High Pitched Scream – Two Songs

Exhilarating garage rock from Australia’s High Pitched Scream which is the multi-instrumental David Lloyd recorded at home with session drummers from Fiverr.  David describes this single as My Bloody Valentine meets Dinosaur Jr, which I would believe is pretty accurate from listening to Two Songs the debut single.  After listening to this I revisited Gumball which has the same urgent garage rock sound.

Talulah Gosh – Was it All a Dream?

I asked you a hundred times
Would you be my best friend
Forever, forever
You replied a hundred times
You didn’t need a friend

The opening lyrics from My Best Friend.  If ever there was a quintessential twee pop group it is Talullah Gosh, the band that was more Sarah than Sarah Records (but only ever released the compilation They’ve Scoffed the Lot on the Bristol-based Sarah Records label). Allegedly containing a complete back catalogue, every demo, single, and radio session.  To whet the appetite of every fanzine loving mid-forty-year-old.

The name Talulah Gosh was taken from an interview between the NME and Clare Grogan from Altered Images.  Amelia Fletcher from Talulah Gosh said, she did an interview and the interviewer “What are you going to do after your band ?” She said “I’m going to be an actress and I’m thinking I may call myself Talulah Gosh.”

Or there is another school of thought that the name derives from Jodie Foster character in the film Bugsy Malone.  Anyway enjoy this comprehensive compilation.

Talulah Gosh : Was it All a Dream?

Beatnik Boy
My Best Friend
Steaming Train
Just A Dream
Talulah Gosh
Don’t Go Away
Escalator Over The Hill
My Boy Says
Way Of The World
Testcard Girl
Bringing Up Baby
I Can’t Get No Satisfaction (Thank God)
The Girl With The Strawberry Hair
Talulah Gosh (Janice Long Session)
Do You Remember
Looking For A Rainbow
Sunny Inside
My World’s Ending
Be Your Baby
Break Your Face
In Love For The Very First Time
Spearmint Head
I Told You So
Pastels Badge
Rubber Ball
Steaming Train (Demo)
I Told You So (Demo)
Mmm Mmm He’s So Dreamy (Demo)
Sunny Inside (Demo)

 

Cradle – Baba Yaga

Regular readers will know that I have two heroes; Sonic Boom and Terry Bickers.  The latter was in a short-lived combo called Cradle.  Cradle was formed in a week after Bickers left Levitation in 1993, Bickers teamed up with guitarist Clive Giblin (Alternative TV, Shock Headed Peters, Two Worlds Collide, Sol Invictus). The duo formed a band called Paradise Estate, named after the Television Personalities’ track as they were both fans. They spent about six weeks writing and recording the songs that would convince Warner Bros to sign Bickers, following which the pair drifted apart (with Giblin leaving the band).

After a year the line up was secured Bickers recruited his partner singer Caroline Tree for vocal duty. Giblin joined the band and jumped ship again.

Moving to Rye in Sussex, Bickers put together a third line-up of Cradle with himself on guitar, vocals, and various instruments, Caroline Tree as co-lead singer and Ian Mundwyler on guitar, plus a shed load of contributing musicians with this floating cast of contributing musicians Cradle released what would be their only completed album, Baba Yaga, in 1995.

This is an album that shows some truly great guitar work from Bickers, but his partner at the time and co-vocalist Caroline Tree did some really ropey singing.  This album is really for people like myself who want to collect everything that Bickers has released, not for newbies that want to enter the world of psychedelic indie.

Cradle : Baba Yaga

Second Nature
Gifts Of Unknown Things
Black Tea
Consequences
Baby Heart
Goodnight Eloise
In The Forest
The Clangers & The Moomins
Home
Immortal
Chloe’s Room

Muun Bato


Minneapolis-based Muun Bato (pronounced: moon-bah-toe) debut album delivers a melodic pop-rock.  Released back in October 2019 this debut has a mature and well-polished feel which is not surprising as the band is comprised of a selection of mid-west sonic pioneers.  The band formed back in 2018 when Joe Werner (First Communion Afterparty, Driftwood Pyre, Bridge Club) and Andy Iwanin (Basement Apartment, The Pitchafits) were rehearsing for a one-time collaboration show in Minneapolis.  This impromptu jam showcased their creative chemistry and later Vince Caro (Flavor Crystals, Basement Apartment), Timothy S Ritter (Basement Apartment, Shapeshifter) was recruited for bass and synth duties.

The debut album is refreshing as it features strong vocals, many bands now use guitar effects to disguise their lack of vocal prowess.  The first track Catacomb Caty opening bars reminded me of Garbage’s Stupid Girl but this is a taster of the solid melodic tunes that grab the listener and showcase their impressive songwriting talent.

The Primitives – Secrets

In this time of self-isolation and social distancing, you could almost experience what it was like to be a goth in the 80s.  So I thought I would throw some obscure feelgood classics indie at you.  Tracy Tracy (so good they named her twice) lead singer in The Primitives was an indie heartthrob before Toni Halliday, Rachel Goswell, and Louise Trehy.

The Primitives : Secrets

Secrets
Almost Touched You
Secrets (Demo)

 

Various Artists – C86

Such is the reverence for this 22 track compilation, when it arrived it was the most indie thing that had ever happened.  It is the benchmark in twee, jangly, indiepop and would be namechecked for decades, it basically launched indie.  Listening to the compilation it is not all twee sugary jangle, Half Man Half Biscuit’s I Hate Nerys Hughes (From the Heart) is a fun-filled caustic tune, and where are the dreamy melodies in the MacKenzies Big Jim (There’s No Pubs in Heaven) the instruments are detuned creating and offbeat disturbing sound.

Listening to C86 I find myself thinking there must be a song on here by The Railway Children or Talulah Gosh but there isn’t but the compilation must have influenced them hugely.  In the 90s before the internet took off, there were very few copies of C86 available and the majority of indiekids such as myself had never heard the album, but it was so revered and so unattainable, that this added to its mystique.

My favourite song is The Bodines Therese, this was a staple the indie disco I used to go to in Bournemouth even though it was 94 this song was still played.

Various Artists : C86

Primal Scream Velocity Girl
The Mighty Lemon – Drops Happy Head
The Soup Dragons – Pleasantly Surprised
The Wolfhounds – Feeling So Strange Again
The Bodines – Therese
Mighty Mighty – Law
Stump – Buffalo
Bogshed – Run To The Temple
A Witness – Sharpened Sticks
The Pastels – Breaking Lines
The Age Of Chance – From Now On, This Will Be Your God
Shop Assistants – It’s Up To You
Close Lobsters – Firestation Towers
Miaow – Sport Most Royal
Half Man Half Biscuit – I Hate Nerys Hughes (From The Heart)
The Servants – Transparent
MacKenzies – Big Jim (There’s No Pubs In Heaven)
Big Flame – New Way (Quick Wash And Brush Up With Liberation Theology)
We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It – Console Me
McCarthy – Celestial City
The Shrubs – Bullfighter’s Bones
The Wedding Present – This Boy Can Wait (A Bit Longer!)

 

 

Slowdive – Hide Yer Eyes

This bootleg captures Slowdive between Just For Today and Souvlaki albums and was supposed to be released as an album called I Saw The Sun.  The album was released “unofficially”, by Alti Philosophi Records based out of Germany. Most of the songs appear on the Souvlaki Demos & Outtakes, and only Dagger appears on Souvlaki.

The mastering is pretty rough which is fine if you are a new wave or punk outfit but you need subtly with shoegaze.  If there are any master tapes a good clean up could work wonders.  On the record, it states that the address of  Alti Philosophi Records is Hengstbergst 11 Aral 04668 Grimma Germany.  If you Google this location you will find an Aral gas station with a McDonalds near Leipzig.

Slowdive : Hide Yer Eyes

Summer Day
Bleed
Sleep
Silver Screen
Dagger
Joy
Hide Yer Eyes
Ending
Richard
I Saw The Sun

Popinjays – Bang Up To Date With The Popinjays

The Popinjays are Wendy Robinson and Polly Hancock.  I had the pleasure of seeing the Popinjays at The Joiners Arms, Southampton back in August 1992, on the Monster Mouth tour.  I think I have probably mentioned that both Wendy and Polly had the shiniest glossiest jet black hair that I had ever seen.

Bang Up To Date with The Popinjays, released in April 1990,  it features the single Please Let Me Go, which was also named Single of the Week in Melody Maker. There is a cover of The Beatles Rain, which is pretty faithful to the original the only remarkable difference is the change in gender of the lead singer.

The rest of the album is kitsch, cheesy and quirky ride.  To the extent that if René Dif popped up halfway through a track and exclaimed, “Come on, Barbie, let’s go party!” It would not sound out of place.  Although I Don’t Believe in Anything reminds me of The Primitives.

 Popinjays – Bang Up To Date With The Popinjays

Please Let Me Go
Doctor Fell
Rain
Hey! (Back To The Beginning)
Perfect Dream Home
I Don’t Believe In Anything
Thinking About The Weather
Mr Spacecase
Laughing At It All
Kissing Cowboys

Cranes – Wings of Joy

The first full-length album by the Cranes. which I brought probably on the strength that no one else had a copy,.  There were times of pointless indie snobbery back in the nineties, I might have had a Miranda Sex Garden album too at one stage.

Correctly described as; haunting, beautiful, otherworldly and creepy, but I do have a problem with Alison Shaw’s vocals.  I know that Slowdive’s Alison is rumoured to be written about the Cranes vocalist, but her voice is reminiscent of a toddler, who has been given a cocktail  of day-glow coloured pick-and-mix sweets and helium. The only comparisons I can draw are with fellow 4AD label bands such as Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil.

The Cranes are refreshingly different and are a contrast to the identikit indie bands that can be seen throughout the charts and music press.

Cranes : Wings of Joy
Watersong
Thursday
Living And Breathing
Leaves Of Summer
Starblood
Wish
Tomorrow’s Tears
Beautiful Sadness
Hopes Are High
Adoration