28 January, 2011


OS HAXIXINS - 'Depois De Um LSD'/'Espelho Invisivel' (Groovie Records 0101) 2008

Call me old fashioned if you want but in my opinion almost all contemporary music is shit. Sometimes though, on a rare occasion, I'll open my ears to music recorded after 1979.

I'd read some ravin' reviews about a garage psych group from Sao Paulo, Brazil calling themselves Os Haxixins so I decided to investigate. So far I've only bought this single by them which I think is their debut 45 and limited to 500 copies on green vinyl.

Both sides are fine and purist examples of 1967 Los Angeles groove. These guys have got The Doors & Iron Butterfly heavy psych sound down on vinyl perfectly. Other groups have tried this combination in the past but NONE have come close to matching Os Haxixins. They even add some wild fuzz guitar in the mix for good measure.

not only do they sound GREAT they also look like they make an effort

25 January, 2011


THE FIVE BUCKS - 'Now You're Gone'/'No Use In Tryin' (Afton Records 1701) April 1966

This teenage garage band formed at the University Of Michigan, Ann Arbor during August 1965. All group members had played in earlier outfits before relocating to Michigan and were all solid musicians. That tightness is in evidence with their debut single on Afton Records, released some eight months after their formation.

The top side 'Now You're Gone' is a wonderful moody ballad with some great vocals and mournful organ. The flip 'No Use In Tryin' is one of the best '66 punkers to come out of Michigan and is notable for it's superb vocal harmonies and killer farfisa break.

By 1967 The Five Bucks had changed their name to Byzantine Empire and were releasing quality Association style harmony pop on Amy Records.

THE FIVE BUCKS - No Use In Tryin'


THE LOST CHORDS - 'I Won't Have To Worry'/'I Want To Be Her Man' (Vaughn Ltd VA-725) March 1966

I've taken a day off work and I'm stuck in the house waiting for a delivery hence the reason that I'm adding a few blog entries today. I promised Mr Messis that I'd add some of his favourite teen angst and desperate cuts. He really digs the beyond great folk rock whine of 'I Wan't To Be Her Man'....check it out on 'Class Of 66'....

'I Won't Have To Worry' is a blatant steal of 'You Won't Have To Cry' by The Byrds but who cares about that when this young garage outfit from Birmingham, Alabama fondly re-write the tune and the words and call the song their own. Listen out for the crude guitar break and harmonies. The Lost Chords have found their rightful place on my blog with their heartfelt genius. Gene Clark would have been all smiles.

THE LOST CHORDS - I Won't Have To Worry


THE TYRANNIES - 'She's A Queen'/'Little Girl' (Watch Records 45-1903) June 1965

Not a great deal of information is known about The Tyrannies who put out this obscure folk rock gem in the Summer of 1965. According to Fuzz, Acid and Flowers they hailed from Abita Springs, Louisiana and this was their only release. Surprisingly, they don't get a mention in Barry Wickham's Price Guide?

'She's A Queen' is a minor key lament of a lost love. The singer has been dumped by his girl but to him she's still his Queen. You'll find this song on the compilation 'Class Of 66' but the flip and more uptempo folk rock jangler 'Little Girl' has been overlooked by compilers.


23 January, 2011



THE JAM - 'In The City'/'Takin' My Love' (Polydor 2058 866) April 1977

Debut 45 by Woking's finest is a Who influenced celebration of British life and in particular the growing punk movement in London during 1976. Paul Weller was still a teenager when this single was released and the energetic gig performances probably propelled the record to #40 in the Charts.

'In The City' has instant appeal with it's opening three chord guitar riff and the decending bass runs from Bruce Foxton. Now that guy doesn't get enough credit for his inventive bass playing. Rick Buckler adds to the sheer energy and attitude of the song with his opening snare drum roll and his aggressive punk drums throughout.

THE JAM - In The City

22 January, 2011



Here's an 'enhanced' photo of The United Travel Service that Ray Doern sent me back in 2008. 
I've used Picasa 3 software to get the image lookin' a whole lot better.


SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES - 'Playground Twist'/'Pulled To Bits' (Polydor POSP 59) July 1979

The unique sounding and loner type Banshees served up the song 'Playground Twist' in the Summer of '79 tackling the subject of child cruelty and looking at life in general as a playground. This completely uncommercial single crept into the Top 30 which was a good achievement bearing in mind that daytime radio wouldn't have touched this at all.

The record was housed in a picture sleeve drawn by a handicapped kid from Kuwait. Another bold move by The Banshees who despised the record industry and refused to 'play along' with their rules.


18 January, 2011


SUBWAY SECT - 'Ambition'/'Different Story' (Rough Trade RT007) Nov 1978

Subway Sect had a strong link with The Clash as they were both managed by Bernie Rhodes and this 45 was produced by Mickey Foote who handled the controls on the eponymous debut album by the The Clash.

'Ambition' is a peculiar record and maybe even ahead of it's time. It has that late 70s punk guitar but incorporates some cheapo sounding organ and waves of strange noises over the top of the rhythm section. I've read elsewhere that those strange noises are sounds from an arcade game that were overdubbed in the studio without permission of singer songwriter Vic Godard.
In it's strange way I think this production trick enhanced the song and made it sound unique, although Godard seemingly didn't think so.

SUBWAY SECT - Ambition

a sullen looking Vic Godard pictured on the back cover of the 45

16 January, 2011


PENETRATION - 'Don't Dictate'/'Money Talks' (Virgin VS 192) Nov 1977

Penetration were a punk group from Ferryhill, a small town in County Durham. Not that far away from where I live as it happens. The group formed after some of them witnessed The Sex Pistols causing chaos at one of their gigs in Manchester.
They took their name from a Stooges song found on their 'Raw Power' album and were fronted by a female singer called Pauline Murray who also co-wrote the very basic but memorable 'Don't Dictate', now considered to be a 70s punk classic.

I've always raised a smirk with the fact that the group are called Penetration and they're on the Virgin label. Penetrating a virgin.

Despite coming from a small town in the North East of England, Penetration were one of the first punk groups to play at London's Roxy Club in '77 supporting Generation X.

PENETRATION - Don't Dictate

15 January, 2011


GENERATION X - 'Valley Of The Dolls'/'Shakin' All Over' (Chrysalis CHS 2310) June 1979

Billy Idol post Generation X became an Americanized watered down punk Elvis and this lack of cred has meant that many people of my generation tend to overlook the greatness of his English 70s punk group Generation X.

'Valley Of The Dolls' was a fair sized hit reaching as high as #23 in the Summer of 1979. The superb version of 'Shakin' All Over' on the flip can rightly claim it's place on my blog among all of the other cool sides I've posted over the years. This updated version of the 1960 Johnny Kidd & The Pirates all time classic slice of rock 'n roll was recorded by Generation X at the BBC Studios for a radio session but thankfully made it's way onto vinyl on this release.

08 January, 2011


Readers of my blog will already know that I interviewed The Roosters lead singer Ray Mangigian in 2009 and Ray provided me with much needed information about his old band from the 60s.. Not much was known about The Roosters and the information that was available via other web pages or music guides was scant or just plain wrong.

During my email interview with Ray he mentioned that unreleased demos from 1965/66 existed. Bearing in mind that the original line-up of The Roosters released two sparkling folk rock 45s of the highest order (and my favourite 60s genre by the way) my head started to spin. I hoped that one day these songs would see the light of day. Even better would be a Roosters retrospective with all of the known releases and demos. Now that would be a DREAM!!

Which brings me to my pleasant surprise yesterday when 12 string guitarist and songwriter Tim Ward from The Roosters contacted me by email. Tim sent me three MP3s of unreleased songs he wrote and were recorded by The Roosters at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood.

The songs are:

Help Me Please
Deep Inside
She Sends Me

All three have that exquisite L.A. folk rock jangle sound that I fell in love with the first time I heard The Byrds 30 years ago. According to Ray, The Roosters were big Byrds and Turtles fans and their own teenage jangle sound has more than stood the test of time.

Like I said all of the unreleased songs are worthy of a retrospective release and surely someone could do a Roosters collection in the same way that The Dovers finally got their reward.    
I especially dig the loner moody folk rock of 'She Sends Me'...

01 January, 2011


THE ROMANTICS - 'Little White Lies'/'I Can't Tell You Anything' (Spider Records 101) April 1977

I can't claim to be an expert on The Romantics, this is the only record I own by them. A quick browse on the internet confirms that this Detroit, Michigan four piece group started out during February 1977, there's even a claim that they formed on Valentines Day (hence the name - The Romantics).

'Little White Lies' was their debut 45 and is a band original (not the ultra great song by The Choir) and clearly demonstrates that The Romantics were going for that uptempo commercial powerpop sound.

I dig the flip so much more with it's Bo Diddley backbeat and harmonica bursts. 'I Can't Tell You Anything' has a neo garage sound and a sparse production that works well.

Sadly the skinny ties, black shirts and three button jackets were soon ditched. I've checked out some other Romantics songs on YouTube and after their initial coolness it seems that they grew their barnets into those awful big 80s hair monstrosities and started wearing even scarier naff 80s jackets with big shoulders and cheap lookin' leather pants. Their music during this period has also been infected with hideous eighties style production. Should have stayed in the garage boys.

THE ROMANTICS - I Can't Tell You Anything