Today is The Day of the Downloads, again (Why limit myself to one badly written review at a time?). A mixed bag today with four albums, ranging from post-punk and post-rock to psychedelic. Magik Markers win this round with Surrender to Fantasy, but Pelican’s album is solid too, just, not really new.
Magik Markers (2014)- great psychedelic rock, just have to get past the first song.
Been on a Mission of Burma kick for a bit. Post-punk from 1982, this is their second album. I shared my affinity for this band with Danger, but he clearly doesn’t like them, I can only imagine the shit he’s going to say about this band the next time I see him. I don’t like this album as much as their first one, some of the energy seems to have been lost in this one.
Random Download, post-punk from Miami, just released and… Well, it’s free anyway.
Pelican- Arktika (2014)
Post rock from Chicago, their first few albums I absolutely loved with their deep, heavy instrumental rock sound. However, half the songs on this album are basically the same riffs as their older releases with a few classic rock riffs thrown in the mix for good measure. Not a bad album by any means, but the term new doesn’t really apply.
Ok, the picture is horrible, but Saturday morning saw this homeless prophet sitting on the steps of the College Park Baptist Church giving everyone the finger. Good for him, today’s selection is Mission of Burma, an early post-punk/indie band from Boston (Wiki), I feel I should have already known about these guys. The name is familiar, but this is really a Random Tag, early post-punk, originally formed in 1979, this album was recorded in 1981, really at the peak of analog recording. Post-punk is an excellent genre to showcase the deep, rich sound derived from analog.
Years ago Danger drove all the way to NYC to buy this old, 16 track, reel to reel, and I didn’t understand why he would do such a thing, until I heard the recording he crafted out of that thing. Bands would drive here from all over the South to have him record them, and Signals, Calls and Marches is a good example of why people love analog, with the guitars and drums and cymbals coming through with a deep, rich, textured clarity that is lost with digital recordings. Defiantly recommended, 92%.
Boston post punk from the late 80’s/ early 90’s that I happened across on YouTube. I’m not a big fan but it is interesting so I thought I would share.
Also, I posted a link to another (now defunct) blogspot review which is pretty good, and the link to their Wiki article. Random, old and obscure, a good one for the digital collection at least.
Christian Death is a deathrock/ goth rock band from L.A. playing an original version of post punk/ deathrock (no relation to death metal. Just post punk with a spooky background).
The fact that I haven’t heard much of Christian Death and a growing interest in post punk are the motivating factors for this post. I was first exposed to post punk by my friend Ria years ago when her and CCRR lived together along with Yakke at the Pennsylvania street house. All of us would meet up there and go downtown to shamelessly abuse free drink night, the restrooms and the whole establishment in general.
One free drink night the Professor took offense at the bathroom stall door, and kicked it half-off the hinges. Yakke and I discover this and finished the job, launching the door into the wall. I might have also been in the habit of kicking holes in the bathroom wall and urinating in them, while CCRR took the unconventional approach of wearing shorts and going while sitting at the bar so as not to lose his seat…
Needless to say we ended up wearing disguises in order to even get in and even now, almost a decade later I don’t think any of us are really “welcome” there, but I do have fond memories of post punk, and this stuff is classic.
Joy Division was a post-punk from Manchester, this self released EP, An Ideal for Living, caught everyone’s attention in the UK and propelled them into the British mainstream.
The singer, Ian Curtis, commuted suicide on the Eve of the band’s first American tour in May 1980, which resulted in the band being reformed as New Order and going on to achieve commercial success. (Wiki)
Inspired by the second Sex Pistols show (ever)… really Joy Division is Joy Division. It is great. There isn’t much more.
The For Carnation is described on YouTube as “low-key, mostly acoustic” and it is basically post-punk revisited from a mid-1990’s view-point, which has mellow sound and feel, to be played in the background for an evening session. It is so subdued that one can’t rant and rave about them, it’s just chill.
This is one of those bands that will be like Swans where everyone will be acting like they were into this band ever since the start, with well-crafted songs that flow like a stream and a rich blending of sounds they have their own sound that begs to be turned down slightly, that’s how mellow it is.
Everyone has heard of the Violent Femmes. According to legend they were “discovered” playing acoustic covers while waiting in line for some crappy show. Post-punk with folk influences is a generic description that barely scratches the surface of the spirit of their music. There is a depth and a timelessness to this album that seems to speak to teenagers the same way pastel and striped knee-length socks hold some timeless, fashionless appeal for pre-teen girls.
Anyway this self titled album has been their biggest commercial success, this is the underground band that everyone knows about and grew up listening to. Now that everyone one is older, we can enjoy listening to it as we grow outward.
Swans is a post-Punk/No Wave band from New York, (1982-1997, 2010-present) and last year is when I first heard about them, some blogger said that they are the band that everyone acts like they have been into for years, and that’s a perfect intro to this band.
Last year everyone (in the dainty on-line blogging world) was talking about them when they reformed and released My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope In The Sky, but honestly I am still unsure weather I like them or not. I picked this album because I had not heard it before.
New-Age Yankee-Yuppie-Noise is the term that comes to mind. I suspect this might have been playing in the background for the start of the AIDS epidemic. The first album Filth is better, but I still feel like I am missing something here.
official Swans site