Monday, 5 August 2013

Seven Sevens

A random selection of seven 7" records pulled off of an over-stuffed shelf.

1. 'Fatal' Microbes - Violence Grows (Small Wonder, 1979)

a) Violence Grows
Bi) Beautiful Pictures
Bii) Cry Baby

Not so much 'post-punk' as clinging on desperately to punk, this band of what appear to be school kids make spirited, amateurish 'punk rock' much loved by John Peel. Violence Grows itself is long, slow-ish and annoying, with  Honey Bane's flat Siouxsie-ish singing making the whole a bit of a drag. Beautiful Pictures, though is an uptempo punk classic and Cry Baby enjoyable punky nonsense. Despite the many punk classics, it's little records like this that make the punk explosion so rewarding to explore.

2. Dark Lord - ...By The Force of Sacred Magic Rites... (Blasphemous Underground, 2008)

ai) Into The Lightless Realm
aii) Tommota Est Et Tontremuit Terra
aiii) Appearance Of The Spirit
bi) Prince Of The Land Of Tears
bii) I Summon Thee
biii) Opening Of The Seventh Gate

The songs on this satisfyingly fat 6 track EP were in fact the Adelaide band's first demo, recorded in 1993. Somewhat overlooked black/death metal, brutal and pummelling with surprisingly technical lead guitar, totally worth seeking out if you like the more deathly end of the BM spectrum. Darklord, somewhat flamboyantly for the genre, used custom-made double necked guitars designed by the band and made by Brian West at Fretco, Adelaide ( They sound good. This is pretty basic and relentless but is in some ways preferable to their also-very-good album Symphony Satanikka.

3. Swervedriver - Sandblasted (Creation, 1991)

a) sandblasted
b) out

Contemporary with, but slightly different to, the shoegaze bands of the early 90s, this windswept, slightly Americanised indie rock made my slightly crusty-looking types has aged pretty well. Very of its time, but since that was a time when the indie scene genuinely offered an alternative to mainstream chart music that isn't so bad really.

4. The Young Rascals - Groovin' (Atlantic, 1967)

Classic laidback latin-soul with a great vocal from Felix Cavaliere. The Rascals (as they became are one of the few white soul groups of the era whose work doesn't pale into insignificance compared to actual soul music. The slightly more raucous B-side is pretty good too.

5. Killing Joke - Wardance (Malicious Damage Records, 1980)

b) Pssyche

Although Killing Joke were forging a new post-punk sound on their first album, their second single (which predated the album by some months) initially sounds almost Stranglers-ish, until the atmospheric chanted chorus. This version is faster, more aggressive and slightly less good than the version on Killing Joke, but still fairly excellent. B-side Pssyche is kind of similar really; relentless, aggressive but not untuneful.

6. Sindy - Sindy Meets the Dolly-beats (Pedigree Dolls, 1966)

a) story
b) Sindy

A 'concept' single about Sindy (the doll, UK equivalent to Barbie) and how she came to watch her favourite beat group "Cliff Warwick & the Dollybeats". Sindy saves an (apparently) old scouser and misses some show she wants to see but the scouser turns out to be none other than the Dollybeats' lead guitarist (according to the narrator) Cliff Warwick.  The sleevenote, however, lists "Terry Coombes" as lead guitarist as well as the band's costume supervisor. ("Someday Terry would like to become an architect")
Sindy gets to watch The Dollybeats rehearse and thinks/says 'dolly wow!' quite a lot. The Dollybeats are pretty cool; they do a song called Sindy that rocks a fair bit although neither Cliff or Terry play any leads!

7. Pixies - Here Comes Your Man (4AD, 1989)

a) Here Comes Your Man
b) Into The White

Bagboy is all well and good but in their prime Pixies were making records that were both catchy and commercial and subversive. Here Comes Your Man is probably their most melodic song (apparently written by Black Francis when he was 14 but shelved for years) but with an ominous undertone. The B-side (sung by bassist Kim Deal )is not their best (that would probably be Weird at my School or Manta Ray) but it is pretty noisy and good.

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