Sunday 31 July 2022

Sekret Sekret - New King Jack

The offbeat New King Jack must have stood out like a sore thumb amongst Sydney's inner-city post-punk scene in 1980. I guess at its heart this tune is pop, sixties and folk influenced with hints of retroactively named 60s micro-genres like baroque psych and sunshine pop and eventually it becomes undeniably psych when that sideways guitar enters and almost tips the song over. Anyway what's a delightfully enchanting number to me might not be for your you. Peculiar. 

Saturday 30 July 2022

The Moles - Tendrils and Paracetamol

An epic pop mutation from Sydney group The Moles in 1991. This inspired psych-noise-pop post-punk-funk odyssey was an anomaly then and remains so to this day. 

Friday 29 July 2022

The Missing Links - You're Driving Me Insane

Now we're talking...back to the British beat, the FREAKBEAT! Although this is actually from Sydney in '65. I'm sure Freakbeat Phil included several Australian and Dutch 45s in his freakbeat micro-genre roundup...I guess so long as it's not American and has been touched by the hand of mayhem it's in. This is buzzing with so much electricity on so many fronts. Lust, violence, noise... I've finally caught the spice-y virus and well my brain just can't think up the words to express the vibe for this song... If you don't already know the tune just press play and voilĂ  it'll be one of your 60s favourites.

Thursday 28 July 2022

Beacon Street Union - The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens

Mr Simon Reynolds joins in the psych fest. He suggests this, another good bit of daggy Boston psychedelia from 1968. These guys were part of the phoney Bosstown Sound scene along with Ultimate Spinach and Orpheus. It starts out as a tepid Love rip off but then a flute enters and by the end a nifty little guitar break emerges creating a noice mini psych freak out.  

Ultimate Spinach - (Ballad Of The) Hip Death Goddess

I guess the best way to describe this is daggy psychedelia. Ultimate Spinach were acolytes of folk rock and San Francisco style psych but they were far from the happening scenes of the day (Texas, San Fran, LA etc.) as they were Bostonians. They are the sort of band that never quite make the grade with regard to lists of psych but often rate a mention as second tier runners up that might be worth a listen once you're done with the good stuff. Anyway that's all beside the point as Hip Death Goddess is a stellar tripped out acid rock epic. This jam could have continued for another 10 minutes and I wouldn't have minded at all.

Tuesday 26 July 2022

Blue Orchids - Sun Connection

I always get a delightful surprise listening to Blue Orchids for some's probably something to do with the fact they are really forgotten and hardly even a cult band. Other neo-psych groups of the era with whom they have a spiritual affinity like Meat Puppets or even a band Blue Orchids influenced like The Chills have their place in the history of 80s rock with fanbases to match. The debut Blue Orchids LP The Greatest Hit (Money Mountain) from 1982 despite being a big independent hit has never been reissued on vinyl and only ever got released on cd once, back in 2003. It's hard to believe a group made up of ex members of The Fall who made an idiosyncratic masterstroke of acid fried anti-establishment Pagan post-punk neo-psych are not celebrated by the underground. Perhaps they are just too unique and will only appeal to those with a penchant for the esoteric.  

Sun Connection is the opening song off The Greatest Hit. Once again Martin Bramah is in druid mystic mode. A very LSD vibe where his drug addled mind is trying to square away paradoxical notions such as the purity of a spiritual utopia and the encroaching reality of the necessity of money to survive. These existential dilemmas are delivered via that vocal trick of all of a sudden metamorphosing tunelessness into melodic elation and back again. All the while a mesmeric web of guitars and keys organically shift from tense passages to pastoral flourishes which has an added alchemical frisson as Bramah and organist Una Baines were romantically involved. 

Saturday 23 July 2022

Blue Orchids - A Year With No Head

Forgotten post-punk neo-psychedelic greatness from 1982. Hypnotic organ, a glistening fried guitar, a dark bass line and a rhythmic guitar all swirl in unison as mystic recalcitrant Martin Bramah philosophises blissfully over the the top, mesmerising.  

Friday 22 July 2022

Fire Engines - Meat Whiplash

Were Fire Engines the best band of 1981? Anyway this is where fellow Scots Meat Whiplash got their name from: The b-side to Fire Engines 1981 single Candyskin which was released on the Pop Aural label. While it's a nervy post-punk gem it fits in with these recently posted tunes because there's a weird phazed psych guitar bit amongst the noisey frenetic post-punk shenanigans. 

Thursday 21 July 2022

Meat Puppets - Two Rivers

While the entire 1985 LP Up On The Sun is a sun baked roadside cactus of serene funky psychedelic perfection, Two Rivers is where they go into the mystic with sublime results. Words are no justice for this splendour. 

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Mercury Rev - Chasing a Bee

The greatest neo-psych jam ever. Perhaps the greatest OTT psych tune of all time too. I guess you can't really compare 60s psych to 90s neo-psych though because by the time of Mercury Rev there were so many more influences going into the music from prog, krautrock, space rock, punk, post-punk, goth, post-hardcore, noise-pop, shoegaze and whatever else I've forgotten. I was expecting this tune to have lost its lustre now it's over 30 years old but no it is still fucking astounding. Dave Baker era Rev is still the best. If you only know Mercury Rev due to 1998's Deserter's Songs chart success well let me tell're missing out. In 1991 the cult band released the outstanding sprawling kaleidoscopic masterpiece Yerself Is Steam and then followed it up in 1993 with the equally mind-bending hallucinogenic Boces. For these two LPs the mercurial presence of singer Dave Baker gave the band an unhinged quality that would disappear from the group after he left in 94.  

Sunday 17 July 2022

The Moffs - Another Day In The Sun

If you know you know. 80s neo-psych classic from Sydney-siders The Moffs. I've heard this a million times and it still casts the same spell on me as it did the first time I heard it on Rage in the 80s. A tone like no other in a song like no other. As a teenager I assumed there would be or had already been more tunes like this but really this is a singular vision that was never repeated. 

True West - Steps To The Door

A primo slice of neo-psych from the Paisley Underground in 1983. Now if I recall correctly the singer and the guitarist from True West had both been in a band with Kendra Smith and Steve Wynn prior to the formation of Dream Syndicate. These guys coulda been contenders as they had some ace tuneage but it was the 80s and groups like this seemed to just fizzle out into inconsequence. 

Saturday 16 July 2022

Radial Spangle - Raze

I've been listening to a lot of 80s/early 90s neo psych, noise pop and shoegaze that I have in my collection from back in the day, much of which has been pretty unspectacular. This tune however is surprisingly tops. I remember Radial Spangle were somehow connected to Mercury Rev...I think. Did maybe someone in the band also die? Anyway the energy, insistent beat, hyped up swirly guitar riff and multi-tracked vocals make this pretty infectious. 

Friday 15 July 2022

Drop Nineteens - Winona

This is called Winona but I really couldn't say what it's actually about but it's an enjoyable slice of American shoegaze from back in the day. It was from the debut Drop Nineteens LP from 92 which I recall was half a top record. It's incredible to think that our Winona has been a pop culture icon five decades now. Sure I dunno what she did from 1994 to 2016 except for shoplifting...maybe she learned to act. Anyway there is no shortage of love out there for her, as I'd say she's the most sung about figure in pop culture ever....probably.

Sunday 10 July 2022

Meat Whiplash - Don't Slip Up

One classic single on Creation in 1985 and they were done. A forgotten gem that was a hit on the British independent music charts in 1985. I didn't hear this until a few years later though, on a Creation compilation. Apparently Meat Whiplash were from the same new town as The Jesus & Mary Chain. What they used to call noise-pop and a glorious encapsulation of that it is. 

Thursday 7 July 2022

Controlled Death - Music for the Death Cult Church

Very enjoyable racket from pioneering Japanese noise performance artist Maso Yamazaki aka Masonna: The rock star of noise. He's been doing Controlled Death now for 5 or so years. This is drone-y lo-fi psychedelic dark ambient goodness. It's got church-y organs and malignant synths that infect the already sinister tones for added infernal resonance. Music For The Death Cult Church was released exclusively on cassette in February in a limited edition of 99 with no digital download option. It's now sold out and copies go for 80 Aussie dollars on discogs so I'm very grateful to the youtube channel Rites Of Pestilence for uploading this. It's quite possibly the best work under Yamazki's Controlled Death moniker.