Tuesday, September 08, 2009

the promise ring demo

ok, ok, you already have this from somewhere but it is so fucking good i am going to post it to. i wish i owned the actual tape. i bid a large amount of $ on ebay when i last saw it, but someone bid even more. crazy times.

anyways, this is 3 songs from whenever the promise ring started, from when they toured with snapcase (!). it opens with the otherwise unreleased jupiter, by far the most mid 90s emo song TPR ever recorded. it kicks in with some killer hardcore guitar and suddenly von bohlen is wailing over the top. it spirals around, like some kind of indian summer song but with singing instead of sobbing. utterly awesome. it's interesting that they got from cap'n jazz to this and then to the early promise ring material. the vocals totally fit with the stuff on 30 degrees everywhere, with vb wavering and out of tune, but the punishing guitars will come as a surprise to anyone who has never heard this. the bass is as stunning as anything you heard by this band, grooving the song along into it's more melodic final third. after that we have the super super super 12 sweaters red which is one of my favourite promise ring songs. you can find it also on the ground rule double comp on divot records, i am pretty certain it's a different version, the song on grd is a bit poppier and cuter (i haven't listened to it in ages), but listen to davey's broken vocals the opening guitars twinkle in ... "I CAN HEAR THE RADIO!" ... this song is so ridiculously good. the remake has better twinkles, but i think i prefer vb's drawl on this one and the twinkles are still to die for. half way through it explodes, vb gets over excited and tearful and the song energises. so good. we wind up with mineral point which you know already and it's pretty similar to the version as on horse latitudes, but not quite. pure early tpr, you can argue whether or not it has aged badly or not, but whilst many of tpr's peers made music that sounds immature these days, none of the stuff that this band recorded sounds remotely immature, which is an incredible testament to their song writing.

a brilliant artifact is here. davey, stop fucking around in maritime and write something with a bit of energy again please.

the watercolour

i knew i had a treat for you somewhere. the watercolour was this band that was pre-racebannon (!!). they had a song on a comp 7" that a few of you may know. it is gorgeous. this 6 track covers that song, and a few others. again, i have no track listing. i can't remember who burned this for me, or why they did it. i guess it was some guy from the band who appreciated that someone was still interested in his shitty indie rock band from the mid 90s. hopefully a few of you will be too after you check this out.

from the get go, you know what's going on here - the opening 100 seconds bounces through a catchy tune with raspy vocals and midwestmo riffs. an amalgamation of cap'n jazz and ordination of aaron, just like you were looking for. the second song is the one from the comp and the one that you will fall in love with. a flying poppy number that is pure promise ring / cap'n jazz / boys kissing boys. such a catchy effort with twinkles and pretty bits and everything. this is the midwestmo you're looking for (recommend for people who raise an eyebrow at algernon cadwallader) "ONE BY ONE YOU LET YOURSELVES DOWN!". this one seems to be a poorer quality recording than the other tracks. i have no idea why. anyway, the other songs don't quite live up to these, with an instrumental stuck in the middle that is easily skippable. track 4 is nice and twinkly but again instrumental, would love to have heard this one with vocals. fortunately they remember how to sing as song 5 comes bouncing back in the fashion you require. It gets a bit more mid 90s in the middle, more frenzied and OoA style before a rather fantastic drop out part, well judged and well played. i miss that kind of thing. eventually it stumbles back into earshot but never brings the vocals back sadly, crashing over the finish line in a crumpled heap around the 6 minute mark. things are brought to a satisfactory close with a poppy effort again, would have fit nicely on a split seven with a song off the promise ring demo (which i am gonna post next even though you already have it, i love that shit).

be emo here.

Monday, September 07, 2009

necktie party - demo

i pretty much stopped listening to screamy stuff these days but i am going to go through my collection of cds and upload some of the obscurer bits that i have lying around, maybe i'll still be into it, maybe not... anyway, here's the starter.

i was pretty sure that all necktie party had released was a split 7" with the plot to blow up the eiffel tower. i was wrong. i found this cdr in a box of random demos and things with card / fabric sleeves, a box i have lying around full of junk from the early 21st century that i haven't listened to in eons. i have no idea where this demo came from. i am pretty certain that the only reason i have this is because i was one of like 16 people who ever gave a shit about the band. any ways, this 10 song demo blazes past in 23 minutes and features some ace, chaotic wildness. in 2001, everyone was in a screamo band, but necktie party is not some generic orchid rip off. these guys definitely have the wild san diego thing going on, playing intense yet melodic hardcore. the vocals are screamed or desperate, with two guys going at it. things fly past in a whirl of thrashed guitars and there is barely enough time for them to roll around on the floor. i just spazzed the fuck out to track 6, that one will make you lose your shit for sure. i think the songs off the split seven are here, but this stuff sounds fresh to my ears so i guess i've forgotten which ones they are. i don't have a track listing.

like my original review says, elements of saetia, mohinder and republic of freedom fighters are all to be found in this. the whole thing would have made a shit hot 10" and i think people would still probably name drop this band if it had ever came out.

the demo was recorded by rumsey and trosper from unwound in december 2001. sweet.

grab this if you like it fast and sweaty. i think you will be seriously impressed.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

maya shore - farewell to introductions

now, anyone reading this knows that no band ever managed to successfully sound like christie front drive. a few have tried. jimmy eat world stole a billion cfd riffs and turned it into the emo pop gem that is static prevails. emo diaries comps contain a few examples of some mis-steps. mostly if a band wanted to sound like cfd, they would have a really pretty, 2 minute long intro, and then suddenly stop, and play a rock song. it seems that no bands ever mastered turning that intro gently into something special. with maya shore i present to you the only band that i am aware of that successfully took the cfd template and made a really good record. i did hear a few good songs by a band called kilowatthours that were in the ballpark, but they had piano and the album as a whole veered off in other directions.

anyway, farewell to introductions is a lovely late night special of a record, maybe not something for 11.30am on a sunday, more so an october or novembers evening, it's dark, raining a bit, and probably chilly. this album will provide the warmth for you. now that the label 'twinkly' is applied to technical, mathy indie instead of bands with guitars that genuinely do twinkle like frost on a winter's morning, it may mislead you if i refer to this as such, but maya shore to me is the absolute definition of twinkly music. so much pretty guitar work on here, and the soft, not quite mumbled vocals glide over the top, you may not be totally aware of them as they hug the landscape so well. the gentleness of the music is also key here. maya shore is like sitting snugly on the sofa, the lights dimmed, next to someone special, intimate but not over the top, just next to each other.

as for the band, i know little. this came out in 2001 on music fellowship, i am pretty sure you can buy it and you should. one guy was in forty nine hudson who made a good album also. there is a 7" but i think the song is on this cd.

i hope you enjoy this as much as me. find it here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

treetops - twink-a-lee

ok, so this isn't that old or long forgotten but it is pretty obscure and you may have not been aware that this band existed. twink-a-lee was a band from Houston or thereabouts. they came along after die emperor, die! vanished, and they kicked out a sweet tape and this 6 song cdr. it is fittingly named as 'twink-a-lee', as it is all guitar twinkles and boys kissing boys, riffing off cap'n jazz and the promise ring before the world and his wife came along and had a go at it, mostly missing the point. treetops clearly got the point, this is full of ultra whiney vocals and gorgeous guitar spirals. the bass drives, the songs swirl, they wander out into a corn field in the middle of the summer and come to a sudden halt, before drifting lazily for a moment or two... then back it all comes again with a heady rush. if treetops were still around then 100 dorks on the internet would be having a massive cuddle over just how awesome this band was. i'd say this was the most midwestmo music that's been made since the rockets and bluelights 10".

anyway, i hope you enjoy these 6 songs and one day if i get my act together i will rip the tape or maybe someoene else already has, but i am not entirely certain that i know where my copy is. i have no idea what these kids are up to now, kirke was running a label that put this stuff out but i lost touch with him.

download the cd here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

the shivering - behind broken eyes

you are more than likely already familiar with the shivering, but you might not have had a chance to here their debut cd, 'behind broken eyes'. this 8 track cd was released on no! records in 2000, and was the formative sound of a band that would go on to further things. the music here is relentless, fast paced and a mix up of the rites of spring type emo and choppy pop punk not far removed from jawbreaker. it is a great clash of styles and it's probably about time another band did this. spencer's vocals are ragged and extremely hoarsely screamed, to the point that his vocals sometimes become distortion. brian gathy didn't yet play in the band at the point of this recording, and perhaps that was one of the reasons for the change in sound. these tracks didn't get on the semi-discography cd that alone later released either. i love the intensity on this record, especially in those vocals where spencer sounds utterly distraught for the most part. AND IF I FALL, WOULD YOU CATCH ME? emo as fuck.

i think this is a really good collection of songs, and it's a shame that more people who are into the band haven't had a chance to hear this as it is definitely worth your appreciation. check the album out here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

danny littleton

i am not going to write much about this, it sounds nothing like the hated, but you should check this out if you like littleton / ida...


very, very nice. it's from 2002 and was originally released in japan by saidera records / last affair records. there is a second cd, but i think it was more ambient, i haven't ever got round to ripping it, so i guess i didn't like it as much. the final track 'down in the valley' is from 1988 and features both littleton bros. elizabeth mitchell is on 'just run'. enjoy.

Friday, May 08, 2009

stupid acting smart

i stole this demo tape of utterly obscure scottishmo from my long lost buddy, steven j carlin. he kept telling me how great this band was, and finally he played me the tape. he was right. so i took it. it was done with the express intent and purpose of making some f- ripz to release into the general population at large, which was sort of done, but probably still no-one is listening to this band so here i am, exposing them to 9 more people. i suppose i could post the tape back to him but he kept promising me he was going to visit norwich and i could give it to him in person. so i will continue to use this tape as a bargaining chip to try and get him down here...

anyway, i am not sure when this dates from, i seem to have written down 1994, but that seems unlikely, listening to it. the music is sweet indiemo that fits easily with bands such as ribbon fix, rainer maria, jejune, pohgoh and samuel, so i would suggest it is more likely to be 96 / 97. i believe they were pre-stapleton too, but that could also be a mistaken idea from a drunken evening at some gig in glasgow with the man carlin. the music is exceptionally accomplished for a demo of a band that probably played 4 gigs and split up without anyone giving a shit. stupid acting smart do the melancholy jangle on these 6 songs, trading male and female vocals as required. the music is gentle but persuasive, the tunes are good, and if you are as smitten by this kind of music as i am then you can't help but fall in love.

go listen and see what i mean. if you are the kind of dork who gets all excited about indiemo bands from 15 years ago that nobody cares about, then i think you'll be rather happy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


one of the weirdest splits i ever bought was the jerome's dream / july split. on one side, jerome's dream do their brutally obnoxious, vacuum cleaner emo violence, on the other, we have the most absurdly and crushingly beautiful bit of acousticmo ever committed to vinyl. one long long song of immense twinkling and soft, soft vocals that gradually build to breaking point. basically, if you like the ultra miserable hated shit then this will have you throwing yourself off the nearest bridge in no time flat. it is unfeasibly gorgeous. the fact that nobody has ever unearthed any other recordings by this band is probably the most criminal event in historymo. for serious. on the july insert it says "july = gabe + herb". they were from apex, north carolina. it also says "thanks to everyone who is nice", which is pretty much the most echoable sentiment of all times. check this out, and please stand clear of the sharp objects, and lock up your gun and / or medicine cabinet. click the band name at the top for the link to the song.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

rocket science

i forget about this band every few years, and then rediscover them and fall in love all over again. they did two sevens in the mid 90s, one of them on simba from 1996, and the other on electrolux. this is also from 1996.

the simba 7" (if you're from the UK you will probably remember vique simba from her erotic fiction in fracture zine) actually starts off with a pretty average indie rocker called 'well known drag'. it's very straight forward and if you were to throw this seven inch on and listen to this song first, you probably wouldn't even bother playing side b. it sounds like a mish mash between brit pop and post-hardcore, so i guess it's not too far from that kill holiday lp on revelation, crossed with some sense field perhaps. i have included the mp3 anyway so that you can raise an eyebrow at it's sub-parity. luckily, i have also included 'come on to xenon', hopefully named for the amiga game. this song will, literally, kill you. it is astonishing. it makes me shiver. gorgeous indie rock that twinkles and jangles away to perfection. the members of christie front drive would have nodded sagely at each other and smiled if they had written this song. when the low guitar comes in initially, and then the vocals, oh my fucking god. i am a big sucker for the sundays best lp on polyvinyl. this song sounds like them in a way too, just much less polished. plus pylon from the UK. and mineral. it gently builds and builds and then hurtles into the perfect pop chorus with sweet, sweet backing vocals nudging the main singer from centre stage. songs like this make me want to punch indie rock in the face. HEY INDIE ROCK, MAKE SONGS LIKE THIS AGAIN PLEASE.

the electrolux 7" luckily focuses on the awesome aspect of the band. 'avalon' piles big walls of shoegazemo guitars over a strummed acoustic and buried vocals. this is truly the good shit. it's backed with 'saying things like wish or want' which changes direction again, getting all drawn out and stonermo like pot valiant and this super, muddy bass sound kind of like lumber. it again calls upon the excellent vocal combination, but this time around everything sounds a lot bleaker and less poppy. i apologise for the lesser sound quality on this single. i did it a couple of years ago through a dual cs-505 connected to my pc direct via a cheapo project phono stage, instead of the rega through my hifi and a good phono stage that i have now. anyway, you can still tell these are good songs regardless of my terrible job.

get emo here

seventh story

poor old system 2600. they shared a split 7" with city of caterpillar. and then with seventh story. i expect most people only played one side of the former, and nobody has the latter.

seventh story play two songs on this here single. opener "grouper" is melodic, moody emo in the vein of stuff like the lazarus plot. it twinkles into earshot with some van pelt guitars and drifting female vocals. you get two and half minutes of this stuff, and it's a bit good. "in stepping up" is a little poppier, hinting at stuff like pohgoh. you get a lovely thick, evergreen-esque bass sound that wanders up and down delightfully. the main guitar twinkles over the top of it. further through the song they get a bit more loud and excitable, and the vocals more desperate. i would say that this is some good stuff.

the music was recorded in 2000, i can't remember when this came out, but i think it was around the same time as that city of caterpillar / system 2600 split, as i got them both at the same time. the label is sea of dead pirates, from gainesville. i know absolutely nothing else about this band, so feel free to fill me in if you are an expert.

the inlay suggests they also have a 4 song cd. please hook me up if you have this. i'll be your best friend.

you can find two songs here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

100 watt halo

fucking san diegmo! goldernrod was an awesome label and 100 watt halo is a band you should listen to if you like early drive like jehu and san diego emo bands going all haywire. this 7" is not as good as their utterly essential lp, but you would still do well to investigate it if you enjoy emo with a mathy tinge (rather than a preponderance). of course, i could just rip the lp but as earlier discussed, i am kind of slack. this 7" pre-dates the lp. please mind the crackles.

the seven kicks off with 'new youth cool', which sets the scene neatly with a peculiar sample, before in comes the piercing guitar and those oh so cool spoken / shouted vocals that will let you know what you are in for. the song rumbles and drives neatly, slowing down as required before picking it back up again. i have always enjoyed music that manages to combine muscularity and intelligence (ZO HOTT), and 100 watt halo do both of these. song spirals off into a neat finale. 'weapons for kids' continues the intensity with sweet dueling guitars and a wandering bass line. some typically disturbing mid 90s emo lyrics that appear to be "KIDS, DADDY'S DRINKING AGAIN, ALL NIGHT, HE'S DRINKING AND HE'S BEATING AGAIN", and some others that i am not certain about but they sound similarly disconcerting. the guy gets a bit wobbly like the singer from antioch arrow at this point. oh wait, i just noticed that the credits say aaron montaigne does backup vocals on this song?! WTF crazy. 'spartan masterplan' is the pick here, it totally destroys - the guitars find their groove really quickly and it's off to the races. the minimal production works great here, with the frantic vocals at the fore and everything else a melodic chaos. 'six parts of seven' wraps things up, again there is a nice groove, it's much more grungemo than the other stuff especially once it breaks away from the distorted vocals and into the chorus.

packaging design by ed templeton. skatemo. maybe i'll rip that coldwatercrane 7" with ray barbee at some point.

grab it here please.

Monday, April 20, 2009

long live / circle of us

i am clearly in the mood for reminiscing at the moment. here's a little a bit about a band who were local and very dear to me, long live. around 2003, my local scene was highly exciting. i was still massively into screamo and we were being treated to great local shows with good bands such as open letters, blue is the new black and when ghosts used knives. we weren't far off from the mock heroic, and we all really missed we closed our eyes who maybe i'll post about on here some time. then out of nowhere, klim, jop (both from we close our eyes) and tom (terms of endearment) decided that they would do a completely different band. the best band that would come out of norwich this decade. long live left us with a 5 track demo (uploaded here) and a 3 song 7" on santos that i probably sold 50 copies of from my distro, the label likely has the rest. you can see reviews of both of those here. at the time they reminded me of bands such as slint, ethel meserve and giants chair. listening these days it's a lot softer than that would suggest, but live they always turned things up a notch. the music was slightly jazzy, meandering and intricate but rarely (on the demo at least) got overly twiddly and fiddly. jop and klim's vocals are all high pitched and youthful, recalling lumber and ordination of aaron. tom's bass is delightfully full and warm, giving real depth to the songs. listening back these days i can't really think of a good comparison for them, which should tell you an awful lot. i really like this quote from joe c on zillective cone: you know boys life is pictures of sad midwestern trains.. long live is like sad norwich fields, but jazzier.

it's a crushing shame that they split up so soon as the songs they were playing live at the end were unbelievably good, but were never recorded. at one point they were going to do a record with uber flake charlie wilhoit (golden shiny wire of hope - die emperor die / toru okada split fame) but fortunately the band never committed.

anyway, here is the long live demo. pay particular attention to an overseas robbery, my personal favourite.

the guys all went their seperate ways. tom and jop did mock heroic, and they both moved to london. tom told me he was working in a sweet shop but i am never quite sure if he was making this up. he still has a bass guitar that i gave him to fix that a friend of mine who moved to japan let me borrow. i never learned to play an instrument due to this. DAMN YOU TOM.

klim produced a beautiful cdr under the name of circle of us, which hardly anyone has heard. i last saw him in sainsburys about 3 and a bit years ago, he seemed surprised to see me. you can find his cd here. it's somewhere between ida, and a stripped down long live. you should check this out for sure. it might give you some idea as to what the unreleased long live stuff would have sounded like...


emo blogs with rips of obscure recrods are two a pennikurver these days, so i am still surprised when i can flick through my vinyl and see a record which i don't think anyone bothered to write about yet. cambria knocked out this 3 song 7" on the mighty dieselhead way back when in the 90s. dhr003 to be specific. they also have an lp, and i should probably give that the same treatment too but it's way easier to bash out a quickfire dump of a great seven inch. i believe the songs are superior to the album anyway, which is a little more one paced, less melodic and more straight forward.

this seven kicks off with an intense ripper in a style not far off mainspring or chino horde. full on crybaby vocals and punishing power are present on 'it could be for me', a dynamite song that it is about time a few more people got to hear. immediately following is 'more likely than others' which contrasts supremely. it eases off the sobbing but oh man alive oh man alive that guitar with the distant, plaintive vocals that my terrible desriptions can't really do justice to. from the utterly spellbinding twinkly intro to the final note, this type of music, just simple, repetetive, melodic guitar meandering in a truly melancholy fashion... i love it, barely a band in the world would contemplate doing something like this these days, which is supremely disappointing. 'woke up late' finishes up this seven with a spiralling, spacey three minute intstrumental straight out of the shoegazemo school. i am not the worlds greatest fan of instrumental music but it's very nice.

cambria - finally, some still gives a shit about you. go get some.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

my favorite citizen

pesky kids have been throwing stones at my window for months, pestering me... "mr. malcolm, mr. malcolm! sort us out that my favorite citizen 7", go on mr. malcolm", and i open the window yell at them to get off my lawn, then close the curtains and wander off.

so finally, here it is. a two song 7" that appears to have been recorded in 1996 / 1997. it's kinda weird, but twelve years on there is all of a sudden a massive interest in reviving the classic midwestmo sound of yore. out of nowhere, boys want to play twinkly, poppy fun songs again, hopefully they are all wearing chequered shirts and buddy holly glasses but to be honest i am not spending my days looking at pictures of these guys, there are just so many of the buggers and i don't want to get a reputation. isntead, i am posting this long lost classic of the midwestmo genre for the folk who are currently getting excited about fun new bands such as piroutte and by surprise, as i am pretty sure they will swoon as much to my favorite citizen (i keep wanting to type mid carson july, who were nowhere near as good as these cats, but did have some good songs) as i did way back when. you can read my original thoughts on the band in this here review:


and most of those thoughts do still ring true. it is a gloriously boyish clash of promise ring and get up kidsian wonder. there is so much bounce on perforated heart that these guys were actually in danger of asphyxiation as they reached the upper levels of the stratosphere. i think the flip side, 'trans hudson' may actually be the better of the songs. it is unfeasibly cute. cute as a button! you will go all squishy as the guitars jangle and roll, and gawky, uncertain emo boys squeak and whine. hee! it's a marvellous thing.

mfc also had an excellent song "kayla learns to dance" on the ill fated emo diaries series. edition #2 in fact, the only one you need to be honest. you can read more and hear more at the mfc myspace. at some point a couple of years ago, a discography cd was suggested but this never came to fruition sadly. go and post desperate appeals in their myspace comments or something. i am sure the persistent voices of 100 obsessed mp3mos will push them over the edge.

anyway, here you go. two songs from a band that should have garnered a whole lot more attention than they did at the time. i hope you like this just as much as me...


(apparently the tags are screwed in itunes, but figure it out for yourself, techno wiz)