Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Gem Or Ashtray? (L-M)

Lick - Come / Shirtlifter. If you Google this, I recommend Parental Control. I'm sure I saw this lot, sometime in the late Paleozoic. Guitar line like Cannonball by the Breeders, vocal like almost anything by the Manic Street Preachers. Average. A shame because it's on their own label, catalogue number LICK001 and everything. Ashtray.

Linx - So This Is Romance. Obviously a keeper, but being ruthless I was going to chuck the ones I had on LP, particularly when the B-side is just an instrumental. Good job I checked, because a) it's not on the Intuition LP, and b) the lyrics are cornier than a tin of Niblets, so having the instrumental is a good thing.

Living In Texas - And David Cried. A white label from my brother's old studio, so this isn't going anywhere. However I haven't heard it in years, so... This is as of-its-time as a Flanagan and Allen 78 or a Grateful Dead quadruple LP. Joy Division drums anchor wandering bass and sax. Pootles along in a spacey fashion until the singer incants: "And David cried" repeatedly at the end. The B-side An Dem Bahnhof (nice use of the dative - we're not going to the station, are we?) consists of ranted verses interspersed with the title, accompanied by lo-fi synths. Could be The Normal, stroppy Gary Numan, or anyone from 1984 who had been listening to Kraftwerk. Well I like it. Can't find it on YT so here's another of their songs.

Manfred Mann - 5 4 3 2 1. When I was 12, we went on a swimming-club tour of Scotland. One of the lads I was billeted with gave me this, which at the time I thought was nice of him. Only now does it occur to me that it must have been his Dad's record. So familiar that I thought I'd check if it was any good. Blaring out in mono, it chugs along much better than it does on nostalgia radio. Labelled on the sleeve with my John Bull printing set.

The Maytals - Walk In Love. Intense. Why haven't I been playing this? On the instrumental track B-side, Toots Hibbert's vocal bleeds into everything; must have been recorded live.

Meanwhile Back In Communist Russia - No Cigar. Intense in another way. Scared-sounding woman narrates a short story indistinctly over a malevolent bolero of up-the-neck bass and swirly organ. Like an episode of Silent Witness when it was still good. It's on YT but Blogger won't let me link to it for some reason. Here's another MBICR track.

JC Messina - Time Won't Let Me. Back at the turn of the 90s we used to go out to the Black Horse pub between Aston Uni and Duddeston on Friday nights. Upstairs was indie city: Charlatans, Mondays, Primal Scream, and choice oldies, most particularly a track the DJ (maddeningly I've forgotten his name) wouldn't name, and which in pre-internet days you couldn't just Google. On the last night he told us that our favourite track was Time Won't Let Me by The Outsiders, a mid-60s US band. There y'go. This is not that. I couldn't resist buying a cover version of it, which now that we do have Google turns out to be a northern soul 'classic'. Either immeasurably valuable or a dodgy bootleg. By the awful sound, it must be the latter. Great track though. Weird and creepy B-side called Nice And Easy. "Don't matter to me if her face is too bad but it matters to me if her body's been had." Ick.

Mo-Dettes - Paint It Black. Awful cover version, saved by the much better B-side, Bitta Truth; also the fact that I saw them at Grimsby Central Hall and like having a souvenir. Here's White Mice instead.