Thursday, December 27, 2007


Just a quick note to let you all know that every link has been updated. Thanks for all your kind words and the continued support. Wishing you lots of fun new discoveries in the upcoming year!
Best, Noi

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Boston's BLACK CAT BONE, featuring influential Denver musical artist JERI ROSSI, create a video for I Want To Be You originally recorded by her now classic Denver group YOUR FUNERAL. Next stop for Jerri was New Orleans where she scribed several novels under the name Jeri Cain Rossi."

Sunday, September 30, 2007

VA – Let’s Die (LP 1985)

If it’s deathrock you want, it’s deathrock you’ll get with this gruesomely attractive compilation from cult label Mystic Records fittingly titled Let’s Die. Now if you’re from the mindset that there’s a single mold from which all deathrock springs you might find yourself a bit lost trekking through these nineteen tracks. For that matter, even though most of these bands hail from the same SoCal region that spawned original deathrockers Christian Death - which is the sole band I measure anything tagged “deathrock” against, nothing here sounds much like Christian Death at all. That said… what shall one expect from this fairly obscure, lesser-known collection of cheerless rock songs? Well, really there’s quite a bit to discover - from goth to glam, hardcore to metal, punk to postpunk… it’s a great listen for anyone who likes to dabble in a mishmash of musical styles, all the while maintaining that certain sense of darkness that’s come to be one of the main identifiable characteristics of all things "deathrock." Let's Die is a lost cult classic!

Standout tracks include: “Inside” by False Confession - heavy goth rock with dark cascading organ, menacing guitar, and vocals reminiscent of Peter Murphy; “Hellhouse” by A.W.O.L – punishing, metallic gloom punk similar to some of DI’s output; “Let’s Die” by Patrick Mata – dreary, yet funky, postpunk pow wow; “Darkest Dream” by Party Doll – melodic female-fronted goth punk, like Leningrad Sandwich flirting with Super Heroines; “Kill the Dead” by Slaughterhouse 5 – loud bass-thumping trashy horror punk; “Hives” by Burning Image – like the DEVO of deathrock, essential; “Bad Brains” by The Drab – sizzling slow-mo gloom punk. Track to avoid: “Day of the Jackal” by The Stain – reminds me of NWOBHM… and I like NWOBHM, but this is just painful.

VA – Let’s Die (LP 1985)

  1. False Confession - Inside
  2. Subterfuge - The Noose
  3. A.W.O.L. – Hellhouse
  4. Patrick Mata - Let's Die
  5. Thieves Cross - Slaughter Hotel
  6. Party Doll - Darkest Dream
  7. The White Pigs - When Bobby Comes Back from the Grave
  8. The Mess - Innocent Me
  9. Ill Repute - In the Night
  10. Slaughterhouse 5 - Kill the Dead
  11. Burning Image – Hives
  12. The Drab - Bad Brains
  13. Silver Chalice – Suicide
  14. Samson's Army - The Edge
  15. The Stain - Day of the Jackal
  16. Flower Leperds – Necrology

DOT #17

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

FUNERAL - Self-titled (12" EP 1981)

If you’re a collector of oldschool West Coast punk, chances are that this band is somewhere on your ever-growing wantlist. And if you enjoy high-energy, all-American punk, but have yet to hear of them, you might want to take note... Funeral are a legendary punk band from Long Beach, California featuring future/former members of the Rik L Rik band, Weirdos, and Tex and the Horseheads. The band was active during the early eighties, and, with two EPs under their belt, could be considered an integral piece of the jigsaw puzzle that has since been tagged “So Cal punk”. Members included Mike Martt - guitar/vocals (Tex and the Horseheads), Matt Dorsett - guitar, John Neff - bass, and David Thum (aka Rick Vodka, Tex and the Horseheads) - drums. Their style might be best described as straight ahead punk ‘n’ roll, with earlier material having a gritty hardcore tone, and later material maintaining a more traditional approach with just a bit of a punk pop tilt.

In 1981 the band released two recordings, the first being a 3-song 7-inch EP often called Waiting For The Bomb Blast (named after the single’s A-side), followed by a 5-song self-titled 12-inch EP. Out of the two recordings available, their second, which is where the band truly demonstrate a sound all their own, is wholeheartedly my favorite. Injected with a humble dose of working-class oomph, songs like “Ant Trap”, “Will To Live” and “Bloody Hands” convincingly embody the fighting spirit of punk all the while serving up a tasty helping of apple-pie virtues. Mike’s raspy, soulful voice does a powerful job in delivering line after line in short clean blasts; and the band’s playing is spot-on with great leads, sturdy melodies, and lots of sing-a-long choruses. It's a recipe that could rouse some serious fist pumping action from the timidest of listeners. But let me warn now, there’s one track that stands out from all the rest… and its aim is to extinguish your life. “Darkness On Your Doorstep” is a doom punk gem. Yeah, that’s right… DOOM PUNK. There’s simply no other way to put it! Uber creepy and crawly, it's slow, crushing pace and deathly lyrics could easily give Sabbath, the godfathers of all things doom, a run for their sweet green money. Sure is a pity the band didn’t explore this direction a little further... however, this one track alone is reason enough to investigate all things Funeral. Enjoy!

FUNERAL - Self-titled (12" EP 1980)

  1. Ant Trap
  2. Will To Live
  3. Outer Edge
  4. Darkness On Your Doorstep
  5. Bloody Hands

DOT #16

FYI... Bomp Records have since released a collection of Funeral tunes, including both the aforementioned releases as well as live and unreleased studio material… you can get that here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

MURDER THE DISTURBED - Genetic Disruption (7" EP 1979)

If you haven’t already taken note, you should know that my favorite bands are usually those that fall somewhere between the lines – whether too abrasive to be goth, too avant-garde to be punk, or just too “too” to be classified at all – these are the bands that peak my interest and motivate me to share my findings by way of this here blog. With my primary focus being postpunk, I try to select projects that allow me to indulge my fascination with all things… let me see… how did that Christian woman from Wife Swap say it? Ahhhhh yes... darrrrrrk-sided. *lifts an evil eyebrow*

So,what does that have to do with
Murder The Disturbed, you ask? Well, aside from the band’s barbaric name and dreary tunes… a whole lot. Indirectly speaking anyway. Here’s a little trivia for you… Murder The Disturbed were signed to the short-lived, London-based Small Wonder Records. This is the very same label that released the debut singles, and in effect launched the careers, of some of indie music’s most legendary acts – a list that includes genre-defining artists such as Bauhaus, The Cure, and Crass, as well as lesser known artists like Patrik Fitzgerald, Cravats, Demon Preacher, and Poison Girls. Interesting enough?

Stylistically, Murder The Disturbed fit in quite well on Small Wonder’s roster. 1979’s
Genetic Disruption is as worthy a debut as anychalked full of moody minimalistic postpunk, it has a sound so primitive you might be tricked into thinking that the band were actually some obscure krautrock sensation dowsed in proto-punk voodoo. Good stuffs.

MURDER THE DISTURBED - Genetic Disruption (7" EP 1979)

  1. DNA
  2. Walking Corpses
  3. The Ultimate System

DOT #15

Also... there's a compilation available from Cherry Red featuring the track Walking Corpses. (You'll need to scroll down a bit to find it.)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

THE FREEZE – In Colour (EP 1979)

Many of us know Gordon Sharp as the man (or woman?) behind the nightmarishly atmospheric band Cindytalk. Many of us also know him for his sublime vocal performance on This Mortal Coil’s masterful debut LP “It’ll End In Tears.” But, what many of us do not know is that shortly before these two stunning achievements Gordon fronted another band, a band fixed in UK’s booming punk movement, with a reputation for being refreshingly unpredictable and cleverly daring, this band was four-piece unit called The Freeze.

The Freeze formed in 1976 and init
ially consisted of Gordon Sharp (vocals), David Clancy (guitar), Keith Grant (bass), and Graeme Radin (drums). (Later line-ups would see the addition of a guitarist/saxophonist/clarinetist Tony Wallis, alternate drummer/keyboardist Neil Braidwood and alternate bassist Mike Moran.) The band was active from 1976 to 1982, gigging continuously throughout their homeland of Scotland, and supporting a wide range of acts, from the likes of Sham 69 to Echo & The Bunnymen. On stage they were quite the lively bunch - with an unusually diverse spectrum of sound, glam-punk gender-bending theatrics, and a knack for random song improvisation - it was a package that often left onlookers enthusiastically scratching their heads in astonishment.

The group had two official releases – 1979’s debut 7-inch EP In Colour,
and 1980’s 7-inch single Celebration, both of which were self-financed on their own A1 label. And although The Freeze would prove that they undoubtedly had both the musical talent and vision needed to propel their name into the greater new wave market, it was their eclectic and unpredictable nature that ultimately barred them from capturing proper label interest. Not to say their wasn't any interested… John Peel noticed the band and in late 1980 invited them to do their first BBC radio session, followed by another session in 1981, both of which have yet to see any official release. By 1982 Gordon had become increasingly dissatisfied with the confines of the band’s musical format, wishing to instead give focus to more experimental song structures, a desire which eventually lead him to forge a new union with fellow core-member David Clancy, move to London and change the band’s name to Cindytalk.

“mostly, i loved being in the freeze. everybody pulled their weight and we all complimented each other. i preferred the classic line-up of course (clancy, grant, radin, sharp) but neil braidwood and mike moran were excellent too. personally i'd have been happier if we'd collectively been a bit more into the edgier punk and post punk music of the time, ultimately that was what forced me to rip it up and start again with cindytalk BUT i loved the freeze and have no real regrets with it all. including walking away from duran duran, well, especially that...” –Gordon Sharp

So here it is, two parts prickly pop punk and one part foreboding postpunk, The Freeze’s crucial debut 3-track EP In Colour. Upon pressing play we are immediately thrust into the youthful power rocker “Paranoia”, which, with its aggressive yet rhythmic framework and snotty vocals, bares a certain resemblance to material by politic punksters like Cult Maniax. This is followed up by “For JPS” which has a similar style and pace, albeit more playful, with stop n’ go progression and an arsenal of bouncy guitar chords to lighten the mood. The third and final track “Pychodalek Nightmares” is my favorite of the bunch. At nearly 6 minutes long, reverberating guitar sizzles to life as Gordon reasons with paranoid illusions in a New Romantic vocal style while distant cries of a lone violin serenade the mood into a deep, peaceful freeze.

THE FREEZE – In Colour (EP 1979)

  1. Paranoia
  2. For JPS
  3. Psychodalek Nightmares

DOT #14

Unfortunately, I've been unable to find a copy of the band's second release. Any hands?

Friday, August 10, 2007


*wipes himself clean of dirt and debris*

So... I've finally climbed free of the deep, dark orifice that swallowed me up a couple months back. Surprised? Admit it... you thought I was a total and complete flake! You believed that I had more ambition than integrity; and you were well on your way to lumping my blog in with dead blogs past. Well, I'm here to say, stop being so damn pessimistic you pessimist you! I have more for you. And you'll like it I promise. So in the great words of Annie Warbucks, tomorrow, tomorrow... I love you tomorrow... it's only a day away!
(i think i just slobbered on myself.)

Oh, and for those who requested, I've updated all my links! *smiles with big tEEth*

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

JERI ROSSI - I Left My Heart But I Don't Know Where (7" 1983)

If you enjoyed the Your Funeral single posted a couple months back you’re in for a exceptional treat because next up is the one and only, powerfully haunting solo recording from none other than Your Funeral vocalist/guitarist Ms. Jeri Rossi!

Recorded in 1983, this single has two tracks total, the A-side being an original song written by Jeri herself, and the flip a boldly feminized cover of the James Brown song It’s A Mans Mans Mans World. Both songs share the same spirit found in Jeri’s previous work, but the approach here is a little different, more poetic perhaps, with word and instrumentation woozily tangled together in a cacophony of mismanaged passion. For myself, the first track, I Left My Heart But I Don’t Know Where, is the easy winner of the two… a dense, dark, rhythmically bubbling brew of loud, confusing, disagreeable sounds recklessly spiked with Jeri’s wrathful tongue... within seconds the song’s contagious mood had me piled in goose-bumps and curling my upper lip in accordance. Highly recommended for fans of angry women like Lydia Lunch, Jarboe, and Bikini Kill.

I Left My Heart But I Don’t Know Where

I left my heart but I don’t know where

it’s beating on someone’s stairs
or in a dumpster where he tossed it
I wish someday to come across it…

I feel so hollow, made of tin
fingers quiver, chest sunk in
the question that comes to mind
“Why a heart is hard to find?”

Feel like a bullet in someone’s gun
he pulls the trigger, then he runs
into the banquet, pain and thunder
I’d rather be SIX FEET UNDER!

I left my heart but I don’t know where
I left my heart but I don’t know where
I left my heart but I don’t know where

JERI ROSSI - I Left My Heart But I Don't Know Where (7" 1983)

  1. I Left My Heart But I Don't Know Where
  2. It's a Mans Mans Mans World

DOT #13

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

COÏTUS INT. - Self-titled (LP, 1982)

At first glance, I recognized Coïtus Int. as a kind of ordinary, copy and paste postpunk band with nothing new or special to offer. But after further, more focused listens, I discovered that there was a greater level of artistic integrity in effect here than first realized. Like Joy Division, the base of Coitus Int.’s music is sparsely structured - featuring bass as the lead melodic instrument, jagged guitar and baritone vocals. But, it is the band’s special attention to song ornamentation that saves them from being written off as yet another JD clone, instead morphing the unit into something that approaches a stripped down, dirge-obsessed version of Bauhaus, sans the glam antics and glossy finish.

Released in 1982, Coïtus Int.’s self-titled LP is dark, depressive postpunk perfection. It’s soooo good in fact that the more I listen to it the more I want to hear it! From the low, opening rumble of the hardcore in slow-motion “Birds” to the dreary spaced-out feedback of closing track “Tourist Ghetto”, there’s just so much to savor. It’s one of those albums that’s best explored alone and without interruption as the music and voice carry the listener through the emotions of alienation and self-preservation. The vocalist takes a deep bellowing approach to his lyrics, which are never sung, but instead lazily uttered in slur - a style that matches the instrumentation well and helps to maintain the raw, depressive atmosphere. The song structures are solid and varied, with lots of playful guitar leads that bounce in and out, often building up to a nice, climatic end. Think Southern Death Cult, Joy Division, Bauhaus and you’re on the right track. The band even managed to put together an instrumental dance track… one that actually doesn’t sound like it’s missing its lyrics! And I really can’t emphasize that enough because I usually need lyrics, or at least a chorus, to keep my interest. But not here, no ma’m… I just want to dance! So do yourself a favor and check this album out… I promise you won’t be disappointed.

COÏTUS INT. - Self-titled (LP, 1982)

  1. Birds
  2. To Avoid The Pressure
  3. The Threat
  4. Shrill Screams
  5. My Ideal Man
  6. At The Edge Of Triumph
  7. The Connection Is Obvious
  8. Cat-like Movements
  9. Tourist Ghetto

DOT #12

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

LUDDITES - The Strength Of Your Cry (EP, 1983)

LUDDITES - Altered States (7-inch, 1984)

Oddly, aside from Das Kabinette, all of the bands I’ve reviewed thus far have been from the North American continent. The reason I think this odd is because an awful lot, if not the majority, of the music I listen to actually originates in Europe, and to be more specific, the United Kingdom most repeatedly. So, out of proper respect for my collection I thought it high time to grab something that just screamed British, and for this I have chosen two 45s from the not so prim and proper English band called Luddites.

Luddites’ 1983 debut EP, “The Strength of Your Cry”, shows us an enthusiastic young band successfully utilizing a wide range of familiar Brit-punk stylings from poppy postpunk to barbaric anarcho-punk to edgy goth. It’s an interesting listen for sure, being loose and dancey one moment, and then tense and chilly the next, but I can’t help but to feel slightly let down by the EP’s lack of direction or personal style. I mean I was entering one of the songs into a playlist the other day and almost found myself spelling the band’s name out J-o-y D-i-v…… ACKKK!

But wait… it would be completely absurd to judge a band on one release alone (unless they only have one release of course), so let us take a moment to soak in Luddites’ second release titled “Altered States” which is a convincing testament to the band’s true emerging spirit. With only one year of growth the band have decidedly tossed aside their hardcore leanings and chosen to give focus to the cold, gothic-tinged postpunk they had touched on earlier. Sounding like a fit of anger drowning in a pool of fresh tears, the two songs offered here will awaken inner sadness and stir up once calm nerves. And although the Joy Division influence is still apparent (is this a bad thing?), the band’s skill level has noticeably improved providing a denser, more complex listening experience and a greater understanding of just where these guys hoped to go. Too bad “Altered States” would be the band's final epitaph.

DOT #11

Thursday, March 22, 2007

DAS KABINETTE – The Cabinet (7-inch, 1983)

If you’re not familiar, Das Kabinette's "The Cabinet" serves to give voice to the classic silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which is the story of a mad doctor, a misunderstood monster and a lovely maiden. With lyrics that loosely mirror the original screenplay and music that keeps to the dark, hypnotic mood presented by the film’s groundbreaking expressionism, this song, as playlists will reveal, has become a classic in itself.

The A-side is without a doubt one of the better minimal wave/synthpop tracks to come out of the vast wasteland known as The Eighties. For one, it’s surprisingly lush for this particular genre and time period - with multiple layers of synth, 177 words of narrative lyric, and some dramatic guitar picking towards the end, the band's approach to song writing seems far superior when compared to the simplistic monotone format favored by the majority of their peers. Secondly, a good amount of minimal wave recordings suffer from piss poor production, which is certainly not the case here as all the elements have been properly leveled, resulting in an exceptionally crisp sound and a pleasingly slick presentation. To top it off, this is Das Kabinette's sole recording, instantly qualifying it as a hard to come by collectable and a prized possession for anyone lucky enough to own a copy.

DOT #10 (link removed due to reissue)


Cheesy video, but worth a view due to its obscurity.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

HAGAR THE WOMB - Idolization

Rare live footage for all to enjoy!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

AKA – Red Therapy (EP, 1980)

This is no-wave through and through –funk, jazz, blues, punk– it’s all here, smashed together into one big, messy, spastically bouncing ball with the letters AKA stamped across its bruised side. Now, I looked, and looooooked, and looooooooooooooked(!!!), but wasn’t able to find much information concerning this arcane Canadian crew. But what I do know is that this was their prized recording, and unfortunately the only recording they completed for that matter.

“Red Therapy” operates much like a wind-up toy… just twist the little thingy and stand back for a colorful display of animated derangement that pokes and prods while spilling guts all over the place. Each of these six songs -although easily identifiable as AKA- has a unique texture to it, making for a nice palette of seemingly mismatched sensations that will pester, delight, enthuse and confuse. The EP begins with stop-n-go jabbing from the short and abrasive opening track “God”, then abruptly shifts to a melody-driven, Talking Heads/Devo-esque song called “City Drugs”. The singer has a boisterous style, often quivering from low to extremely high pitches in the transportation of a single syllable… just imagine Alfalfa from Our Gang fronting a freaked out cartoon artpunk band and you’ve got the right idea. You’ll want to dance when “634 Dog” unleashes its ultra squeaky, raw funk attack; and you’ll keep dancing once the antigravity effects of the dizzy and twisting “Ragged Andy” kick in. But beware, because the next track, “Fear”, aims to molest the mood with its creepy crawly pace and disturbing declarations; while the closing song “Mental Timeboms” goes completely bonkers, threatening to push you over the edge with some really batty time changes and confrontational posture. Amazingly enough, there’s a great deal of pop sensibility camouflaged beneath AKA’s unconventional approach to their music, but after just one listen they should easily win you over with personality alone. Try it.

DOT #9

Sunday, March 11, 2007

YOUR FUNERAL - Handsome Young Man (unreleased track, 198?)

Just a few years back a friend of mine from the band Soul Merchants made me a compilation of Denver-related bands, much of which I believe to be unreleased. Now, seeing how I already adored the band Your Funeral, you can only imagine my excitement when discovering that right there on that comp was a Your Funeral song I hadn’t yet heard or knew existed. So here it is… fierce… garage punk… another song by Your Funeral!

DOT #8

CIRCUS MORT - Self-titled (EP, 1981)

Before they graced us with the monolithic Swans, Michael Gira and Jonathan Kane released this curious relic of bash-you-up NY postpunk called Circus Mort. Sharing a musical approach not so terribly unlike their peers, Circus Mort were able to carve their own pint-sized niche by taking the basic angular, bass-driven postpunk formula, and injecting it with a good dose of grit and gravel resulting in something that might best be described as Wall of Voodoo smacked in the face with a Big Black shovel. This self-titled EP is the band’s one and only studio recording, and although only fourteen minutes long, it promises to bend your mind and body with it’s commanding presence and sour disposition. Gira’s trademark vocal style of testosteronian grunts is already in full force here, and if you listen closely you can almost hear a feathered white beast angrily wading through the music’s chunky, jagged no-wave underpinnings. From the dangerous pitter-pattering of “Swallow You” all the way to the super fun, slaphappy “Watch The Puppet” this EP will have you in state of blissful confusion - trapped somewhere between the dance floor and the moshpit.

DOT #7

Monday, March 5, 2007

DA - Dark Rooms (7-inch, 1981)

It’s just pass 3am and you’re alone in a haunted house, trapped in a dark room and hiding beneath your covers from whatever might be lurking just outside your door. You listen for signs of company, but can only hear the eerie silence that surrounds you. You continue to probe through the quiet and suddenly notice the sound of breathing. Something breathing... and it's much closer than you hoped. Perhaps right there in the room with you... watching you... slowly closing in to introduce itself to you. You continue to clutch the blanket like a shield above your head; the air within is cold and dense, almost too dense to breathe, but you struggle. Your chest tightens squeezing your heart as it begins flutter. You try to stay still, but your body betrays by convulsing in terror. You can feel the thing now looming above you. The air seems colder and colder… denser and denser. You so badly want to peek, but don’t dare for fear of the horrific realization that this could be the end. So instead you cautiously wait and imagine your dreadful destiny opening itself wide to swallow you away...

So let’s face the facts here, more likely than not a band’s debut recording is far superior to all subsequent recordings. Be it a 7-inch single, a 5-song EP, or full-length album this initial release usually establishes both the bands musical style and lyrical themes (skill usually comes later), consequently dictating a specific fan base. So as sad is it may seem, seeing a fledgling band dropout due to insufficient resources (a.k.a. lack of label interest) can actually be quite promising –exclamation mark-

Case in point this Chicago based band called DA. Three-fourths female (yes, I have
a minor obsession with XX musicians!) and a quarter male, DA were active in the early 80s, releasing two singles and one comp track, before slipping away into obscurity. Of all Dawn, Dave, Gaylene, and Lorna’s studio recordings the song “Dark Rooms” from the 7-inch of the same name stands out starkly among the rest. Comparable to output from bands like The Veil and Leningrad Sandwich this gothpunk requiem will have you bewitched from opening guitar strum to final cymbal crash.

DOT #6

Thursday, March 1, 2007

HUMAN HANDS - Hereafter (LP Comp, 1988)

“…they looked like freshmen chemistry students or somebody else’s nerdy younger brothers, so that you were actually somewhat taken aback with the amount of ENERGY and CONVICTION with which these guys would play their stuff.”

Formed in 1978, Human Hands played a style of artpunk similar to that of bands like Magazine and B-Movie. With nearly five years under their belt it’s surprising to know that the band’s discography is so barrenly lacking, with only a single 7-inch (“Trains Vs Planes”, 1981) and one EP (“Jubilee”, 1982) needed to complete the list. However, there are about three compilations available for those of us who need more from this Los Angeles quintet… there’s a double-LP set with demos and live material that is often confused for their first full-length… there’s a decent CD collection put out by Grand Theft Audio Records… and then there's this LP from 1988 entitled “Hereafter” which features the band’s studio recordings including some hard to find compilation contributions. Standout tracks are the threatening and climatic “Stix and Stones”, the ever shifting and rushed jazz gone bad “Blue Eel”, and the crunchy punked-out “I Got Mad”.

Members would go on to perform in better-known acts like Dream Syndicate, The Romans, and Wall Of Voodoo. And in recent years the band has re-un
ited minus a couple key members. Find their myspace profile here and their official website there.

DOT #5

Thursday, February 22, 2007

MORBID OPERA – Jesus Loves You - So Give Us Your Money! (EP, 1983)

First off, I’d like to declare that I’m a pretty much a sappy sucker for most any song featuring a decent female singer, whether it be a rowdy punk rocker, a robotic minimal waver, or sludgy doom metaller… if a chick is on vocals there’s one thing for sure - I’ve probably got both ears all up in it! Now, one evening in the midst of researching female-fronted punk bands, I ran across the smallest snippet concerning this arresting vintage wonder that calls itself Morbid Opera:

“Morbid Opera are a totally strange female outfit, mean, weird, divine.”

…Female? ...Strange?? ...Mean??? ...Weird???? ...Divine?????

*GULP* Oh god, I just had to hear them! So after a good hour of e-searching (there wasn’t much information available) I found out that the band was 75% female (3 girls, 1 guy?), from Florida, and had just one EP and some compilation tracks under their belt. And after a just a few months of e-shopping I managed to seize a copy of that one official EP entitled “Jesus Loves You – So Give Us Your Money!”

This 6-tracker enthusiastically begins with the X-like scream-shout punk rock stomp of “Liar”, only to slowly dive downward into some dark and plodding postpunk with “Private Prostitute” and “Deep End”. “One Dimensional” picks up the pace again with its chugga-chugg rhythm and some ultra-bluesy guitar riffing; while “Madness” smoothes the edges with a hypnotic beat and sullen lyrics. The final track “Sledgehammer” is sure to amuse with its funky framework and loose, careless energy. Overall there's quite a nice assortment of moods and styles on this one, making it an easy addition to most anyone’s punk/postpunk playlist. Great find!

DOT #4

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

RED WEDDING - Nails (12-inch EP, 1984)

From the late 70s to mid 80s Los Angeles was the place to be if you hoped to explore untrodden heights of creativity in music. From punk to new wave to deathrock and beyond, LA cracked boundaries and encouraged experimentation, ultimately allowing countless new breeds of musicians to emerge and thrive.

Formed in 1981, Red Wedding was far ahead of the pack in terms of both originality and technical skill. With a weighty nod to psychedelia and an enthusiastic thumbs-up to prog, the band craftily melded fanciful guitar hooks with sci-fi electronics and danceable beats to create their signature sound of spooky, spaced-out postpunk. “Nails”, the band’s second and final release, was praised by music fans and media press alike for its multifarious form; from the dark and groovy opening track “Goddess No More” to the synthesized chirps and bleeps of “Twist” (anyone ever heard of the band Reseau d'Ombres?) and the somber minimalism of the romantic “Somewhere”, this 6-song EP is sure to have you up and dancing, or at least bobbing your head, from beginning to end. Highly recommended for those curious to hear a Chrome-molested Flock Of Seagulls… if that makes any sense at all. Red Wedding's official website is here.

“…Record producer Kim Fowley approached the band about managing them. While the members were flattered, Fowley wanted too much artistic control and the band turned him down.”

DOT #3

Thursday, February 8, 2007

YOUR FUNERAL - I Want To Be You (7-inch, 1982)

Your Funeral was a three-piece, all-female, dark postpunk band from Denver, Colorado’s original alternative music scene. Members included Jeri Rossi, Karen Sheridan, and Cleo Tilde. The two tracks available here stretch from bouncy Cure-esque poppiness, to tribal doom and gloom, complete with catchy bass lines and snotty vocals that might best be described as young Siouxsie Sioux accented with a heavy slap of Lydia Lunch-like desperation. This is the band’s only official release and is a well sought after gem among the postpunk/goth record collecting crowd.

“We had the record pressed at a small plant in Wyoming -- they had done the Allen Ginsberg/Gluons single for us before this one. When I got the box of records for Your Funeral, there was a letter in it stating that they wouldn't press anymore records for us because they thought we were evil and satanic! It was a great letter, replete with bad grammar and poor spelling -- I'm sure I've still got it somewhere in the basement but I'll probably never find it again...”

Singer/guitarist Jeri would later release a solo 7-inch, “I Left My Heart But I Don't Know Where / It's a Mans Mans Mans World”, both tracks akin to the works of the aforementioned Lydia Lunch.
In the mid-80s Jeri would go on to front another band called Black Cat Bone, but unfortunately none of their material ever made it to vinyl. She has since made herself a career in both filmmaking and writing, and currently resides in San Francisco. Learn more about her here.

Friday, February 2, 2007

ZRU VOGUE - Nakweda Dream (7-inch, 1981)

Nakweda Dream is probably one of the most charming songs I’ve ever heard, and one of a few that I can listen to looping hour after hour and still walk away humming the melody without a shred of annoyance. That said, as many times as I’ve explored its scenic peaks and haunted valleys, for some reason a fluid description completely evades me. Within you'll find poetic but somber male vocals, a nice danceable rhythm, and that sad weepy guitar thing, which compounded will surely expose the soft spots of your inner being. But then, lingering just beneath all of it there is this immense and inescapable sense of madness lurking about, which like an improperly sedated schizophrenic, threatens to explode in fiery cloud of shrapnel any moment. And maybe, just maybe, it does.

"Nakweda Dream" single received critical acclaim in the alternative press, including Sub-pop who named it the best independent single of 1981.

From what I can tell, the rest of the band’s discography is firmly rooted in a tribal-funk fusion of sorts, if interested you can pick-up a compilation of tracks including Nakeda Dream here. And if you’re looking for more songs with this particular sound my best suggestion would be to check out the European coldwave scene of the 1980s which holds many similarities in both mood and composition.

DOT #1

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Do you salivate at the thought of discovering long lost singles buried beneath decades of pop culture debris? Do you fantasize about the sound of that ever so rare B-side released by your favorite band back when they were still in the clasps of youth? Do you wonder if that ultra cool song you heard on college radio the other day was ever an official release? Do you go crazy for demos, radio sessions, and unreleased tracks?

Well I do.

The aim here is to unearth the rare, the obscure, and the forgotten.
Please stay posted…

(Image courtesy of MONDO TEES.)