Staff Picks: January 9, 2020

Staff Picks: Jeff

Screaming Fist: Templanza 7” (Iron Lung)

So we got in the new batch of Iron Lung releases, and I threw this 7” on without really knowing what to expect. 30 seconds in, and this thing RULES! Come to find out the vocals duties are handled by Jasmine who plays bass in Torso. Musically, it’s a little bit d-beat-influenced, but definitely is not total “dis-rock”. The record isn’t noisy and doesn’t ape Discharge song structures. Really, Screaming Fist has the directness and energy of just good classic hardcore. Killer riffs, killer drumming. The vocals, which are sang almost entirely in Spanish, have a lot of melody to them, but are still gnarly and aggressive. Between the vocals and some of the smokin’ guitar leads, this band reminds me a lot of Criaturas! That said, they perhaps have even more sing-a-longy vocals and are a little less spooky. Definitely a slammer.

Staff Picks: Dominic

Les Jaguars: Volume Two. Tournesol 1965
We see all sorts of great and interesting records here at Sorry State and my first pick this week is a classic Hipster LP from 1965. A French-Canadian Surf Instrumental band that wisely allowed their record company to pick the art work for their second record. The cover sports a classic sixties hipster go-go cheesecake image that has probably been used as a flyer for a 60’s DJ night many times over. I first saw this record at the legendary Midnight Records in New York City where the owner, the late J.D. Martingnon had a copy on his wall. The imagery and vibe suited his store very well. As for the music? Do you like surf guitar? Do you like the The Ventures, Dick Dale, Link Wray and all the other one-off intro combos that plied their trade in the early sixties? If the answer is yes then this record has more for you than a cool cover. Tracks like “Guitare Jet” and “Tourbillon” sound perfect for the next Tarantino movie and rock a classic surf sound. Apparently lead guitarist Arthur Cossette (real name Jean Guy) pierced his amp speaker to get the right distortion sound. A trick that he might have learned from The Kinks or Link Wray. Although not as dirty and cool as either of those perhaps, Les Jaguars still deserve to be remembered as a good band with more than cool art work on their record. Originals are hard to come by, especially in good condition. There has been a limited reissue also. Our copy is in beautiful condition, sounds great and looks good on the wall. Who’s going to ask us to take it down?

Next up is another rare record with a great cover that has become a cult classic and quite in demand. From England’s Studio G, a music library started in 1966 by John Gale, the Beat Group record like all other library records was produced for use in TV, Film and Radio and was indeed used many times for that purpose but since the 90’s, producers, DJs and collectors alike have gotten hip to the great far out sounds that can be found tucked away on library records. The Beat Group LP came with one side instrumental and the other side with vocal cuts. The instros win for me on side one and are the work of Cliff Johns featuring a group consisting of organ, guitar, bass and drums for the most part. The first three tracks are worth the price of admission alone with titles “Movin”, “Sounds A Go go” and “Hi, bird “ all packed with groovy Hammond organ and snapping drums and sounding similar to the great Mohawks. Very sixties sounding despite the 1970 date and more like the type of sounds Austin Powers would go for. The second side with the vocal cuts sounds a little more seventies or at least late sixties. As the interest in these records has increased so have the prices but there are plenty of good compilations and reissues out there of many classic library recordings and you dear reader are highly encouraged to explore this world of music. You will be rewarded with the kind of well recorded sounds that you will unlikely find anywhere else other than on soundtrack recordings.

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