Classic Rock History

Classic Rock History

0 comment Thursday, July 24, 2014 |
Original recordings Creation Records 1986-1988
Compilation LP/CD Creation Records 1990

"When it comes to individuality and wilful perversity, Lawrence's only rival is Prince. In 10 years he guided Felt through 10 LPs and 10 singles, occasionally threatening to make it into the major league but, just as he was making headway, he'd put out an album of lift music or title the new single Space Blues. (...) Of all Felt ingredients, Lawrence's voice was their real trademark. 'How do they get Lou Reed to sing in all their records?' a review once asked - pretty funny, but Reed's name could be replaced by either Bob Dylan or Tom Verlaine. Somehow Lawrence sounded like all three and still had an instantly recognisable timbre: that slightly off-kilter warble, that subtle tone of endless Black Country boredom. Other Felt-isms were Martin Duffy's keyboards (Hammond and vibes a speciality) and, always, guitar craftsmanship. (...) It's funny how, just six months into the Nineties, the Eighties seem like so much history. Felt already belong to another era, their ecletic wanderings part of our past. They managed 10 years of mystique. That's pretty cool. Bubblegum Perfume acts as historical document, an excellent Felt primer for the initiated, and a seal on their legend. We will not see their like again".
(Bob Stanley, 1990 review)

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LP Demon Records 1986
CD reissue Diablo Records 1997 with bonus tracks

"Damian and John O'Neill left the ashes of the Undertones behind with few prospects for their musical future. While Feargal Sharkey began his transformation into a boring California pop chanteur, they lay low, quietly scorning the business that had shattered their teenage dreams. After several false starts, they launched That Petrol Emotion, an excellent Gaelic-conscious quintet that built on past accomplishments without revisiting them. Damian took up bass, big brother John (now known as Seán) and Derry homeboy Reámann O'Gormáin play guitar, drummer Ciaran McLaughlin and New York (by way of Seattle) singer Steve Mack completed the band, which was politically aware, occasionally abrasive and devoutly independent. Manic Pop Thrill is an apt title for an album of angry, articulate rock melodies that span the continuum from sweet balladry to PiL/Fall-like noise. Mack is a fine, controlled shouter in the Keith Relf/Steve Marriott tradition; the band's combination of slide guitars, Bo Diddley beats, wild harmonica wailing and raveup energy recalls the early Stones, Yardbirds and Velvet Underground. The utter lack of nostalgia or revivalism here suggests that, even with all the crap that masquerades as music nowadays, some things about rock 'n' roll will never die".
(Ira Robbins, Trouser Press)
"That Petrol Emotion's scintillating debut reminds everyone, first and foremost, what an incredible musical alliance the O'Neill brothers can be. Following a succession of independent singles (after all, who wanted to touch a couple of ex-Undertones in the mid-'80s?), they settled on Demon for this inspired debut. It's a Good Thing, Mouth Crazy, and Circusville are typical of the contents - relentless pop hooks married to surging guitar chords, underpinned by hints of swamp blues and nods to garage rock and other mutant strains of the rock & roll animal. As naked, bold, and impassioned a record as had been heard in years. The title says it all".
(Alex Ogg, All-Music Guide)

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0 comment Wednesday, July 23, 2014 |
LP Ama Romanta 1989
CD reissue Zounds Records 2004 with bonus tracks

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LP Review Records 1989
CD reissue Review Records 2000 with bonus tracks

"The Worlds of Love was formed as a collaborative project, dedicated to performing love songs and improvised pieces that bridge the gap between chaos and romance (is there a gap?). Together, The Worlds of Love creates a new kind of romantic music, one in which lovely melodies meet raucous noise, hand-played drum machines meet banjo and synthesizer, fragile sopranos meet blustery baritone, and boy meets girl. Most of the songs on this album are Worlds of Love originals, but we were inspired by Jo Stafford to record You Belong to Me, and by Francoise Hardy to record two of her songs, In The Sky and Et Meme, as a medley. Boy/Girl, Boy/Boy, Girl/Girl, Parent/Child, Person/Place, etc. There are many worlds of love, and these are but a few of them".
(original 1989 LP liner notes)
"The songs on the [Worlds of Love] album work as adult, if weird, love songs. They�re funny, a reimagining of Weill, children�s songs and pop, all processed through a synthesizer swirl and informed with free improvisation (...) an act of reclamation, mixing pop music with noise and turning them into something new. The noise of urban life is tamed and used; the effluvium of mainstream music, where love song after love song is mass produced, is made sensible by music that both appreciates and pokes fun at the process".
(Peter Watrous, New York Times)

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0 comment Tuesday, July 22, 2014 |
Cassette Grimnir 1984
MiniLP reissue First Floor Records 1986
CD reissue Tursa 1996

"After being asked to leave Death In June, Tony Wakeford formed Above the Ruins. None of the group's releases name any of its members, but it has been suggested that Liz Grey, Ian Read and Gary Smith (of No Remorse) were also involved. Above the Ruins released one EP, entitled Songs of the Wolf. The album's sound was similar to the dark post-punk of early Death In June. The group also contributed a track to the British National Front benefit album No Surrender vol 1 alongside the Nazi groups Skrewdriver and Brutal Attack. Wakeford has stated that he has had no connection or interest in such ideas for 20 or more years. He formed Sol Invictus shortly after this project was abandoned".

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Original Recordings 1975-1980
Compilation LP Rough Trade 1985
CD reissue Cooking Vinyl 1998

"Pere Ubu emerged from the urban wastelands of mid-'70s Cleveland to impact the American underground for generations to follow; led by hulking frontman David Thomas, whose absurdist warble and rapturously demented lyrics remained the band's creative focus throughout their long, convoluted career, Ubu's protean art punk sound harnessed self-destructing melodies, scattershot rhythms, and industrial-strength dissonance to capture the angst and chaos of their times with both apocalyptic fervor and surprising humanity".
(Jason Ankenny, All-Music Guide)
"At the outset of their career, Pere Ubu released some of the very first independent-label American punk singles on their own Hearthan (later Hearpen) label, which constitute some of their most celebrated and legendary work. Terminal Tower: An Archival Collection gathers 11 tracks, mostly from the crucial Hearthan/Hearpen period (including the entire Datapanik in the Year Zero EP), plus a couple of later U.K. singles. This music's historical importance is undeniable - not only because of the band's pioneeringly independent status in an area not as celebrated for its punk scene, but also because Pere Ubu was one of the first bands to push their art punk sound into territory later classified as alternative, a testament to their forward-looking approach".
(Steve Huey, All-Music Guide)

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0 comment Monday, July 21, 2014 |
LP / CD Beggars Banquet 1988

"Luxuria was a duo consisting of former Buzzcocks and Magazine singer/songwriter Howard Devoto and Noko. Devoto began working with the Liverpool musician a few years after the release of his solo album, Jerky Versions of the Dream. The duo eventually released two albums on Beggars Banquet, which ranged from sparse acoustic accompaniment to involved dance beats. Unanswerable Lust was released in 1988 to lukewarm reception, followed two years later by the improved Beast Box".
(Andy Kellman, All Music Guide)
"Weirdness is a powerful lure. It seems human curiosity cannot help but be drawn to the strange - be it intriguing, unsettling or just plain odd. Howard Devoto, one gets the impression, is well aware of this, having wrapped an entire career around the concept of artful subversion. From the early punk playground of the Buzzcocks' Spiral Scratch EP to the nervy, fraught sounds of Magazine, Devoto has consistently delivered doses of the beguilingly bizarre. The Luxuria project (just a couple of paces shy of an 'art happening') found him paired up with enigmatic multi-instrumentalist Noko, a man who was occasionally heard to exclaim things like 'I live in sin and artifice with a diamond-encrusted cat and a small collection of religious icons in a council flat on the Isle of Dogs'. It was that sort of partnership. Pretentious? Well, perhaps just a little".
(Peter Parrish,

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