Friday, July 22, 2011

Zeitgeist - Shake-Rake / Sniper / Gimmick (1980)

An English post punk band that put out a few 7" records. This one's on Human Records, which also released stuff from Au Pairs, and The Slits among others. Sniper is my favorite here. The dissonant guitar, and slithering bass line are top notch. Vocals are reminiscent of The Pin Group or I'm So Hollow.

Re-upped with some other stuff

Here's a video Zeitgeist did for a later release.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Jonathan X & Black Heat - Might Is Right / The New Kings (1986)

Strange stuff from Washington D.C. Might Is Right sounds like a pre-Beatnigs demo, with some noise guitar thrown in. Things really get interesting on the flip side, The New Kings. An insistent synth line and stuttering guitar mesh with the disjointed lyrics about relations between the sexes.

Z6 - You, Eugene and Me / Electric Music (1982)

OK OK here's some synth pop, that will get stuck in your head. Don't know much about this one. Except it was mastered at gold star studios, which is in Los Angeles. Standout female vocals, plenty of synth arpeggios, and some shimmering guitar.
Electric music, play it loud.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The 700 Club - EP (1984) / Smash The State Of The Art (1986)

Two more from Jim Freeman and cohorts. I put up his Golden Gate Jumpers, Masochist In Drag / Crazy Money single here. The EP is closer to the jumpers single. Mutant Clone and Mind Rape are good weirdo wave songs. On the LP Crazy Money gets redone. The tempo is generally slower, rhythms are mostly drum machines. The female vocals, and the prominent horn section sound almost RIO at times. Making Smash The State Of The Art sound like something that could have come out on Chis Cutler's Recommended Records.

700 Club EP

Smash The State Of The Art

Monday, July 4, 2011

Atila - International Sandwich (1981)

This is essentially an art punk concept record. In which every song is an oddball take on some different musical genre. From NDW minimal synth, to disco punk, avant chamber music, post punk, hardcore, reggae and even a folk song. Then there are the ethnic musical experiments. Middle eastern, Indian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, African, and cowboy. Mostly the results don't sound much like the culture in question.

There's a review of this in maximum rocknroll no.6 here on page 64.
Put out by Fish Ranch Records, from Santa Monica. Which I believe was started by Christian Lunch, and Christian Lunch is thanked on the insert for the use of his synths. Highly entertaining and varied sounds.
The hand drawn lyric sheet is included.

Puppies - Fun Is Right (1981)

A new wave band from the San Diego area. They wrote some catchy tunes, with enough Devo new wave inspiration to make it interesting. Quirky guitar lines and a synth are always a winning combo, and coupled with their catchy pop songwriting sensibilities make fun indeed. Fun is right.
Check out this myspace page for more info, lots of photos, and some live recordings. There's also a facebook page.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Otto Kentrol - Learn Greek In Greece 7" - 1980

Mutant Sounds has the 12" version of this up, I'm guessing this is an earlier self released 7". It seems like the artwork got polished a bit for the 12".

At times this reminds me of Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle - primitive rhythm machine, staccato guitar, simple observations of everyday activities. Then a blast of screeching sax in one ear and blistering guitar in the other reminds me that perhaps sounding like Munich was not the goal here. Otherwise I can't say much about Otto, other than he seems to be a Wisconsin native which would explain this record crossing my path in my Minneapolis days. I'd guess he spent some time in NYC, judging by the sound of this and there is some photographic evidence of him at CBGBs.

Producer Steve Tibbets is probably known to some, especially in the Minneapolis area, and an anonymous poster at Mutant Sounds notes of the other producer: 'Bill Yiltalo had ties to Madison's Appliances SFB and later, Reptile Palace Orchestra, I think. And also, New York's Swollen Monkeys.'

Side 1

'No Mistakes' offers a smart alec critique of the ever-hated 'citizen-consumer' set to contortions-style no-wave. "You've got records by the stacks and a brand-new betamax, life is good when you've got something to go home to."

'What About My Engine Rebuild' is a standout with a lyrical protagonist that is simultaneously lampooned and sympathetic. Reminiscent of FSK: drum machine, simple guitar and lyrical treatment of emotions tied up in quotidian concerns.

'At The Water' really works the histrionic vocal delivery to humorous effect.

Side 2

'Learn Greek In Greece' is the least structred track: offhand remarks and observations about the weather, weather forcast set to ominous bass and sax/guitar improvisations.

'Public Eye' swelling sample and hold synth noises fade in and out of a slow disco beat with octave bass riff. Sax squelching and offhand musings linking indigestion and malaise with cosmically controlling corporations, or something like that: 'it must have been something that I ate, sells well so it's worth something at any rate, so smooth is the sad story'. Definitely reaching for the beat poet mantle here, wanting to point out society's ills as a detached and disinterested party :-D