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Album review: GARY HUGHES- Decades

GARY HUGHES- DecadesFrontiers Records (Release Date 12.03.21) With Gary Hughes having just released his first solo album in a long while, the simultaneous release of this generous 29 track double compilation is very timely as an opportunity to discover (or rediscover) the … Continue reading

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Feature: Collectible Collections – FAMILY – Old Songs New Songs (The Definitive Box Set)

FAMILY - Old Songs New SongsMystic MYSCD191 (2005) Don McKay and Martin Darvill at Mystic have done a great service to the name and legacy of Family and Roger Chapman. ‘Old Songs New Songs – The Definitive Box’ is their latest offering and, as the … Continue reading

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Feature: Collectible Collections – CAMEL – Rainbow’s End An Anthology 1973-1985

CAMEL - Rainbow's End An Anthology 1973-1985Universal/Decca 532 938-3 (2010) My biggest regret in terms of live music is failing to get my arse over to Liverpool to see Camel performing at the Lomax, a smallish venue, in October 2000*. It may well have been the … Continue reading

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Various Artists: And In The End… – album review

In The EndVarious Artists: And In The End…

DL

Bandcamp

Out now

Louder Than War’s own Simon Tucker curates a mammoth 81-track compilation to raise money for the Help Musicians Charity.

Like a kid in a candy store, a Woolworths’ pick ‘n’ mix bag in hand, standing, overawed by the sheer variety on offer, wondering where to dive in, what delights to gleam from all on offer. That was the exact feeling upon on first downloading the wonderful new compilation that has been put together in aid of the charity Help Musicians. After having previously raised money for the Hope Not Hate charity with a previous compilation, in the current global pandemic Louder Than War’s Simon Tucker turned his gaze to those people who often help us through our worst, help us celebrate our best, comfort us when sit alone, and bring us together across the world. In his own words Simon says:

“What with the current situation I felt now was the right time to try and put together another compilation only this time I really wanted the monies raised to go to musicians themselves. As you are aware the pandemic has put a stop to so many ways that artists can earn money and they have been shown no support by the UK Government which is not only having an effect on artists livelihoods but also their mental health which is why I chose Help Musicians as the chosen charity. They are an independent charity which aims to make a meaningful difference to the lives of musicians, offering a wide spectrum of support which includes: Health & Welfare services, Creative development funding, ground-breaking research, a mental health helpline for the entire music industry and an incredibly popular hearing health scheme which aims to prevent hearing problems that would otherwise bring musicians’ careers to an untimely end.

Music is so important to me and I want to do what I can to give back to those that have helped me on so many occasions without them even knowing it.”

Hats off to him, and a great compilation it is.

The album bridges many genres, right from the beginning, throwing everything in together to be taken out one by one, to be devoured. From the off, on only the first few tracks it runs through heavenly simple processed-beat pop (Vinna Bee and The Apiary), lo-fi Beta Band-like Wurlitzer (Blokeacola), blissed-out electronic instrumentals (DXIII), to Americana-infected indie (mylittlebrother). The compilation no doubt has something for pretty much everyone. Want a bit of screamo? No problem. Swallow Naisens’ Meat Honey. Ambient field recording/sample splicing weirdness? It’s in there on Xqui’s Twenties. Or maybe soft acoustic Midlake-esque wanderings are more your thing? It’s there as well on Matthew Frederick’s Fragments.

Dive in and it feels like there is no end to the depths that the compilation mines. It’s a detailed snapshot of the kind of music, the types of bands that are the lifeblood of the grassroots UK music scene, one that, although there may (may!) be some light coming from the end of the tunnel, is in dire straits and desperate need thanks to the woeful disregard from the UK Government.

Every one of the artists on this compilation has donated their track and, after Bandcamp and Paypal processing fees, every penny will go directly to Help Musicians.

And In The End… is available directly from Bandcamp.

~

Words by Nathan Whittle. Find his Louder Than War archive here.

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Various Artists: Birds Of A Feather Vol. 3 – album review

Birds of a Feather 3 coverBIRDS OF A FEATHER VOL 3

Various Artists

Grow Your Own

CD

Out now

Grow Your Own have come up trumps again with the third in their series of Birds Of A Feather compilations. In the A5 booklet (a page per track) the Grow Your Own team make their intent clear: “The inspiration for Birds was Crass’s Bullshit Detector. We remember how we discovered new bands through them and we wanted to do something similar – to try to help give bands a bit of exposure where you could hear something you might not otherwise have heard. As we are a very small DIY label and do this in our spare time after work and at weekends, we can only put out a small number of records each year, and we thought the CD comp format was the best vehicle to do this as we can fit lots of bands on and keep the price low…We are an inclusive label and welcome hearing from you – young bands, punx of colour, women, LGBTQ+, however you identify.”

So with that in mind, I would just urge you to try it!

A fair few of the 25 bands on this comp have featured on the pages of Louderthanwar and it covers a range of styles across the punk rock spectrum from 77 style through hardcore to the depths of psycho-delic darkness. Whilst it features bands/artists who have been, or are due to be, released on Grow Your Own, this is less of a label sampler and more of a snapshot of some of what is going on music-wise in the world of DIY anarcho-punk.  I was particularly pleased to see the prominent statement “Copyright on tracks owned by individual artists”. Nice to see someone standing up for musicians for once!

Birds of a Feather 3 packageThere are some stand out songs of course but from experience, my own personal preference may well change over time as I grow familiar with more of the songs.  So without enough space to pull apart all 25, rather than focus on individual artists here is a rundown of who is featured just to give you a taste:

  • Riviera Kid
  • Ryan Riot
  • Dogma
  • Reality Asylum
  • Constant Fear
  • SeekDestroy
  • Nouveau Bleach
  • 51st State
  • Haest
  • Do Less
  • Hysteria Ward
  • Drunken Marksman
  • Rabies Babies
  • Andy H
  • Cherry & Peesh
  • System of Slaves
  • Junko Fuse
  • The Throttles
  • Slow Faction
  • Dead Tribe
  • T-Bitch
  • Zero Again
  • Butane Regulators
  • Bug Central
  • Sickness

If that interests you then head over to the Grow Your Own Bandcamp site to pick up a copy.

~

All words by Nathan Brown. You can read more from Nathan on his Louder Than War archive over here.

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MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT Announce Upcoming, New Compilation Album, ‘SLEAZY ACTION’!

On 02/22/21, Gothic-Disco legends MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT will release Sleazy Action a compilation of 12 previously unreleased remixes by TKK’s BUZZ McCOY, highlighting the group’s past 12 years on SleazeBox Records. The album also includes tracks from related side-project BOMB GANG GIRLZ and new songs by BUZZ McCOY and GROOVIE MANN’s DARLING KANDIE. SLEAZY ACTION Track List: 1. “Bella Piranha (Hot Shot Mix)” – My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult 2. “Studio 21 (Titan Mix)” – My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult 3. “Hell Kat Klub (Klit Klub Mix)” – My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult 4. “Want (Cockadoodledoo Mix)” – Bomb Gang Girlz 5. “Royal Skull (Karmakazi Mix)” – My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult 6. “My Wicked Ways (Babylonia Mix)” – Darling Kandie 7. “Witchpunkrockstar (Heavy Mental Mix)” – My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult 8. “Monti Karlo (Kasino Mix)” – My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult 9. “Prism (Mata Hari Mix)” – Buzz McCoy 10. “All The Way (S.T.R.U.T. Mix)” – Bomb Gang Girlz 11. “Suite 16 (Love To Love Mix)” – Buzz McCoy 12. “Lone Road (Dead End Mix)” – My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult Click HERE for Merchandise and Physical CD Copy! Hailing […]

The post MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT Announce Upcoming, New Compilation Album, ‘SLEAZY ACTION’! appeared first on RockRevolt Mag.

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Album review: FANCY – The Complete Recordings

FANCY - The Complete RecordingsGet Ready to ROCK! Radio features a series of interview specials to tie in with the Fancy release and the forthcoming Ray Fenwick compilation. Mo Foster: Sunday 31 January 18:00 GMT Mo Foster Favourite Tracks from Favourite Artists: Monday 1 … Continue reading

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Album review: MAGNUM – Dance Of The Black Tattoo

MAGNUM - Dance Of The Black TattooSPV/Steamhammer [Release date 08.01.21] What do inveterate songwriters do in Lockdown when they’ve no band to steer in a live direction and time on their hands?  Well Tony Clarkin doesn’t do a spot of gardening, that’s for sure.  Since earlier … Continue reading

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Third Man Records: Southeast of Saturn Compilation — album review

southeast of saturnSoutheast of Saturn: Michigan Shoegaze/ Dream Pop/ Space Rock

Third Man Records

Out November 20

Southeast of Saturn illumines an entirely different Detroit Rock City than the one you think you know. It’s a sonic place you’ll want to visit.

BUY HERE

The city of Detroit is no stranger to music. Long before it saw an emerging space rock scene toward the end of the twentieth century, it seemed impossible to think about Detroit in any aural sense without immediately hearing the sounds of Motown, and bands like The Supremes and The Temptations. Less than a decade later, the city earned a place in the foundations of punk history, skyrocketing MC5 to success. Iggy and the Stooges (known then as the Psychedelic Stooges) also played their first gig in Detroit. And of course, Suzi Quatro was born there. So it shouldn’t come as much of a revelation to learn that this place sparked new creative energies in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Although most of the bands on Third Man’s new Southeast of Saturn never saw any mainstream success, they’ve earned a cult following.

Speaking of the musicians so finely curated on this compilation, can I interest you in some lightning-quick time travel? Let me introduce you, reader, to some of the spaces where these bands honed their sound. First stop: Zoot’s Coffee, in Midtown Detroit. I’ll let you in on a little secret: not a lot of coffee got served there. The underground venue was home to a number of bands that defined the city’s music scene in the mid-90s, including Windy & Carl. The venue, as the story goes, was named after the owner’s Doberman. Down the road in Ann Arbor, Windy & Carl also booked gigs at the now-famous Blind Pig, which previously hosted performances by Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Sonic Youth. That venue and its current owner appeared in an October 2020 ad supporting Joe Biden for US president. So, in more ways than one, the Blind Pig is on the right side of history. Back in the Cass Corridor district of Detroit, Majesty Crush, one of the more well-known bands on the compilation, played at Dally in the Alley – a community festival with roots in the mid-nineteenth century that also hosted a number of the other musicians represented on Southeast of Saturn

Majesty Crush Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press, June 1992

Although arising out of the same geographic space and temporal moment, each of the bands channel their influences into distinctive tracks that conjure vastly different atmospheres of sound. Majesty Crush’s No. 1 Fan, the first track on the compilation, reveals the band’s acoustic connections to Britpop and American grunge. The sound is the band’s own, yet it contains hints of The Stone Roses and Nirvana as it engages in unassuming conversation with Oasis. In 1992, bassist Hobey Echlin told the Detroit Free Press that the band’s music “all comes out of punk rock simplicity.” Twenty-five years later, Echlin wrote a remembrance in the Detroit Metro Times for David Stroughter, the band’s lead singer who died in 2017. Echlin’s words describe Stroughter while illuminating the varied ways in which the band resonates:He was the epitome of a late ’80s Detroit post-punk enigma . . . a multicultural iconoclast who grew up with the nephews and uncles of Motown royalty, who could be heard chatting with Einstürzende Neubaten in fluent German upstairs in the Burns Room of St. Andrew’s Hall after a show.” 

A number of the tracks on Southeast of Saturn are instrumental, recalling early Durutti Column strings and keys. The Windy & Carl contribution to the compilation, Instrumental #2, feels like it could have been an outtake for the Durutti Column LP Lips That Would Kiss. I can’t help but wonder if Tony Wilson might have been interested in signing the band to Factory Records if the music had only got started a bit earlier. Beyond Windy & Carl, Miss Bliss’s Grey and Thirsty Forest Animals’s Nape are also sure to spark the interest of Durutti Column fans. In the summers of 1991 and 1992, Thirsty Forest Animals appeared on a number of bills with Majesty Crush, revealing how two bands with starkly disparate sounds could engage in a sonic dialogue simply because their music grew out of a corresponding space and time. 

As the compilation moves forward, songs like Asha Vida’s Eskimo Summer, Ten Second Dynasty’s Continuum, and Astrobrite’s Crasher exemplify the aural qualities that have now become synonymous with shoegaze. My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain seem to haunt the compilation just as it’s time to flip to the B-side. As the tracks on the album shift from fuzzy guitars to trippy synth sounds, it becomes clear how these bands, collectively, defined the age of Detroit Space Rock. Yet even as the electronic vibrations come into clearer focus, Glider’s Shift insists on grunge connections to the West Coast while Calliope’s Laughing at Roadsigns calls across the Atlantic as an answer to a Britpop anthem. 

Burnt Hair Records, a label that has since become synonymous with the Detroit scene of the 1990s, signed many of the bands on Southeast of Saturn. Radio DJ Larry Hoffmann, who hosted the locally famous Life According To Larry radio show, launched the label in 1990. While the collective sound of the compilation might ultimately be remembered as space rock, the nineteen songs together illuminate the varied influences and audiences these bands cultivated. This is a dazzling compilation from Third Man Records that you don’t want to miss.

You can order Southeast of Saturn from Third Man Records and from Sister Ray

~

Audrey J. Golden is a literature and film professor who lives in New York. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and you can check out her personal website to learn more about her writing and her archive of books, records, and ephemera.

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