I recorded one of the band’s songs when they played the Psychedelic Ballroom in LA, organized by The Blindspot Project. The Acid Test SF and Tony the Tyger were among the guest DJs. This band is amazing and have two imminent single releases – one on Market Square and one on local label Lolipop. I also stopped by their shop, where you could hear someone recording some guitar in their next-door studio.
Posts Tagged Market Square Records
One of the most anticipated album releases of the year is here, Mystic Braves’ third LP, which has appeared in digital form only. The vinyl should be available from Lollipop sometime next year, but this means that we have another contender for our imminent end-of-year lists. This year, I will also be submitting my lists to HYMN, but I’m not sure how their tally will work.
I must admit I was a bit late in catching onto last year’s Mystic Braves masterpiece Desert Island, which has eventually revealed itself as one of the best records of 2014. The cover of “Pain In My Heart” is right up my street. And now we’ll also have to look out for the upcoming 45 by related outfit The Creation Factory (how brilliant is that name?) on Market Square Recordings. Days of Yesteryear delivers all the jangle, organ and psychedelia you could possibly wish for on a longplayer, check it out on bandcamp.
Paul Messis has been busy making the rounds with The Higher State, of which he is now the only member apart from founder Marty Radcliffe (The Mystreated). Finally, Messis has returned with a new solo single, this time on his own label Market Square. With a string on brilliant 45s and two LPs on labels like 13 O’Clock and State he has built a solid reputation for himself, but he still does not have a band. Working the one-man-band sound to its limits, Messis has turned out what I believe is his best single yet – combining all the aspects of his sound with a cleverly nonchalant vocal. In particular, the b-side “As Time Rolls By” is a fine piece of songwriting. The first 100 copies come with the yellow photocopied sleeve above.
Everyone might not be familiar with the fact that Messis is also the artist behind the Suburban Homes moniker which has received quite a bit of attention after their initial 45, also released on Market Square. Punk labels around the world paid attention and Totally Punk snapped them up for their new release “Conformity In the UK”. For Messis it has been a relief to work on these much simpler and straightforward tunes, and he has managed to squeeze a fair bit of aggression and frustration in there. Let’s just hope that is not the only driving force behind his music, or we will stop culling the fruits of his labour as soon as things start to look up in the world. On second thought, that is not bound to happen any time soon.
After an album they were mildly disappointed with, The Wrong Society from Hamburg released a fantastic single last year. It was called “To Be Free”, came out on a small label and was full of angsty and moody 60s garage stylings. Bernie and Kai have done a great job spreading the word about the group and now they have a new single out on Paul Messis’ boutique label Market Square. The new one has “She Destroyed Me” on the a-side, a particularly honest put-down number with plenty of organ. The jangly New England sound of the flip is paired with some evil-sounding fuzz, to make what is probably their best song so far.
Worthless is a weirdo DIY group from Brooklyn, who released an interesting psychedelic album called Keep Sleeping a few years ago on Beyond Beyond Is Beyond (also the home of Heaters). I was less impressed with the new album All My Friends Are Stone that is out now on the same label. It devotes most of its time to the 17-minute closing track and never gets to the high of “We’ve Always Been Here”. However, they also have a single out on Market Square and now we’re talking. The b-side “Softest” will in particular appeal to those who liked the Smoking Trees album from earlier this year – and definitely any fan of the The Fugs.
Messis is back, his new LP Case Closed is available from the reliable State Records. With his new 12 tracks, Paul steps up the songwriting a notch as well as the arrangments. A thick layer of backing vocals, 12-string guitar leads, seething fuzz breaks; it’s all here. The careful listener will also notice hooks and licks lifted from a lifetime of digging through the back room of obscure garage and folk-punk compilations. The obligatory cover version: check, this time he tries his hand at The Five Bucks’ “No Use In Tryin'”. The bitter realism and societal rebellion are still the main lyrical themes, and it doesn’t get any clearer than on what is perhaps my favourite track, “A Matter of Opinion”. It reaches new highs of bittersweet beauty as Messis lays himself bare. Treading the same path, the lamenting “Nickel and Dimes” (hear it below, with a brilliant Byrdsian solo), “Sad How a Love Fades Away” and closing track “Goodbye” would have made for a very bleak record. But although Messis seems to have been through a tough stint, he manages to sound carefree over major sus4-riffs on “It Doesn’t Matter to Me”. This track, which he himself describes as a Euro-beat ballad, makes me think of Sandy Coast, and it’s easy to see why State chose it promote the record with this video. Naturally you also get your fill of five straight-up garagepunk songs on this record. All impeccably produced by Marty and Mole of The Higher State. On the formulaic but efficient freakbeat workout “Sowing Seeds” drummer Mole gets his own time in the limelight, bringing to mind his heyday as bass master in The Embrooks. All in all, Case Closed is a remarkably solid album from a contemporary songwriter – even more so than Messis’ debut The Problem With Me from two years ago.
I’d also like to recommend an upcoming release on Messis’ own record label Market Square. It’s a 45 from Brighton instrumental group The Space Agency. “Bombay Potatoes” and “Purple Power” will have you drooling if you liked Vibrasonic, so check it out here.
It’s not long ago since I wrote about Sam Lunsford and The Young Sinclairs. Now he’s back with another single under the Sinclairs moniker (still just Lunsford mainly). “Engineer Man”, set for release next month on Paul Messis’ label Market Square, is a new recording of a track from the group’s 2007 debut album Feel Bad (available in full on spotify). The new take features superior harmonies and guitar solo, making one of their best numbers even better. The flip “Problems” is less psychedelic and more folky in a classic Byrds fashion, with interweaving guitars and a fragile but crisp melody carrying the song. It’s great to see two of the most interesting musicians of today come together to make this release possible. Did The Optic Nerve ever get this good? I don’t think so.
Here’s a new one-off 45 from Paul Messis and The Sufis. It brings a more British slant to The Sufis’ hyped brand of psychedelic pop. You can get it directly from Messis’ new label Market Square, for only £4.50. Listen to the flip “Inside My Mind” below. Messis promises his new and second LP Case Closed will be out by late spring, and he’s also recording another collaborative single with James Tranmer (The Pheromoans, The Sticks).