SONG OF THE DAY The Fuzztones – Ward 81

Contrary to its classic psych-rock 60’s sound, today’s song was actually written and recorded nearly 20 years later!

Founded by singer-songwriter and guitarist, Rudi Protrudi, The Fuzztones were a garage rock revival band that came together in New York in 1980.

The band have gone through several member changes, but are still active in Europe and although (on occasions) they have been dismissed by some critics and listeners as a “bar band” or unoriginal, they have maintained a strong fan base in New York,  Europe and in Los Angeles.  After the break up of the original band, Rudi Protrudi moved to LA in 1987 to assemble a new Fuzztones and this time the band consisted of,  of Jordan Tarlow, (Lead Guitar) John “Speediejohn” Carlucci, (Bass) Jason Savall, (Vox Organ) & “Mad” Mike Czekaj on drums.  This lineup bears the distinction of being the only 1980’s garage rock revival band to secure a major label record deal when they signed to RCA.

So the madness of Ward 81!!!!!…what a track! It’s sinister, its suitably unhinged and bears all the right ingredients for the perfect psych(iatric) feast!  Ward 81 appears on The Fuzztones debut album, Lysergic Emanations, which was released on the ABC label (sold to RCA in 1979) in 1985….it was also accompanied by this rather wacky video which you can check out below..

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SONG OF THE DAY The Animated Egg – Sock It My Way

The late L.A. session guitar genius Jerry Cole has long been revered for his work with everyone from the Beach Boys and the Byrds to Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley.  In addition to leading surf gods the Spacemen it has now been discovered that he was also the driving force behind the Animated Egg, a fictitious band whose only self-titled 1967 LP is now known as one of the greatest psychedelic exploitation (“psychsploitation”) records to ever hit the record shops – and, indeed, many DJs and collectors.

The Animated Egg were a studio-only group that issued a self-titled album of psychedelic instrumentals in the late ’60s. It’s now known that the chief instigator behind the Animated Egg was LA’s session guitarist Jerry Cole and through his fuzzy leads, latin-touches and surfy riffs he has left a lasting impression in the world of instrumental psychedelic sounds.

Featuring on his one and only record comes Sock It My Way, a dreamy feast of mesmerising, piercing melodies all bound together by a steady, hypnotic rhythm. Broody and otherworldly in its delivery, its curious and exploratory nature makes for a very intriguing listen…Check it out above.

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SONG OF THE DAY Jackson Jones – I Feel Good, Put Your Pants On

Jackson Jones was a producer, guitarist and bass player in the Hippy Boys who recorded today’s tremendous Funk/Disco/Reggae classic in the early 80’s in Canada!

Created by Jackson Jones, I Feel Good Put Your Pants On, is a soulful disco-funk oddity!  It swings and struts to a deep,  sleazy bass line, sumptuous stings and an incredibly infectious beat – If Bowie ever sang disco it would’ve sounded like this!?The vocals are intensely rich and the groove is instantly catchy….and the disco isn’t too disco (if you get what I mean?), …which is why I like so much more!  Check it out above…..

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SONG OF THE DAY Rustin Man – Judgement Train

Between 1981 and 1988 Paul Webb was the bass player for Talk Talk.  In 2002 he released one album under the name Rustin Man, a collaborative record with Beth Gibbons of Portishead entitled Out of Season.  Its taken a few years for a follow-up to materialise but earlier this Webb released new record, Drift Code via Domino Records.

Released as the second single, Judgement Train is quite something else.  A haunting, atmospheric track that shifts in a low-key funk with notable percussion and hushed half-spoken lyrics.  It’s an intriguing fable wrapped in a beautifully shadowy melody and keeps you guessing all the way through.

Webb describes the song and video as “the Marx Brothers in a musical version of Apocalypse Now” and in a press release, Webb also had this to say about the video and his character in it: “He is a bit of a cheat and a chancer, confident he can outwit God to win his place in Heaven. As it develops, he realizes it’s not going so well and God has cunningly switched places with the devil. By the end, the guy has been out-played and realizes he actually has a lot in common with the devil. I like to think it has a happy ending!” 

Check it out above and listen/order the rest of the album from here. 

Posted in Alternative, domino recordings, Folk, folk rock, Psychedelic rock | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY The Velvet Underground – I’m Gonna Move Right In

Image result for velvet underground im gonna move right inI’ve never claimed be the biggest Lou Reed fan (don’t hate me) and for those that know me, they will know that I don’t really rate them too much…but I have to concede that The Velvet Underground have had a sprinkling of great tracks and today’s instrumental delight just happens to be one of those!

When the Velvets moved from Verve Records (who had released their first two albums) to parent company MGM Records, they signed a two-album deal and released their self-titled third record in March 1969.  At the time the label was financially struggling and in an attempt to save MGM, new CEO Mike Curb decided to drop some of the more unprofitable acts – of which one of these unlucky bands was The Velvet Underground.  The group had been working on new material and had already recorded 14 tracks for a possible second LP release on MGM, but these songs were shelved and forgotten about by the record company until the early 1980’s!!

Polygram imprint, Verve Records were to re-release the band’s three Verve/MGM albums on vinyl and CD and in this process found 19 previously unreleased tracks ( of which 5x Cale-era tracks and 14 ‘lost album’ tracks).  From out of this collection 19 of the best were selected and released on an album entitled VU in 1984.  Two years later Polydor released an untitled bonus album which included the remaining 9 forgotten tracks…and this is from where/when today’s song emerged.  I’m Gonna Move Right In is six and a half minutes of blues-tinged, garage-rock goodness.  Loosely structured with a baggy, free-flowing feel, the lively guitar riff is winding and explorative, whilst the crisp jazzy beat is nice, steady and oh so cool… Check it out above.

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SONG OF THE DAY Rolling Stones – Heaven

Whilst out recently I was introduced to some Rolling Stones tunes I’d not really heard before – Always one for their earlier material I’ve always been like,  ‘I only like it if  its pre-1970 and never strayed far beyond that.

Heaven is a rather slinky, sexy track that appears on their 1981 Tattoo You album.  It’s breathy lyrics start with the line “Smell of you baby, my senses, my senses be praised,” whilst a gentle looping melody unfolds into a hypnotic, sinuous amble marrying voice and sound in a union of seductive sonority.  The vocal style pegged the track as one of the most psychedelic the Stones ever did and came as a natural progression after the group had been gradually edging from pure blues to hard rock to psychedelic styles throughout the previous decade.

Another interesting fact about the song is that Keith Richards doesn’t play on this track; their bass player Bill Wyman played guitar and also synthesizer and bass.  Mick Jagger also played guitar on the track and the only other performer was Charlie Watts on drums.

Tattoo You was the last time The Rolling Stones scored a #1 on the US albums chart, after a full decade of albums this reached the summit…but the is of course still tons of great songs that came after and this, this is something I need to spend more time checking out.  Meanwhile I’m going to enjoy some more moments of Heaven…….listen above.

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SONG OF THE DAY Yuppies Indeed – Be May She Ghost

Continuing with yesterdays tuneful psych-goodness, today’s song was released two years ago on California’s indie label, Burger Records.  A fine chunk of melodic garage-rock, Be May She Ghost is the work of Belarus group, Yuppies Indeed!

Taken from their 2016 album, Stropharia the track is mouthwateringly sweet and instantly addictive; one listen and its there, nestling in your ear canal like a tuneful comfort blanket.  The soft vocal “oh-oohs” mirroring the sweet-sounding psych guitar howls as the bass wraps you in its warm tones.  It’s just a real easy listen and authentically stamps its flower-pop print upon a long path of 60’s-inspired sounds.  Check it out above and listen to more from Yuppies Indeed on their Bandcamp page here. 

Posted in Alternative, Burger Records, Indie, Lo fi, Psych rock, Psychedelic, surf garage, Surf pop, surf psych | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Exploded View – Summer Came Early

With band members hailing from every corner of the globe, Exploded View are four-piece consisting of Annika Henderson (Vocals/synth), Martin Thulin (Drums/Guitar), Hugo Quezada (Bass/Synth), Amon Melgarejo (Synth/Guitar).

Every bit as diverse as their origins, the band have been experimenting with an alternative post-punk, psych-rock sound ever since late 2015/16  when they released their self-titled debut.

In November 2017 they released their second offering, a 4-track EP entitled Summer Came Early. Discovering the EP’s title track today I was initially enticed by its psych-inspired sound and what I thought was a song about the sweetness of summer.  Annika Henderson’s vocals are warm, nature-loving and graceful, calm and gentle in their delivery, whilst he melody emanates a sense of optimism.  It’s only when I started picking out the lyrics that a far darker picture began to emerge and from beyond the brightness stirred something more foreboding and sinister.  Mere speculation (but I don’t seem to be alone in this train of thought) its quite feasible to draw the conclusion that this song is about climate change.  More hauntingly still, it tackles complacency and our seeming obliviousness to what is stirring beneath as hotter days and unseasonal weather begins to become ‘the norm’ as lyrics announce, “The summer sun came early that year/But we sat on our porches and we didn’t question a thing.”  This line is repeated throughout and its hard not to be left with a kind of uneasy feeling once the song ends, but I love juxtaposition between light and dark.  I love the innocence of the melody and how the message creeps up through haunting lyrics…..This one gently impacts and you’ll not forget it in hurry!

Check it out above and listen/purchase the whole EP from here. 


Posted in Alternative, Post Punk, Psych-surf, Psychedelic, Sacred Bones Records | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Fat White Family – Fringe Runner

It doesn’t matter where I seem to go lately, this song seems to be following me about and each time I hear it I’m like “that’s a pretty cool beat”…and then I realise what it is..

So, the rather striking rhythm is what makes this track for me and it sets a very swanky pace for all else to follow.  It doesn’t require in-depth technical detail, its just a good old head knocking beat which really sets a smooth backdrop for that “White Lines” sounding bass line and nice layering of vocals.

Known as their most dynamic offering yet the Fat White Family’s Serfs Up! has been deemed a triumph! More diverse, confident and oozing with feeling, this record is also a celebration in itself because of its mere existence alone; the band have been through a lot, this album is a testament to their solidarity despite all else!  The only downside to the record I have noted whilst reading reviews is that it’s a bit “normal” and I guess by the Fat White’s standards, this is missing some of the deranged-ness; I mean, you can’t beat a bit of “Cream of the Young” now can you!  Still, Serfs Up! is still more than worthy of a purchase and multiple listens!

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SONG OF THE DAY Cross Wires – Paradise Club 1953

Image result for cross wires paradise club“Sounding like an angry mix of The Jam and Elvis Costello and The Attractions”  (Fred Perry Subculture)

Emerging from East London just over two years ago in a furious haze of post-punk mayhem, Cross Wires released only one album before making an impromptu exit less than a year later.  Now they have returned with a new single and an upcoming album due this October! Consisting of Jonathan Chapman (Vocals), Pete Muller (Guitar/Vocals), the band have been compared to the likes of Mark E. Smith, The Jam and Elvis Costello – though a far more impassioned and fierce version of the latter!

Building up a great live reputation playing at some of the best venues across London, the four-piece have played an array of gigs including, The Old Blue Last, BIRTHDAYS, The Victoria Dalston, Camden Barfly, Sebright Arms, The Garage, Islington Academy, Queen of Hoxton, 93 Feet East, The Dublin Castle, Notting Hill Arts Club, The George Tavern, The Half Moon Putney and Tooting Tram & Social!

Their one and only (mini) album, released in December 2017, was entitled Living In A Radio City and was produced by Rory Attwell (The Vaccines, Telegram, Palma Violets) – who has also produced their latest offering!
Their debut received great reviews and support from the likes of Gary Crowley at BBC Introducing, Georgie Rodgers at Virgin Radio, Charlie Ashcroft, Shell Zenner at Amazing Radio and Tom Robinsons Fresh On The Net;  which bodes very well for their 2019 debut full length!

New single Paradise Club 1953 has got it all really! It starts sweetly, pulls you in with a gentle lure whilst mildly anarchic vocals tamely weave around an inviting guitar melody and edgy bass line.  All the time building up for something bigger, you can almost feel the tension building in the air like when storm clouds gather for a mighty onslaught!  That’s what makes this track all the more exciting, the tension!  Just under halfway through the tempo changes, the pace shifts up a few notches and it all kicks off, hitting full throttle with relentless fury….the most dynamic kind of fury at that!..It’s one exciting listen! Check it out above.

‘A Life Extinct’ will be released on Culture War Records this October.  Pre-orders will also be available soon – watch this space! You can also catch them on Saturday 17th August at their next gig at The Engine Rooms in Bow, East London!

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