Sunday 17 November 2013

Angry Dog Recording Sessions, Wellington, September 1991 - June 1992

There hasn't been a group from New Zealand that I like more than The Garbage and the Flowers so it's exciting that this exists and has been made freely available:


Friday 15 November 2013


Confessions of and accusations of lying have been flying around these parts today.  It's like the House of Commons! A recent trip to the wonderful, if over-stuffed (there are piles of records heaped on top of the racks and boxes and boxes of lps at your feet while you browse) Wah Wah Records yielded a copy of Groovie Records' 2011 compilation of the output of Swedish mid-80s garage revivalists The Crimson Shadows.  "Even I Tell Lies" is the finest example of frenetic, organ-led garage I've heard since The Chesterfield Kings' "She Told Me Lies" knocked me clean off my feet a couple of years ago.  Alternating the two at volume is a sure-fire way to whip yourself up into a frenzy of hand-claps and high-kicks!  

The first appearance of the tambourine and harmonies is one of those indescribably brilliant pop moments.  Sure it's been done time and time again but, when it's done that well, it's a genuine thrill.  I've always preferred my cavemen to have a refined side, too.

Years ago I proclaimed to a friend that only The Seeds could do keyboard-riddled pop/garage well.  I'm happy to report that I was completely wrong.  Only an ignorant fool would make such a pompous, needlessly definitive statement!

Thursday 14 November 2013

If You Want Me You Can Find Me

Few mid-60s garage tracks are as rhythmically odd or as weirdly atmospheric as the clumsily named Lawson & 4 More's hovering "If You Want Me You Can Find Me".  It positively drips with aloof cool.  Anton Newcombe and The Brian Jonestown Massacre would kill to release something so unconventional yet still rooted in prime Stones pop.  Big Beat have made it available again on the b-side of the more conventionally scalding "Smart Bird".  At 10 quid it's not cheap but an original would no doubt have me living on baked beans and tap water for a month or two so it's a price I'm willing to pay.  Thanks once again to Record Turnover for the recent public service announcement.

Wednesday 13 November 2013

The Thanes "She's Coming Back To Me" (State)

Just a few weeks ago I was looking at the picture of the young Lenny Helsing in Sam Knee's "A Scene In Between" (Cicada) envying his ace garage band 'do and then he goes and releases the ALIVE, in-the-moment blast of The Thanes"She's Coming Back To Me" (State Records) and now I'm envying him all over again.  Just listen to that burst of scrambled, post-McGuinn jazziness at around 1 minute and 27 seconds and tell me that it doesn't make you want to punch the air with sheer delight; so unexpected, so wild, so vital.  The Thanes have cut hit after hit in their two and a bit decades and "She's Coming Back To Me" ranks alongside the best of them.  For some reason the riff reminds me of the start of the Crossroads theme which is no bad thing - it just adds period colour.  I hope The Thanes play somewhere in the Central Belt (of Scotland) real soon so that I can go a little bit loopy - inside, of course - nobody really wants to see a middle-aged man pogoing about like a loon! - when they play it.