Themes From Great Cities

It might have come to your attention that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you will just have to get used to. I will however, have bursts of creativity where I move completely randomly from post to post with no rhyme or reason. I have recently posted a few singles (7 & 12”) and the odd bootleg which have been received very well by all who visit. More of the same will continue as you, dear readers, seem to be enjoying them.

Some of the rips are my own, but many more are from other blogs and I’m just sharing the wealth. If other bloggers out there wish to share the rips from my posts, please as I do, host them yourself. To combat this, the FLAC files that are over 6 months old will be replaced with MP3 files.

Finally I am happy to re-up old posts where the link has expired. Please comment in the relevant posts comments box.

Friday

CRY WOLF



Formed in the post industrial northern town of Bradford in 1979 as Heaven Seventeen, post punk legends 1919 scorched a path across the punk scene in the early 80’s. Playing with other Bradford bands such as New Model Army and Southern Death Cult and with luminary figures like Mark (Zodiac Mindwarp) Manning joining and leaving the ranks, anything was possible. Now with new members, original guitar hero Mark Tighe is back making new music under the moniker 1919. Here though is a mighty short visit with one of the original post punk bands of the era…

The first real gigging band they were known as was “Heaven Seventeen” until Mick Reed a drummer from Dewsbury who liked his drums tribal joined. After rehearsing for a while they developed their sound and a new name to match. It was now late 1980 and 1919’s sole aim was to pound out a rhythmic, heavy and melodic / dark dance beat.

The first release was a limited edition white label double A side 7” inch single with “Repulsion” and “Tear Down These Walls” stamped on the labels with “Take it or leave it”, sent out to various radio stations and Magazine/fanzines. Eventually 1919 signed a deal with Red Rhino Records based in York, and “Repulsion/Tear Down These Walls” was re-released due to the demand. Recording started on the next single, another double A side entitled “Caged/After The Fall”. The even more menacing mini-album “Machine” was the last outing with Red Rhino released in 1983. The band felt that Red Rhino were not pushing them enough and decided to upsticks and leave. Signing with Abstract Records in London, plans were made to record a new 12” EP. The Cry Wolf 12” single with Storm/Dream on the B side was still the old dark sound with tribal drums/dissonant guitar lines, but Dream was a more dark/dance track, it still retained a sinister edge but the eastern guitar/big flange bass was more PIL territory than the other tracks. By 1984 the band was in turmoil and problems within the band caused a split, Mick went one way and the remaining three went the other. They had started to demo new tracks for the next release, before recording proper. Mick had brought a mate in who sort of played sax and the whole thing was going Gary Glitter. The Earth Song EP was released (remember these were still rough demos) without the bands permission which contributed to the 21 plus year absence of 1919.

Monday

MONKEYLAND



I've had real concerns about posting this one...and if anyone with ties to the band or publishing companies feels that this post should be edited to remove the links, please let me know and I'll take them out. Otherwise, have a listen, enjoy and then go out and buy the album...

And always play this album loud!!

The Chameleons

With two years of incessant gigging and numerous radio sessions under their belts since their début single, "In Shreds" The Chameleons came to the studio determined to make a great first album with Script Of The Bridge. To say that they succeeded would be like saying Shakespeare did pretty well with that one Hamlet play of his. Script Of the Bridge remains a high-water mark of what can generally be called post-punk, an hour's worth of one amazing song after another, practically a greatest-hits record on its own: from the John Lennon tribute "Here Today," through "Monkeyland," "Pleasure and Pain," "Paper Tigers," "As High as You Can Go," to the breathtaking closer, "View From a Hill." Opening with the uncharacteristically optimistic anthem "Don't Fall," you might initially expect this album to be more grandiose and stadium ready. However, The Chameleons next opt to blindside you, the listener, with the introspective claustrophobia of "Here Today" beginning an album-length nosedive into the deepest recesses of the human soul and modern alienation. This is not an album for the faint of heart; it is very dark, it grabs you by the shoulders and slaps you around the face a few times before it's done with you. The most innovative aspect of this album would have to be the gorgeous guitar interplay of Dave Fielding and Reg Smithies, adding both immediacy and texture to the album's sound. The band's rhythm section aren’t slouches either; John Lever's drumming is superb, while Mark Burgess' bass lines weave through the songs like a venomous snake. Burgess here establishes himself as one of the great front men of his time. His lyrics are simply excellent, and have a timeless, highly literate quality in their poetic ruminations on the human experience.

Not only is this a towering achievement in the post-punk movement, deserving to be mentioned in the same breath as fellow Mancunian LP's "Closer" and "Real Life," it is arguably one of my favourite, and sadly, one of the most overlooked, début albums of all time.