Ad-Hoc Posting Schedule

Willkommen Leser, Down-Loader, Lurker und Teilnehmer alle.

It might have come to your notice that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you'll just kinda have to get used to. I will however, now and again, have bursts of creativity and if it was to please the massed hordes, who chose to visit this insignificant page, to supply some input on the direction and type of music you would like to sample (before going out and buying yourself a copy) this little communication will not have been in vain.

I will also say now that some of the outstanding music already available to sample will be reaching their 30 days without a click threshold, where by they're deleted by the host.


Many thanks for reading this far...and please feel free to interact.



slàinte


Tuesday

Gypsy Dance



To label (in any way) the self-titled debut from All About Eve "Goth" is a perfect example of how loosely the term was being thrown around in the mid- to late '80s in England. Sure, the Eves had a bit of Goth cred (touring with the Mission, early singles that sounded a lot like Siouxsie), but All About Eve is more folksy than menacing, and follows the tradition of later-era Fairport Convention more than Bauhaus or The Sisters Of Mercy. The band had already developed its more folksy sound on its independently released singles, but with Paul Samwell-Smith producing, All About Eve graduated from quasi-Siouxsie clones into a full-blown example of late-'80s "Goth-Pop." Steeped in folksy melodies and hippie-esque lyrics, All About Eve can seem a bit dramatic and drippy, but it makes up for its faults with solid song arrangements and a glossy production that fits the band's melodic sensibilities and polished guitar work. While it may not be part of the pantheon of rock as a whole, All About Eve stands out as a prime example of a time in English pop music when things weren't quite certain.



All About Eve were one of those bands that either delighted the listener continually with their beautiful, dreamy soundscapes or made them cringe under the sheer weight of flowery, heavenly atmospheres created by nothing more than female vocals, a virtually non-existent guitar and some bass work running along in the background. Formed in 1984 by journalist and ex-bassist of Gene Loves Jezebel, Julianne Regan, and featuring guitarist Tim Bricheno and bassist Andy Cousin (who both played a vital role in the early line-up of The Mission), you would be forgiven for thinking that All About Eve were no different to any other band firmly rooted in the Alternative and Gothic Rock scenes of the 80’s. However, the band was fortunately more than just a mesh of Siouxsie And The Banshees, The Mission and pop sensibility Kylie Minogue. For one thing, their debut album was so surprisingly successful, that out of a collection of fourteen songs, five made it to the UK charts: One Top Ten single in “Martha’s Harbour” (Played live on the Top of the Pops show in 1988) and four Top Forty singles in “In The Clouds”, “Every Angel”, “Wild Hearted Woman” and “What Kind Of Fool”.

The band’s debut album was certainly something of a musical focal point in 1988, but since then it has probably remained as nothing more than a nostalgia record for those who prefer the lightest, dreamiest and most peaceful of music. Some may be shocked at the fact that an album released in the 80’s had fourteen tracks and may even question just how many fillers there are to be found. It’s no joke that every song on All About Eve’s debut album works well in its own way, but the one simple thing that works to the band’s advantage is that each song flows beautifully in itself, each instrument never proving to be an unnecessary addition to the sound.

Vocalist Julianne Regan may be the first thing that is instantly noticeable in this album. Her vocals cannot simply be ignored, specifically as each instrument never seems to be as prominent as it should be, and the voice is naturally impressive. Songs such as “In The Clouds”, “Shelter From The Rain” and the long-standing Irish melody “She Moves Through The Fair” all benefit from Regan’s soulful vocals, and although her voice can get on your nerves at times, they do in fact add an extra layer of harmonizing sounds to the music itself. Each member of the band had their lyrical input, and interestingly the themes covered in every of ‘All About Eve’s songs seem to represent tales of folklore, peace, love and “white magic”, the latter of which being often concerned with the Left Hand path according to biblical and folklorean stories.

However, ‘All About Eve’ was supposedly never an album to show off how good Regan’s vocals or the lyrical talents of the band were, and when the instrumentation comes together, it certainly flows very well. Bricheno’s guitar work is mostly acoustic, but there are particular moments where a rockier sound is incorporated into the music, and this is more than evident on songs such as fantastically catchy opener “Flowers In Our Hair” and the very flowery “In The Meadows”, both of which are carried forward by a strong guitar sound, strongly supported by tight drum and bass rhythms. As well as the guitar, bass and drums, there are added instruments that take their place on particular songs throughout the album. The piano is very rarely used, but when it is, as on songs such as “Martha’s Harbour” and “Shelter From The Rain”, it does the same job as the other instruments very well, and with instruments such as the violin and the synthesiser running their respective course throughout the music, styles such as Shoegazing and Gothic Rock are nicely incorporated, and never make the band fail to perform well either.

Despite all this however, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who prefers edgier, rawer music listening to an album such as this. Each song is written and structured very simply, and save for the odd rockier rhythm created by tight guitar effects here and there; the general sound is that of a quiet, melancholic one. It’s perhaps something to overlook, but the listener can feel very bored and tired with themselves when reaching a certain point in the album, perhaps because the stillness and almost silent nature of “She moves through the fair” threatens to be yawn-inducing the moment it starts.

All About Eve are not a band that will impress just everyone, and that naturally goes for the band’s debut album. It’s dreamy, flowery soundscapes creating images of peace, love and harmony will delight some, and disappoint others, but listening to it without distractions and reading the lyrics alongside listening to each respective song will be a treat for those with the most patience and consideration. The band would go on to make three other albums, but none of those would turn out to be as successful or indeed as instantly recognizable as this one.

Saturday

TV-Glotzer (White Punks On Dope)



At age 21 Nina Hagen had settled in Hamburg, where she was signed to a CBS-affiliated record label. Her label advised her to acclimatise herself with Western culture through travel, and she quickly arrived in London during the height of the punk rock movement. Hagen was quickly taken up by a circle that included The Slits and Sex Pistols. Hagen discovered new styles of music during her stay in London and became inspired mainly by punk and reggae. She met with Ari Up, the lead singer of the band The Slits and together they wrote the song "Pank", which would later appear on the début Nina Hagen Band album.


Inspired by the London music scene, Hagen returned to West Berlin’s Kreuzberg district mid ’77 and met with members of the band Lokomotive Kreuzberg. Manfred Praeker, Herwig Mitteregger and Bernhard Potschka were joined by Reinhold Heil and along with Hagen they created the Nina Hagen Band. In November 1977, the band signed a two album recording contract with CBS Records. By 1978 they had released their self-titled debut album, Nina Hagen Band, which included the singles "TV-Glotzer" (a cover of "White Punks on Dope" by The Tubes, though with entirely different German lyrics), and "Auf'm Bahnhof Zoo", about West Berlin's then-notorious Berlin Zoologischer Garten station. The album also included a version of "Rangehn" ("Go for It"), a song Nina had previously recorded in East Germany, but with different music.

Using elements of American new wave similar to Patti Smith or Blondie, Hagen was in high demand and the renowned German news magazine, Spiegel, celebrated the band as one of the hottest European bands since the Sex Pistols. On the way to becoming an international star, however, Hagen dissolved the band because she felt that guitar solos had become more important than her voice to her accompanists. Hagen finished a second album with the band recording in West Berlin while the vocals were recorded in Los Angeles to fulfill the bands obligation to the record company. Unbehagen, released in 1979, was a success throughout Europe. In the meantime, Hagens extensive European media coverage focused more and more on her scandalous lifestyle rather than on her anti-establishment lyrics and music.

Thursday

Talk About The Weather



For a substantial chunk of the '80s, the City of Leeds was a reliable exporter of the darker side of life. Whether this was down to proletarian dissatisfaction, the effects of Thatcherism or simply due to a preponderance of drum machines stuck on heavy reverb settings, we may never know. The Lorries tended to be dogged by Joy Division comparisons rather than the usual questions about occult interest, but a few bars of Talk About The Weather quickly reveals why their brand of beat-heavy gloom was ushered beneath the tattered wings of Goth. Claustrophobia reigns supreme, choking any moments of space and silence before they have the chance to expand. Every second is comprehensively smothered by an echoing snare-snap, or the wide, murky guitar washes which practically swamp each track. Lyrically, the record richly mines the irony of titles such as “Happy” in order to explore the chillier sides of human interaction and dabble in moderate doses of existential angst. As a result, this is one weather discussion devoid of sunshine.


The Lorries' first full album kicks off with the grinding title track, steady, not punishing, but still aggressive and Chris Reed's abrupt but not shouted vocals. Keeping that in mind, Talk About the Weather has more going on for it than meets the eye. There's certainly more than a little ghost-of-Andrew Eldritch in the arrangements, not to mention Ennio Morricone (thus trumping the Fields of the Nephilim's own twist on that influence by a couple of years), but Reed's lyrics and singing definitely show the Ian Curtis touch more in their emotional roil as opposed to Hammer horror. As a result, compared to the Sex Gang Children or the like, the Lorries come across more straightforwardly, their music here sounding often brusque. The album's downside is that the basic sound doesn't really change much, but when it's on, as with the title track, it's very much on. "Hollow Eyes" is another one of the winners, taking the high-speed, nervous post-punk approach and adding on a great, simple, but effective chorus to the spiralling riffs and the hollow bass lope, while the sudden shift in velocity on "Strange Dreams" shows a great sense of drama. "Sometimes" ranks up there as well for being the secret winner (it's the closest the album gets to a quiet and tender love song, which it really isn't per se). But Reed's singing aims at a warmer approach here on the chorus, as does the music, and there's definitely a tangled emotional interplay that comes through, love and hate in a few words.


Friday

Robotic Power Pop



In 1976, then Gary Webb met bassist Paul Gardiner in a short-lived punk band called the Lasers. Splitting a year later, the two along with drummer Bob Simmonds formed Tubeway Army with a goal to fuse the amateurishness of punk with a newfound interest in synthesizers. Replacing Simmonds with his uncle, Jess Lidyard, and changing his name from Webb to Numan, this line-up recorded two singles, “That’s Too Bad” and “Bombers” for Beggars Banquet in 1978. Think robotic power pop meets the likes of Kraftwerk in a mosh pit.


Tubeway Army also exhibited characteristics associated with glam rock’s experimental and electronic side seen in outfits like the John Foxx-led Ultravox and Roxy Music, and Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy. Understanding that using synthesizers could help Tubeway Army break free of the clichés associated with punk, Numan began incorporating a mini-Moog synthesizer into the mix after finding one left behind in the studio. Free from punk’s limitations and avoiding any synth stigma via prog rock, Tubeway Army’s self-titled debut helped lay the foundation (along with bands like Suicide) of what became synth-punk.

Considered by many as a transitional album, bridging the punky nature of the band’s first two singles with the more familiar synth-driven material found on the band’s second album Replicas and Numan’s later solo credited material, Tubeway Army is at once hard-driving proto-electro clash and coldly calculated robotic synth pop, coupled with a science fiction dystopia a la Philip K. Dick (The first line of album opener “Listen to the Sirens” lifts directly from Dick’s novel Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said) and an oddly perverse perspective courtesy of William Burroughs’ seedy underworld.

To speak well of Numan and Tubeway Army’s contribution to today’s musical landscape would be nothing less than understatement. With the electro-clash-punk-synth-pop-rock sounds of yesteryear returning via retro sounding outfits as well as newer artists evolving into fresher takes on the familiar, Numan’s influence is far greater than simply giving the world “Cars”. Listen to the guitar progression of “My Shadow In Vain”, which sounds like an early template for the Knack’s “My Sharona”, or the intro to “Friends”, which rivals that of any Foreigner or Foghat track of the day, and you’ll see his influence did not need to wait 30 years to be felt. Regardless of the time period, Gary Numan’s contributions to music, either solo or with Tubeway Army, in both the electronic and rock idioms are unmistakable, undeniable, and unrivalled.

Thursday

The Flood Is Here



Richard Jobson, Russell Webb, John McGeogh and John Doyle formed the Armoury Show together in 1983, taking their name from a famous 1913 modern art exhibition in New York. Unfortunately they only had a brief existence, but they left us with a gem of a record in the guise of 'Waiting for the Floods', their 1985 one and only album. ‘Waiting for the Floods’ has been reissued as a double CD, with the original album and bonus tracks on one CD and a second CD full of remixes, 12" versions and other bonus tracks.



The Armoury Show remained largely unheard in their heyday in the mid-1980s, despite featuring several eminent new wave musicians. At the start of that decade, the Dunfermline-born punk band the Skids were coming to natural end, and, after guitarist Stuart Adamson left to form Big Country, singer Richard Jobson and bassist Russell Webb also eventually went in a new direction. Around this time the Manchester-based group Magazine, which had included drummer John Doyle and guitarist John McGeoch, were also dissolving. McGeoch had also had a stint playing with Siouxsie and the Banshees, until he was dismissed for excessive drinking.

There was a real array of talent here and it has that distinctive 80's sound to it. It is packed with various other influences from around that era, but has also a brave unique sound slightly ahead of that time. There are echoes ironically of Adamson's Big Country, but the Armoury Show, while mixing together various other 80’s influences, also had their own sound.

The singles on here, "Castles...", plus "We Can Be Brave Again" and "Glory Of Love" could all easily have been arm-waving, lighter-in-hand anthems enough to turn Jim Kerr a sickly shade of green, but only a handful of people bought them. Life isn't fair, is it? I don't know, of course, but I would imagine Richard Jobson is immensely proud of this record. Four people came together and created something magical; it's just a shame that so few of us shared that magic.

Wednesday

Me And My Desire



A truly neglected classic, 999's eponymous debut album was issued in March, 1978, on the back of three stunning 45s -- the romping "I'm Alive," the anthemic "Nasty Nasty," and the oddly ambitious "Me and My Desire." The first and last of these appeared on the album, together with the summer smash that never was, June, 1978's, "Emergency," and it is with these tracks as its benchmarks that 999 should be judged. A ferocious live band, the group harnessed every iota of their stage performance for the studio, turning in an album that zips past at the speed of light, in a blur of chant-worthy choruses and pogo-able riffs; even better, three bonus tracks round up the absent "Nasty Nasty" 45, plus a pair of period B-sides, to deliver a picture perfect portrait of 999's first year. There would, of course, be many more to come.



999 were founded in London by singer and guitarist Nick Cash, and Guy Days. Cash and Days met each other when the former was a member of the pub rock band Kilburn and the High-Roads, and the latter was a session guitarist who played on some of the band's demo tapes. In late 1976, they placed an advertisement in Melody Maker for band members and ended up turning down Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders), Jon Moss (Culture Club) and Tony James (Generation X).
The band soon established themselves as a powerful live act on London's punk scene and became regulars at the Hope and Anchor, Islington. On the strength of their well received, self-financed debut single, 999 were signed to United Artists Records around the same time as Buzzcocks. "I'm Alive" became a firm favourite in the punk clubs. The band's second single, "Nasty Nasty", was cited nearly 20 years after its release as a seminal punk single.
Their self-titled debut album, produced by Andy Arthurs, was released in March 1978. One retrospective review claimed it "demonstrated their limitations as well as their strengths. The 45 cuts like "Me And My Desire" and "Emergency" demonstrated the latter, but the album lacked that special ingredient, uniqueness or originality to make it stand out from the crowd." The album reached No. 53 in the UK Albums Chart. The following year, the song "Emergency" from the album appeared (alongside songs by bands like The Jam and The Stranglers) on the punk compilation 20 of Another Kind. That album reached No. 45 in the UK chart. Years later, "Emergency" was included in Mojo magazine's list of the best punk rock singles of all time.