Posts Tagged garage revival

Date: June 20th, 2016
Cate: new releases

Interview with The Alloy Six

I interviewed Sweden’s Alloy Six for Hymn a few months ago about their upcoming release on Copasetic. Now it’s finally here, and it’s called Turn Out the Lights. Here’s a new interview in English, originally meant for Noisey. So it’s my pleasure to present it right here, on Record Turnover.

alloysix

Forget The Hives, forget The Movements – The Alloy Six is the best garage group outta Sweden these days. They proved that when they levelled the Fred Perry store for Gothenburg’s Sinful Mod Weekender a couple of years ago, and when they played mine and Lauren Miller’s night Phasing Out in Malmö. They’ll soon be unleashing their first LP, so RT sat down with Jonas Lindholm (vocals) and Mathias Westerlund (lead guitar) to talk about the Swedish mod scene.

The Swedes seemed more into it back when you guys were doing The Fortune Tellers and The Moving Sounds. Strange, because internationally artists like Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, King Gizzard and Temples quite popular today. Is the Swedish 60s scene still there?

M: I think we’re in a transitional period here in Sweden, as far as 60s-inspired bands go. A few years ago, when Graveyard hit big, that brought on a heap of 70s-sounding bands instead. Hold on a few years and the 60s will be back again.

What do you do if you want to have a good time but don’t have any money – you start a band of course. And if there are no venues around – you do it yourself, just find a garage. This might sound like a like probable scenario if you lived in the countryside, but even in Sweden’s capital this could happen – and you have experienced it for years. How do you put up with it?

J: Unfortunately, many artists lead anonymous lives in Sweden today. I would love to play more here, but unless you are an established name with good contacts and management, it’s hard to shake anything loose. People are still interested in music, of course. But I think there’s a great difference between people who just ”like” music and are happy with the radio or what their friends recommend, and people who genuinely put an effort into finding and listening to bands they’ve never heard before. That’s the stuff you can only find in obscure media or during ungodly broadcasting hours. It’s two vastly different things to me – liking music and being interested in music.

Yeah, and that’s the inspiration too, finding records. I know that releasing music on vinyl has always been important for bands into 60s music. You cut your first 45 last year, with the savage “Eye to Eye” on the a-side. You did that yourselves in only 200 copies. It’s still not sold out, which I think is astounding considering the quality of the song. If it had been 50 years older it would be collectors’ gold. Is that a compliment in your ears?

J: Yeah, me and Staffan and Per all played in The Moving Sounds before, a band Per started 15 years back. Back then it was all about doing covers of the records that were big on the scene.

One of those was Swedish schlager artist Tommy Körberg’s monster tune “Igor the Dog”, right? One promoter of the Sinful Weekender that you played a while back used to run a clothing store with that very name. So the “gear” has always been naturally integral to the mod scene. You even played in a Fred Perry store – how do you feel about that?

J: It was awesome with the whole scooter caravan thundering onto the narrow pedestrian street in Gothenburg where the store was located. A lot of people turned up and it felt quite continental. It’s not every day an event like this takes place in Sweden, especially not when it comes out of a specific subculture like the 60s scene. I loved it! Besides, Fred Perry and Ben Sherman are the brands I buy the most. In the Moving Sounds we had matching mod cut suits for a while. You know – short, taken-in trousers, tightfitting jackets with three buttons and the top one high up on the chest. You grow tired of that eventually, which might be because of the amounts of sweat. But I do think the outfits should reflect the kind of music you are playing. It should never come to Mick Jagger spandex or Pete Townsend dungarees. Some people really fucked up. No one in The Alloy Six has gotten that sloppy yet…

M: Yeah a couple of members are a bit sloppy with stage clothes haha! If it was up to me we’d be even more meticulous. I think the band’s style is important, because thoroughly thought through concepts are cool. People are going to stand staring at us anyhow, so we can make sure to at least look smart. If we all wore our everyday clothes it would be so damn boring. No motley crews here. But we are pretty well matched, at least you can tell we are inspired by fashion from 60s subcultures.

You’ve picked a song from your upcoming album that you want share with Noisey. Tell us about it!

J: “Each Night” is the opening track of our debut LP that should be out this spring. It’s about the usual stuff, complicated love and all that shit that’s so wonderfully hard.

M: I wanted the lead guitar to sound like the 45 version of “Looking At You” by MC5.

Date: November 17th, 2015
Cate: rediscovered

SIDE72 | mix

SeaUrchinsForest

’83 In ’05 was the title of a song released by Pants Yell! in 2005, but it was of course originally called ’83 In ’03 – detailing the life of Creation Records boss Alan McGee in 1983. These days a lot of people have been participating in a ‘7 songs in 7 days’ meme on facebook, telling everyone about some important and formative music throughout their lives. Fortunately, no one has nominated me for this meme yet. But it has made me think a little about favourite bands I’ve had earlier in my life.

I guess it started at the age of 10, when I bought my first LP. It was a Doors compilation featuring “Peace Frog” any many other great tracks, and I just loved hearing it through the massive (as I thought at the time) speakers in my parents’ living room. This soon led me on to my first favourite band Led Zeppelin, and from there to The Ramones and later Primal Scream. I purchased my first guitar at 16 and learnt pretty much every Belle & Sebastian song on the Sinister forum. The next five or so years I probably wrote about 50 songs, with the main inspiration being Felt. As I found out around that time, Primal Scream had initially been a punk version of The Byrds.

I became increasingly interested in similar bands from around 1985-86, that were sort of a half-breed with one foot in the 60s style and fashion one in punk confrontation. There really wasn’t much difference between the mod and garage revival bands that started popping up and the indie bands that were lumped together as C86 – after a giveaway NME cassette. They all shared a love for guitar-based popular music, and I started to get immersed in Rickenbacker, Vox, Burns and Selmer equipment. Eventually, I wrote my first academic essay about that tape, and attended the 20th anniversary gigs at the ICA in London – where I met many of my idols (including Lawrence Hayward, Johnny Johnson, Phil Wilson and Harvey Williams).

Eventually, I had ploughed through the most obscure record labels, one-off 45s, flexis and demos. After that I concentrated on the 60s scene and listened much more to soul and psychedelic music. And that is still where I am today. But recently I’ve bought some singles I never got around picking up back then, and I suspect there will be a DJ set of 80s indie before long. Until then I’ve made a playlist of some of my favourite songs of that era, right up to The Stone Roses, who – along with britpop – became the end result of all that independent flurry of activity. And after them it all went mainstream I guess. This year is also the 30-year mark for many of these indie releases, as well as being my 30th year on this planet. Last year the C86 compilation was reissued as a 3CD set and The Guardian published an article about the original tape.

Click the icon below to access the playlist, featuring many artists who appeared on my erstwhile radio show The Rain Fell Down, which was named after a song by Jesse Garon & the Desperadoes. That song is not available (unsurprisingly), so I’ve picked another one by them to start things off. After that, “Don’t Die On My Doorstep” by Felt, which was the name of my first club night, started in 2007. Louis Philippe’s “Heaven Is Above My Head” then became the name of my blog. There’s The Sea Urchins too, naturally, who are pictured above. 30 tracks in total, not covering 30 years but definitely the 85-90 period.

 

Spotify

Date: January 9th, 2014
Cate: new releases

The Kumari x2

cover

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”.

Date: January 9th, 2014
Cate: new releases

The Sound Explosion & The Basements | split

front

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.

Date: April 30th, 2013
Cate: new releases
1 msg

The Temponauts & 60 Second Swingers

Coverart-Temponautssecond

Here are two recent longplayers from the continent. Italy’s Temponauts return with a follow-up to their Teen Sound debut A Million Year Picnic. The new album The Canticle of the Temponauts sees their brand of lightly psychedelic folkrock with britpop inflections cranked up a few notches, containing eleven recordings that are surprisingly well-produced. With a distinct flavour of 90s guitar-pop to counter-balance their strictly 60s influences, they create a familiar sound that stays original thanks to a strong batch of songs. The Temponauts are still all about Rickenbackers and Byrdsian jangle, and they do it exceptionally well on opening tracks “Elsewhere” and “Teleported Girl”, a ballad-version of Novecento’s italo disco hit “Movin’ On” and most of all on the beatiful “Sueno Real”. But that’s not all, as with their Italian forerunners The Strange Flowers you can also detect a strong affinity for psychedelic-era Beatles. “A XXI Century Serenade” is the perfect example and on “The March of the Martians” you’ll also get a sample of the group’s unique scifi-psychedelia. The second cover on the album is Beach Boys’ classic “Disney Girls”, and this puts me in mind of the great but seemingly forgotten Spanish group Carrots, who also managed to create a modern European take on the 60s West Coast sound. Fleshed out with some brilliant powerpop (hear “Can’t Be True” below), Canticle… is a very satisfying sophomore release that puts The Temponauts on the same map as other European outfits like The Shake, The See See and their friends in The Rookies. Two of the album tracks are available as a free download single, “Elsewhere”/”Gone Too Far”, and the album will be available soon from local label Other Eyes (who also put out the Rookies LP I wrote about a year ago).

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

60 Second Swingers have just released their debut LP, after the promising single “Lonely & Blue” from last year. The album Better With Fuzz Babe! is available from Soundflat now, and as you may have noticed that is also the title of a compilation from Greek label Fuzz Overdose, which featured the band. Fuzz Overdose released their very first EP back in 2009, and all three tracks appear in new versions on the LP along with their recent a-side, leaving only their cover of “60 Second Swinger” (Little Phil & the Nightshadows) as an exclusive b-side. There are a bunch of cover versions here too, by the likes of the The Omen, The Illusions and Murphy & the Mob. Out of the brand new originals “The Last” impresses the most, with its catchy farfisa melody. On the whole this is a very authentic and professional sounding garage revival record, as it should be considering the members have all played in various bands on the French scene, most notably The Mean Things. In fact, this album sounds like a natural progression from that group’s two LPs Out Come the Freaks! and Change Out Ways, with guitars heavy on fuzz and tremolo, lots of organ and snarling vocals. On occasion the sound also feels like a throwback to 80s revival acts, especially Sweden’s The Creeps and The Stomachmouths, which is a good thing of course. This is an incredibly strong debut, and I can’t imagine a better opening track than “Please Don’t Let Me Down”. Play it below and you’ll surely need to buy and play the rest of the record.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Date: October 31st, 2012
Cate: new releases

The Basements | I’m Dead

We haven’t heard much from the Greek garage scene since The B-Sides, whose 2009 album was among the best releases of that year. There have been a few signs of life, a single by The Barbara Farmers and a 12″ from stalwarts of the scene The Frantic V. But I was also impressed with The Basements’ debut ep from two years ago. Heart of Stone delivered the goods with moody songs heavy on organ in true Greek garage tradition (think The Cardinals, The Sound Explosion). The Lost In Tyme fanzine and record label who put it out (also home to The Mean Things, The Royal Hangmen, The Way-Outs etc.) must be proud of now being able to present us with the first album by The Basements (and the label’s first LP realease to boot!). With 12 strong numbers, I’m Dead shows that the group is here to stay.

Without resort to cover versions, they stretch the limits of their songwriting with a heavier sound and four songs clocking in above 4 minutes. Fans of their 45 will definitely want to check out “I Wanna Come Back” (not a cover!) with its moody harmonies and successful channelling of The Cardinals’ greatness. “What’s Goin’ On” follows a similar mood, with some howling harmonica licks. But the two strongest songs is the breakneck speed “I Don’t Want You No More” in classic put-down fashion, and the following track “Stray Mood” built on a a riff that’s so catchy it could rival “Little Black Egg”. The LP is rounded off by two slightly psychedelic cuts “Run Away Run” and “Hands On Time”. If The Basements can keep this up for another album they’ll have earned themselves a name not only on the Greek 60s scene but worldwide. I reckon they’ll get a load of European festival spots on the strength of this. Check out “Stray Mood” below!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Date: October 16th, 2012
Cate: new releases

The Flight Reaction | Mourning Light

Just in case this one has slipped you by, Swedish princes of darkness The Flight Reaction have returned with a 45 on 13 O’Clock. This is modern moody garage, so if you enjoy Yesterday’s Thoughts but like a few psychedelic swirls too then this one’s for you. The flip is a cover of the Stones’ “Citadel”. Now, WHEN will they play in Malmö?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Date: August 27th, 2012
Cate: new releases

Chain & the Gang | The Bag I’m In

Chain & the Gang go all-out garage rock on this brilliant cover of The Fabs, who cut the famous two-sider “Dinah Wants Religion” b/w “That’s the Bag I’m In”.

If Svenonious and gang’s In Cold Blood is one of the year’s most consistently great albums, then the tape that “The Bag I’m In” is on is one of its best compilations. Not much have lived up to the standard of the Yeti comps or the World’s Lousy With Ideas series, except maybe last year’s Nerves tribute LP. But the Summer of Fuzz cassette put together by Fuzz City and the Acid Kat zine is a very real contender. Apart from Chain & the Gang, it also features current garage rock luminaries White Mystery, Burnt Ones and Adam Widener. Widener (previously of Bare Wires) has released two great 45s, the latest of which is on Fuzz City with one of those tracks featured one the tape. Not surprisingly Matthew Melton (Bare Wires main man) runs the Fuzz City label.

But even among the lesser names on the tape you’ll be sure to find new favourites. In particular I’m thinking of Wax Witches (offering all their songs for free on facebook!), Sauna, Nightmare Boyzzz and Cocktails. Looking forward to digging deeper and checking them all out. The tape is available for the measly sum of $5 from Fuzz City, where you can also pick up the brand new Burnt Ones 45.

Date: July 15th, 2012
Cate: rediscovered
1 msg

The Inner Mystiques

Recently, Greek blog That’s Cool, That’s Trash shared a set of demos by The Inner Mystiques. I’m not sure if they have ever been publicly available before, but it’s a crime that these songs have never been properly released or recorded. George Rigas who is the owner of the blog used to play in The Walking Screams, and along with the drummer he subsequently joined The Inner Mystiques. The band was started by John Alexopoulos of The Sound Explosion, and he’s pictured above during that band’s prime time (image courtesy of Flower Bomb Songs, who have posted a five-part feature about their early history).

The Sound Explosion was Greece’s first garage revival group, whose only album was part of the seminal Teen Trash series on Music Maniac. But these songs, demo’ed in 2000, outshines their entire output. Without relying on cover version, John’s 9 compostions easily match the best of Chesterfields Kings early originals, with a simple sound centered around a 12-string Vox. The vocals too, would give Greg Provost a run for his money. With a name derived from The Chocolate Watchband, a more suitable reference would be The JuJus or other teenpunk 60’s groups.

Check out the frenetic “It Was a Rainy Night” below, and be sure to get hold of the whole set here. Also, an interview with John, originally published in the Lost In Tyme magazine, where both of his groups are discussed is posted on Perfect Sound Forever.

 

Date: April 22nd, 2012
Cate: new releases
1 msg

The Rookies | Things Ever Said

Italy’s premier garage group (now that The Others and Head & the Hares aren’t around anymore) goes from success to success. After a performance at Primavera Beat together with the legendary Ronnie Splinter (at which they blasted out several Outsiders classics, check youtube), they now return with their second longplayer. Their first album Out of Fashion came out on Misty Lane sister label Teen Sound back in 2005 and was a great mix of orignals and covers of obscurities like “One Time Around” by Dalton, James & Sutton and “I’ve Waited So Long” by The Outsiders’ countrymen The Motions.

On the new album they’ve eschewed the covers in favour of 12 strong originals. And let’s say they’ve had plenty of time to fill out the tracklisting, even though the album was finished over a year ago. Seemingly, finding a label has been tough, and the LP has now finally been pressed on a newly established Other Eyes Records. I assume it’s their own label, since the other planned release is the next album by Simone Modicamore’s other group Warm Morning. My favourite on Things Ever Said is still the folk-rock track “Another Rainy Morning” that I heard online after it was recorded and mixed. But as a whole the album steers away from the more hard-hitting garage of the debut and sees a development of the group’s moody beat side, which definitely stems from a Dutch influence. I can’t remember now if the first album was recorded at Circo Perotti (it certainly sounded like it), but this record has quite a different sound, clearer and not so loudly mixed. Other standouts are the psychedelic “Midnight Woman”, the jangly “As Days Go By” and the agitated “Can’t Waste My Time”. Another influence I know they have is The Kinks, and I can hear faint echoes of “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” in “On My Own”. The Rookies prove here that their own material is strong enough to support a whole record, which is a claim not many contemporary garage groups can make.