Sunday, 31 May 2009

Wilfully Obscure

Spavid of Wilfully Obscure claims to dedicate his blog "to the freaks and rejects. The lonely and awkward. The last picked. Never picked. The hopeless romantic dreamers". That must be a very big club 'cos the site's got something for everyone who likes their rock alternative and with a twist and a bite.
If you're a student of US hardcore and alt-rock this blog's going to keep you interested for years, bursting with bands you don't (yet) know and love, precis to the fore. It's like rifling through the racks of an independant record shop with a wallet full of cash.
If this don't boost your listening pleasure nothing will!

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Varsity Drag - For Crying Out Loud (2006)

Ben Deily (and he must be sick to the back teeth of this tag line by now) started The Lemonheads with Evan Dando from school but split after three albums and a shit-load of critical praise.
Shortly after returning with his brother Jonno as Pods he split again to go back to school and launch a successful advertising career.
He was back in the new century with Varsity Drag and released this astounding collection in 2006.
Opener "Skinny Ties" ramps it up from the off with the familiar Deily riffage pop-centric vocals then we're into "Billy Ruane", a crunching ode to the "best dressed drunk I ever saw".
"Summertime" is straight in after, then "Miles Of Ocean", guitars redolent of classic Killing Joke but with Deily's ever positive vocals "taking hands across a thousand miles of ocean". Next track "1999" lightens the mood with tinkling piano intro and "2001 just around the bend" before "Look At Me", doop-doop's to the fore reminiscent of some of the greatest power-pop you've ever heard.
In "Starfish" we're back with the crashing guitars again and the tempo slows once more for "My Neighbor Works For Goodby" before we leave this (oh too short) album with "Hey", back with the pop feel he's so good at.
All told "For Crying Out Loud" is the best power-pop (I hate that phrase but you know what I mean) record I've ever heard and seems to have been shamefully overlooked by the masses. If you like your music with punk guitars, pop hooks and a clever dash of humour buy this CD and put the world to rights. It'll brighten your day

Blogger's Delite

The most inappropriately named person in blogbiz, Lazy's a sweet guy. All he wants is to be appreciated. And, boy, is he appreciated in this neck of the woods.

Classic reggae and dub, soul, a splash of mod and psych and some great white boy rebel rock, Lazy's got 'em all. He's got a couple of sister sites too to check out.

Like the man says, "it doesn't hurt to say thanks".

Thanks, Lazy. Stay free... boom x de devil dead

Lee "Scratch" Perry & Dub Syndicate - Time Boom X De Devil Dead (1987)

Thank you On-U Sound - another winner!

The genius (and, frankly, mental) Lee Perry still at the top of his game and, augmented by the On-U production team and Dub Syndicate, he really pulls it out of the hat with this one.

Politically charged, crystal sound and utterly faultless (and a killer cover to boot)!

No track by track analysis from me here; it's an album you need to listen to of a piece. Turn up the bass, crack open a Red Stripe and enjoy.....

Friday, 29 May 2009


So you like your music circa 79? You like the edgy experimentalism of Rough Trade and its ilk? You like The Fall, The Smiths, Dexys, DAF, PiL, The Banshees?

This is the blog for you.

None of that wordy chatty crap (see below) - straightforward links to some great sounds to expand your horizons.

Dexys Midnight Runners - Searching For The Young Soul Rebels (1979)

Kevin Rowland's opening salvo was a ground-breaking brass bombardment, melding classic Stax soul with punk disenchantment.
Inelegantly lumped in with the ska/mod revival of the time, Rowland's mission statement opens with the buzz and hiss of a trawl through radio stations before launching into "Burn It Down", a full-on rage against the pretentious.
"Tell Me When My Light Turns Green" maintains the pace before the slow burning "I'm Just Looking".
"Geno", a massive UK hit which celebrated the great Geno Washington, ramps it up again and then the band give a genius run-through to Chuck Wood's "Seven Days Is Too Long", a literal but masterful interpretation.
"I Couldn't Help It If I Tried", "Thankfully Not Living In Yorkshire It Doesn't Apply" and "Keep It" maintain the soul and feel of a speed driven all-nighter before the come-down track, "Love, Part One", Kevin's spoken word ode to, what? God? Love? Success?
Whatever, the album closes with it's second great success, "There There My Dear", returning to the themes of "Burn It Down".
Rowland ruled this band with an iron fist and went on to up the ante by sacking the lot of them and reinventing himself time and again. He's never released a bad record and we'll be seeing more of him in this space but for now
"Hey, Jimmy; for God's sake burn it down"...

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Hello, Good Evening and Welcome

Good day to one and all and welcome to what I hope is going to be a (mildly) entertaining mix of my favourite music and blogs.

I hope to be able to recommend some records that I think are worth at least a listen and, whilst I won't be posting downloads (that's illegal, you know) I will be recommending other blogs which may or may not feature the record in question in some sort of capacity. Read on....