Ocean Colour Scene – Sway

The second single from indie stalwarts Ocean Colour Scene.  Admittedly I have not heard the original that was released in 1990 on Phtttf records, but as this was the lead song on both sides I don’t think that there was much going on.  I picked up this record in 1992 when it was re-released on Fontana.

Sway is a remarkably listenable radio friendly piece of indie, big guitars and catchy lyrics.  Only two years later Oasis would storm the charts with equal musicmanship.  Unfortunately OCS did not have the internal bickering, attitude, haircuts or swagger.  Many of the bands I love; Stone Roses, Happy Mondays one of their main attractions is the swagger.

Mona Lisa Eyes showcases Simon Fowler’s vocals, this is the stand out b-side here.  Although Bellechoux is a instrumental for any James Taylor Quartet fans out there.  Jazz nice.

Ocean Colour Scene : Sway

Sway
My Brother Sarah
Mona Lisa Eyes
Bellechoux

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Mogwai – Ten Rapid

My introduction to Mogwai and I only brought the CD because they were fans of Spacemen 3.  A remarkably cohesive collection of assorted tracks from their early work pre-Young Team.  The leading track Summer is all you need to know, an instrumental anthem that was probably the first time that the classic soft/loud Mogwai juxtaposition was ever used. Love this CD because when it came out the effects and the whole slant on music was different.  The languid analgesic guitar in New Paths To Helicon Part II are absolutely stirringly beautiful, it is not till the fifth track Tuner that we hear any audible vocals. The album finishes with End which has the previous track New Paths To Helicon, Part I in reverse.  Perfectly put together, the tracklisting is brilliant for such a limited timescale (1996-1997).

But why was it called Ten Rapid when there was only nine songs?

Mogwai : Ten Rapid

Summer
New Paths To Helicon Part II
Angels Versus Aliens
I Am Not Batman
Tuner
Ithica 27 – 9
A Place For Parks
New Paths To Helicon Part I
End

 

Trembling Blue Stars – Lips That Taste of Tears

Another dose of wrenching heartbreak and despair. To add to the momentous sadness Bobby Wrattons’s former love and Field Mice member Anne Mari Davies appears here too. There are some electro touches here, namely Tailspin. This is a completely different level to the synth used on the The Field Mice’s Triangle. It is more of a house dance groove song than the Trembling Blue Stars having a cursory dance track. The album was engineered by Ian Catt (multi instrumentalist and Saint Etienne touring band member), and he is responsible for the new direction. The Rainbow has even some trip hop bleeps, which sit beautifully on the song and doesn’t seem out of place.

They still stick to their indiepop roots in Made for Each Other. It still doesn’t raise a smile, but is some of
the most beautiful music around.

Trembling Blue Stars : Lips That Taste of Tears

All I Never Said 
Headlights
Never Loved You More
The Rainbow
Made For Each Other
Letter Never Sent
I’m Tired, I’ve Tried
You’ve Done Nothin Wrong Really
Old Photographs
Never Loved You More 2
Deserve
Cecilia In Black And White
Tailspin
Farewell To Forever

The Belltower – Exploration Day

The debut single from the shoegazers of New York, The Belltower.  Exploration Day was produced by House of Love legend Terry Bickers.  It was NME’s single of the week upon release, as it features the instantly recognisable Outshine the Sun. While their album concentrates on the vocal talents of Britta Phillips; in Exploration Day, Mark Browning takes the vocal duties in Beatnixon Blues and Solstice.  These are just as strong as the songs performed by Britta.  Thankfully Mark’s vocals are left intact when Solstice appeared on Popdropper. It has icy organ in the background.  Britta sings on Never Going Home, this song is described by some as beautiful and heartfelt, and by others as sounding a bit like Celine Dion.  I am firmly in the first camp of thought for this song.

The Belltower : Exploration Day

Outshine The Sun
Beatnixon Blues
Solstice
Never Going Home

The Boo Radleys – Kaleidoscope

The second release after the legendary Ichabod and I, just a three months after the original release and featured a cleaned up version of Kaleidoscope as the lead track.  Eventhough this was head and shoulders above Ichabod in terms of production, it is still amateur compared to their Creation Record releases.  At the time they were signed to Rough Trade Records, after the initial Ichabod release on the indier than thou Action label.

Sice’s voice is weak and wishy washy in this release, and I believe this happened because of the mix of the songs but he finds his voice for the classic Everything is Alright Forever album.

The Boo Radleys : Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope
How I Feel
Aldous
Swansong

See See Rider – Stolen Heart

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

 

The Bedflowers – Songs : Summer 1990

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