giovedì 30 aprile 2009

Elcka "Look At You Now"



Decisamente la mia canzone degli Elcka preferita. Una melodia pazzesca, arrangiamenti di archi superbi e una malinconia che non mi molla dall'inizio alla fine. Esecuzione vocale da 10 e lode. Qui siamo nell'olimpo, non dico altro! (1996 Island)

- Look At You Now
- Pervart's Servant
- Lavender For Luck

ELCKA

Elcka "Leather Lips"



Primo singolo della carriera degli Elcka (Aurelio eroe!!).
Questa è carina: "It was also aired as Martin Rossiter of Gene's favourite track when he co-hosted the BBC Radio1 programme, Steve Lamacq's "Evening Session"! He said "They deserve to smash all the Beatles chart records"...hai capito il buon vecchio Martin? Buongustaio!! (1995 Nectah Records)

- Leather Lips
- Bleed
- Florentina Misrablle(8 track demo 1994)

ELCKA

Elcka "Boho Bird"





Ecco il secondo singolo della carriera degli Elcka, uscito nel luglio del 1995 se non sbaglio, che divenne singolo della settimana per il Melody Maker. Che cosa posso dire? No...non spenderò più di tante parole...da amare e basta! (1995 Nectah Records)


- Boho Bird
- Aston Martin
- They Don't Know You - Live

ELCKA

mercoledì 29 aprile 2009

Kinky Machine "Bent"



Louis Eliot è un talento. Uno che nei Rialto scrive pezzi così struggenti, romantici e carichi di pathos..beh, merita solo applausi. Però prima dei Rialto c'erano i Kinky Machine. Che in qualche frangente già fanno intravedere quello che saranno i Rialto...certe ballate sono davvero intense, ma in altri momenti sprizzano pop e melodia da tutti i pori. Un gran bel secondo disco questo! (1994 MCA)

L'NME parla così del gruppo:
Kinky Machine were initially categorized as a mod/glam quartet by the UK music press after they formed at the end of 1991. Comprising Louis Eliot (vocals, guitar), Julian Fenton (drums) and Jonny Bull (guitar), they were signed to Lemon Records in April 1992. Two Top 10 independent chart singles followed. Initial support slots to Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Manic Street Preachers led to press observations that they offered a halfway house between the Only Ones and Mott the Hoople. They built a substantial live following at this time, with swaggering singles such as "Going Out With God", "Swivelhead", "Supernatural Giver" and "Shockaholic". They also appeared at the 1992 Phoenix Festival. All four of the singles were included on their debut album, by which time they had enlisted new bass player Nick Powell. Although it received a warm critical reaction, the group were then overtaken by the New Wave of the New Wave - in particular, bands such as S*M*A*S*H and Elastica who had begun their careers as support acts to Kinky Machine. A second album, Bent, followed in 1995. As Eliot told the press at this time: "We write about what we know about - bad sex, cheap drugs". It featured the excellent single "10 Second Bionic Man". Afterwards, however, the group began to suffer from problems at their new record label, MCA Records. By the end of the year Kinky Machine had moved to a new label, EastWest Records, and recruited a new drummer, Anthony (Fenton went on to work with the Lightning Seeds). After releasing a final single, Eliot and Bull reinvented themselves as Rialto.

- 10 Second Bionic Man
- Gooseberry Fool
- Dolly Mixture Kid
- Cut It Down
- Nosebleed
- Lounge Dummy
- Pissing In The Snow
- Alsatians
- Wet Cigarettes
- Christopher
- Chemical Lullaby
- Last Song

KINKY MACHINE

lunedì 27 aprile 2009

Fin "Jetstream"



Cosa aspettarsi dai cari Fin? Beh, dell'onestissimo indie guitar pop rock. Fatto con cuore, passione e buone melodie, Summer in questo caso per me è travolgente, con un gran bel giro di chitarra e una melodia lampante. Non sto qui a dirvi che meritavano ben altra fortuna! Questo è il loro ultimo singolo della carriera...(1995 Fromage Rouge)

- Jetstream
- Summer
- Decision (acoustic demo)
- Headstrong (live)

FIN

Dex Dexter "Another Car Another Carcrash"



C'è voglia di Romo? E allora che Romo sia.
Ovviamente grazie a super Aurelio che mi trova questo piccolo gioiellino del tempo che fu, ovvero i cari Dex Dexter, descritti anche come "Sound like a Japanese pop band called Hide. The singer sounds like Simon LeBon wearing trousers that are too tight" oppure "These guys are, roughly speaking, an 'Eno-Sylvian car crash' or rather they sound like Roxy Music.
They're called after the character in US soap Dynasty. Several of them are Basque. They look very strange, even for futurists. They keep putting off issuing their debut single called, incidentally 'Another car, another crash'." Sotto 2 parole sul gruppo... (1996 Trade2)


Now That's What I Call Romo! Dex Dexter were an band formed in late 1994 via an ad in the pages of 'Melody Maker'.
The line-up was Xavior (vocals), Even (keyboards), Gjeih (guitar) and Gage (bass). They were augmented by female drummer Elle for live engagements. The band were named by singer Xavior, after the character Dex Dexter, a lover of Alexis Colby, from 80's U.S. soap opera 'Dynasty'. By 1995 they were up and gigging in the London area.
A two track demo tape containing the songs 'Chemistry Of Youth' and 'V.D' was handed to Kevin Skinny, promoter of the popular Club Skinny night, and the band were invited to come and play at a future date.
This gig, supporting Brighton-based Plastic Fantastic (coming soon!), would kick-start the Romo movement, as then-'Melody Maker' journalist Simon Price (DJing that night), decided to do a special front-cover Romo feature in November 1995. Dex Dexter got themselves a management team and readied themselves to ride on the growing media profile.
The'Romo On The March' tour in March 1996 resulted in substantial record company interest and Dex Dexter decided to sign with the new Trade 2 label, owned by Island Records.
During the summer of 1996 the band began recording and issued one single, 'Another Car, Another Car Crash', in early 1997 (fabulous artwork!). However, due to hissyfits and friction surrounding songwriting decisions, they split later the same year.
Singer Xavior was retained by Trade 2/Island as a solo artist but was dropped in 1998, his finished solo album remaining unreleased.
Around this time, he also appeared in the Todd Haines film 'Velvet Goldmine' as the character Pearl.

- Another Car, Another Carcrash
- Headlites Headlines
- Car Trek
- Untitled

DEX DEXTER

sabato 25 aprile 2009

Catch "Bingo"






Beh, diciamolo. Questo è un gran pezzo. Insomma....è un pezzo pop di quelli che non ti si stacca dalla testa. Non c'è niente da fare. Che poi loro siano 3 bambini, beh, su questo non ci piove...ma se il pezzo funziona, noi umili compratori ci inginocchiamo di fronte a tanta sapienza pop. (1997 Virgin)
E Wikipedia ne parla così:

"Catch, famous for the 1990s pop song "Bingo", were an indie-pop group consisting of Toby Slater (vocalist and keyboardist), Wayne Murray (bassist and vocals) and Ben Etchells (guitarist). The band were signed to Virgin Records and released two singles - "Bingo", which reached #23 in the UK Singles Chart, and "Dive In", which got to #44.[1]

In the early hours of 31 August 1997, the video for "Bingo" was being featured on the ITV Chart Show on ITV, before it faded out to be replaced by a news report, giving the then sketchy details of the road accident that killed Princess Diana.

Reputedly formed when Slater, Murray and Etchells kissed the same girl at a party; Catch were, in fact, formed from the ashes of Brattish, Slater's first band, formed in 1994/95, which also included Etchells. Brattish rehearsed the Catch material extensively, paid for by interested A&R men, but never gigged. Slater also was a driving-force behind the short-lived "Romo" movement in the autumn/winter of 1995, DJ-ing at "Arcadia".

"Bingo" was Catch's biggest hit, and resulted in the band appearing on Light Lunch, The Paul Ross Show (performing three songs live), and many Saturday morning TV shows. Slater also presented some shows on MTV around this time. An album was quickly released in Indonesia due to the band's popularity there, but was never released in the UK due to Slater being unhappy with it at the time. The band visited Jakarta for a promotional tour and performed acoustically for fans.

Despite finding success in the Far East, the band achieved only one Top 40 hit single in the UK, and disbanded after completing their only album. A UK album was due for release, with different tracklisting to the Indonesian issue, but this was never released. It is not known whether the UK album was fully completed or not, a working title was believed have been Victim Support.

Slater moved to Los Angeles and began a solo career. Returning to London he formed a group featuring former members of the UK band Salamanda, and began recording and gigging, under his own name. The Toby Slater Band released one CD single "Consumption" and other mp3s via the website, but gigging activity stopped in 2003. During this time Slater set up a discussion list to inform fans of the band's activity, which was still active fairly recently.[2]

More recently Slater has formed a band under the name Kunta Kinte, but have now changed their name to Tough Love."

- Bingo
- Simon Says
- Boys Will Be Boys
- The Better Me

CATCH

Bawl "Sticky Rock"



Altro singolo estratto dall'esordio (magnifico) dei Bawl. Questo è puro brit pop!! (1996 Dependent)

- Sticky Rock
- Lever
- I Go Wild

BAWL

Bawl "Beyond Safe Ways"



Dall'Irlanda con amore e melodia. Grande singolo per i cari Bawl. (1996 Dependent)

- Beyond Safe Ways
- Parallel
- Perfect Hairstyle
- Some People Need Others - Demo Version

BAWL

venerdì 24 aprile 2009

Scarfo "Luxury Plane Crash"



Disco magnifico. Ma davvero. Amavo gli Scarfo tanto quanto ora non amo i The Kills. Taglienti, nervosi, incazzati, brucianti, melodici ma solo quanto basta. Un gruppo clamoroso. E questo disco è da applausi. Giuro. (1997 Deceptive)

One of the most exciting new live acts on the London scene of the mid-90s, Scarfo are led by Jamie Hince (vocals, guitar), a Goldsmiths College drama graduate and a man possessed of extraordinary self-belief and steely convictions: "The thing people should realise is that music is life-threateningly important. People should want to take a bullet for their favourite band. It's a punk thing. Music should be fucking dangerous and subversive, and it just isn't like that any more." With a line-up completed by Al Saunders (drums) and Nick Prior (bass), Scarfo formed in Andover, before relocating to Deptford, London, in early 1995. After a handful of performances in the capital, they signed with Deceptive Records, but not before recording a debut single for Fierce Panda Records. However, encouraging reviews in the music press were forgotten when, at the beginning of 1996, Saunders was run over by a car after leaving a pub. By the time he had recovered and the group's debut album had been prepared, the music scene had shifted, with critics turning to a fresh generation of bands. Nevertheless, the 12 tracks on Luxury Plane Crash, characterized by Hince's obsession with low-life living and crime, were at least the equal of the bands who had stolen Scarfo's thunder - among them Placebo, led by Hince's old collegiate friend Brian Molko. As part of Hince's much-touted commitment to "changing things', Scarfo played a series of concerts in young offenders" prisons in Warrington and Prescoed. In the meantime, an excerpt from the album, "Alkaline", reached the UK charts for the first time. In the early 00s Hince linked up with Alison Mosshart to form the duo, Kills. (NME.COM)

- ELO
- Jet Smashed Flat
- Alkaline
- Safecracker
- Don't Let Go
- Japanese Cameras
- Jazz Cigarette
- Cosmonaut No.7
- Pajo Gear
- Chomsky Airport
- Lifeline
- Prison Architect

SCARFO

Arturo "Former"



Altro singolo di Former, questa volta però con una b-side diversa. Ma l'incanto rimane tale e quale. (1999 Warner)


- Former
- Spring's At Your Heels, Angelo
- Best Ones Fall

ARTURO

Arturo "Flow"



Celestiali riverberi e incantevoli visioni....ecco il mondo degli Arturo.
Un rimpianto mai colmato... (1999 Warner)

- Flow
- E Type Hard On

ARTURO

Adrenal "Hollow Words"



E cominciamo con questo singolo ad aprire l'armadio delle meraviglie di mr. Aurelio. Un maestro. E non aggiungo altro. Preparatevi a ritrovare e riscoprire delle cose che magari avevate rimosso dalla mente o magari che cercavate da una vita....signori e signore... da qui in avanti, per i prossimi post, si fa la storia del Brit Pop!
Iniziamo con l'elettro pop degli Adrenal, 4 pezzi che si muovono fascinosi nel loro incedere synth pop. (1996 Equator Records)

- Hollow Words
- Turn Away
- Byronic Man
- Radio Music Intermission

ADRENAL

mercoledì 22 aprile 2009

Flamingoes "Plastic Jewels"



Anno di grazia 1995. Arrivano i Flamingoes. I due fratellini Jude e James hanno in mente le melodie chitarristiche degli Oasis, l'esplosività dei Supergrass e quel pizzico di glam "alla Suede" e ti sfornano il disco che vale il 10 in pagella.
I pezzi più tirati sanno incendiare (penso a "Scenester" o "Teenage Emergency") con melodia e chitarre senza freni, "Disappointed" vive di un glam brillante e scintillante, e poi ci sono pezzi più riflessivi o più ariosi (come la splendida It's Been A Thrill in chiusura), che non deludono affatto.
Idee chiare e tasso melodico fuori dal comune.
Ecco cos'erano i Flamingoes. E volete sapere 1 cosa? Nel 2007, 12 anni dopo questo esordio, è uscito il loro secondo disco....date 1 occhio al loro Myspace e commuoviamoci insieme!!
Sotto la classica recensione made in uk....(1995 Pandemonium)

The Flamingoes' debut, Plastic Jewels, is probably forever going to be known as "the other record that uses the cover photo from the first Fountains of Wayne album." That picture, a Nick Waplington photo of a young boy wearing a towel cape and clutching a white rabbit while striking a superhero pose, coincidentally showed up on both albums, which were released within weeks of each other in the U.S. in the fall of 1996.
(For the record, Waplington had licensed the photo to the Flamingoes first, and it graced the original 1995 U.K. release of this album.)
It's a shame that Plastic Jewels didn't make the splash that Fountains of Wayne did, because it's every bit as good an album. Solid guitar-based Brit-pop in the style of Supergrass, the immediately catchy songs on Plastic Jewels are memorably hooky, with plenty of cool guitar riffs and chirpy background vocals that help to make up for the fact that neither Jude nor James Cook, the identical twin brothers (with nearly identical voices) who lead the trio, is much of a lyricist.
However, lyrics aren't particularly important in this style of glam-influenced guitar pop -- not many complained about how dopey the Sweet's lyrics were -- and the trio's brash, rocking pop is instantly enjoyable regardless. Plastic Jewels is what Oasis always wanted to sound like but never quite managed. (Stewart Mason, All Music Guide)

- Disappointed
- Teenage Emergency
- Safe
- Try It On
- Absent Fathers Violent Sons
- Winter
- Scenester
- Chosen Few
- Unstable
- Suicide Bridge
- Last Of The Big Spenders
- It's Been A Thrill

FLAMINGOES

domenica 19 aprile 2009

Menswear "Hay Tiempo!"



Quanto lo attesi questo secondo disco. Come non ricordare il loro esordio...uno scitillio di pop. Una vera e propria encicolpedia di pop. E poi loro erano pure il gruppo meglio vestito d'Inghilterra. E poi? E poi lo sbando. Incapaci di gestire la pressione? Mah. Sta di fatto che questo disco uscì solo in Giappone. Ma ci si ritrova ben poco del gruppo che fu. Già la foto interna, piccola e in bianco e nero la dice lunga....ma sono loro? Ma come sono conciati?
Poi ecco i suoni. Che, ripeto, hanno ben poco a vedere con l'esordio, ma non sono neanche male. Melodie pop ben arrangiate con archi e ballate intense, ma anche piccoli esperimenti alla Beck o rimandi al country....insomma un disco che sorprende e che tutto sommato non delude più di tanto, l'importante è dimenticare assolutamente quale gruppo erano prima. (1998 Polydor Japan)

Sotto la classica recensione made in Uk:
"To most, Menswear's 1996 one-off single We Love You was the band's swan song. However, despite being dropped by their record company in every country but Japan, Menswear still managed to release their second album, Hay Tiempo, in that country. This record, however, was hardly what anyone would expect from them. More or less abandoning their stylized, loud pop formula, Hay Tiempo is much more rooted in trad rock, with no less than three five-plus minute opuses in the middle of a ten-song cycle. The disc is a textbook sophomore slump; Menswear was essentially a singles band, yet there are not many standout tracks here. The more aggressive songs, for the most part, sound bland and uninspired, with the sole exception of "Waiting for the Sun," which evokes some of the joys found in their debut. The songs that do stand out are mostly the ballads, like the orchestral opener "Every Sound's a Melody" and the excellent "Coming Home," essentially a rewrite of the previous album's "Being Brave." "Coming Home" is not only the best track on the album, but was unfortunately also the band's subtle wave goodbye; shortly after the release of Hay Tiempo they permanently disbanded. This disc does have a few virtues, however, the most notable being that it does, surprisingly, hold up better upon repeat listens. This alone makes it a worthwhile buy for hardcore fans of the band, even though the price and relative obscurity of each copy is a sizable obstacle. Hay Tiempo may not have been the best way for Menswear to say goodbye, but it is a set of ten songs that may please die-hard fans" (Jason Damas, All Music Guide)


- Every Sounds A Melody
- Wait For The Sun
- Silver Tongue
- Lower Loveday
- Shine
- Coming Home
- I'll Sing For You
- Inside The Dream
- Holding Tight
- Tomorrow


MENSWEAR

giovedì 16 aprile 2009

These Animal Men "Taxi For These Animal Men"



Tra il primo e il secondo disco dei TAM esce questo mini lp che contiene 4 inedite. A dire il vero non mi fa impazzire questo mini. Troppo blandi i nostri 4 eroi per i miei gusti e canzoni un pò noiosette, tranne forse False Identification dove c'è un pò di vecchio ardore e giusto giusto Wait for it, ma non mi convince troppo. Ma come testimonianza è sempre importante. (1995 Virgin)


- You're Always Right
- Nowhere Faces
- My Human Remains
- False Identification
- Wait for It

THESE ANIMAL MEN

mercoledì 15 aprile 2009

These Animal Men "Too Sussed?



E avanti tutta con i These Animal Men. Mini Lp esplosivo che precedeva l'uscita del disco d'esordio. Fondamentale a dire poco. Mi da ragione pure 1 utente di Amazon...in ginocchio pure lui! (1994 Virgin)

"This was These Animal Men's first (mini) album - an absolute classic. Refined British punk. Two singles, two b sides, and a taut, stunning BBC Radio 1 live version of 'Too Sussed'. These Animal Men were inspirational, are cruelly forgotten or unheard of by many. A cross between The Clash, Pistols, Who and the Manics (without the moaning etc)." (Stepehen Mckee su Amazon)



- Too Sussed? (Live)
- Speeed King
- Jobs For The Boys
- Who's The Daddy Now?
- You're Not My Babylon

THESE ANIMAL MEN

lunedì 13 aprile 2009

These Animal Men "Accident & Emergency"





Ed ecco il secondo disco dei cari TAM. Ingiustamebte snobbato da critica e pubblico giunge a distanza di 3 anni dall'esordio e ce li dimostra più glam direi, magari più "riflessivi", ma anche con sinceri e sentiti omaggi al punk che mi fanno davvero apprezzare il disco. Mi ricordo una recensione di Rockerilla che andò giù durissima. Non meritavano quelle parole. Sopra il video di Life Support Machine. (1997 Hut)


- Life Support Machine
- Light Emitting Electrical Wave
- Riverboat Captain
- Monumental Moneymaker
- 24 Hours To Live
- So Sophisticated
- New Wave Girl
- Going Native
- April 7th
- When Your Hands Are Tied
- Ambulance Man

THESE ANIMAL MEN

domenica 12 aprile 2009

Buffseeds "Barricade"




La voce...quando si dice che la voce la fa da padrona. Un gruppo che non ha fatto molta strada, ma che mostrava un gentile indie pop rock, impreziosito dalle corde vocali di Kieran Scragg, che davvero sapeva incantare.
Cominciamo con questo singolo. (2002 Fantastic Plastic)

- Barricade
- The Boy And The Motorcycle
- Ghost

BUFFSEEDS

Ben & Jason "Hello"



Ci fu un tempo in cui avere una chitarra acustica ti faceva subito entrare nel club esclusivo...quello del New Acoustic Movement. Che era ovviamente la solita creazione della stampa britannica e tutti dietro. E allora gente in ginocchio per l'occhialone (odioso) dei King of Convenience o per i noiosissimi Turin Brakes o per gli scolastici I Am Kloot. Peccato che ben pochi andassero a sentirsi con cura Ben & Jason, emozionante duo che su base acustica creava melodie e arrangiamenti prodigiosi, con testi sempre a fuoco e incisivi. Musica per il cuore e la mente.
La stria iniza qui, con questo affascinante Ep, dove la care del due vengono messe sul tavolo e non ci si può non innamorare. (1999 Go!Beat!)

Ecco la recensione di NME:

"A dark surge of violin and cello swirls vertiginously around a tiny thread of acoustic guitar. Seconds into the opening of 'Joe's Ark', it's breath-catchingly clear that Ben & Jason, London boys with bruised hearts and impossibly high voices, have found Robert Kirby, the man who arranged the sumptuous strings to accompany Nick Drake's fragile croon.
Kirby is only present to sprinkle his sonic fairy-dust onto this mini-album's first track, but Ben Parker and Jason Hazeley quickly prove that they need no further assistance in bolstering the fruits of their partnership. Deceptively simple, yet creepingly poignant, they weave a web of delicate, contemplative melancholy using filaments of dusty AM radio hits, snippets of Smog and Will Oldham, whispers of Radiohead. But the spectre that looms largest over 'Hello' is that of Jeff Buckley; and though Ben's voice can never quite replicate his soulful wail, Buckley's legacy is unmistakable in the disconsolate howl of 'You-Shaped Hole', the emotional vortex of 'Thank You For Laughing' and the sweeping lullaby of 'Everybody Hold Hands With Everybody Else'.
Ben & Jason sound like they've spent their lives cloistered in dark bedrooms, so alone they've forgotten the art of conversation. Instead, they've created a luxuriously tuneful cushion of songs about imaginary friends and ice-cold lovers, which they hold up over their faces as they reach out to shake hands. A tantalising introduction."


- Joe's Ark
- Adam And Lorraine
- Everybody Hold Hands With Everybody Else
- Thank You For Laughing
- On Days Like Yours
- You Shaped Hole
- This Is Our Song
- Save

BEN & JASON

venerdì 10 aprile 2009

These Animal Men "(Come On, Join) The High Society"




I simpatici These Animal Men si formano a Brighton nei primi anni 90 e già la buttano sul chitarroso andante, sbarazzini e spavaldi sono più che altro i testi che colpiscono, tra situazioni giovanili al limite, droga e voglia di dimostrare l'età che si ha sulla carta d'identità.
Questo è il loro primo album, che li fece inserire nel "mitico" filone New Wave of New Wave (certo che sti giornali britannici ne trovano sempre una nuova) assieme ai loro amici SMASH e ad altri gruppi più o meno validi. Sarà stato per quel look made in Adidas e le magliette super strette...mah, non so.
Al solito quando tu cerchi di staccarti da un filone che ti hanno appiccicato addosso fai più male che bene e così, se l'NME non ti guarda più è la fine e i TAM si perdono per strada, pur regalandoci un discreto Ep e un secondo disco secondo me dignitoso.
Dicevamo album d'esordio che viene dopo alcuni singoli che avevno ben spianato la strada. Il disco è ricco di melodie pop, basati su piacevolissimi riff chitarristici, sentiti mille volte, ma tutto sommato sempre validi. A me piaceva assai. Riporto qui sotto una specie di storia/recensione di un devoto del gruppo. Molto carina. (1994 Virgin)

Not to over dramatize, but it's pretty rare that a music video really makes a lasting impact on your life. Watching 120 Minutes about midnight some Sunday night in June, 1994, my friend Nick and I first saw the video for These Animal Men's second 7" single, You're Not My Babylon. Considering the last 12 months had seen us absorb Nirvana's In Utero, Sonic Youth's Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, Oasis' Definitely Maybe, not to mention our first live performance from Radiohead—to make an impact on these two upstarts was an impressive achievement. MTV were playing the video to mark the release of the bands first mini-album, Too Sussed?, the following day. Nick and I were at Our Price records the minute they opened the next day. Okay, there, you're up to speeed. I'll get this started.

I think everyone has a band in their favorites list whom they've loved like no other, to the utter confusion of others around you. These Animal Men are mine. To say it was a "you had to be there" time for my 14 year old self and a couple of my friends is as close as I can get to explaining it, and that doesn't really say much.

Released in September, 1994, (Come on, Join) The High Society marked the full-length debut of a Brighton, UK, four-piece who unfortunately got lumped into a manufactured NME "movement" called the "New Wave of New Wave," alongside S*M*A*S*H, Elastica, and for a short time, Oasis. This was a band so small, in that pre-broadband era, for whom being in the NME or Select was a rare treat. And for us, a live performance in the north of England was even rarer.

Looking back I think we were extra excited because we didn't know a soul who'd heard of this band, and wanted to have them to ourselves, rather than share them with the masses the way Oasis had exploded on a tired British music scene. I also loved that we both "got them" with the same enthusiasm, and I trust Nick's music taste implicitly (he introduced us to The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworldin 1991, the Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream in 1993, and his prized cassette copy of Sonic Youth's 1991 Dirty Boots EP).

Speaking of "soul" though, that word really became the backbone of my love for this band, and their subsequent work. These Animal Men, like Nirvana and Sonic Youth before them, made me need to hear their influences. Without this band, God only knows when I would have discovered The Buzzcocks, Secret Affair, Gang of Four, and the Small Faces. For that, especially the latter, I will always be grateful.

As for the album itself, it's timeless for me. To this day I can't get anyone else interested in it, and I've given up trying to be a one-man street team. It encapsulates a sound of a new Adidas-clad Mod movement in the UK, clubnights at Leeds' Brighton Beach and London's Wag Club over the next couple of years, and far truer than the Britpop mess of mediocrity swelling in Camden pubs. It's still the record which makes me happy I was into interesting music at the age of 14. As clichéd as I know this sounds, but seeing Radiohead perform "The Bends" to a half-empty York Barbican Center in December, 1993, really made me look at everything differently. A total immerision in quantities of music became one of quality instead. And it only makes you prouder when a band you want to call your own are thrust back at you to shouts of "and keep 'em." While my favorite work of their surfaced a few months later ("Wait For It") on their mini-album follow-up Taxi for These Animal Men, this album will always remain the highest of points for me. (Hamish on www.studiotouristique.com)

- Sharp Kid
- Empire Building
- Ambulance
- This Year's Model
- You're Always Right
- Flawed Is Beautiful
- This Is The Sound Of Youth
- Sitting Tenant
- Too Sussed
- Come On Join The High Society
- We Are Living
- High Society

THESE ANIMAL MEN

giovedì 9 aprile 2009

Terris "Learning To Let Go"



Parabola classica quella dei Terris...prima eletti al rango di divinità e poi finiti nella polvere. Metodologie usate anche adesso da un gionale come l'NME. Non c'è da stupirsi in Uk. Eppure mi impressionò a suo tempo la frase del MM che definiva i Terris come la miglior band di sempre...avevo pure messo il loro poster in camera!
Beh, questo è il loro disco. Con tanti difetti, ma anche tanti pregi. Carico, rumoroso, a volte noioso, con una voce che può piacere o disgustare, metalloso ma anche annacquato.
Sotto ci trovate la classica recensione made in UK. (2001 Warner)

"The British music press has got a lot to answer for. At the tail-end of 1999 Terris released their debut EP, a four-song electric-shock called The Time Is Now. The press loved it, immediately labelling them The Best New Band Ever. Terris themselves obliged with the kind of rent-a-quote "everything else is shit" soundbites that nascent careers are made of. Sure enough, NME stuck them on the cover at the start of 2000 just as they embarked on a tour of the UK that saw them blast joint headliners Coldplay offstage every night. Since then, however, the two bands’ fortunes could not have been more different, because while Coldplay quickly released a debut album that the post-Travis soft-rock loving public lapped up like ambrosia, Terris quietly self-destructed.


Live they were awesome, a furious, psychedelic explosion low on tunes but high on volume, a mystical punk maelstrom somewhere between early Verve and even earlier Manic Street Preachers. The drummer was a smacked-out Animal from the Muppets, the bassist a fat man pumping irresistible rhythm lines from an analogue synth, the guitarist the most miserable man ever to take to the stage. As for the singer... Gavin Goodwin twisted around the stage, eyes closed and hands flapping like burning angel’s wings, chanting and yelping his prophecies and bitterness like he was exorcising demons from his fragile frame. Teenage girls transfixed by his intensity, sweat rolled from his face till the stage was sodden with his own perspiration.


Terris disappeared for the best part of 12 months after this initial flurry of activity, seeking to get away from the crushing weight of hype and expectation that the press were frantic to lumber them with. Britain was overloaded with bloated rock bands desperate to fill stadiums and have people wave lighters at them, and Terris were going to be the antidote to this, were going to smash the old guard down like The Sex Pistols had all those years ago. But Terris didn’t have a Malcolm McLaren or a Johnny Rotten, they weren’t London scene-makers with the nous and wired charm and luck to ensure their place in history. Terris were provincial Welsh kids from council estates rife with violence, drugs and petty crime, a hopeless wasteland bordering on the underclass. Compared with early tour-mates Coldplay, middle-class fey indie kids with Oxbridge degrees and encouraging parents, they didn’t stand a chance.


Pixies producer Gil Norton was brought in to make sense of Terris’ noise and anger, to try and lend them some degree of character beyond the inverse negatives that constructed them and their songs. And while Learning To Let Go sounds big and intense and angry as hell it’s also hollow and unsubtle, as much because of the songs as the production. Too many times Terris sound like a heavy metal band who’ve heard Happy Mondays and want to be funky, too often their protestations of smashing things old to make things new sounds like the whining of indie kids keen to mark themselves as eclectic and vivacious by sticking loathsome funky-drumming on top of everything. "Shapeshifter" and "Vegetable Days" are half-hearted stabs at electric ballads but they fall far short of their ambitions. The storm of guitars is never fully realised on record as it live, when pummelling volume and colour can overwhelm the senses with deceptive ease. Away from the stage, Gavin Goodwin is just a wordy, shouty and coarse singer who sounds far too close to a young Jon Bon Jovi, spitting over-complicated lyrics, pseudo-profound and faux-intellectual, the frustrated poetry of a lost child with a thesaurus. "Fabricated Lunacy", "Beneath The Belt" and ridiculously overblown album-closer "Deliverance" are the best moments, respectively tuneful, maniacal and fraught, but still too gauche, too clumsy and too misjudged to really make the grade. "Lost October" is the only survivor from the debut EP, mysteriously chosen over the far better "I Am A Bomb", and its messy, characterless sprawl sees it fade into an unmemorable blur along with most of the other songs. This is not the work of new messiahs come to save us.


Needless to say, Learning To Let Go (dreadful title, worse sleeve) sank without trace when it was released early in 2001, and less than a year later Terris split up. No one cared. The official line is, of course, musical differences, the drummer gone off to make electronic music, the other three still working together, forever planning escape somewhere in a dusty Welsh practice room. But looking at the lyrics in the record sleeve, with their recurrent references to spoons and needles and veins, remembering the drummer’s sunken eyes and tallow skin, I wonder if maybe Terris were simply unable to free themselves fully from the heroin-drenched towerblocks where they grew up. (Da Stylusmagazine.com by Nick Southall)


- White Gold Way
- Fabricated Lunacy
- Beneath The Belt
- Bonnie
- Shapeshifter
- Cannibal Kids
- Windvain
- Petrol Hours
- Lost October
- Vegetable Days
- Midnight Sun
- Deliverance

TERRIS

martedì 7 aprile 2009

Strangelove "The Greatest Show On Earth" (Part 1)



La prima parte di un grande singolo. In ginocchio. (1997 Food)

- The Greatest Show On Earth
- Couples
- Crofters
- Ascension Day

STRANGELOVE

Shampoo "We Are Shampoo"







Ma come dimenticare le simpatiche Shampoo? Durate giusto il tempo di lavarsi i capelli, però quando c'erano ci si divertiva. E hanno pure fatto 3 dischi. Anche se già dal secondo in poi in Uk manco spevano più chi erano. Questo è il loro esordio...alla faccia delle Spice Girls...con tanta voglia di urlare il loro Girl Power facevano le pseudo punk ma in realtà amavano l'acqua e sapone e la buttavano sul (power) pop più zuccherato, velato elettronica con l'iconografia della lolita rossettata...insomma c'è dentro di tutto qui....però mi piacevano assai. E alcuni singoli sono da brivido!! (1994 Food)
Beccatevi sta recensione di 1 utente Amazon in ginocchio!


A year or so before the Spice Girls spread girl power in the UK and Puffy AmiYumi landed their brand of power pop in Japan, there were two bratty pint-sized girls, Carrie and Jacqui, aka Shampoo, who made a brief spark with We Are Shampoo, a power pop band with a sound similar to Voice Of The Beehive, but instead of the deeper concepts explored by VOTB, lash out with barbed swipes. The Divinyls and Nirvana have nothing on these girls--they get fiercer as the albums goes on.

"Trouble" was the first single and despite the power pop guitars, the overall sound doesn't serve as a spearhead to introduce them to the US. The raucous and bratty rap in the verses put them as a female version of the Beastie Boys. More than that, it was featured on the soundtrack to the first Power Rangers movie, but only got a few seconds in the movie, which may also have led to the lack of promotion Shampoo got in the US. That's what the trouble is with this song, a lack of something.
"Delicious" is more characteristic of Shampoo's power pop sound, featuring Generation X-ish guitars and bratty vocals. Now this would've been a more potent way to introduce them to the US market, but nobody listens to me.
They pat themselves on the back with the wall-like fuzz guitar of "Viva La Megababes," which describes them as "a cool sensation! what a creation!" "Who's the latest teenage dream?" on the front of every magazine." "camera's watching when we go shopping." Quite an ego trip there, but with a great sound.
"Dirty Old Love Song" has the girls slamming the likes of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, criticizing the false front the radio divas put on with that snarling guitar going on. The message here is basically, despite the clean-image marketing, and lyrics about their hearts being on fire, they're basically singing dirty old love songs. However, they really slam the two thus: "tacky and cheap/sickly and sweet/don't forget to keep your receipt" Ouch! Even though I have the deepest respect for Mariah, I admit these brats do have a point.
"Skinny White Thing": A rocking number against the snobby, fashion models "you've got style, you've got looks, but your brain's off the hook, hanging in the hall." Point scored. "Skinny white thing/living in your own wet dream" Ooh, another one! The intensity of this song rivals "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
"Glimmer Globe" is another song with a great guitar and really pronounced drums banging away with abandon. It's about the disco days, "before the strife: but also "before the desert war and before the lost boys came knocking on your door."
"Shiny Black Taxi Cabs" is a song about them having a night on the town and ending up with them throwing up in the cab, to which cabbies rants about them, "Bring back hanging. Hanging? Hanging's too good for them." Love that catchy pre-chorus bit: "midnight traffic light, green's for go-go/back seat joyride, we love Soho."
The pace changes a bit with the reggae-ish "Game Boy" about someone too obsessed to beat their highest score on the video game system. "Game boy/ain't she got no brain, boy?" they go.
The other songs maintain the energy level, especially the techno/rap of "House Of Love" all wrapped with that power pop wall of sound. And the girls really let loose with the guitars and outraged screams on "Saddo" about the condition of no parties, no funs.
The ne plus ultra of their sound is a ferocious attack that earns them the epithet Sexy Pistols. It's that fierce! "We Don't Care" again has that punk rock attitude that would go over well with the likes of Sid Vicious. "we don't care if you think we're dumb/we don't care about anyone/we don't care because we're young/because our time has just begun." Best song here by far.
The phrase of the light burning twice as bright burning twice as fast seems applicable to them, as they fizzled out. Raucous, loud, silly fun that sadly didn't last long. Call them Voice Of The Beehive mixed with the Sex Pistols, but with a lot more attitude. A unique one-of-a-kind album, and viva those megababes! (Daniel J. Hamlow - Amazon)


- Trouble
- Delicious
- Viva La Megababes
- Dirty Old Love Song
- Skinny White Thing
- Glimmer Globe
- Shiny Black Taxi Cab
- Me Hostage
- Game Boy
- House of Love
- Shampoo You
- Saddo

SHAMPOO

lunedì 6 aprile 2009

Marion "The Old School Gang"



Cosa dire sui Marion che non sia già stato detto? Niente. Quindi mi limiterò a riportare giusto un paio di frasi di Jaime che ho travo all'interno del libretto di questo ottimo bootleg dal sound perfetto, che ci offre i Marion in versione live, nel loro periodo di massima forma e splendore...e si sente. Leggere certe cose a distanza di anni fa quasi sorridere....
"We Wants The Smiths credibility. Joy Division' s legendary status and U2's money. The comparisons don't bother us. After all it could be worse; people could be comparing us to Spanda Ballet. And Anyway, soon enough people are going to comparing other bands to Marion" (Jaime, February 1996)....qui volava davvero alto!!!
"The band is something that we all need to do" (Jaime, February 1996)....peccato che poi l'attenzione si sia spostata dal gruppo ai nani da giardino!!!

Live at Melkweg, Amsterdam, March 1996:

- I Stopped Dancing
- The Only Way
- Wait
- Time
- Vanessa
- Sparkle
- Your Body Lies
- The Collector
- Let's All Go Together
- Toys For Boys
- Sleep
- Fallen Through

Live "Maida Vale Studios", London, January 1996:

- All For Love
- Time
- Sparkle
- Fallen Through

Live "Maida Vale Studios", London, April 1996:

- Wait
- Your Body Lies
- The Collector

MARION

sabato 4 aprile 2009

Santa Cruz "Way Out"



Dopo tanti singoli ecco finalmente il disco intero di questa formazione. Merita attenzione e ascolti approfonditi, non è un dischetto così facile come potrebbe sembrare in apparenza. Riuscire a mescolare indie, richiami al Bristol Sound, chitarre limpide e melodie riuscitissime, beh, non è da tutti. Ve lo assicuro. (1997 Universal)


- Sail On
- 30 Degrees Below
- Forever
- Rocket Man
- Mystery Show
- Heaven Only Knows
- Scissormen
- Vultures
- Living End
- Yakuza
- Make It Better


SANTA CRUZ

mercoledì 1 aprile 2009

Ballroom "Through The Day"



Altro singolo magico dei Ballroom, altra canzone magnifica che anticipava il loro album d'esordio, altro pezzo per cui i rimpianti per questo gruppo sono sconfinati. Dall'epicità del singolo alla malinconia e struggimento delle due b-side, le anime dei Ballroom si ritrovano in questi 3 pezzi. (1998 Mother)

- Through The Day
- Wasting Inside
- Let Go


BALLROOM

Symposium "On The Outside"



Questo è un disco tosto cari miei, un disco che legna bello duro. Parlare di pop punk sarebbe davvero riduttivo. In realtà le canzoni sono ben strutturate, non certo due accordi e via, lanciate su un indie rock con chitarre che viaggiano sparate e belle taglienti e voce con tanta voglia di farsi sentire. Se dal vivo erano un gruppo pazzesco in studio riescono a mantenere quella grinta e quella carica che sa tenere viva l'attenzione dell'ascoltatore per tutto il disco! Un gran bel gruppo! (1998 Infectious Records)

- Impossible
- Answer To Why I Hate You
- Bury You
- Blue
- End
- Nothing Special
- Circles Squares And Lines
- Stay On The Outside
- Paint The Stars
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Natural
- Way

SYMPOSIUM