a year or so ago, I brightened up and got excited as hell, thinking, 'Wow, Rev-Ola: delivering the goods, again - scratch another notch on their already battle-scarred bed-post!' But then I paused, re-thought, reflected: 'Jeez, when isn't Rev-Ola delivering?!!' They're busier than a free-clinic doctor in a developing country with an exploding birth-rate...to make a sloppy and boring analogy. And you know what's coming next! That's right: the predictable, facile segue about what's neither sloppy nor boring is this happy, hoppin' disc that just begs to be your own! This album was made to order - why shouldn't my writing be likewise?
Actually, this record’s much too good for such a phoned-in review. For as far as 'Beatles-in-the-'70s' records go, the Liverpool Echo LP easily sits on par with the likes of Rockin' Horse, the Toms, the first Liverpool Express and Utopia's 'Deface The Music.' And unlike these LP's, whose main goals seemed to be to recreate the sonic verisimilitude of the early Beatles, the Liverpool Echo does so whilst simultaneously not skimping on the Cavern Club-vigor-an’-dynamism that made the pre-fame Fabs so compelling in the first place.
BACK STORY: Vet'rin psych rockers, Martin Briley and Brian Engel, late of Mandrake Paddle Steamer ('Strange Walking Man’), making ends meet in the early '70s with session work (and, it should be stated, that nearly all of Engel’s efforts are worthwhile, some even great – Starbuck’s ‘Do You Like Boys,’ Shambles’ ‘Hello Baby’ – yup, all his – check Robin Wills’ PurePop blog for more fawning info). Offer comes in from London to cut an entire album of rocking Mersey Pop Beatles-sound-a-likes of the sacred '63 vintage, to foist on the young-ins and make a little off the ten-year cycle of Liverpuddlian nostalgia. From such admittedly low expectations, the end-result could easily have been some rose-tinted horror worthy of starring David Essex or Alvin Stardust (or for that matter, Peter Frampton or Elton), with an authenticity factor just south of Flash Cadillac & The Continental Kids. Thankfully, and not a little miraculously, the Liverpool Echo players took obvious loving care in crafting what was, for all intents and purposes, a cheap cash-in collection. Still, perhaps cognizant of the prevailing tat and pomp-rock winds and the little hope a Merseybeat sound stood in penetrating the carapace of a mass consciousness dominated by the colossi of Rod, Marc and Tull, the songs created by the Liverpool Echo were imbued with an intense personalism and lyrical directness; as if Briley, Engel and Co. were employing the disposable premise and intent of the album to document important events in their own lives - writing as much for themselves as they were for an audience.
...now that's what I call a run-on sentence!...and you can pretty much write the coroner's report yourself - no autopsy required. A true lost treasure, plucked from the ash-can of what-should-have-been. Thanks, as usual to Rev-Ola. What can possibly be next in their great, lost '70s pop restoration campaign? Sleepy Hollow? Dialogue? I, for one, can't wait to see and take great comfort that this album may finally reach the audience it so richly deserves.(CM)
(Rev-Ola // www.cherryred.co.uk)

Terry Manning "Home Sweet Home" LP
FINALLY – an olive-branch-breeze windy and wild enough that it may at once and forever end the Kulturkampf dividing the lion House of Chilton. Like Judah and Israel (an’ don’t ask me which is which), palpable and irreconcilable fissures stand between the pure-pop Big Star vanguard and the white-lightning-likin’ Bach’s bottom feeders – needlessly separating folks who agree on the Man, yet disagree on His message. If for nothing else, thank God for Terry Manning, for divinely insight-in’ that it still takes two to make a thing go right.
BACK STORY: Terry Manning - young hot-shot engineer (with great hair) at fledgling Ardent Studios in Mem-phasss - given the task of overseeing Box Tops’ recording session for sure-to-be-super-hit, ‘Choo Choo Train.’ Manning and Co. get restless whilst waitin’ for LX and pals to go through the motions, upon them exiting, lay down their own addled and over-the-top fuzz-rock desecration of said track. Suits fly back next day, Terry plays ‘em his version, all are subsequently blown away and ask if he can execute an’ entire ELL PEE in this style. Checking reserves of good taste, Manning assures the purse-stringers that he can and dives head-long to the bottom of a pool of rye-whiskey-pop-mania.
THE RECORD: After ‘Radio City’ and ‘Wanna Meet The Scruffs,’ this, without much doubt, is the very best rock ‘N’ roll LP ever birthed of the Memphis mud. Wild enough to convince Tav Falco to take a bath and sweet enough (in doses) to lull Tommy Hoehn into a coma. O’er the course of ten tracks, Manning, 2/3’s of the Hot Dogs (one under-rated album on Ardent) and Chris Bell (his first proper studio appearance) lash together a makeshift raunch-raft of covers and originals, all – supposedly – in the style of a particular Memphis antecedent. However, if Manning is a prophet, he is most certainly a perverse one.
Johnny Cash chestnut ‘Guess Things Happen That Way’ is called forth and transformed into a rocking power pop raver via Chris Bell’s Free-style guitar while Les Beatles’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ is stripped of all subtlety and unwrapped to reveal the throbbing erection that was always at its heart. What Moog synthesizers and Memphis have in common aside from the letter ‘M’ appears to be a mystery Manning is saving for a later revelation, yet right at the start of this baby lies a TEN MINUTE BARN BURN-OUT INTERPRETATION of George Harrison’s ‘Savoy Truffle’ that sounds more like an insane Syd Barrett out-take than any toffee digestive disclaimer. Eric Clapton’s ‘I Ain’t Got You’ is demoted to a first-grade Boone’s Farm skiffle and then there’s the originals: ‘Wild Wild Rocker,’ a Jerry Lee frenzy unmatched by even the Groovies’ ‘Second Cousin,’ ‘Sour Mash’ (self-explanatory) and ‘Trashy Dog,’ a looooose ‘dance number’ (with hilarious femme backing vocals) that takes the next step beyond decency on Todd and the Nazz’s fungo-bat send-up of the Drell’s ‘Tighten Up.’
A more fun LP from 1970 you will be certainly hard-pressed to find and you can bet the farm that Chilton was taking notes and saving sprinkles for his sherbert. To quote the Acid Archives, to whom, I am, but a gutless thrall: “psych fans will like it, roots rock fans will like it, punks will like it, garage fans will like it, and warped soul fetishists will like it…Beatles fans might even like it.” Sooo…If you can’t afford the Bahama-vention to visit Manning in Nassau, baby, this CD’s the next best thang. Mine’s a Spumoni with a side of spodiodie.(CM)
(Sunbeam Records // www.sunbeamrecords.com)

The Naughtiest Girl Was A Monitor s/t LP
LP by this pioneering Sheffield synth-pop band featuring all their rare 7" sides on Side A and unreleased material on Side B. Musically, they're more at the early Depeche Mode side of the fence for me. Soulful (i.e. "I am sincere and filled with emotion") vocals and just a tad too much gloss and, well, glee. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but not the essential purchase I was hoping for. Ceramic Hello and Collin Potter are very accessible, pop reissues on VoD, but they seem to have that extra element that tweeks it a bit that this is lacking. "Is All I Need?" and "All The Naked Heroes" are pretty great tracks, though. Well crafted pop, but not quite raw enough for my tastes.(MS)
(Vinyl On Demand // www.vinyl-on-demand.com)

Nipple Violator "Double Suck" LP
As you may guess by the band name — not to mention band member pseudonyms like vocalist Bloody Shit Napkin — this album is both lewd and silly, likely influenced by GG Allin and boring study hall classes. (At least, that combination was often an inspiration for similar antics among my high school peers; forgive me if I'm projecting.) Information is limited, but from what I can piece together, Nipple Violator was a high school band up in Gardner, Maine, who recorded this album in 1993 and only now released it for mass consumption. That the lyrics are so outrageous is only the icing here as the band managed to write songs with enough character to set themselves apart from the pack. Peppered throughout the album are faltering solos that hint at Greg Ginn's style without the chops to pull it off. These are, of course, brilliant and help solidify Nipple Violator's status as a lost gem.(DH)
(Bloody Stump Records // www.foreignfrequency.com/bloodystump.html)

Prix "Historix" CD
There are some records which seem to have been issued with the punch-out hole already drilled. ...maybe a dotted-line-bulls-eye or some matrix-number-pidgin only intelligible to late 70’s record store clerks: ‘delete me.’ But no, there are records that I love that I have never seen without a punch-out dot, sawn corner or spine-notch (or anything other than white label). Far from degrading, I like to think of this as their natural state – these would-be-should-be-badges of shame, merely birth marks. And now I’m sounding precious...
In the great cut-out race of the late 1970’s, Prix never got out of the gate. Didn’t qualify (and I’m guessing the name didn’t help – ‘pricks???’ ‘pree???’). What should have been a happy, one-dollar LP - priced to move, doomed to sit, rubbing shoulders with the Beckies, Vance Or Towers and Piper - remained vexingly out of reach - unavailable. …leaving us, the buck-pop brigade, to wallpaper our kitchens with Laughing Dogs’ albums instead. Sad, cos I’d much rather have a cheap ole album than this hi-falootin’ Jap CD. Oh well.
To call Prix a super-group would be akin to calling Simone De Beauvoir a household name. That is, it would be wildly inaccurate and dumb (don’t do it!). A startling array of long-time, non-star, zine-faves – that might be more accurate! Tommy Hoehn – veteran Ardent guy, pal ‘o LX and the Scruffs. LX hisself – teetering on the lip of a D(r)unk-Me tank with no one paying any attention at all. And Jon Tiven. Oh Jon - Jon boy! Rich spoilt brat from New Haven, CT, long-time pin-cushion for the needles of R. Meltzer and M. Saunders , nowadays relaxes on the beach counting his Huey Lewis royalties – but then, merely a humble rock scribe and Procol Harum lookalike. Following the disaster that was Chilton’s ‘Singer, Not The Song’ EP and failing to set the world alight with an independent release on Ork (home to such perennial chart-champs as the Marbles and Chris Stamey), Prix’s core members gathered as many of each other’s sure-fire, can’t-miss numbers and set out to New Yawk to win themselves a major deal. It is 1977...and if you guess that they made it, you might want to stick to church bingo.
Though unlikely, ill-starred and ill-named from the start, the music put together by Prix forms as important a chapter to the Big Star story as the Scruffs or Chris Bell’s solo work. Certainly Prix is Alex Chilton’s last gasp before falling off the pop wagon forever, but more-so than that, it is the last flicker of the Big Star magic winking out. Not that it’s even fully Alex’s show – most of the songs here are written and sung by a Memphis artist arguably more obscure than Chilton himself. Tommy Hoehn, whose timorous tenor voice sounds like a perfect distillation of the most melodic aspects of both Bell and Chilton’s (and who has a great album of his own, ‘Losing You To Sleep’), exudes startlingly gentle pathos – lending an air of much needed gravity to the common-place boy-girl proceedings. And as much shit as I wanna give Tiven for his latter-day deeds, his guitar playing and harmonies here are exquisite: bathing everything in Rickenbacker glint and lo-fi AM sparkle.
It would be pointless to single out every single track here for merit – because truly each of the eleven tracks is great (even the barely-together, Chilton garage demos) – however, special attention must be paid to one: the undoubted crown jewel of the set, Tiven and Hoehn’s ‘Love You Tonight (Saturday’s Gone).’ Included in its later, remixed form on the second volume of Rhino’s American Power Pop series, here it is more earnest, unadorned and SLOW. In any condition: one of THEE most transcendent pop songs ever written and the perfect wistful coda to pre-punk 70’s pop. Like the boy/girl in Big Star’s ‘Thirteen’ four years later (or after discovering ludes):

"Can I feel what I want to feel again
rock ‘n’ rollin’ records and you wanted to be my friend…
Say goodbye, tomorrow Saturday’s gone…"

Beat that, Skip Spence! Pure Opiate Pop For Now People!
So...what to do? Your pop music collection is morally indefensible and sonically unfit without these tunes in its bosom.
...you’ve been giving money to the Japs now for years. Looks like it’s time to give ‘em some more.(CM)
(Air Mail // )

Rags "Long Legs And Bootlegs: Lost NY Glam Rock" CD
Right, don’t know if this is even available anymore, which is a real shame (and a bit of a mystery too, given the In Flanders Field-style encomium which seems to sprout spontaneously wherever NYC glitter-punk poppy seeds are strewn). The fact that I had to order this disc through a link found on the 70s Invasion site says a lot (and then it took over a year to get here!). However, lest we be accused of blithely building tombs to the prophets whilst garnishing the sepulchres of the righteous, we’ll give this glass-castle a try (okay Billy)?
Rags was a five-piece New York City club band which existed from 1972 to approximately 1976, leaving behind only one puny piece of vinyl in their original heyday (sadly, not included here) before going off to that great gaping ‘what-if’ in the sky along with Teenage Lust, The Planets and the Street Punks (and maybe Airborne and the Miamis too).
Ohhh, if there is a fanzine rock heaven, you know they’ve got a helluva band (or at least cool sounding names and gig posters).
There’s history galore for these guys, but, like so many passed-over, JV-bench-warmers (and ‘Look-At-Me-Now’ Maury guests), their pariahdom and general lack of success has greatly coloured their opinion of their own overall importance. Lots of ‘ohyeah,man,wewerethefirst…Kiss,The Dolls,wewerebetter…and Mike Ruiz is our singer’s cousin!’ That being said, this is a quite palatable and enjoyable set of Dolls-y/Stones glitter raunch, with all the nasty fixin’s you’ve come to expect from this wonderful, wrong-side-of-the-tracks world. Yes, the singer sounds like David Johansen, yes, the songs concern scuzzy chicks and desperate living, yes, the music is sub-Brats/Slugs swill – nevertheless, Rags were not merely identikit scene-clones (and, at this point, who cares even if they were?). A refreshing (and refreshingly original) Stax/Motown influence runs through much of the material here, classing things up immensely (eyes front Booker T fans). There are also some delectable Milk ‘N’ Cookies wimp indulgences here and there which Rags must have added after hearing Mike chick-brag at the annual Ruiz family reunion. All dis in only eight songs (to further add to my frustration, the 70s Invasion site lists over twenty songs on the disc they got – bastards!).
So, perhaps not the most essential disc you’ll ever own - especially since it now appears impossible to even purchase - but a welcome break and worthy listen for fans of the Dolls and Reddy Teddy weary of being burned by Rave-Up and sick to death of pretending to actually enjoy their Silverhead albums.(CM)
(self-released // info-at-newtube.com)

Raxola s/t LP
The only beef you can possibly have with Raxola is the fact that they just happened to come from the same country that gave the world two of the best punk rock LPs of all time (The Kids and Hubble Bubble s/t), so they unfortunately end up always finishing third in the Belgian punk race, through no fault of their own. If it weren't for those two bands, Raxola would be hailed as the kings of Belgian punk, because this LP is essentially flawless. If I were to take the time to create a list of Best Ten or so non-US/UK LPs of the KBD-era, this record would most definitely be on it. Perhaps a little more 'rock' (or even pub-rock) than the unstoppable energy of The Kids or the weirdness of Hubble Bubble at times, Raxola still manage to exist in some middle ground betwixt those groups (and I tend to think they have sort of a first LP Ivy Green/Flyin' Spiderz Dutch-punk feel to them more than their Belgian mates at times...these guys could've released a record on Plurex...). But anyway, Raxola recorded this LP in 1978 and it ended up being their only release, which I always felt was a little peculiar. Were they some older dudes cashing in on punk? Too late for the trend? I don't think either is the case, although Raxola mainman Eef was pals with Brian James (and played in Bastard with him and Elton Motello), and they were supposedly dropped from their Philips contract for getting "too weird". But enough bio. This record has to be classified as an under-rated classic (but I guess it's a stretch to call an LP that was booted years ago and is now being officially repressed under-rated?). You get upbeat and pop-influenced punk ("old Rat" is one of those "How-can-you-not-like-it?" songs for me...), guttural and heavy jams (I always think of "Thalidomide Child" as part of the "Shut Down" family of troglodytian downbeat hammerers), tasty KBD shockerz (like the blistering almost-instrumental "Panic in the Sewers"), straight-up Seventies punk energy ("84's Man" is a killer opener as well) and not a single dud in the bunch. Raxola had chops and the songs to utilize them to their fullest. Maybe they seem like they had a little less personality than HB or those damn Kids, but maybe that's because they didn't put a goofy picture of themselves on the sleeve of their record either. The tunes speak for themselves, equal amounts of unbridled fun and punk-rock attack. A must-have LP for any repspectable punk collection. (RK)
(Radio Heartbeat // myspace.com/radioheartbeatnow)

Sebadoh "The Freed Man" CD/2XLP
The first Sebadoh 'record' reissued fifty-two tracks deep on double vinyl or aluminum disc. Perhaps the most fitting thing for Domino to do would've been to reissue this thing on tape, as the cassette format and 'tape underground' has as much influence on this release as the players themselves. Barlow, freshly booted from Dinosaur Jr., and Eric Gaffney, fresh off a short-lived guitar/drums collaboration with Charlie Ondras and a pizza delivering gig, here combined their respective home-taped talents onto some cheaply hand-dubbed tapes and sold them at local record stores. Somehow one of them got in the hands of Gerard Cosloy and the Sebadoh story began...but back to cassettes. 'The Freed Man' is rife with what was wonderful about cassette culture in the late Eighties. Two dudes, illegally living in all-girls dormitory, getting stoned/drunk and trading off songs on a four track. You really feel the wide-eyed amusement and possibilties that were running through these heads...half-baked songs that only hint at sheer genius, ninety second folk-rock gems, songs about girls, toss-off cover songs, found sounds, sound bites taped directly off the television, the wonders of manipulating the pause and record buttons, off-the-cuff recordings of your family, taping your friends talking aout hardcore, turning the the tape player on while walking down the street, songs about cats, songs about nothing, more songs about girls, sounds of nature, bad guitar playing, good guitar playing...it'a all here. I always thought it a bit incongruous that a couple of guys who were neck deep in hardcore seemingly moments before came out with this "wimpy" tape of what at its most definable moments has to be called folk rock. I guess stranger things have happened and in actuality the DIY-HC ethos aren't all that far away from weirdo home-taper musicians doing-it-themsleves in their bedrooms. Maybe the subject matter and volume/velocity differ but the spirits are still similar. 'The Freed Man' is far from the best Sebadoh record. It surely suffers from the "Hey! I just wrote three lines of lyrics and thirty seconds worth of guitar meandering..let's record it!" sort of overkill. But it's also a work of extreme creativity at work and a release that probably couldn't have existed on any medium other than cassette. Barlow and Gaffney don't really collaborate so much on this - Lou plays his songs and Eric plays his, throwing whatever they thought sounded cool in-between. There are no blank spaces here. The track listing cites 52 "songs" but it listens like one long piece, a surreal sort of project that has an incredibly intimate and delightfully childish/amatuer feel. Sebadoh definitely rocked better later, but this embryonic stuff has a charm of its own and it definitely contains glimpses of greatness to come and stands up wonderfully well as a document of its tape-trading time. And I'd actually suggest getting the CD instead of the vinyl for a more cassette-on-auto-reverse-like feel.(RK)
(Domino Records // www.dominorecordco.us)

Soho Roses "Whatever Happened To..." CD
"The Complete Works" of the Soho Roses, who were the UK glam-punk band that preceded The Wildhearts (and you can tell...). 23 tracks of glam-rawk that rips off The Sex Pistols more than any glam band I can think of. Extremely over-produced guitar-driven rock-action. Steve Jones-styled riffing without any of the talent. Rote covers of punk songs thrown in for good measure. They're no Hanoi Rocks. Or Joneses for that matter. This is a record that would've got huge accolades in the reviews section of Hit List. People who are still mourning the break-up of American Heartbreak will love this. What more can I say? The best part about this is the pics. The guitar player actually looks like an ugly chunky broad with a top ponytail. The other guys are standard Sunset Strip glam fare, but the best is drummer Patrice Panache, the rare glam black guy, who seems to alternate between a proto-Milli Vanilli dreadlocks-n-lipstick look and a sort of gay Ray Parker Jr. jheri-curl thing. Amazing. Patrice also apparently played in Guns'n'Wankers. I'll stop there.(RK)
(Full Breach Kicks // www.fullbreach77.com)

Tarkus s/t LP
Incredible 1972 Heavy Psych from Peru which was a "thank God" type reissue when Lazarus did it a year or two ago. Those got swepped up in a jiffy and started getting some dough on eBay as soon as they went OOP. Why? Because this record is amazing!
I've always wanted to visit Peru, check out Macchu Picchu and all that, but when I found out that this record never made it beyond test press stage (of which 50 were made, selling for $2,500-$3,500 in this day and age) I figured something must be wrong with the place.
"El Pirata" comes out of nowhere with a riff as heavy as Sir Lord Sabbathwind Rooster and the record never looks back. Never veering into boring bloooz territory, this think oozes with post-LSD darkness, somehow remaining heavy during the slower-tempo tracks (not too slow, though) and airy in the heavy hits. And then the whole thing in an unhinged acoustic track with sped-up, freaked vocals, "Tiempo En El Sol."
A killer LP, totally deserving of it's "lost classic" status and a mandatory pick-up for fans of early 70's heavies.(MS)
(Get Back // myspace.com/getbackrecords)

Terveet Kadet "Aareton Propaganda" LP+7"
I was a late-comer to foreign hardcore. As a youth I had a thing where I couldn't really listen to anything not sung in English. Too much of a disconnect for me to stay interested. But as I grew older and wiser, I realized it was the music that mattered, not what language the dudes were singing in about all the same things as any American speaking band. So I worked back through the Euro-HC catalog and found some great music. Unfortunately, my first TK experience was with an LP known as 'The Horse'. Not the best place to start, so that put me off them even longer. Then, in one of those common to all of us moments, someone made me a mix-tape that these raw-as-hell hardcore tracks on it, sounded Norweigan or something, and it was absolutely raging. Turned out it was the "TKII" EP by Terveet Kadet, so I gave them another chance. And it turned out everything up to 'The Horse' was outstanding. I know Discharge-inspired hardcore does not sound groundbreaking whatsoever, and I know plenty of people who think it's fairly mundane. But the first few TK records are righteous: raw and fast and blown-out and primitive, elevating the formula through sheer force and trashy recording. Even when they were recorded somewhat properly they maintained a vicious and thrashy feel that keept things interestingly savage. As raw as any Reatards record could hope to be. So, this thing compiles nearly all of their material up to 1984: three seven-inches, two 12" EPs and the 'Black God' LP, amounting to thirty-four tracks in total. I'm no TK expert, but I'd say this all their classic material and all the stuff you really need to hear. Put plainly, some of the best foreign HC-punk out there. If you're gonna get Killed by Finnish Hardcore, might as well let Terveet Kadet pull the trigger. The bonus 7" contains line material from a 1995 reunion that is non-essential, and there is a fold-out insert with a brief bio and lyrics. (PS: Feral Ward has this for the nicest price I've seen so far.)(RK)
(Hoehnie Records // www.hoehnierecords.de)

V/A "Lipa Kodi Ya City Council" LP
Well I'll be. Mississippi Records is turning into one of my favorite reissue labels in a goddamned hurry!! Two excellent compilations of 20's-40's rural folk/blues, a Dog Faced Hermans reissue, the Washington Phillips record, and now this excellent compilation of African music. Recorded from '67 to '72 from many parts of sub-Saharan Africa (though Kenya is heavily represented), this LP presents another side to African music than the Afro-Funk of Fela, The Lagos Chop-Up and Ghana Sounds compilations. What we have here is a fine mix of folk, rock and roll, choral/religious music and r&b, and somehow it all works together so nicely the differences of musical approaches fades with an appreciation of the wealth of beautiful music this continent has to offer, past and present (for present stuff, please seek out the excellent releases on Sublime Frequencies.) This is the kind of music that sticks to your ribs like a plate of peanut butter. The real deal. Understated and well done silkscreen packaging, as always from the fine people at Mississippi. Highest possible recommendation for people who love music whose head isn't up there ass. Ltd. to 800, this label's stuff flies out the door, so get with it.(MS)
(Mississippi Records // )


Lloyd Barnes, aka Bullwackie, is a dub and reggae legend. There's a lot of "types" who think the Wackies stuff is overrated, I have no idea why. Bullwackie was born in Jamaica, where he produced for Duke Reid, Joe Gibbs and others. It wasn't until he moved to the Bronx in the late 70's that he really came into his own. working with an incredible ensemble of ex-pat Jamaican musicians in his converted home studio, Barnes produced, wrote and released some of the best (and rarest) roots reggae and dub of the era. Never afraid to try something new, the Wackies studio was a continually evolving experiment.

As Barnes' reputation grew, he was able to record some of the genres best stars, like Horace Andy, Jackie Mittoo and Sugar Minott. But the star on the Wackies best stuff is always the dub.

There are currently two labels reissuing Wackies material at the moment. One German and one American, sometimes they reissue the same title! Generally it doesn't matter which you obtain, the US pressings are slightly cheaper and the German pressings have somewhat superior fidelity and thicker sleeves, but not enough better to spend more, in my opinion.

There's also a documentary on Mr. Barnes that recently came out on DVD.

Bullwackies All-Stars "Free For All" LP
"Free For All" is a great title for this LP of free-form dub. Original copies of this record were hand-stenciled by Lloyd himself and if you happen to track one down, well, you just made $700-$1000, so congrats! The atmosphere on this record is open, somewhat moody and sparse. "Space Age" is an aptly titled futuristic dub track, replete with synth and quirky rhythm. "Tribal Dub" has some of the best phased and wah-wahed guitar this side of Peter Tosh circa Wailers '72. The horns are perfectly miced and come in and out of the whole LP, they're only there when you want them to be. A quintessential Wackies record and not a bad starting point, despite the original's elusiveness. You can pick up the reissue for around $17.00.(MS)

Tribesman Assault LP
This record will break any Hip Hop DJ's heart, as it opens with a massive drum break. I don't care about drum breaks, and I assume fellow TB readers don't either, so we'll leave it at that. This is one of the heaviest and hardest dub LP's in the Wackies catalog, hence the name. Speaking of names, Jerry Hayes, the incredible lead guitar player on this record, went under his nom-de-plume for the proceedings, "Jerry Hitler." See, reggae isn't only for the beach and drinking margaritas, ya jerks. How did Peter Tosh and Prince Far I die? They were MURDERED. Where was I? "Wrong Cord" has to be heard to be believed. It is, in fact, the wrong chord being played. Atonal dub? YES. Space-fringe dub with super heavy beats.(MS)

Horace Andy "Dance Hall Style" LP
Having the gift a uniquely deep falsetto voice helped Horace gain the attention of Studio One's head Coxsone Dodd, who quickly propelled Andy into Jamaican music history by releasing the classic LP "Skylarking." Nearly a decade later, the journeyman roots singer wound up at Lloyd Barnes studio in the Bronx to record this truly classic LP. One of the best reggae records of the early 80's, this album seemlessly fuses the soulful roots everyone expects from Horace with the (then) contemporary dance hall dub sound popularized in the UK by the likes of Jah Shaka. The version of "Money, Money," Horace's calling card and one of the best songs in the canon of roots reggae, is given an incredible update that almost eclipses the original. Stellar playing from all involved and of course the killer production and sound. A top contender for the best vocal record on the Wackies label.(MS)

Next time: Junior Delahaye, the Lovejoys, more dubs....

To find any of these releases we recommend:
and we highly endorse www.ebreggae.com for all your reggae needs!

To read past reviews go here.