Friday, 28 March 2014

EARLY PUNK VINYL PURCHASE

Obtaining the piece of music you are after has never been simpler than it is today...a few clicks here...some button pressing there....and its yours to listen to again and again.....and all in the comfort of your own home.
 Not so back in late 1976 and early 1977 when UK Punk was starting to set establishment tongues wagging and the disillusioned youth of the day pogoing for all they were worth. If you'd heard a single you wanted you had to get off your arse and go out and find it. Living in the suburbs of West London this inevitably meant a trip up to London as the "local" record shops rarely stocked these early punk releases but instead would offer to order it for you. This wasn't any good for the impatient vinyl buyer and there was no guarantee it would be the picture sleeve you particularly wanted. Most of the singles featured here I heard for the first time at the local Heavy Rock Disco at the Winning Post in Twickenham
where the DJ caught the "punk" bug fairly early. It must be said that the predominantly leather clad motorbike riding punters who frequented the place weren't all that impressed with the whole punk scene at this point in time and there was real friction in the air when the punk numbers came on and jumping about commenced. The punk image back then was very much a home made affair...anything that would outrage anyone over 30 years old was good enough. I have a vivid recollection of the local punks bringing a real pigs head

down to the Disco one Sunday night to throw about during the punk section of the evening. This really didn't go down well with the afore said biker chappies or the owners of the place. I for my part looked pretty conservative with the only parental allowance to my usual "rock" appearance being a bright orange sweatshirt with a punk inspired badge

thereon. Also, the parental opinion was firmly against me actually going to see any of these "dreadful" bands. This was only relaxed later on in 1977 when I saw the Runaways and 999. By contrast the editor of this fine blog, Mr Maim, went to see just about every single punk band you can name in their early prime.....I wish I had had his truly rebellious streak back then. There was a real atmosphere of excitement and tension in the air in London which I've never felt again to the same extent, and this made buying records an event to be remembered. Can you honestly say that downloading  has ever caused your pulse to quicken ? I can recall where and when I bought a frighteningly high percentage of my vinyl....I've a real dustbin for a mind !

The most detailed memories of buying any particular punk single apply to The Saints debut single "I'm Stranded / No Time". I went to the then fledgling Virgin Record Store off Tottenham Court Road in Central London and went down the stairs into the cavernous sub-basement area and nervously approached the counter. "Have you got any Punk singles ?" I asked....the assistant, who now had a look of slight disdain on his face replied they had, and handed me a small box with about 20 records therein for me to look through.

There it was... The Saints...excellent....pushing my luck I asked to hear it...back then you could actually ask to listen to stuff before buying it. The assistant looked nervously about and said that as they weren't too busy...i.e not many people were in there to possibly offend, that he would play it. To the shops credit they did have a real "fuck off" sound system which The Saints strained to the limit !!! When it finished he went to put it back in the box but I said "I'll have that please"....he looked totally shocked that I would want to buy something that to him sounded like a huge row ! I handed over my £1 (?...certainly not much more than that) and left the shop a happy man. Here's the original promo video preceded by an excerpt from a fairly recent tv programme giving a bit of background on the band and the influence they had at the time......
If that has impressed the hell out of you then here's a link to listen to the whole album......if you just want to cherry pick a couple of tracks go for Erotic Neurotic (15 minutes in) and No Time (19 minutes in). I, to my shame, didn't buy this until many years after its release having just frequently borrowed it from a like minded mate..
That's enough lengthy ramblings, so onto a quick fire selection of my early fave punk purchases....
The Damned - "Neat Neat Neat"....their furious frantic debut vinyl outing
I also simply have to include here the promo video for their follow up single "New Rose" which is rousing enough to wake the dead !!        

I saw The Damned on a few occasions in the 80's and most recently 5 years ago when they were Supporting Motorhead with Girlschool in Bristol. I bumped into Captain Sensible in the bar and congratulated him on his still youthful appearance after all these years... he thanked me and added that he felt like a sack of shit most mornings !! 
Next up....The Rings -"I Wanna Be Free".....great fun and a great riff...embodies the spirit of the time.

This next one was recommended to me on the basis that it was the fastest song my mate had ever heard...and he wasn't far wrong....by today's standards it is of course positively pedestrian but back then it was a real ear opener !
The Radiators From Space - "Television Screen"....a breathless outburst.
and finally, here's The Adverts doing "Gary Gilmore's Eyes" on Top of the Pops......which to their credit is with a live vocal track.....

I've deliberately not included The Ramones, Pistols etc ( all of whose singles I purchased asap on release and played to death) in this brief list as I think these early, often overlooked singles deserve their place in the sun for once. 

My surprise is not that Doug still has these singles but that he has a room
covered in Astro Turf!
My last overriding memory of record shopping in London in the late 70's was that one Shane McGowan, later to become famous with The Pogues, but then vocalist with The Nips (formerly The Nipple Erectors) used to work on a record stall in Berwick Street market just off Soho and Chinatown in London. It may come as no surprise to learn that he was without doubt the most surly disinterested assistant you could ever wish to meet....anything was too much trouble !!!
words by DOUG E DOGG

Thursday, 27 March 2014

KILLING JOKE - WHAT'S THIS FOR...! 1981


This is the only Killing Joke album I have in my collection....... I've heard others and not really got on with them. This is a very hard album......hard in content and hard on the head !! I bought this shortly after it came out and it has always been a favourite album of mine from the post punk era of the early 80's. The rather disturbing and bizarre cover gives the listener a clue that what lies ahead isn't best suited for a sunny summer afternoon. 

Everything from vocals to drums is sharp, brutal, hard and confrontational in nature....no round comfortable edges to found anywhere. Great choppy guitar riffs, growling bass lines and pounding drums that will whirr round your skull long after the record has finished. Here's a couple of tracks to whet your appetite...

"Madness"       


"Follow The Leader"        


words by DOUG E DOGG

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Disasteratti - Cerebal Hack Artist

This Minneapolis 3-piece are a noise/groove/attack rock band
that have produced an album of twisted beauty. 


Punk and noise-rock rarely sound as fucked up and beautiful
at the same time as this. Claustrophobic tension abounds on these
dark tracks of twisted mayhem which are solid with the weight of
delicate intensity that confronts the listener.

Song templates are ripped apart as the riffs thunder across expectations,
giving the impression of an out-of-control muscle car plowing through
a crowd of innocent bystanders. Disasteratti are quite clearly doing 
their own thing without any genre restrictions holding them back.

This is a chaotic but thoughtful noise being pulled together to give
the tracks their own identity - something sometimes missing from
other bands. There is a sparseness in some of the song arrangements
that give some breathing space which are helped by cleanish guitars
that slash and burn their way through the more melodic passages 
lodging in your head.

Highly recommended!

Buy from Bandcamp

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Thanks to the Band & Learning Curve Records for sending this to me.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Stooges - what could of been.

If the band had not self destructed, I think a fair chunk
of these songs would have appeared on their next album.


All the songs were written and played around or after Raw Power 
came out. It did does not take a leap of imagination to imagine
that they could of been used to produce a 4th album.

Using your google search bar, it is not hard to get these songs together 
using demos, outttakes and live tracks. 

Or maybe not - make your own mind up!

Track listing:
Scene of the Crime
I got a Right
Head On
Cock in my Pocket
Open up & Bleed
Kill City
Sick of You
Gimmie Some Skin
Joanne

This motley collection still pisses over many bands output!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Jack and the bearded fishermen - Minor Noise

Jack and the bearded fishermen bring a dirty amalgamation of 
order and chaos - mixing elements of punk, noise and
sludge rock to form compositions that build on their
collective influences, creating a markedly unique sound.


Punk rock goes angular and angry, the album “Minor Noise”
 judders through 10 tracks of discordant, rhythmic and punishing 
slabs of excellence. The vocals are yelped but tuneful and counter-balance
the complex guitar lines but before it all begins to sound like random,
chaotic  bursts of nonsense, you realise that they are also rocking
like bastards!

Taking the feel of the Jesus Lizard and the glorious feeling
of what-the-fuck! song arrangements of These Arms Are Snakes,
the album also has the added bonus of sounding like it was
produced by Steve Albini.

The tracks have real solidity to them - no wasted time or filler
to the song structures - tension builds nicely as the urgent riffs
hammer down. 

This is the good stuff.

Thanks to the band for sending this to me.

Buy from Bandcamp

Website





Monday, 17 March 2014

MINISTRY AND CO-CONSPIRATORS - COVER UP 2008

I’ve always been a sucker for cover versions....not the pointless ones that sound exactly the same as the original, but the ones that have been given the artists own take on things, i.e Frijid Pink’s - The House Of The Rising Sun (The Animals) or The Dickies - The Sound Of Silence (Simon and Garfunkel), which are both particular favourites of mine.


The album in question here is entirely made up of cover versions and is great fun from start to finish, never failing to surprise and entertain in equal measures. 
Al Jourgensen applies his usual full on industrial thrashy metal influence to all manner of genres of music here, from Glam Rock to easy listening classics ! Not sure if these are just songs that he just fancied tearing to shreds or whether they all hold some important memories in his musical growing up process. Probably a mixture of the two.



Distorted and cranked up highlights include Bob Dylan’s 1960’s classic “Lay Lady Lay” given the treatment it has truly deserved for about 40 years !!...a chuggtastic version of T.Rex’s “Get It On” ......Deep Purple’s “Space Truckin’”.....Sabbath’s “Supernaut”....and many more.
Here’s “Lay Lady Lay” for you to try out.....Dylan fans listen and weep !!


A most entertaining, foot stomping, steering wheel thumping release that’s well worth a listen.


words by DOUG E DOGG

Friday, 14 March 2014

IRON BUTTERFLY “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” 1968

Continuing my trawl through the vinyl collection I found this in between Iggy and The Stooges and Janis Joplin and thought it deserved a listen after far too long.


Side One of this, their 2nd album, comprises some fairly bog standard late 60’s West Coast psychedelic pop/rock tunes albeit with a slight edge provided by a great guitar sound and Doors-ish organ throughout.
The real reason for reviewing this album is the title track which takes up all of side B and runs a little under 18 minutes long. An edited single version was released at a more radio friendly length of approx 3 minutes, and reached the US Top 30 of the day.
This song contains one of the classic riffs from this era and goes to show that the creation of long single riff dominated opuses isn’t a new invention by our favourite stoner/new psych bands. The guitar riff has a lovely crunching distorted edge to it with nice solo parts throughout. The keyboards back up this riff with suitable embellishments and solos adding to the whole feel. The approx 2 minute drum solo prior to the final section of the song is one of the first to be featured on an album and is interesting due to the use of a flanger effect and its rather tribal approach. Its inclusion in the track is not just an excuse for the drummer to show off.....which makes a pleasant change !! All this is topped off with very good 60’s vocals. The overall effect of the long version is quite hypnotic.


There has been much written about how this track came to be and what the title actually means. These include that the version here was recorded by accident by the engineer in the studio where they were just doing it as a jam to prepare for a session which would have included recording the track “for real”. The track was also said to have been originally titled “In A Garden Of Eden” but during rehearsals the vocalist was so off his head and unable to speak properly that it morphed into the title we now have. 

Here’s a link to first of all listen to the edited single version.


and another for the full 18 minute version + original 60’s footage of the band performing the song.



...and, as usual, my usual lazy link for more info on the band which is a very interesting read. I’d not realised that they had been lined up to play the famous Woodstock in 1969 but after arriving at the airport were unable to get any further due to the blocked roads and failure of the promoters to provide a helicopter to get them there.


Nothing else that the band produced before or after matched the “In-Gadda-Da-Vida” track, but hey, its best to still be remembered for one song some 45 years after the event than to be lost to obscurity like so many bands of the time.
words by DOUG E DOGG

(Tony note - I first heard this track in the film "Manhunter". Among 
the broken glass, blood, a mad psycho doing a st vitus dance and strobing 
- this track was blasting out and it blew my mind. I had never really 
heard music like this before and it was the start
of my long hunt for other gems from that era.)

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Salem's Pot - ...Lurar ut dig på prärien

Using fuzzed out slow motion riffs, Salem's Lot begin their
assault on 2014 with a treacle thick sound that swirls into
the atmosphere with feedback, sound effects and tunes that
were birthed in a swamp somewhere.


With the shortest song clocking in at just over 9 minutes, Salem's
Pot use the track lengths to fully explore the dark/seedier side of
60's/70's psych with lashing of stoner rock that are laid upon a
doom foundation and served up with extra creepiness.

This experience is not about being cowered into submission with
aggression or decibels but is more concerned with tones, colour,
a human touch or emotions. Vocals are a prayer that are offered
up in the vain chance that the dread and despair in life are eased
but from the wails and croons, you can know there will be no
help offered.

Fuzz drenches everything with it's sonic embrace, making these
distorted jams epic anthems which are dedicated to the higher
beings who dwell in the Church of Riffs.

These voodoo sex mantras have huge outbursts of slow, thick-
toned solos running through them with hex like properties making it
impossible not to nod out to them.

Take a dark, slow, sleazy trip into the minds of Salem's Pot -
but beware - this cult will be very hard to escape from - and
would you want to?

Love the cover as well - me want huge poster of it!

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Thanks to Richard for sending this to me.


Friday, 7 March 2014

BUTTHOLE SURFERS - INDEPENDENT WORM SALOON 1993

Not too long ago I encouraged you all to check out their 
awesome 1987 album Locust Abortion Technician....well....that might have 
been too much for some of you so I thought I'd have another go with this 
1993 release which must easily be, for the uninitiated, their most listenable 
album to date. 


 That's not to say that this is a nice pleasant Sunday afternoon stroll of 
an album, no, the subject matter is still, no doubt, warped and disturbing 
but wrapped up inside some really good tunes containing great riffs and
intros to keep you entertained from start to finish.

Here's the video for the superb "Butt" kicking opening track "Who was 
in my room last night ?" which at the time became quite a hit.....


My favourite track on the album is E.D.G.A.R, which contains one of those
guitar solos that you just want to go on forever. Paul Leary's guitar work
on this song is of epic proportions....inspired tortuous soaring guitar runs
that conjure up the vision of him trying to tear the strings off the fretboard
using just his fingertips. The whole production on this song is so good that
it just wants to carry you off to their own alternate world.



Hope this may move you to check out this truly great and highly
innovative band further.....Good Luck !!

 by DOUG E DOGG 



Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Druglord - Enter Venus

STB records once again come up trumps by putting out this
4 track monster of sludgey doomness from Druglord. Heavier,
bigger and more sonically powerful than their previous output,
“Enter Venus” should by all rights go onto many peoples playlists
and get stuck on repeat.



Distorted guitars that riff with the weight of unpromised misery
ooze out of the speakers giving the songs a suffocating feel that
rolls over the senses.

Vocals are reverbed and buried deep in the mix with claustrophobic
results. For me, doom has always meant more than recycled Sabbath 
riffs or  lyrics about burning witches. Hell, I love to listen to that all
day long but I also want concrete heavy guitars, slow hypnotic grooves,
an atmosphere of uneasy feelings, a soundtrack that can match the
tedium and hopelessness that I sometimes find myself in.

Druglord deliver all that and more - original riffs, great song
compositions and the finishing touch that gets my full vote of 
approval - fuzzed solos that make me want to weep tears of joy
as I break thing with a lump of wood with nails in the end.

This is a monster of an album that will be my companion
for a long time.

Get vinyl from STD Records

Bandcamp

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Thanks to STB Records for sending this to me.


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Carne - Ville Morgue

Hailing from France, Carne blast their way through a set of
tracks using a combination of noise rock, sludge and hardcore.


For a band throwing out such aggressive sounds, there is a
shit load of groove coming from these songs that raise them
above a lot of other sludge/hardcore bands around.

For a duo, the sound is big and almost live sounding - lack of
bass is made up for by low-end guitars which throb in all
the right places.

Tempo changes are expertly used to bring an extra touch of
pacing which help put some atmospherics into the bleak and
dark feel of things. There is a chaotic vibe that threatens to
unravel into a storm of pure, harsh noise but the solid
riffs, thunderous drumming and shouted vocals keep the
songs on an even keel.

This is the good shit.

Buy here from Bandcamp

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Thanks to David at Scratch The Surface for sending this.


Monday, 3 March 2014

A Letter of Apology to CONAN

Dear members of Conan,
I have foolishly ignored you for the last couple of years.
When "Monnos" came out in 2012 I thought it was quite good
but nothing special.


In 2013 I was at the London Desertfest and tried to get into the 
Underworld to see you but due to the size of the crowd could only 
see the very edge of a bass-rig and nothing else. After a while,
I wandered off to the next band. You sounded really good live though.

Maybe these guys will never be able to translate the live shows
into an album. Yeah, I actually thought that.

And now I have heard "Blood Eagle."

And now I am wearing a pair of horse-hair boxers and putting
sand in my eyes.

And now I am eating dung and smearing ashes on my face
and cutting myself with rusty razor blades.

What is that definable element that makes something good into
excellent? A slight perception in song arrangements? A semi-tone
lower in the audio spectrum.? A couple of years more exposure
to the underground world of sludge/doom?

Conan have produced something special in the world of heaviness.
This is an unstoppable juggernaut of sound and power.
Nothing will ever sound the same again.
This is one of this years albums.

I will never doubt you again,

All the best,

Tony

"Hither came Conan the Band, black-haired, sullen-eyed, guitars in hand, 
thieves, reavers, slayers, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, 
to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under their booted feet."

Super Doom Charts - February

It is that time of the month again ...... read what is good and
great in the underground murky swamp of doom and stoner
and all good thing heavy.


Check out what  LK Ultra and his good looking team of wise
and urbane hipsters have to say about the music you should
be listening to.