In traditional April Fool’s Day fashion, can you spot the made up fact in amongst the blather that follows? The answer is at the bottom of the page. There is, as always, no prize.
We start this month with a scary glitchy lupine instrumental from Ben Frost (well, there are definitely wolves on the front of his By The Throat album) that will no doubt divide the listenership. I think it’s a track that should definitely feature on the next Scandinoir drama. The great Jimmy Reed follows with a track taken from the not recorded live at all, but rather pleasingly locationally accurate, Jimmy Reed at Carnegie Hall that features Willie Dixon on bass no less. The reason for choosing this particular track becomes apparent when it is followed by The Wave Pictures who name check the song on one of the highlights from their Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon smash, an album that has Billy Childish all over it. After this, we have a lost classic from the band Derrero (combining the talents of future Pulcoman, Ash Cooke and Andy Fung) from their third and final album, Comb The Breaks. Disappointingly, the track Horizon (not Red Horizon) isn’t on Spofify, so you’l have to enjoy it on the video below.
Some legendary garage psych from The Standells next with a tip top track from their 1967 album Try It, and if you haven’t already, you really should. Don’t cut yer hair, freaks! A track that popped up on the Rough Trade Album Club list last year is next; from the band Avi Buffalo from Long Beach, California (see what I did there!) and taken from their At Best Cuckold LP. This has proven to be a real grower, the whole album underwhelmed on first listen, but I am really pleased I gave it time to settle in. Moving to Detroit next for The Temptations with the title track from their ninth album, Cloud Nine (oh yes, symmetry fans), an excellent slice of psychedelic soul, if I ever heard it and no surprise that it reached #9 in the pop charts. Another new track follows, this one from the Australian band Twerps’ second album Range Anxiety, where there are clear echoes of The Go-Betweens, but also much more warm jangly lo-fi chops to admire.
Tex Pix the next one, and this time our lone star friend points us in the direction of Afrika Bambaataa’s Time Zone project featuring the dulcet tones of one John Lydon, a collaboration that came about at least in part because of Lydon’s Copkiller film. Of course, with 1984 (the year of release of the World Destruction single) now seeming a million miles away, what better way to follow it than with the track of the same name from perennial Kicker favourites, The Saints. This is taken confusingly not from 2012’s album King Of The Sun, but from the rougher-hewn 2014 version King Of The Midnight Sun. La di bloody da, it’s easy! In my book, Chris Bailey sounding as great as ever. A new favourite up next with former Pipette, Gwenno (no need for surnames, here) and a track from last year’s tremendous Y Dydd Olaf release on Peski Records. The song Chwyldro translates as Revolution and it is becoming clear that Welsh music is taking over the airwaves; at least, it is in my house. The band The June Brides split in the mid-eighties after making a number of cracking Postcard-y type records (released on The Pink Label not Postcard) and making a friend of John Peel listeners like me. Fortunately, they reformed a few years ago and have released a couple of really excellent singles since. The track on this playlist is the B-side to She Seems Quite Free, but frankly all the new songs are just great. You can hear this one on the video that follows. Love that trumpet.
What, no French neo-psych featuring sitar and swirling organ yet, you yell? Well, OK, how about favourite fils of Rennes, Sudden Death Of Stars then, with my favourite track from last year’s All Unrevealed Parts Of The Unknown album released on Ample Play Records. I challenge you not to tap your feet listening to this. Can’t be done. Time for a New Jersey band that sound, to these ears, a lot like an Ohio band I am rather keen on. Yes, it’s the pleasingly named Trans Charger Metropolis with a sparky little lo-fi number from their Best Idea Generation debut. Well worth checking out. A more R&B (in the true, Dr Feelgood sense) fuelled punk effort up next with The Mobbs and their anthem to atheism that appears on the band’s second album, the self-explanatory Garage Punk For Boys. Hallelujah for that! And hurrah! too for the breaking news that, very much ex- Babybird, Stephen Jones has started to record songs with vocals again. Despite finding much to like in the avalanche of instrumentals he has released online over the last few years, the latest vocal-led releases are really killer stuff that I didn’t quite realise how much I needed or missed. Still, I would urge you to check out all the older Black Reindeer, Trucker and Deluder releases, not least for the fact that you’ll find the likes of this next track, Gobbledeegook, from the Dance Freeq release. You can listen and download the track from Stephen’s bandcamp page. And thank god for that.
So, another garage rock classic taken from the Nuggets boxset up now, with Southampton’s own Les Fleur De Lys (a band rather than a bloke called Leslie it seems), a freakbeat combo with links to both Rod The Mod and Grace Slick. This cover of The Who song is, frankly, a million miles better than the original. Another Welsh band to savour follows with lower-case enthusiatsts, mclusky, a band who I feel would certainly fit into fellow wizard Chorizo Garbanzo’s category of bands in the 00s who should have been big but weren’t, if he had such a category. I have chosen my favourite track from their second LP Mclusky Do Dallas for your delectation, but would happily recommend their entire back catalogue, not least To Hell With Good Intentions from the same album, which made John Peel’s Festive Fifty. A second Ash Cooke collaboration is next up on the playlist in the form of Redlip, a band seemingly inspired by toads, and featuring another favourite of the pod, Adam Leonard. They released an 8 track album entitled Dan & Headless Bill back in 2011, which has only recently made it into my listening world. It needs to be part of yours and can be if you follow this link. Just name your price. And finally, yes, a GBV-related track from way back when. This is Tobin Sprout under the moniker, Fig. 4 with Robert Pollard on backing vocals. This was the first time the two collaborated on record (before the release of the first Guided By Voices album). I think they may well have heard a Murmur or two. Sadly, the album isn’t on Spotify, so watch this video instead.
Those all important tracks in full:
1. Ben Frost – Killshot
2. Jimmy Reed – Found Joy
3. The Wave Pictures – Fake Fox Fur Pillowcase
4. Derrero – Horizon
5. The Standells – Riot On Sunset Strip
6. Avi Buffalo – So What
7. The Temptations – Cloud Nine
8. Twerps – Cheap Education
9. Time Zone (feat. John Lydon) – World Destruction
10. The Saints – A Million Miles Away
11. Gwenno – Chwyldro
12. The June Brides – I’m Undone
13. Sudden Death Of Stars – Blackboard
14. Trans Charger Metropolis – A Less Dense Dimension
15. The Mobbs – We Don’t Need A God
17. Les Fleur De Lys – Circles
18. McLusky – Alan Is A Cowboy Killer
20. Fig. 4 – At Bay
Dig The Catacombs
* The untruth was that The Temptations – Cloud Nine actually reached #2 in the US R&B chart and #6 in the US Pop chart in 1968.
See you next month!
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