Staff Picks: January 30, 2020

Staff Picks: Daniel

Ramones: It’s Alive 12” (Rhino)

This week the Ramones’ legendary live LP got an official reissue on Rhino Records. I’ve owned It’s Alive for around two decades now so it’s not a new record for me, but I’m thankful this new reissue prompted me to revisit it. Critics have credited It’s Alive with helping to birth hardcore punk because the performances here are so fast… in most cases much faster than the studio versions. While, at this point, we’ve all heard music that’s much faster, It’s Alive is still a relentless record. Five years into their career when they recorded this show, the Ramones were master showmen, and the transitions between songs (or lack thereof) and legendary stage patter are a big part of the draw here. Since It’s Alive didn't originally come out in the US you don’t see the vinyl here too often, so I’d encourage you to jump on this reissue if it’s not in your collection already.

Staff Picks: Jeff

Secretors: Antidote for Civilization 7” flexi (Roach Leg) First release from this new band out of New York. This single-sided floppy record has 4 tracks of super raw hardcore. I’m pretty sure this band is people from Urchin and Subversive Rite, but they’ve scaled back the metallic/d-beat vibe from their other bands for just mean as fuck, primitive, mid-paced stompers. The recording is super blown out, but that really adds to the charm. The vocals are super up front and brutal sounding, barking like a damn rabid dog on attack mode. This thing is just over 4 minutes worth of music, so I can’t wait to hear more from this band.

Also, sticking with the NY theme, I heard the new demo by this band Sirkka this week and have listened to it like 10 times. I don’t much about this band, like who’s in it or who’s releasing the tape, but it’s some of the most killer punk I’ve heard in a while. Totally Finnish-influenced, right down to the vocals which are sang in proper Finnish. I don’t know if the vocalist is actually from Finland, but nothing about the band replicating this style feels forced. Great sounding recording. Love it.

(Note: we'll have copies of the tape in very soon!)

Staff Picks: Eric

Secretors: Antidote For Civilization 7" Flexi (Roach Leg) Raw, powerful, good riffs, and just straight up scary. The recording is super blown out, which is something I really love in hardcore; I love when it sounds like the cymbals are clipping and it sounds loud af even at a low volume. Moreover, the vocal style as well as the mid tempo, bare bones nature of the songs makes this fall into a category for me that I playfully refer to as "Caveman D-beat" (for reference, other modern bands that fall into this category for me would be Bloodkrow Butcher, Bootlicker, Future Terror, Innocent, etc.). I hope this band brings it live, cuz this flexi is menacing.

The Moderns: Year Of Today 7" (Hosehead) Killer Swedish Power pop/mod stuff from 1979. Based on the little bit of research I've done, apparently there were only ~500 of the original self released pressing, which makes this single a power pop dork's holy grail. I had never heard this 7" until the reissue showed up in the mail the other day, but I have definitely spun it a handful of times in the past couple days. Very playful, catchy, and lo-fi sounding. Buy it nerds!

Staff Picks: Dominic

Tyrnaround: Colour Your Mind (Expanded Version) Guerssen LP
This week I would like to draw your attention to a fantastic piece of psychedelic music that has become more easily available thanks to the good folks at Guerssen Records in Spain. Originally released in Australia back in 1986 as a mini album, Tyrnaround’s “Colour Your Mind” is now expanded to include the single sides that came out around the same time, including a track that was available on a flexi that came with an issue of Freakbeat Magazine. The collection is a blessing. Not that originals are too hard to find, but combined you will probably have to spend well over $100 to gather all these cuts on wax.

Tyrnaround were a fairly short-lived band from Melbourne that played and recorded from the mid 80’s through the early 90’s. Sadly their singer Michael Phillips died prematurely in the late 90’s and the band officially came to an end then, although in reality their prime period was the mid 80’s during the great second psychedelic wave. The Colour Your Mind EP perfectly captures that period and surely must sit alongside other classics of the era such as The Dukes Of Stratosphear’s “Twenty Five O’clock”, The Moffs’ “Another Day In The Sun” and High Tide’s “Dancing In My Mind” to name three.

Being from Australia the band chose a more UK influenced psych sound as opposed to say the US and West Coast inspired Paisley Underground groups and the spelling of Colour should be your first clue. If the sound of Syd era Pink Floyd mixed with the Magical Mystery Tour & Yellow Submarine Beatles and Village Green Kinks floats your boat then you will be in heaven with this record. There’s lots of swirly organ and Acid Fuzz Guitar TM to get you off and the songs all have some kind of hook, whether it be musically, lyrically or both.

Another record that might have been an influence for these guys that I hear in places is the Nick Nicely “Hilly Fields" (1892) single which is an awesome record and apparently had an influence on XTC and their Dukes record. I highly recommend checking that out also.

So yeah, if trippy UK Psych does it for you then Tyrnaround should be on your radar. Nice reissue too from the Guerssen crew, coming in an old English style flip over cover with an insert of photos and information and a download link to more music with demos and live tracks. Cool.


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