Described by lead singer Joe Rooney as “a New order type band that ended up going rockabilly”, Dublin quintet Guernica released three singles in 1987-8, all of them rather scarce and sought-after now. This, their debut, is on Discogs at £135.17. It’s a good record, but is it 135 pounds and seventeen pence good? Is anything?
Anyway, very New Order-ish guitars, and at times threatens to break into “Inbetween Days” by the Cure. And you can have it for free! And can you spot the error on the sleeve (right)?
Link: Guernica – Orange And Red (password: salad)
1. Orange And Red
2. Queen Of Our County
Well, not exactly maximum, and who the hell is going to get that reference anyway? But you know that thing where you wake up with some odd song in your head? That happened to me the other day, and for some reason it was this, the 1987 debut from Detroit geek Derrick May, alias Rhythim Is Rhythim. Still, a pioneering techno classic is not the worst thing to have inexplicably pop into mind. Last week, I woke up with Dill’s song from The Herbs in my head.
Link: Rhythim Is Rhythim – Nude Photo (password: salad)
1. Nude Photo
2. The Dance
3. Move It
Frazier Chorus is another one of those also-ran late-80s / early 90s bands for whom there seems to be quite a bit of fondness in the blogosphere, or at least the bits I wander in and out of. A band who attempted to make pop music while avoiding the usual guitar-bass-drums set-up, and preferring small-scale slice-of-life dramas to anything that might feel like an actual statement, I suppose it’s not so strange that they were once on 4AD, though having discovered them through the Virgin-issued cult classic “Dream Kitchen”, it still seems a bit weird to me.
Anyway, before going to Virgin and falling just short of the Top 40 about a million times (still half a million less than Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, though), Frazier Chorus did indeed make their recorded debut for 4AD. “Sloppy Heart” came out in October 1987, the very month that 4AD had a freak number one with MARRS‘ “Pump Up The Volume”. Did this single follow it into the top 40, thereby cementing the label’s new-found commercial fortune? It did not.
All three songs on this 12″ were subsequently remade for Frazier Chorus’ debut album Sue – I reckon the remake of “Typical!” improved on the original, but I prefer the 4AD versions of “Sloppy Heart” and “Storm”.
Link: Frazier Chorus – Sloppy Heart (4AD version) (password: salad)
1. Sloppy Heart
I’ve never really got into Win. The arty alternative pop quintet from Edinburgh released two albums in the latter half of the 1980s and got rather popular in Scotland off the back of “You’ve Got The Power” being used in a TV advert for McEwan’s Lager. However as I was growing up in Southern England at the time, I don’t have that association. I know them more for their second album giving its title to a blog full of pretentious guff, which is one reason I’ve become rather suspicious of Win.
Still, here’s the first, pretentiously-titled (uh-oh!) album. It includes “You’ve Got The Power” and also a version of “Super Popoid Groove”, which reached the heights of #63 in the UK Top 75 singles chart compiled by Gallup for Music Week and the BBC. (According to the recent BBC Scotland documentary series “Rip It Up”, “You’ve Got The Power” also sold well enough to enter the top 75 but was excluded due to suspicious buying patterns, i.e. all its sales were in Scotland. Which may be true. It’s a good series, by the way… it’ll probably turn up on BBC Four soon.) “Un-American Broadcasting” and “Shampoo Tears” were also singles. The B sides of “Shampoo Tears” are here.
Link: Win – Uh! Tears Baby (A Trash Icon) (password: salad)
1. Super Popoid Groove
2. Shampoo Tears
3. Binding Love Spell
4. Un-American Broadcasting
5. Hollywood Baby Too
6. Empty Holsters
7. You’ve Got The Power
8. Charms of Powerful Trouble
9. It May Be A Beautiful Sky Tonight But It’s Only A Shelter For A World At Risk
10. Charms reprise
11. Baby Cutting
12. Shampoo Tears (remix)
13. You’ve Got The Power (remix)