Tales from the Attic
Revolutions of a 45 kind…..
Two missives in as many days – has he had a bang on the head or something I hear you saying – hate to rain on your parade – these will be regular fixtures.
So how do you like our new home, quite swanky isn’t it, we’d like to say they’d spruced up the site in readiness for our arrival but suspect its pure coincidence mind you we shall be dining out on that fact for a fair while to come. That said I’m suspecting those godisinthetv chaps have taken the Attic bit of Tales from the Attic a little to literally – took us a fair old while to find our way to our new home whereupon we were for one brief moment considering recalling the spot tales from the basement or more worryingly tales from the outside bike shed at the bottom of the garden down the long winding path past the apple trees, over the gate and behind the big hedge. Ah well – all looks good – volume 1 can be found somewhere along here
Anyhow the editor has asked us for a design banner type thing – hence Volume 1 – we said something b-movie-ish and so we got Dracula – for this Volume we are going to go with a gothic theme – don’t ask why – I just want to see what appears next. And this is where you – yes you – my one and only reader comes into play. For Volume IV we’d like you to suggest a theme – can be as risible as you like – in return alas due to austerity measures we can’t award a super duper prize but we can assure you that your name will be in lights at chez Attic – in short we’ll write your name with a fancy pen on some paper and prop it against the lit candle we sit by to write these missives.
So what’s been happening since we last convened – well it seems Dylan or Tig as he’s used to being called – a name inherited and passed on to him by his previous owners – clue he’s a ginger cat with tiger markings – I mean some people just have no imagination. Well Dylan / Tig has been with us for a few years now, as cute as hell and possessed of all manner of little quirks – one being when he runs he seems to ape a gazelle. He has of late taken to watching television, I must admit its quite amusing to behold, watching his head cock and dart side to side as he takes in the action on the screen – I kid you not. It started by sheer accident the other week as ever the TV was on in the background, me with headphones on listening to whatever, it was then that we eyed Dylan / Tig making faces and agitated sounds totally engrossed in taking in the dog goings on unfolding in the canine weepy ’marley and me’ – you know the film – with that Owen bloke and that nice one from friends being upstaged by a Labrador, so involved was he that not content with trying to scratch the TV screen he ambled behind the set to try and see if the blighters had scarped through some unseen escape route. Hilarious to watch though I’m gathering not so in print. One of those had to here to see it moments. Well since then the little bugger hasn’t gotten himself square eyes, waits for me to arrive home plonks himself in front of the box and that’s it mate for the night – he’s even found himself a newfound source of affection – a snow leopard – who at intervals appears on the set advertising the World Wild Life Fund – to which he responds by emitting all manner of cute coos and purrs
Anyhow that’s enough Attic business onward to the singles – be warned there’ll be another of these missives arriving in quick succession after this ‘un’s done…..as ever contact information at the backside of this ramble…..
Jess Roberts – ‘Voodoo Woman’ (static caravan) First of two excellent and highly recommended releases from the esteemed Static Caravan emporium, first up from Jess Roberts (of late found cuing up guest spots with the memory band) and an absolutely smoked and smooching take on the late Koko Taylor’s ’voodoo woman’. Backed by a gathering of futureheads and golden virgins personnel, Roberts stirs and stokes up a thickly seductive soul blues brew for her bitching mama of a cover, equally mainlining and nodding to lyrical echoes of Elmore James’ ’sky is crying’ and Presley’s ’big hunk o’ love’ this vintage spell crafted primitive potion is so rich and authentically dust marked with a 50’s monochrome framing that you’d be forgiven for suspecting it’d jumped out of BB King’s mojo bag.
Ms Roberts incidentally – for those off you taking notes – is currently wrapping up sessions on what should shortly be her debuting solo outing tentatively titled ’black morning blue afternoon’ – a copy of which we’ll endeavour to nail in the coming weeks.
Puzzle – ‘Everything you ever made’ (used vinyl club). Must admit we’d forgotten we’d picked this up a few weeks back. A pretty nifty release with a particularly unique marketing concept in so much that the label is promising a limited release each and every month, these releases will come in stamped cardboard sleeves all of course numbered editions inside of which you’ll find CD of said releases some assorted goodies – for this particular outing – 2 button badges and – here’s the unique selling point – a randomly picked 7 inch rescued from a discarded record box or car boot lot, a lucky bag if you like – some unlucky punter who’d picked up a copy earlier in the day was greeted by the sight of a Marilyn 7 inch falling out of the slip case and on to the counter much to the mirth of the shop staff. Think we got off lightly because our mystery disc was Dylan’s ’lay lady lay’. as to the CD – 4 tracks feature within – Puzzle who – I think I’m right in saying – hail from Liverpool and have to date featured on such celebrated imprints as cloudberry, lightning heart and polyvinyl. This their 5th release blends a mix of late 80’s punk tweaked twee pop and mellowed rainy afternoon murmurs, ‘six years’ tugs at the heartstrings with an edgy air of a laid back Heavenly in their classic Sarah days while ‘cut short’ nibbles to the stop start strum drilled codas of a youthful Weddoes. And while the introspectively forlorn ’everything you made’ bruises like a shyly retreating Raincoats caught in the moment of a tear swept rainy afternoon marooned with a consoling Hey Paulette it’s the parting ‘heroes and plans’ that had our hearts a skipping, like a wide eyed soul bearing Siddeleys indelibly crafting and bottling the feinting swoon of the Sundays. More where that came from please.
Further used vinyl club outings – which we’ll endeavour to nail as our own have seen the release of two limited run albums by elle s’appelle and 28 costumes – entitled respectively – in case your taking notes – ’the amazing world o’ stuff’ and ’this band has eaten all our money’ – both should need no preamble in these missives given they’ve graced our pages though disappointingly admittedly not for several years – the former set culled from ideas dating back to the early days of elle s’appelle the latter recorded way back in 2008 and by all accounts lost in the vaults – 28 costumes are in case your not aware a precocious talent – nuff said. Current used vinyl guest spot is taken up by not one but two acts on a nifty split with double double plus good sharing the kudos and groove space with meow meow. Future invitees should see the catalogue numbers swelling to the appearances of voo, house that jack built, guild of defiants, married to the sea and more…..
Variety Light‘s – ‘Silent to long’ (fire) Another of those errant RSD exclusives, this one was available on limited quantities of 10 inch sized green wax and gathered together the sparing artistry of one time Mercury Rev’er David Baker and Will MacLean. Bonding over a love of vintage analogue keyboards, the pair started throwing each other ideas and soon through the communicative mists Variety Lights was forged. An album is slated for release in June entitled ’central flow’ with this limited outing offering something of a taster as to what to expect. Three cuts are on offer the lead out track ‘silent to long’ sounding suitably detuned, distressed, minimalist and wonky as to suggest some deadpanned future funk groove inspired with a Devo-esque detailing all crookedly caressed by some Bruce Gilbert kookiness in his Dome and post Dome doings fronted by Gary Wilson. ‘worry’ traverses on a similar trajectory though in its lonesome star lit cosmically framed way finds kinship with the more darker moments found on the debuting Warm Digits which incidentally is being remarketed and deservedly re-hyped again. Rounding up the set sees Simeon of Silver Apples fame take control and in the process ramp up the futuro funk quotient of the lead cut and endowing it with a slick hypno-trance dance floor mooching velour much recalling it should be said the latter career work of the much missed Flowchart albeit in a bunk up with pimmon. Classy.
Staying loosely with the RSD overspill and keeping with the Fire catalogue if you go to http://soundcloud.com/firerecords/sets/fire-records-record-store-day/ you’ll be treated to excerpts from the four Fire RSD releases released to celebrated the day – all of which sadly and to much grimacing here we missed out on. First up a little something homely and scratched not to say gathered around the comforting glow of a crackling campfire is Wooden Wand’s ‘wooley blue’ while Duke Garwood who on the evidence on this nugget has swiftly entered quite highly on our list of things we ought to track down before we get any older serves up the smoked and lazy eyed ‘some kind of move’ all murmuring mountain side rustics and airy prairie scapes – you sure this wasn’t recorded in the late 60’s – you lie. Edging it though in the best of set stakes is las kellies ‘erase you’ – gorgeously retro this mainlines into the proto nu wave bubble grooved vibes of the late 70’s / early 80’s – totally irresistible, a sparse spanking cutie that literally picks its way beneath your radar to kookily seduce with its vintage Blondie-esque kiss em and leave em lips ticked swoon as it mutates across a glorious hybrid of influences cherry picked from the likes of the waitresses, raincoats, shonen knife, belle stars, the dulok,, tom tom club and agents aren’t aeroplanes.
Been a while since we mentioned robot elephant records, though I suspect that’s more to do with the fact that we’ve erroneously omitted to take note of their doings. That said there’s been something of a hive of activity at ReR recently with news of a handful of releases about to flee the labels incubated nest and fend for themselves in the great wide wax world – first up duo Husband should soon be sporting ’Dear Down’ – a taster for their as yet untitled and slated for September release full length, a gorgeous slice of shimmer toned frost flecked kraut kooled shoegazey dreaminess is the best way to describe the crestfallen minimalist murmurs tumbling out of the hurting headphones – a cut that one suspects ought be best viewed with kerchiefs and a consoling cuddle at the ready. Next up what appears and promises to be a killer split 12 inch pairing the talents Os Ovni and Blue on Blue, alas only os ovni’s ’Holographic dreams’ is on the pre tease player and a beauty it is to, a heady sonic kaleidoscope of brain wiring psychotropics that initially taps into the motorik maelstrom of fuxa albeit as though serviced with a side serving of sigue sigue sputniks yet scratch away at the dream machine hypnotics and the impish appearance of a pre trance Shamen in a headlock with Clock DVA becomes all too apparent. Last up foster care who delivers up a tasty twin headed mash up of ‘burning dice’ and ‘sleepless’ – the former a heaven bound orbiting odyssey that sumptuously tailgates a melodic matrix familiar to admirers of the much missed fortdax albeit here peppered by the micro minimalist garlands of a youthful ISAN while the latter – pulled from his as yet unheard here ’altered create’ set – is a classic slab of Balearic trance trimmed with all manner of Apollo 440 and KLF motifs.
Links to all here –
Hugh Keice– ’Drink in the desert’ – not entirely sure which label this’ll be eventually appearing on, one thing I’m certain of though is that its become something of a guilty pleasure here at attic towers so much so that we don’t admit to being a tad smitten by it. Winner of countless awards and educated at the prestigious Goldsmith’s College, Mr Keice is about to embark on a short tour of these fair isles sporting under his arm his debut EP ’drink in the desert’ from which this, the lead cut, is taken. A sweetly alluring fix of day dreamily smoked early 70’s motifs curled with a soft soul undercarriage that’s neatly garnished with succulent radio friendly west coast trims and presaged with a knowing pop astuteness suggest an emerging talent reared on platters bearing such names as Jamiroquai, ben folds 5, Ashley parks, the brigadier and spiller upon their grooved hides
Video – and cute it is – here….
Weird Shapes– ‘Clouds’ (sphere above). Follow up to their debuting ‘a blue sky at night’ with which to much teeth grinding and uttering of dark deeds to come we alas missed. Housed in a distinctively packaged CD sleeve with a fold out insert the Weird Shapes are a North East based quintet whose appreciation and artistry of pop is arguably like no one else’s. take for instance lead cut ‘clouds’ – begins with the soft genteel swirl of progressive kraut organ flotillas unto which are fixed the discernible zig zag of intricately clock working math noodle motifs and pulsar chimes from which emerges the tender swell of falsetto vocals joyously ascending and dissipating to the lilting tide of the waltz like florets. In short a master class in intelligently conceived pop classically tutored and scratched with a knowing ear for both Swimmer One and Working for a Nuclear Free City and rebooted with an admiring glance at the back catalogue of the Associates. On t’other side you’ll find the forlorn murmur of celestially chilled ‘help me to land’ all spectral lite, minimalist and sparse, tenderly dimpled with the opining pulse of lunar strobes and the beguiled breeze of sighing key braids, all this gathered and measured by the kind of unworldly nothingness that was much the attraction of Kate Bush’s ’breathing’ though here fortified by a refined and majestic aura as to suggest a collective admiration of Sakamoto in the Weird Shapes’ ranks. A truly special release.
Deathline -‘Ten of clubs’ (self released. Not sure whether this lot are named after a particularly naff Brit horror flick from the early 70’s whose story centred around cannibals living amid the London underground and starred Messrs Pleasance and Lee – both of whom must have been going through a lull period filming engagement wise. One album already under their collective belt with 2009’s ’sixty nine’ the duo have been busy in the studio with producer Josiah Mazzaschi the first fruits of which blister with controlled fury on the forthcoming ’ten of clubs’ release, a howling inferno of mutant psych soaked prog groomed death discofied dissonance gouged upon a meaty locked grooved rumble that kicks and spits like a rewired early ice cooled incarnation of Sisters of Mercy and dropkicked into the vacant dark abyss of a mid career Jesus and Marry Chain and spiked with the bleached beauty of an unforgiving Cobra Killer.
The Lucky Strikes– ‘Beast burnt down’ (self released). Put it down to the onset of creeping years, a fading memory and a general absence and use of faculties that somewhere in the darkest depths of the fog that rages in the deepest distances of our headspace we swear we’ve stumbled upon this lot and indeed commented favourably on outings long past released in despatches long forgotten. Culled from their as yet untitled new full length ‘beast burnt down’ is a darkly humbling, brooding and forbidding dot joining of the Band and the men they couldn’t hang whilst many an observer has cited their likeness more akin to a darker variant of the Waterboys. Heaving with portent and grizzled with a storm lashed tempestuous verve, this bruised and head hung gem is enigmatically cradled with a raging euphoria whose artistry and craftsmanship is splintered with a timeless hue fashioned in road blues and murder ballad melodrama and forged with a smoke charged Goliathan against the odds spirit.
And from one brand of cigarette to another – well almost…
Benson -‘EP’ (self released). Alas not the long awaited return of 10 Benson which we admittedly mistook it for when the press release fell from its enveloped encasement. rather more these boogie bothering dudes hail from Yorkshire and number six in the ranks and found here sporting a debuting three track EP packed to the rafters with the uplifting reverie of a smoking and infectious ska scorched Stax rash, from the charging euphoric fanfare of the opening salvo ’days like these’ where there’s the unmistakable bombastic whiff of a youthful thin lizzy muddying the grooves to the 80’s styled transistor teasing ’from here’ where something of a John Parr echo resonates. All said things tail out with the ballistic ‘don’t wannabe you’ where the bands punk kudos come to the fore to reveal the same brazen and boisterous kick of the bureau or a pre Irish folk Dexy’s namely c. ‘show me’.
Continuing with the cigarette theme – I kid you not – something rather special and quite breathtaking from Princess Chelsea who according to the attached press release notes hails from New Zealand and is better known to kith and kin as Chelsea Nikkel who has on occasion been described in her local native press as both ’impossibly cute’ and ’kind of a brat’. in a previous life she cut her teeth in punk pop combo Teen Wolf before graduating to Sub Pop darlings the Brunettes. It was during this latter stint that Ms Nikkel started honing and sculpturing what would eventually emerge as her solo platter ’lil golden book’ which is due to get its official UK airing shortly. Culled from that full length is ’The Cigarette Duet’ – trimmed and dinked to an affectionately demurring and docile toy box chime, this slice of enchantment digs deep into Hazlewood / Sinatra realms albeit as though hoisted and lassoed upon a wishing star and beguiled by the spectral ‘sugar plum fairy’ in space charms of Joe Meek by way of its acutely geeky boy / girl interchange about the addictive traits of cigarettes – yes we’ve all been there, splice into the mix the appearance of a sublimely lackadaisical pining riff hoodwinked one guesses from some ’Doolittle’ out take and you have a most addictive and incurably cute gem which will guaranteed have you hooked in an instant. Over on the flip sits ’positive guy meets negative man’ – loveable lo-fi electronica which on reflection has had us on each and every listen imagining some head to head between loudon wainright III and meri Wilson with the tom tom club doing the sounds at the back. All said set clincher is the adorable ’goodnight little robot child’ – a lushly symphonic waltzing beauty that rides on the coat tails of fortdax’s ’the cream inside your spine’ as it spirals seductively in an ethereal haze showered by celestially hushed tones whilst lovingly smothered in the kind of frost bound starlit gracefulness more becoming of Heather Duby.
A moving picture show to accompany ’the cigarette duet’ plays out something like this…..
And just for those of you who may have forgotten what fortdax sounded like here’s something a little bit special that appears to have been sneaked out last year and features a head to head between Darren Durham – he who is / was fortdax and collaborative animation house colors and the kids, the track is old school fortdax blending the mysterious with the enigmatic into a swirling 60’s styled spy theme collage which would look to out of place on some John Barry best of…..
An email from Brian of the Bordellos updating us on the bands current activities reports that the full band – Brian, Dan and Ant – spent the Easter weekend cutting and nailing down tracks that will shortly appear as a free download on their band camp site – apparently the band went a little Monkees crazy as part of a homage to the recently passed Davy Jones hence the albums proposed working title – ‘monkees complex’. continuing the email Brian was found championing the talents of a young St Helens based artist by the name of Thom Tyrer who with the assistance of Mike Stephens trades under the name Death Masks and has just put together a hand crated limited run cassette gathering four cuts entitled ’I know a short cut’. two instrumentals and two vocal cuts feature on this slow burning set, with its pastorally picked twee throbbed effervescence there’s a hint of the bachelor pad about the wares of opening salvo ‘stares’ which enhanced with some fulsome production could unpick and have it blossoming in its latent power pop tendencies to the extent that admirers of Kevin Tihista ought to put on a watch list. With its castaway yearning stirring towards sultrier shores instrumental ’release’ is possessed of that self same day dream poise that occasionally filters the work of both Manual and to a lesser extent Vini Reilly while the lolloping braids and harmonica tweaked ’we laughed’ – perhaps edging matters in the selected cut of the set given its dressed in a becoming cavernous 60’s kaleidoscopic pop velour that’s trips to a demurring Cambridge folk pageantry peppered by the lysergic sprinkling of Moody Blues hues. The set parts with ’short cut’ bleeds beautifully to the latterly mellowed career work of flying saucer attack, the resonating atmospherics and the sighing opines almost imagine moments reclining beneath sun scorched arid skies yet with its sparse detailing and punctuated pauses ought to appeal first port of call to admirers of labradord and movie tone’s mid 90’s work. Quite special in short.
Update – that aforementioned Bordellos full length is now live at http://bordellos.bandcamp.com/album/monkee-complex and damn fine it is to, earlier listens suggest ’cut her down’ and lee mavers stare’ proving to be stand out selections….though that’ll no doubt change with repeat plays….
http://soundcloud.com/popty-ping-records/how-to-stop – damn this is cute – the debuting outing for both label and band, the label of course popty ping – really how can you resist – the band Shy and the fight – the amusingly entitled ‘How to stop an imploding man’ (wouldn’t be to surprised to see this lot becoming firm favourites here at this rate) is culled from – what we imagine / hope / are led to believe the ensembles spanking new 7 inch platter – blighter trolleys off at some right royal pace to the bracing braiding of lolloping chord cascades, opining steel guitars and chugging locomotive rhythms, instantly adorable and acutely infectious alas with no known jabs, all skiffle scuffed cutie pop that beams feel good vibes from its very grooves as it chuggs and chuffs merrily like some all star campfire gathering of Violent Femmes, Pooh Sticks and the orson family types. Essential in case you needed telling.
Numpties that we are – we are still experiencing issues with the digital download for that Bido Lito / Payper Tiger ’Game Theory’ cassette – so while we get our finger out here’s another cut from the set by the highly admired death at sea whose ’selfless’ is a scuzz shocked treated slice of early career Moose / Catherine Wheel which around here is no bad thing, spike it with a seasoning of Jesus Mary Chain and drizzle the mix in some nifty portions of ‘giant steps’ era Boo Radleys then wallop the assembled brew with a floor rumbling strut swagger fuck you kiss and bugger me another gem and further evidence that a secret Mersey scene looms with intent.
Bugger me this is evil, why isn’t their debut album crawling all over our hi-fi, head chewing carnage a go from latest Brew imprint pups the blacklisters whose debuting platter ‘blcklstrs’ is heralded by the titanic teaser ‘trickfuck’ – this brute shapes up as a magma molten manic mirthless monolith of missing link mayhem, this is Big Black at their most arseholed and agitated gagging for a smack from the combining tag team alliance of pussy galore, tad and helmet – a hulking molasses thick putrid powerhouse on stoner steroids metering out a wild, untamed, un-tethered bad to the bone buckled boogie, don’t be so surprised if ’trickfuck’ lunges from the grooves and throttles the crap out of you. We’ll try and nab the album for further pickings – for now though a moving picture show done by the band….
Can’t remember how we stumbled across this, but stumbled across it we did and thankfully so, Nirvana-esque cover of the Archies dinky saccharine pop treasure ‘sugar sugar’ here given the low strung slacker tweaked treatment by Antlered Man who much to our embarrassment and becoming horror we’ve previously failed to encounter in what passes for listening experiences around these here parts. This cut originally plastered upon the flip grooves of their ‘surrounded by white men’ single is currently being given away for free, in addition they are currently in training for a nationwide tour with guest appearances at the Camden Crawl and the great escape along the way while elsewhere there’s also the small matter of a recently released debuting full length ’giftes 1 and 2’ which we are assuming is what our hi-fi is pining for judging by its weeping howls and indeed something we will do our damnedest to track down in order to hang upon it words of fondness – as to the cut itself best described in short as a nifty retro rumbling kiss of big bearded buckling dirt to the core stoner glam. Does it for us. Oh – and it can be gotten here – http://antleredman.bandcamp.com/track/sugar-sugar
Adored around these here parts the Soft Hearted Scientists return to turntable action with the release of ‘tornadoes in Birmingham’ – a track culled from their best selling full length ’wandermoon’ and a copy of which we appear to sadly be a little light on, that said the grumbles and the desire to fashion dolls in the image to pin for fun in the witching hour has been somewhat mellowed by news on their site that they’ve made available a collection of demos, alternate mixes and new versions from a reported 200 plus strong song chest. ’ups and downs’ here in its new form – although I can’t recall ever hearing it or being aware of it being available previously – makes an appearance typically adhering to the Soft Hearted Scientists trademark sound in so much as it weaves concentrically to a playful psych shone fairy folk rubbed rustic loop of medieval sonic tongues re-spun in lysergic hues much in the same way as a chilled stripped down Move consorting with a sedate and tripping Small Faces. A quick flick through the curios elsewhere and we were drawn like a moth to the glow of a light bulb to the weird core psych kookiness of ‘Monsters of the ID’ here in its demo form – tapping into their early career obsessions with fairytale myths and legendary beasties this ominously shimmers much like the of late missing in action Giant Paw rephrasing Grimm’s tales while high on bad grass. http://softheartedscientists.com/demos.html
Volume 111 due tomorrow will feature a veritable assortment of Fruits de Mer goodies – 4 of them in fact, along with a Static Caravan cutie, something from the Alrealon imprint, some scouse stuff including that errant game theory cassette which I’ve been forced to resign in trying to find the download link and have now managed at long last to find a tape drive in the gaff that actually plays normally albeit in mono – which as it happens kinda adds to the vintage tonality – yea like I’m joking – as opposed to sounding as though its been submerged in the bath I’m resigned to giving up on the download. Ah well. Shortly after this there’ll be Volume IV arriving on the outside track which will be a ‘revolutions of a 33 kind‘ type thing and will include loads of Wil Bolton – alright two items, some Aaron Moore, Gabe Minnikin, Roadside Picnic and no doubt more alrealon stuff…….
As ever thanks for tuning in – should you wish to send records, cd’s, blank cheques, proposals marriage or otherwise etc…. then you can get us – Royal Mail willing – via 71 Pennsylvania Road, LIVERPOOL, L13 9BA, UK. By email its email@example.com while elsewhere there’s always the update page at www.facebook.com/thesundayexperience
Take care of yourselves,