22 May 2018

LOLLIPOP FACTORY Soon 1996

by request
 
 

AllMusic Review by

On the bombastic Soon, Lollipop Factory quickly establish themselves as slavish disciples of Seventies-era music; their influences run the gamut from AM radio to punk, all topped off by frontman Dave Tweed's Freddie Mercury-esque operatics.
  

Tracklist

1 Sunday Drive
2 The Wonderful World Of Mr. Round
3 The Worm
4 Responsible Man
5 Bouncing Ball
6 A Kind Of Circus
7 The Life And Times Of Alfred Byrd
8 Super Jester
9 Planet Earth
10 Real Life
 

THRUSH HERMIT Clayton Park 1999

by request
 


Tracklist  

1 From The Back Of The Film 2:05
2 (Oh Man!) What To Do? 4:02
3 Violent Dreams 7:08
4 The Day We Hit The Coast 6:32
5 Headin' South 5:53
6 Western Dreamz 5:25
7 Songs For The Gang 3:07
8 Uneventful 6:11
9 Oh My Soul! 4:18
10 We Are Being Reduced 6:17
11 Before You Leave 6:09

SWEETHEART Well-Dressed Meat 1992

by request
 
 

Artist Biography by

Upon their 1991 debut EP entitled Mr. Cocktail, Sweetheart brought on their trademark of spastic noise punk that incorporates saxophones, awkward tempo changes, and gruff vocals to the native Finland. Being compared to the likes of the Cows, the Laughing Hyenas, Pussy Galore, and the Birthday Party, Bad Vugum Records would be responsible for the 1992 full-length Well Dressed Meat. Sweethearts discography would continue to grow as the years progressed with 1994's An Ordinary Family Visits Hell, 1996's Intoxicated Boom Boom, and 1998's Stitches Removal Day.
 

Tracklist

1 Insects Think It's June 3:07
2 Deserted Plain 2:44
3 Pavlov 1:58
4 Moving 3:28
5 Chinese Meat Market 4:04
6 Wedding Dress For A Vulture 2:43
7 Satanism 4:40
8 Human Skyscraper 1:51
9 Things Just Happen 3:22
10 Frog Rain 3:09
11 Mr. Cocktail 5:30
12 Ephraim 3:53
 

INTO PARADISE Churchtown 1991

by request
 
 

Artist Biography by

This rock pop outfit formed in Dublin, Eire, in 1986, as Backwards Into Paradise. By 1988 their line-up had stabilized as Dave Long (vocals, guitar), James Eadie (lead guitar, keyboards), Rachael Tighe (bass) and Ronan Clarke (drums). They gathered few second glances until the release of Under The Water, early in 1990. A capricious and deceptive album, it secured many plaudits and a predictably enthusiastic response from the media. Being from Dublin, they were automatically and inaccurately compared to both U2 and the Hothouse Flowers. Other critics noted the proliferation of drink-orientated songs, which placed them in a more definite Irish tradition. The follow-up, Churchtown, on their new Ensign Records home, was given an altogether more terse reception. Ultimately the accommodation with a major label went awry, and Into Paradise returned to original home Setanta Records, who in the meantime had enjoyed success with A House and Frank And Walters. This more sympathetic environment saw Long continue to mine a strong creative furrow, though his lyrics proved too barbed to allow major success to come courting again.

Tracklist  

1 Rain Come Down 3:48
2 Burns My Skin 3:44
3 Yesterday's Men 3:53
4 I'm Still Waiting 3:05
5 Winter 4:29
6 Bring Me Up 3:10
7 All Down From Here 2:49
8 Angel 4:01
9 Dreaming 3:21
10 Dive 3:22
11 Tears In Your Eyes 2:55
12 Gently Falls 4:32

 

18 May 2018

WADE self titled 1993

by request
 
 

AllMusic Review by

Wade's self-titled debut is very much a pop album -- its tracks deliver a somewhat slick take on the lighter side of Britpop, topping typically jangly pop compositions with non-aggressive vocals and trails of violin. The more fleshed-out tunes tend to lose their edge amid all of the overproduced orchestration -- the album's truly gorgeous moments come from pensive, minimal compositions like "House" -- but the band's tendency toward pop cheese is usually made up for by their melody and sense of composition. This isn't a particularly notable record, but it pulls its pop punches effectively, and comes out with a decent level of appeal.

Tracklist

1 I Swear To God 4:27
2 House 5:58
3 Mr. Formaldehyde 7:44
4 Scratch 5:07
5 Palmistry 5:57
6 Barely Human 2:46
7 Ebb Tide 7:09
8 Capital T 4:40

 

17 May 2018

NOVASONIC DOWN HYPERSPACE Embracing Magnetics 1999

Discogs

Artist Biography by

Formed in 1995 for the purpose of bringing out the space rock to their hometown of Chicago, Illinois, NovaSonic Down Hyper Space not only contribute to their local scene of playing out live, but as well as having their own label Spectra Records and their recording studio Spectre Mobile. With their drummer-less line up consisting of Andy (bass/guitar/vocals), Steve (keyboards/ moog/ guitar), Paul (guitar/ bass/ vocals) and Bryan (thermion/chimes), the band immediately worked on their discography, starting with the EPs Sould Glide and Inward To The Sun both courtesy of Spectra Records in 1995. Following their "Abducted to Venus"/"Send It To The Sun" EP released the next year on Throwrug Records, AudioInformationPhenomena put out their first full-length Embracing Magnetics in 1998.

Tracklist

1 what went wrong, saving space
2 melody in chaos
3 sounds just like an ocean
4 feel free
5 almost home
6 stuck on the world
7 saw her eyes
8 on
9 make it in time
10 first day
11 coming on to a lighter take
12 hold on tight
13 take a ride



HAZELDINE How Bees Fly 1997






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Artist Biography by

Hazeldine exemplifies all the possibilities and frustrations surrounding the so-called alt-country movement. Formed in Albuquerque, NM, by three women -- Tonya Lamm (vocalist/guitarist), Shawn Barton (vocalist/guitarist), Anne Tkach (bass) -- and drummer Jeffrey Richards, the band quickly developed a local reputation and made a strong impression when they played at the Œ96 SWSX in Austin, TX. Of the band members, only Richards had previous professional experience, having played with Vic Chesnutt.
In 1997, Hazeldine recorded their live repertoire and posted it to German independent label Glitterhouse. The band was hoping for some positive feedback, but not quite the bombshell Glitterhouse dropped when they announced they wanted to sign the band and release the demo tape as a debut album. The demo was released as How Bees Fly in August 1997 and immediately picked up rave reviews across Europe. How Bees Fly remains the perfect summation of Hazeldine's sound: the sound is loose and raw, reminiscent of Crazy Horse with their fuzzy, feedback guitars, while the harmonies of Lamm and Barton hover above, as gorgeous as those of Dolly and Emmy Lou. Songs such as "Apothecary" and "Tarmac" found them defining female sensuality in a manner rarely tackled by singers in country or rock while a cover of Grant Lee Buffalo's "Fuzzy" showed them pledging allegiance to the new energies alive in American music.
The European response to How Bees Fly was so strong that they were signed to an international deal by Polydor Records. Entering the studio with producer Jim Scott, Hazeldine re-recorded four of the songs from How Bees Fly, covered Lee Hazelwood's "Summer Wine" and cut several new songs for the 1998 album Digging You Up. This time all the traces of Crazy Horse and parched desert punk were gone, replaced with a slick contemporary country production that emphasized the band's gift for melody and harmony. Digging You Up was a thoroughly professional album and in that lay its problems -- Hazeldine was too idiosyncratic to be simply another pop-country outfit and the album failed to satisfy old fans or win new ones.
At the same time, Glitterhouse issued Orphans, a ten-track mail-order-only (initially) covers album that found the band tackling everyone from Radiohead to Gram Parsons and Peter Gabriel. As Polydor was swallowed in the merger mania in 1999, Hazeldine found themselves freed from their contract. Richards left around this time, while the band continued to tour in both the U.S. and Europe. After that there was a period of silence while band members worked on different projects; Tkach recorded and toured with Willard Grant Conspiracy.
In 2000 Tkach, Barton, and Lamm regrouped and resigned to Glitterhouse. With producer Chris Stamey (formerly of the dB's) they recorded Double Back, a 13-song original set that found them once again singing like honky tonk angels. Stamey emphasised the band's vocal talents while not over egging their instrumentation, creating a strong album that showed Albuquerque's finest once again creating epic, brooding American music.

Tracklist

1 Apothecary
2 Tarmac
3 My Magdalene
4 Yer Shoes
5 Allergic To Love
6 Rosemary Cries
7 Fuzzy
8 Daddy
9 Bastard Son Of Medora
10 Postcard

ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION Rafi's Revenge 1998






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Artist Biography by

Asian Dub Foundation formed in 1993 as an outgrowth of the documentary Identical Beat, a film shot at London's Farringdon Community Music House, the site of a series of summer workshops designed to teach Asian children the essentials of music technology. In charge of the workshops were tutor Aniruddha Das and youth worker John Pandit, also a noted DJ; with one of their students, a 15-year-old Bengali rapper named Deedar Zaman, they soon formed a sound system that they called the Asian Dub Foundation. After each adopted an alias -- bassist/tabla player Das became Dr. Das, Pandit became Pandit G, and Zaman became Master D -- they gradually evolved into a working band with the 1994 addition of former Higher Intelligence Agency guitarist Steve Chandra Savale, an innovative performer known for tuning his strings to one note like a sitar, turning up the distortion unit, and playing his instrument with a knife, earning him the nickname "Chandrasonic." Emerging in the midst of considerable anti-Asian violence throughout Britain, the Foundation's early demos landed them a contract with Nation Records, and they recorded their debut EP, Conscious, in 1994.

Facts and Fictions
Channeling influences ranging from punk to ambient music to Bengali folk songs, Asian Dub Foundation quickly gained a strong fan base not only among clubgoers but also among the anti-fascist movement, who applauded the group's vocal stand against racism. After earning a reputation as standout live performers, the Foundation -- who now included dancer Bubble-E and second DJ Sun-J -- won widespread acclaim for the 1995 single "Rebel Warrior." Their first full-length effort, Facts and Fictions, followed later that same year, and in 1998 Asian Dub Foundation returned with Rafi's Revenge. Community Music appeared in mid-2000, followed later that year by another full-length, R.A.F.I. Subsequent Asian Dub Foundation albums have included Enemy of the Enemy (2003) and Tank (2005).

Tracklist  

1 Naxalite 4:41
2 Buzzin 4:27
3 Black White 3:32
4 Assassin 4:00
5 Hypocrite 3:58
6 Charge 3:35
7 Free Satpal Ram 3:42
8 Dub Mentality 4:27
9 Culture Move 4:28
10 Operation Eagle Lie 3:19
11 Change 3:06
12 Tribute To John Stevens 5:12

Bonus Tracks
13 RAF1 3:27
14 Digital Underclass 4:51

SKYPARK Summer Days Are Forever 1998






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Artist Biography by

Bringing the innocent sophistication of melodic pop with a boy and girl vocal exchange to San Francisco, Skypark's tales of summer crushes and broken hearts were a mainstay throughout their brief career. With the influential charm of The Field Mice and Sterolab that coincided with their own trademark of lighthearted harmony, Shelflife Records took notice and released their one and only release, Summer Days Are Forever in 1998. But before the EP was officially issued, Skypark disbanded not too long after recording it in 1997.

Tracklist

1 Bicycle Boy 3:02
2 Secret Hideaway 1:54
3 Summer Days Are Forever 2:35
4 Morse Code 2:04
5 She Is Me 3:25
6 Countryside 1:51

THE HIGH LLAMAS Santa Barbara 1998





1998 reissue with 9 tracks

Discogs


Artist Biography by


Gideon Gaye
Although the High Llamas are nominally a group, they're pretty much the brainchild of singer and guitarist Sean O'Hagan. O'Hagan did some time in the London-by-way-of-Dublin band Microdisney, in which he was the songwriting partner of Cathal Coughlan. After Microdisney split in 1988 (Coughlan forming Fatima Mansions), O'Hagan released a couple of import-only solo albums before forming the High Llamas. The Llamas issued their debut, Gideon Gaye, in 1994 to high praise in the British press; it was released in the States a year later almost as an afterthought, with virtually no fanfare.
Pet Sounds
Comparisons of O'Hagan/the High Llamas to Brian Wilson/the Beach Boys are unavoidable, and not just from arcane critics. Anyone with a large Beach Boys collection will detect the uncanny resemblance to 1966-1970 Beach Boys, with the sophisticated melodies, the beautiful harmonies, and the elaborate production, with the emphasis on layered keyboards and orchestration. Echoes of Pet Sounds, SMiLE, Wild Honey, and Surf's Up predominate, though O'Hagan also claims Burt Bacharach as a major inspiration.
Hawaii
The Llamas began to build a bigger and bigger fan base throughout the late '90s (in the U.S. as well as the U.K.), and O'Hagan's ever-shifting, ever-growing stable of side musicians made sure every album was as beautifully arranged and carefully conceived as the last. Subsequent efforts include 1996's gorgeously sprawling Hawaii, 1997's warmly clinical Cold and Bouncy, and 1999's chilly Snowbug. Buzzle Bee arrived the following year, featuring a more stripped-down sound and guest vocals from Mary Hansen from Stereolab. Before her tragic death in late 2002, O'Hagan had Hansen onboard for the Llamas' chamber pop masterpiece Beet, Maize & Corn. Virtually eliminating the standard "electric guitar, bass, and drums" formula, Beet, Maize & Corn was full of lilting strings, warm horns, and gently plucked classical guitars, and proved to be a high achievement for the Llamas with both critics and fans.
Can Cladders
Four years later, in 2007, O'Hagan and company revisited the sunny sprawl of Hawaii (as well as Cold and Bouncy's technical slickness) for the upbeat and lovingly crafted Can Cladders. For 2011's Talahomi Way, the band opted for a warmer, more overtly '60s-inspired sound. By the time of their next album, the band's membership included Pete Aves, Dominic Murcott, Marcus Holdaway, Jon Fell, and Rob Allum along with mainstay O'Hagan. Here Come the Rattling Trees began as a theater piece revolving around characters O'Hagan invented while bicycling around his Peckham neighborhood. The group performed it in pubs and theaters in 2014, then recorded the musical portions for Drag City to release in early 2016.

Tracklist

1 Put Yourself Down 4:21
2 Birdies Sing 4:43
3 Banking On Karma 4:42
4 Market Traders 6:08
5 Travel 4:43
6 The Taximan's Daughter 3:51
7 Period Music 5:14
8 Holland 4:04
9 Apricots 2:21

THE STARSEEDS Parallel Life 1997

downtempo/chillout

Discogs

Tracklist  

1 Parallel Life 8:08
2 Behind The Sun 5:11
3 Timequakes 5:18
4 Sonne, Mond Und Sterne 6:21
5 Heavensairportcoffeeshoprestaurant 6:42
6 Subspace Radio Signals 5:34
7 Regina From The Future 5:24
8 Earth Moon And Stars 5:13
9 Elsewhere 9:30



THE MAYFLIES USA self titled 1997



Artist Biography by


The Pity List
The Mayflies USA (there is no Mayflies UK, that's just a joke) are one of the more pop-oriented bands to emerge from the buzzing, trendy Chapel Hill, North Carolina scene in the 1990s. After a debut EP in 1997, they released their first full-length in early 1999, which was produced by North Carolina alt-pop legend Chris Stamey. That's a logical connection, since Stamey and the Mayflies USA share a love of British pop, power pop in the Big Star mold, and the kind of jangly alternative pop-rock that the South has been known for since, well, Chris Stamey and the dB's. Their debut album is accomplished and guaranteed to appeal to power pop lovers, the main criticism being that it's not clear at this point whether the group, with several songwriters and vocalists, can transcend their obvious influences to form a more individual sound. Pity List followed in fall 2000.

Tracklist

1 The Apple 3:06
2 Reasons 4:40
3 Skywriting 2:33
4 After You 3:37
5 These Crayons Are Mine 2:38

15 May 2018

GIRLFRENDO Surprise! Surprise! It's Girlfrendo 1998






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Artist Biography by

Gothenburg, Sweden-based teen-pop group Girlfrendo -- singers Jo Friendo and Sara Safari, guitarist Golden Boy, bassist Nicholas, keyboardist Anders K. and drummer Per -- debuted in 1997 with a series of well-received indie EPs including Shout It Out Loud & Clear, Girlfrendo Gives You That Fab Gear, Girlfrendo Gives You a Lovebite, Get Ready to Be Heartbroken by Girlfrendo and Firstkiss Feelings vs. Everyday Sensations. The band's first full-length LP Surprise! Surprise! It's Girlfrendo appeared in 1998; the single "Cat Heaven" followed a year later.

Tracklist  

1 Homework
2 First Kiss Feelings Vs. Everyday Sensations
3 Delicatessen
4 Make-Up
5 Sad Birthday Song  
6 12
7 Cat Heaven
8 Kisses In The Nursery
9 Girlfrendo Soundsystem
10 Hallelujah
11 Air
12 Surprise Surprise
13 Lose Your Face
14 Crushed
15 A Reason For Every Season