See See Rider were brilliant when I saw them at the Joiners Arms, Southampton. They were signed to Lazy Records after being spotted by Birdland manager Wayne Morris and the secured support slots for Lloyd Cole and the Jesus and Mary Chain (See See Rider were from the Mary Chains home town of East Kilbride). They only made a couple of singles and the album was abandoned before it was released. Their output actually made My Bloody Valentine look busy. But it was not necessarily their fault as they were victims of a series of unfortunate incidents. These included a motorbike accident and bust ups onstage.
Stolen Heart is the second and last release from See See Rider. It features a cover of The Rolling Stones, Happy only on the vinyl edition of the EP. So I have been slightly completest and have included both the CD and 12” versions. With an output limited to only 2 releases you can be excused for being slightly obsessive.
See See Rider : Stolen Heart
In the early nineties before widespread internet use and podcasts if you wanted to discover new music, you listened to the radio. I fondly remember coming home from a night out on a Saturday, switching on the radio turning the volume off and recording John Peel while I slept. I would wake up in the morning and the light on the radio would still be on. From this I made many discoveries. Some of the things I heard I would never listen to again, like a spoken word radio parody Broadcast Booth by The Drag Racing Underground, the other was The Bedflowers I’m So Cool. This is no longer a distant memory, with the help of the internet.
The Bedflowers were a duo from Tottington north of Manchester. Janice White and Danny Moran formed the band in 1989. They recruited some help in the form of Howard Goody and Shelia Seal both from The Man from Delmonte to create a three track demo. Songs – Summer 1990 would be their only release and it was on the Manchester Bop! label, which was home to Demonte too.
It has a catchy, fresh gangly twee guitar feel. Janice Whites’s vocals sound not unlike Amelia Fletcher’s from Talulah Gosh. The whole thing was recorded on a shoestring budget which adds the the amateurish appeal.
It is the lyrics and the wit that are the real selling point of the demo. Candidate for the greatest song title ever would be You’re Not Blonde and Stupid, But Nobody’s Perfect. The standout track is I’m So Cool. In just under 3 minutes it mentions everything that was important to me in 1990. It has references to Dr Martens, the NME and The Wedding Present. It is a sideways look at youth culture in the early nineties.
The Bedflowers : Songs : Summer 1990
Madly In Love With 25 People
You’re Not Blonde And Stupid, But Nobody’s Perfect
I’m So Cool
The debut single that was released on the minuscule Wilde Club label. It was never going to make an impression on the charts as it is a vinyl only release limited to 3000 copies, but it did cause much excitement in the indie world.
It has the original versions of She’s My Friend and Salt, these were rerecorded for Ferment. I would not say that there is much different between the single and album version, except the album version is less fuzzy (which could be a good or bad thing). Salt has slightly softer vocals and harmonies, which more standard in the shoegazing genre.
Both Wish and Upside Down are good solid songs but never made it onto the album. Interestingly, the sleeve for the single features a Carrie impersonator covered in blood, the photograph was taken at a San Francisco gay parade.
Catherine Wheel : She’s my Friend
She’s My Friend
From the ashes of indie twee Talulah Gosh, indie twee Heavenly was spawned. To the average listener there was not much difference between Talulah Gosh and Heavenly, to the indie expert that has the knowledge to rival the late John Peel there was not much difference between Talulah Gosh and Heavenly. It had all the redeeming factors of its precursor; twee, amateur and very shambolic. This is their first album released on Sarah Records, who were looking for a replacement for the label stalwarts The Field Mice. Its amazing to think that Talulah Gosh were not signed to the Sarah label, they could of been invented for each other.
Heavenly Vs. Satan is the first album from Heavenly. It has the cute girly vocals from Amelia Fletcher. Which still sound raw and unpolished compared to future Heavenly albums. The lyrical content is very sixth form romance based, such as Cool Guitar Boy. There are only 8 tracks but it is packed with enough sugar to rot your teeth.
I realise that I am probably painting a negative picture of Heavenly. But you can safely say that if you like other Sarah bands like The Field Mice, Talulah Gosh, St Christopher and 14 Iced Bears, you will like Heavenly.
Heavenly : Heavenly vs. Satan
Cool Guitar Boy
Boyfriend Stays The Same
Wish Me Gone
Don’t Be Fooled
Stop Before You Say It
I Fell In Love Last Night
Over And Over
Our Love Is Heavenly
Wrap My Arms Around Him
Escort Crash On Marston Street
The Dayoffs are a Russo-Japanese duo from New York, who combine many elements in an infectious whirlwind of sharp riffs and pure energy. Yet with all the energy abound there is still pristine melodies mixed with scuzzy basslines.
The duo are Vladimir Komarov and Artuo Matsmoto and their self-titled album was released in November last year on the German boutique label Emerald & Doreen Recordings. There is a definite Boo Radleys Everything’s Alright Forever feel to the album this is highlighted in the track Nobody Knows Her. The production makes Everything’s Alright Forever seem quite rough. They lay right in the middle of The Boo Radleys and Aztec Camera.
Christmas is upon us again, and I have the annual task of writing something festive. This year I have run out of ideas, but at this time of year I think of my favourite winter song. This is Yoko Ono’s Listen, the Snow Is Falling, this has bassist Naomi Yang singing her first song. Listen to the drums shuffle along quietly and then then comes the break. My personal favourite, it reminds me of Spacemen 3.
Named after a nondescript car Galaxie 500, were ahead of their time. The were the precursors of shoegaze long before the scene really got going.
This is Our Music is the final and probably best Galaxie 500 album. Starting with Fourth of July their single and title track from the album. It exudes a sense of quiet resignation throughout. There are some great lyrics in the song, ‘I wrote a poem on a dog biscuit. and your dog refused to look at it. So I got drunk and looked at the Empire State building it was no bigger than a nickel?’
The whole album swells up like an ocean then gently ebbs away. Emotionally charged to breaking point. Allegedly this is why its their last album. To create something as emotionally stirring as this, took its toll on the trio. In a way its reassuring that they split up at their zenith.
Galaxie 500 : This is Our Music
Fourth Of July
Way Up High
Listen, The Snow Is Falling
King Of Spain, Part Two
They started life as a trio when they release their first single.
This introduced the unsuspecting public to the dark and dangerous world of Loop. A very desolate psychedelic experience, which drones out soundscapes of bleak beauty, harsh dissonance, utterly hypnotic, thunderous and unsettling.
Often compared to the Jesus and Mary Chain and Spacemen 3, but they seem quite cheery compared to Loop. They did not have the same drug fuelled paranoia as Spacemen 3, but the paranoia is still there. They share the same minimalist attitude as Spacemen 3. The rough raw guitar riffs in this single are very reminiscent of 60’s garage rock, but the vocals almost have darkly gothic feel.
Sit back and listen, but keep the light on.
Loop : 16 Dreams