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)