Sunday, 29 March 2009

Earth - 070796 Live (2001)

This is a live recording from the Vienna Hyperstrings Festival whose date compromises the album title.  This is the last material Earth was playing before Dylan Carlson took a long leave of absence and disappeared for a few years into drug rehab.  And by the sound of these song he was probably at the peak of his addiction.  I personally think this is some of their best work.  It's kind of like the link between the sound of the old Earth to the new.  It's really the last of the thick drone that Earth is most known for before returning years later to the cleaner sound that they are today.  This record had a bit of controversy behind it which you can read about here and is quite rare with a pressing of only 500 copies.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Michael Gira - Drainland (1995)

Really overlooked Michael Gira solo album. The album is a lot more indicative of his work to come with the Angels of Light, with the highlights for me being a stunning reinterpretation of "Where Does A Body End?" entitled "Where Does Your Body Begin," the surprisingly uplifting "Your Naked Body" and "Blind" (which he later re-recorded for his album I Am Singing To You From My Room). The rest is of course really great too, and even includes some callbacks to the Children of God era.

Butthole Surfers - Fast (Alternate Version)

This is an mp3 of the fantastic alternate version of the Butthole Surfers' Fast from the Bar-B-Que Movie. I'm not going to write a lot about it because this is such a small post, but to give the backstory, the Bar-B-Que Movie was a short Super 8 film by Alex Winter (the Bill & Ted guy), which starred the Butthole Surfers and ended with a staged live performance of Fast. Why wasn't this included on Humpty Dumpty LSD? It's definitely superior to the Hairway to Steven version.

Dieselhed - Tales of a Brown Dragon (1995) & Shallow Water Blackout (1997) (By Request)

Another re-up from the old blog. Dieselhed were a San Franciscan supergroup on Amarillo Records, featuring members of Brent's TV, Mr. Bungle, Camper Van Beethoven and the backing band for Neil Hamburger's country record. For fans of Up on the Sun-era Meat Puppets.

Tales of a Brown Dragon (1995)

Their best. Eleven fully-developed and catchy songs, not a stinker in the bunch.

Shallow Water Blackout (1997)

Not quite as solid as TOAB, but still a very enjoyable records. It's a lot less country, which is weird, as it was actually produced by Dwight Yoakam's engineer.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Steel Pole Bath Tub - Auf Wiedersehen (1995)

So some of you may know that SPBT were once intending on covering The Cars first album in it's entirety (a couple of these songs did end up on Unlistenable) which never happened.  They also recorded a couple of covers of another beloved 80's band which was Cheap Trick.  They covered two of their big hits that everyone will recognize (even me and I was never really a fan) and they kept it as a pretty straight forward cover of the songs.  They don't seem to veer off much from the original songs which could be good or bad depending on who you ask I guess.  It's also got this great Communist propaganda style artwork by Frank Kozik and was released on Kozik's own Man's Ruin label. 

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Bull - Tinbox (1990)

So I posted an album by this band on the old blog and kept on referring back to this single in my review and said I'd post this once I got around to ripping vinyl.  So here it is.  I'm just going to steal the story of this recording from their Myspace page. 

bull was Dave Riley, ex-Big Black/ Mike Meadows, ex-Hedonists, ex-Shiny Beast/ Kevin Drumm ////// the three songs you are listening to were originally released in 1992 as TINBOX on the Philadelphia-based COMPULSIVE RECORDS. as the story goes, after a night of hard drinking and a $250 bar tab later, dave and i decided to hit the studio. dave's only stipulations were that i kept him well-supplied with booze, cigarettes and a place to sleep for a couple of nights. being that he was unemployed and homeless, i agreed. the results of that session was TINBOX. TINBOX was written, rehearsed and recorded in about three hours on a cold friday night in some basement shithole recording studio on Chicago's north side. bull played one show following the release of TINBOX at club DREAMERZ that ended abruptly when dave fell down face first stinking drunk during the beginning of the set. bull was never a band, barely even a recording project. there was one more release on Homestead Records and without dave, for obvious reasons. i still can't believe HOMESTEAD released that damn thing. in my opinion, and i'm sure i'm not alone here, that record was a total complete piece of shit; the only exceptions being the production and some of kevin's guitar work. the joke was on homestead and anybody who shelled out their hard-earned cash for it. the soon-to-be released re-issue of TINBOX marks the final chapter for bull... mike

Lowercase - Two Songs (1994)

Lowercases first release and their most Unwoundish.

Friday, 20 March 2009

The Austerity Program -Song 20 (The River)/Song 1 (2008)

I've recently started ripping my 7"s and was posting them on the old blog and most of them go back at least 10 or even 20 years.  This one is actually the most recent 7" I purchased at an Austerity Program show I saw last summer when I was on vacation in NYC.  They played the opening slot supporting Russian Circles and Daughters and in my opinion stole the show from them.  Just a fantastic band.  Anyways it's late, I'm kinda drunk and I don't have the energy or concentration to come up with a witty analysis for these songs.  All I can say is that if you're not familiar with this band give them a try and give them your support.  They could be the next Big Black.


Foetus/Chrome Cranks - Vice Squad Dick (1994)

Vice Squad Dick is a split single by NYC's Foetus and Chrome Cranks.  They both do a cover of a song originally written and recorded by a guy called Dick Uranus.  Yep that's right "Dick Uranus."  Never heard of the guy but I googled him and was able to find the original version here.  The Foetus side is pretty typical sounding for the band but I like it.  The Chrome Cranks side, which I prefer, has a bit more of a raunchy vibe to it.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Wreck - House Of Boris (1991)

I've always thought Wreck were kind of a overlooked band.  Their first album was pretty promising, their second album (this one) was the band at their peak then they followed it up with a pretty bland album and then that was it.  Not even leaving a blip on the map.  So now why didn't they become a household name?  My guess is that signing a poor choice of a record label kept them a little under the radar.  This album was released on Wax Trax Records which was more well known for their industrial acts and maybe Wreck got a little lost in the mix.  They seemed much more suited for other local labels like Touch And Go or maybe Skin Graft Records.  So if the Chicago noise rock scene of the 90's is your thing then give this band a try.  With the exception of a lame George Clinton cover (Atomic Dog) it's a pretty solid EP.  For Fans of The Jesus Lizard, Tar or anything Albini.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Rare Cows Singles

I originally posted these on our old blog, but here it is again: my collection of Cows singles. If you don't know them, the Cows were one of the most original, talented and underrated bands of the 80s and 90s, and definitely my favorite on AmRep. You can read more in depth reviews of them along with their history here.
There's also the Woman Inside/Midnight Cowboy 7" that features alternate versions from the Cunning Stunts tracks and a split with Headcleaner on Pandemoneum records where the Cows contribute "Four Things" (I'm not sure if its different from the Whorn version, but its produced by Halo of Flies bassist and Whorn producer Tim Mac too according to the Discogs entry, so it probably is the same), but I don't have those.


Chow 7" (1988)
Slap Back 7" (1990)
Plowed EP (1992)
Cow Island/Chicken Rhythm 7" (1994)
Porn 4 (Split with Boss Hog) (1995)
The Missing Letter Is You (1997)

Friday, 13 March 2009

The Fall - Levitate (1997) & The Marshall Suite (1999)

Two extremely underrated Fall records (their 19th and 20th studio albums respectively), both of which are sadly out-of-print now. These two take my pick for the Fall's best of the 90s.

Levitate (1997)

Definitely in the top five of my favorite Fall records, this is probably their most inaccesible album. The songs are all very akin to Paintwork, Bonkers in Phoenix or Can Can Summer, in that they feel very sparse and skeletal. The emphasis is often put on "sound" rather than melody, although there certainly is no lack of any, but the songs are still very catchy. If you've heard the Peel sessions from the album, you can tell that these are all very normal songs, they've just been tweaked beyond recognition by MES' very peculiar production. Highly recommended.

The Marshall Suite (1999)

After a gig in NYC, Mark E. Smith beat up his girlfriend (then keyboardist Julia Nagle) in their hotel room, which led to him then being arrested and the entire band (except for Nagle) quitting. MES set out to find an entirely new band, and the result was this fantastic album.  The album is a rock opera suite about the sad life of a Marshall, and mostly features electronic, synth-based songs along with a couple of very fuzzy rockabillyish songs. It is a great starting point for someone new to the band, as it highlights some of the best examples of the Fall's newer sound.

Melvins - On Tour & Gypsy Soul Demos (1992/1993?)

This is a bootleg I downloaded a few years ago off of Soulseek. It contains four songs that are demo versions from Houdini tracks, so if you at all like the Melvins, be sure to download it. The sound quality is pretty good, but I know nothing of the sessions - it sounds like they have a second guitarist on some of it, perhaps Kurt Cobain, who is definitely playing the very watery guitar on the demo of Sky Pup.

To make up for the live stuff that (judging by the title) probably came with the full boot, I direct you to the very excellent Melvins Goldmine.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Railroad Jerk - Younger Than You/Ballad Of Jim White

This is the first Railroad Jerk record I purchased and it's still my favorite two songs of theirs.  Those of you who are already familiar with them may be surprised that this single has a little more edge to it than the alt/indie/sensitive guy/college rock scene they generally get grouped into.  

Godheadsilo - Booby Trap EP (1996)

This was GHS's first release for Sub Pop after making the move from Kill Rock Star's.  The title track is on their LP Skyward In Truimph but the other tracks are exclusive to this 7".  The song Turn Up The Vocals is typical B-side outtake material but the other two songs are as good as anything they've ever done.  Gypsy shows a little bit more of a playful side than their usual wall of distortion.

Monday, 9 March 2009

The Heroine Sheiks - (We Are The) (1999)

The very first Heroine Sheiks release and the last record that Amphetamine Reptile Records put out.  AmRep still releases the occasional single here and there that you can buy from their website but this was the last one to come out when it was still a "fully operating" label.  You all know who they are and we've written about the band many times already on this blog.  This single was where it all started.  It had a pressing of 500 copies.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Gnomes Of Zurich - Where Poland Meets Africa/Staring Contest (1995)

Gnomes Of Zurich is the follow-up band of Janitor Joe (see below) members Joachim Breuer (also of Bastards, see four below) and Matt Ensminger (also of more RAM, see three below).  Starting to see a pattern here?  Guess that's just how my mind works, one post leads to the next.  Anyways, Gnomes are kind of along the lines of Janitor Joe but a little less abrasive.  Although it's my least favorite of Breuer's bands this single isn't half bad.  I had their one LP called 33rd Degree Burns at one time but I didn't really care for it much and I think I sold it.  But after listening to this 7" for the first time since maybe the day I bought it, I think I've changed my mind about the band.  I'd like to give the LP another chance if anyone out there could hook me up with it?