jueves, 28 de julio de 2016

EPICYCLE - You're Not Gonna Get It [USA 1978-81] 2013 HoZac Records


Epicycle was the band that Ellis Clark (then known as Andrew Clark) founded in 1977. Epicycle went through 3 incarnations before it settled into its most commonly known line-up which consisted of Ellis (Andrew) Clark/Lead Vocals, Guitar & Keyboards, Robert Conte/Lead Vocals & Bass Guitar, Terry Turner/Guitar & Back Up Vocals, Keith Fox/ Drums (1979-1980) later to be replaced by Ellis Clark's brother Tom Clark/Drums (1980-1982).

During the years 1979-1981, Epicycle released 2 extended play 7-inch records, a 7 inch single ("School Girls" backed with "Residential Area") and a 12 song LP album entitled "Epicycle Special First Edition" all on their own label Cirkle Records. 


Epicycle

miércoles, 27 de julio de 2016

PRIX - Historix [USA power pop 1975-1976] HoZac Records 2016


Featuring exclusive 1975-76 Ardent Studios recordings with Tommy Hoehn, Jon Tiven, Chris Bell and Alex Chilton (from BIG STAR), as well as Rick Clark, Hilly Michaels and Jim Dickinson. HoZac Archival features the complete PRIX recordings, an essential Memphis power pop masterpiece that was sadly only available in Japan on CD-only in the early 2000s, first time on vinyl for most of these tracks.

Prix

martes, 26 de julio de 2016

Los Pepes - For Everyone 2014 (Wanda Records WR066)



LOS PEPES are a punkrock- / powerpop-three piece, which got together 2012 in London and whose sound on the one side is deeply inspired of 77-heroes such as the TESTORS, Johnny Thunders, ZEROS or BOYS, but on the other hand also adds this pop-sensitivity and harmonies of forgotten (garage-)powerpop-jewels, as to be found on old Nuggets- and Pebbels-compilations, to it: Loud, frantic and raw, but always still with that necessary amount of sugarcoating on top!

Pepes

Tyll - Sexphonie 1975 (Kerston 65025)


Sexphonie was the only album featuring Tyll, a truly talented and versatile band. They weren’t together long, but left a lasting impression. Tyll were founded in 1975, and by the time the year was over. the band was history. Despite being together less than a year, Tyll left behind a  memorable musical legacy. That’s their groundbreaking debut album Sexphonie. If finds Tyll switching seamlessly between musical genres, as they create what’s nowadays regarded as a hidden gem and a lost Krautrock cult classic, Sexphonie.

Sexphonie

lunes, 6 de junio de 2016

PAUL COLLINS - King Of Power Pop [USA power pop 2010]


Is Paul Collins truly the King of Power Pop? That's the kind of statement guaranteed to open a can of worms among record collector types, but Collins certainly has a more honest claim to the title than most folks, given the great records he made in the 1970s and '80s with the Nerves, the Breakaways, and the Beat (aka the Paul Collins Beat). Collins has cut a handful of fine records since the breakup of the Beat, but King of Power Pop! is the first one in ages that captures the tough, upbeat sound of his most memorable work, and it proves the man hasn't lost his touch for writing tight, hooky tunes with killer hooks and energetic guitar figures. Collins' voice is a little rougher than it was in his salad days, but he makes that work to his favor, giving the songs a touch of defiant swagger even when he's sounding sweet and heartbroken, and when he and his lead guitarist Eric Blakely lock in, this sounds like the perfect follow-up to the Beat's classic albums for Columbia, bursting with tuneful vigor and rock & roll passion (and arriving a mere quarter-century after the fact). Collins recorded King of Power Pop! in Detroit with producer and engineer Jim Diamond (who also plays bass), and the album features a crew of Motor City notables who give these songs the fire and muscle they need, including Dave Shettler on drums, Wally Palmar (of the Romantics) on harmonica and harmonies, and Nikki Corvette on backing vocals. But the album wouldn't work if Collins didn't have a batch of great songs on hand, and "C'Mon Let's Go," "Doin' It for the Ladies," and "Don't Blame Your Troubles on Me" are instant power pop classics that all but explode from the speakers, while "Many Roads to Follow" (written in collaboration with his old bandmate Peter Case) shows he hasn't lost touch with his contemplative side, and "This Is America" builds to a gloriously frantic coda that rocks like nobody's business. (And the covers of "The Letter" and "You Tore Me Down" demonstrate Collins knows how to bring his own personality into someone else's great song.) Paul Collins might not be the King of Power Pop, but if there was an elected President of Power Pop, an album this good would certainly sweep him into office; it's fun, raucous, thoroughly enjoyable rock & roll from one of pop's greatest unsung heroes. 

King of Power Pop

miércoles, 11 de mayo de 2016

MANDRA GORA LIGHSHOW SOCIETY - Beyond The Mushroom Gate [GER psychedelic 1999]




Originally released in 1999 (reviewed by Scott Heller in AI #8), Mandra Gora Lightshow Society's Beyond The Mushroam Gate has been reissued by the U.S. based Liquid Sound label with 20 minutes of bonus material including a 15 jam with Nik Turner at the 12th German Hawkwind meeting and a cover of Pink Floyd's "Point Me At The Sky". For the uninitiated, the band play a cosmic blend of Doors styled 60's psychedelia and mind melting space rock. On this album the band consists of Anders Becker on vocals, organs, and Wurlitzer E-Piano, Willem Kucharzik on vocals and guitars, Martin König on drums and percussion, Willi Dammeier on effects, plus guests on sax and vocals.

The album opens with the fantastic "I Don't Want To Rewind The Time". An intro of saxophone and trippy guitars meander about and build tension until nearly the 4 minute mark when the full band launches into song. The organ lays down a great Ray Manzarek styled groove, the guitars are searing, and all of this occurs within a rumbling spaced out stew of looped and bubbling paisley sounds. Definitely one of the best cosmic psychedelic songs I've heard in a long time. The great sounds of the 60's are here but Mandragora Lightshow Society inject a much more spaced element to the music than most of their influences.
 
"Der Hieronimus Bosch Trip" and "Magic Rushroom" are similar extended instrumental tracks. "Der Hieronimus Bosch Trip" begins with an intro of metallic chords, freaky looped guitar patterns, and totally spaced out synths. The drums soon start to bash and the organ kicks in with screaming extended notes. This is much darker then most of the other tracks on the album. It's almost orchestral in it's continual buildup and that kept me on the edge of my seat waiting for the band to launch into something. This is a track that just continually "happens" rather than attempting to travel anywhere in particular. Intense... freaky... love it. "Magic Rushroom" has a similar extended buildup. The sound of cars zooming by sets the theme of traveling down a highway. The cars are in a rush, while the music is trippy, floating, and heavily spaced. There's a bit of a "song" injected at one point, sort of an old Barrett-era Pink Floyd feel, but this is brief and for the most part the tune just trips down the cosmic highway and the listener can simply enjoy the ride and the view. "Floating At The Gates Of Dawn" is a nice flowing 15-minute psychedelic jam embellished by Nik Turner's flute. It must have sounded great at the festival where this was recorded

Among the shorter psychedelic songs is "Unknown Gem", which has a 60's flower power pop feel, but all the crazed sounds are ever-present making this a totally spaced affair. Rising and falling waves of phased space flood up and down, left and right, and pulsate in the center of the brain. "Perpetuum Morality" is similar with great trippy guitar licks. "The Graduation" has a driving drumbeat I liked, a crowd of voice samples, and what I'd swear is a ping-pong ball popping back and forth. "A Common Race" is the track that most reminded me of a Doors styled jam, but the guitars are far more cosmic. 

In summary... HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! Mandra Gora Lightshow Society excel at both well written pop-psychedelia and mind blowing cosmic instrumental work. The production and mix is right on the mark, making for a headphones experience that will keep you coming back for more.

From Aural Innovations #15

Mandra 

NOT MOVING - Flash On You [ITA garage 1988]


We’re in the mid-eighties and the underground scene in Italy can boast a large number of bands with an international profile. Above all stands a five-piece band that could easily come from Berlin, London or Los Angeles thanks to their style, look and the raw energy of their live shows. Instead they come from Piacenza, Italy, they're called Not Moving and since their debut in 1982, they’ve already published a couple of singles (Strange Dolls and Movin' Over), two EP's ("Black'n'Wild" and "Jesus Loves His Children") and an album ("Sinnermen"). They play a strange and fascinating blend of punk, garage, swamp blues and dark surf. Many people consider them to be the Italian version of bands like The Cramps or Gun Club. In 1988, just one year after the release of the "Jesus Loves His Children" EP, Not Moving sign up again with Electric Eye, the indie label that first discovered and made them nationally and internationally known, to release the new LP "Flash On You". 

It's the last album made by the band's original line-up: Lilith (voice), Dome La Muerte (guitar), Tony Face (drums), Maria Severine (keyboards). During the recordings, in fact, bassist and founding member Dany D. would leave the band to move to Germany, to be replaced by Milo, an old friend of the group with whom they complete the album. The air you breathe in the studio is not exactly the calmest: personal frictions between the band's members have already emerged. Nevertheless, Not Moving churn out such a powerful record, full of musical nuances that no one can imagine an imminent break up. When "Flash On You" reaches the stores, it is presented in a beautiful cover that shows the group crouched on a bed: Dome holds a giant shell containing the sacred sage of the Native American Indians, to whom the album is dedicated.


Musically speaking, it's Not Moving’s most direct and "sunny" long playing record: their aggressive and imaginative rock'n'roll shows itself openly in a handful of songs where emotional stress is no longer restrained, and energy and creativity are left free to run wild.


From the unrecognizable cover of Sniff’n’The Tears' Driver's Seat (significantly superior to the original), to the hendrixian medley A Pray For Jimi (that gently slips into the instrumental Visions), the tracks take a winding and intriguing path where songs of great impact - Looking For A Vision, Dog Day, Stupid Girl, the beautiful Love Train - are mixed with slower and more introspective tunes (Sweet Beat Angel, I Stopped Yawning). In addition to the nine tracks originally released on the album, this long-awaited reissue also sports three unreleased songs that see the light for the very first time: Sad Country, Honey and Flies, Fool In The Jungle: tunes that give a glimpse of the musical developments that could have been. After the release of "Flash On You" and the subsequent tour, Not Moving implode: Tony and Lilith leave to pursue other dreams, while Dome and Maria (with different line-ups) continue to use the band's name for a while. After all is said and done, it's in these fantastic vinyl grooves that you can hear the real final cut of what, arguably, can be considered the greatest Italian rock band of the Eighties.

Roberto Calabrò
Author of "Eighties Colours. Garage, beat e psichedelia nell’Italia degli anni Ottanta"


Flash