A new font called Nationale is the latest offering from the Playtype foundry. First designed for the National Museum in Copenhagen, it has quickly become popular at e-Types. First used on the new website and now available on new Playtype sweaters.
Anyone who has heard The Children of Nuggets box set will know who The Nashville Ramblers were. Carl Rusk who lead that outfit was previously in a group called The Mystery Machine. Equally obscure, they only played three gigs and had one song released (on the third volume of Battle of the Garages). Rusk played guitar in this group, which also featured singer Ray Brandes who later went on to form The Tell-Tale Hearts with British ex-pat Mike Stax. While the Hearts are often quoted as the best garage revival band, I’m tempted to say the Carl Rusk original “She’s Not Mine” is the best garage tune of the 1980s. The group also looked about as cool as the Music Machine, as you can tell from the incredible footage found on Brandes youtube channel. The band was filmed in 1983, doing covers of The Remains, The Blues Magoos and The Easybeats.
Last summer two new Mystery Machine recordings appeared, “Wood and Smoke” is an original song you can hear above, and “Show Me the Way” is a cover of The Free-For-All’s classic Canadian garage 45 (same band as The Great Scots). “Wood and Smoke” is a very Byrdsian composition with Rusk’s ringing 12-string. The lyrics are good and the solo just nails it. Not surprising really since Stax is still making great records himself in this day and age (with The Loons). If you liked the recent Higher State album, these two songs will be right up your street. You can still only get them on itunes or amazon, but as the picture (above) suggests, let’s hope they get a release on Stax’s Ugly Things label soon.
One of the best new bands of last year, along with The Neumans, I’ve only just heard. The Kumari had their first 45 put out by Heavy Soul about a year ago. Doesn’t sound like anything else on their roster, pure jangly psychedelic vibes with an authentic American sound typified by their cover of “Don’t You Dare” by The Impacts on the flip (one of the most overlooked songs of the 60s). Led by Claude Pelletier and Benjamin Craven, these guys recorded their new single at The Higher State’s studio in Folkstone, not surprisingly. Lost In Tyme signed them, and now the 4-track EP Watching You is out. They’re not going to cause a big sensation, but for anyone into moody garage it’s clear that this is the best release since last time Frantic V reared their heads. But anyone into popular groups like The See See or The Black Angels are sure to see the qualties of the title track “Watching You”. One of the other three tracks is a cover of Black and the Blues’ “I’m Sad” on Rigby. Hear it, along with three outtakes from the same session here. All of equal caliber, “Until the Day” might even be their best track, can I guess it will get a State Records release this year?
You’ll actually get a really good deal on their bandcamp, if you download their first 45 you also get two tracks off of the new ep as well as the Spacemen 3 flavoured instro “Kumari”.
Greek label Lost In Tyme is back with an all-domestic release featuring The Basements, whose LP I’m Dead I reviewed two years ago. The top side of this split single is an unreleased cut from Greek legends The Sound Explosion, called “Every Day and Every Night”. This is not a Trolls cover, but a brilliant original sung by the talented John Alexopoulos. Propped up by consistent fuzz and the farfisa as always, this is one of their best tunes.
The Basements’ side is a tough RnB tune called “Stop Rolling”, and once again they’ve taked a stylistic turn. After the debut ep’s straight ’66 moody jangle, to the fuzz-heavy garage of the LP, this is another surprise, but one they pull off extremely well. Better than The Strypes/The 45s at least. The song finishes with a great fuzz rave-up that carries on right through the final chorus.