Friday, March 30, 2012

Le Cause - Clear Plastic Day (198?)

Some records you just love everything about. Le Cause were a remarkable minimal synth wave band. Not much info to be found about them anywhere. Judging from the phone number on the back cover they were from the Philadelphia area, and it seems two of the guys would go on to form National Razor, a dark wave band also from Pennsylvania.

It's probable that this came out in 1982 or 1983. It certainly has all the trappings of an early 80's recording. The synths and drum machine are early analogue sounding. The synths are really upfront along with some great creative bass work, and sparse guitar. Topping it all off with the awesome vocals, that sound something like Billy Mackenzie without the falsetto.

Quirky, dark, arty diy synth wave = maximum entertainment value.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Unknown Gender - An Important Message (1982) + Boys/Girls / Arrogant (1982)

Here's two more from Unknown Gender. A follow up to the earlier post of their first LP.
"An Important Message" was recorded live in Germany, with some songs off Exposé, the two songs on this single, and some songs that would eventually make their way to Electric Kiss.

Unknown Gender took part in Venus Weltklang, the first international women’s rock festival in West Berlin. Along with Malaria!, LiLiPUT, Die Hausfrauen, Carambolage, Au Pairs, and others. Check it out here.

An Important Message

Boys/Girls / Arrogant

Monday, March 19, 2012

Headless Chickens (1986)

The debut from Auckland, New Zealand's Headless Chickens is as strange as the story of the band itself. The band would basically become a continuation of the stellar post-punk band  Children's Hour. After the break up of Children's Hour  Chris Matthews (the hero of our story) joined another stellar post-punk band, This Kind of Punishment on some of their seminal works including A Beard of Bees, TKoP and Live '85 . After which Chris Matthews, Johnny Pierce, and Michael Lawry. Would become Headless Chickens for this 1st EP. The band had a few more personnel additions in later years.

The odd catchy song work here really defies categorization. Although they do seem good at twisting different genres, dementing them with their own particular intent. Post-punk (Monkey Jar), minimal synth (Axe), pop (Totalling Dad's Car), punk (Agit Pop), noise-rock (Hedge Song), TKoP (The Slice), space-rock (The Ghost of Some Cold Street). All the with unmistakeable chilling vocals of Chris Matthews, drum machines, synths, guitars, samplers, tape manipulations, and whatever else.

As a reviewer on RYM puts it- "This 7-track EP is a meticulous assemblage of rhythm, melody, and leftfield lyrics - cut up, mashed, filtered, then processed through a menagerie of 'treated' sound effects - sometimes devastatingly original, and superbly conceived. It can't really be described as being in a genre, so I call it art-punk - but you have to hear it really, to grasp it. It's just kinda out there ... alongside other 'radicals' like The Residents and Pere Ubu."

After winning the Rheineck Beer Rock award (whatever that is) for this EP. Which was apparently controversial. They where able to fund their later experiments on Stunt Clown. The story does get stranger, because they would go on to score a number 1 hit in New Zealand years later.
Insert with lyrics included.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The View - Mention No Names / Impulse (1981)

Two high energy synth punk-wave tunes from Topanga, CA. "Impulse" leans towards some Devo crazed fun. "Mention No Names" sounds more power pop like The Plimsouls with a synth. Both great tunes to my ears.

Strangely the back cover has two different years on it, but the record itself says 1981 so I went with it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cough, Cough - Conflicts (1982)

Cough, Cough aka *****,***** were an excellent post punk band from Canberra, Australia. Consisting of Peter Ringwood, Alan Coop, and Cathy Green.

Seemingly informed by many odd things. Their sound isn't easily pigeonholed as being influenced by x, y, or z. Though forced to describe them at gunpoint I might reluctantly say something like "o.k. maybe Mission of Burma, Saccharine Trust, with some early Gordons thrown in."

The angular abrasive tracks like ". . . .", "danger", and "father" are real gems. The lamentation of "try to forget" is um not so forgettable. They really get cookin' on "knots". I quite enjoy every tune here.

Cough, Cough put out another cassette before this one called 1. That I would love to hear. If anyone is willing to share : ) Thanks to Girls From Tahiti for sharing 1

Link removed, a website with re-mastered songs will be online soon.