Monday, December 30, 2013

Modern Art Studio - Mas Mania! (1979)

Wacky art rock / new wave from Cleveland, Ohio. Continuing on the art damaged trajectory blazed by other Ohio greats before. Hints of  The Styrenes, The Electric Eels, Pere Ubu, and Devo. Their song "Dear Dad" sounds like it could be a lost Devo demo from the early days. Lyric insert included.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Earth Hell Band - Witches on Holiday (1986)

Very strange dark industrial experimental offerings from the Washington DC area. This record brings to mind Factrix, and early Current 93. Released on Outside Records after the demise of the awesome noise-punk band Nuclear Crayons.

Hi-Fi Bros - I Fratelli Hi-Fi (1981)

Italian post punk, produced by Arto Lindsay of DNA fame. Who also provides some guitar on their cover of Strangers in the Night. DNA drummer Ikue Mori adds a hand on Sixti's'n'Kisses. Three disemboweled re-conceived cover songs, and a great original tune.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Asbestos Rockpyle - Police State / Bombs From Belfast (1984)

Lo-fi political art punk from Suitland, Maryland. Police State is a barn burnin' chunk of drum machine, twisted guitar lines, and vocals segued from the bullhorn announcements of the state (police). Bombs From Belfast sounds to me like someone making fun of The Clash. Probably not their intent but it works for me!

Brain Damage - Kill Dan White Party Tape (1985)

Reportedly recorded in 1979, but not released until 1985. The year Dan White took his own life. After serving only five years in prison for killing Harvey Milk and then San Francisco Mayor George Moscone. If you want to know more about it check wikipedia. Hell there's even been movies made about it, with Sean Penn and everything. So onto the music. Lo-fi sloppily played art punk wave with keyboards. Kill Dan White turns into free Sid Vicious, for seriously! You're Not the One is really just a retarded cover Stepping Stone. Forget Her and Sending a Message are my favs. The latter sounds like it could be another sixties cover. Yep Sending a Message is way cool.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Volumatix - Volume One (1982) Fitness / Trashman (1981)

New wave from Houston, Texas. Straight Line, Fitness, and Obscene Phone Call are all well done quirky new wave tunes that I like quite a lot. The rest I don't listen to that much. They put out an LP called In The City in '84 that I've not heard. And made a video for Obscene Phone Call that I'll put below. Seems a weird song choice as it's pretty much an instrumental aside from a few surprised sounding words from the singer. Still it makes a good video story. I wonder what kinds of hilarity they would have come up with for a Fitness video. Again I don't have the picture sleeve for the 7" but scans are at discogs.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Four in One Vol. 2 (1982)

A top shelf minimal synth compilation. Featuring two Alain Neffe projects. The ever prolific Bene Gesserit, and Subject serving up a few pleasing synthy art wave ditties. Three early Legendary Pink Dots songs explore different musical motifs. The standout song "Violence" has them making fun weird minimal synth, with plenty of odd blurbs and beeps. Last but not least, Glamour for Evening add my personal favorite three songs to the record. Absurdist minimal synth doesn't much better. Vocals are put through a number weirdly sounding effects processors. Two of the songs use the lovely pong-like sounds of the Casio VL-1 rhythm machine. Sounds to me as if The Residents are playing Belgian style 80's synth music. Rumor has it that Glamour for Evening evolved from Mecanique Vegetale.

Navastrau - American Fitness (1981)

Another record I don't have the picture sleeve for, but I found this pic on ebay. The second 7" from Navastrau, an electro postpunk band from Chicago. Nightmares on wax blog has their first EP and more info. Here

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Click - Wampum (1983)

A new wave / post punk band from Lincoln, Nebraska. They released another four song EP a year before this one. You can find one of the songs from it on a  Homework comp. They also have a couple of songs on the Capitol Punishment zine comps. Wilfully Obscure blog has one of those here.

Just found this on youtube. A video The Click did for Rope Around My Wrist off of their first EP!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Self Control - Broken Up (1983)

New wave art pop from London. More on the band here. They also put out a couple great 7" records. Both Elastic and Falling are stand out tracks.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Blank Tapes Volume 1 - (1979)

Four bands, four songs, four different approaches. I'm most keen on Junk Art doing a sort of lo-fi minimal-synth, great name too. Attempted Moustache attempt spacey post-punk. Geisha Girls have an intense glam-punk track. The Zorkie Twins try to power-pop you. Not a bad song to be found.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sad Among Strangers - Sparks Fly Upwards / A Better View of Baxtor / The Gongs (1980) Here Comes the Caesars / I Know Nothing of the Jungle (1980) It's So Good It's Incest / My Kind of Loser (1981)

Led by Lyndon Morgans, this UK band cranked out some great catchy tunes. Blending new wave/post punk and glam rock together, with vocals that remind me early Peter Gabriel. "Here Come the Caesars" for example is a killer track!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Insane Darrell Wayne No Disco Album (1979)

Fun compilation of LA bands connected by their fervent passion to stop disco by any means necessary, or just by writing a song about it. Compiled by KROQ disc jockey Darrell Wayne. There's plenty of weird new wave, some punk rock thumpers, a couple of rock 'n rollers, and avant-garde otherness to be heard. All in all it's a fun compilation of LA bands that... oh wait I already said that.  

Kosmonautentraum - Rache! (1981)

Kosmonautentraum ZickZack NDW listen!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Altar Ego - War / Altar Ego (198?)

Catchy post-punk from Australia. No date on the record, but this is most likely from '83.

Here's a video they did for the song War.

Free 1984 Sect. One (1984)

Great 7" compilation that originally came with a booklet. Portion Control start things out with an odd electro dance tune. Rinf do a nice bit of noisy post punk. The highlight for me are the two dark minimal EBM type tracks from Die Form. So no record cover, but each band contributed some postcard sized art.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Martin O'Cuthbert - Songs for Square Pegs (1981)

Strange minimal synth tunes, the first three songs are especially great. He released a few 7" records back in the day. A collection of his early stuff called For Alien Ears can still be obtained from his website (none of these songs are on it)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ron Miller - Till the End / Sick and Tired (1986)

Making it's way from Salt Lake City, Utah, onto your computer chips. Is an old favorite of mine, courtesy of Ron Miller. The savage strange sounds of Sick and Tired are made all the more deranged by the effects processed vocals, bemoaning the tale of a war vet that's had to much to think. I remembered Sick and Tired as being the standout track, but after listening to this again lately Till the End has been fastened to my memories repeat button. Seriously can't get it out of my head. Not that I want to with Ron's warm croon and some of the best mystifying lyrics to demystify. 'just look inside of someone that you know so well. often called yourself, but then can you tell which one that is?' Punk business manager blogged Ron's earlier band Angle here.

Ron was kind enough to write a few words of explanation and description.
This was a result of experiments recorded somewhat surreptitiously at KUED studios after hours about 2 years before the record was pressed. The studio players were selected from my ultimate wish list of guys I wanted to work with in the SLC, UT area. The backing tracks were recorded in a few hours on one day. None of them had heard any of the music. They did a great job and special thanks to the producer, Eliot Case, for all his hard work and for making sure it got pressed. I slapped the cover together at the local Kinko's for all of $10. The photo is a self portrait taken on a photo-lithographic camera used to make plates for small printing presses. The use of acoustic guitar was largely associated with Yacht Rock or Folk and was considered somewhat radical at the time.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Death in the Shopping Malls - (Man on a) Tight-Rope / Purpose (1981)

Hard to find record from Boston, and even harder to find with the cover sleeve. So I got this picture off of Discogs. Released on the cheeky titled Modern Methadone Records. Which some may recognize is a send up of  the prolific Boston label Modern Method. Btw I put the two Modern Method, A Wicked Good Time! comps here. Purpose reminds me of Active Ingredients from NY in it's manic punk-wave art grind. (Man on a) Tight-Rope has a Voidoids feel to it.

Color the Reality (1982)

Excellent compilation of four LA bands. Excerpts from the performance Mysteries, is a synth heavy adventure with art afflicted industrial antics strewn about. Strong Silent Types sound of death-wave post-punk, kinda like 45 Grave without the hardcore trappings. Fred Cadaver is a standout track. Hesitations armed with Casio cheese and an upright bass. Entertain and amuse with melodious humor. Romans certainly the most well known band on here. Were kind of an art-punk super group. Having members from Monitor, Bpeople, The Deadbeats, many other LAFMS related bands. Can't speak to their later recordings, but on this the sound somewhat like an instrumental version of The Urinals. This record came with an insert, but I don't have it.

Link removed. This has been remastered and re-released. Get it @

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mystery Guests - The Sparrow That Ate New York / The Nude (1981)

Some cool British post punk weirdo art rock here. Sounds a lot like a lo-fi stripped down early Family Fodder. With unusual percussive sounds, and tension filled nervous guy vocals.