singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
15 November 2013
(listening through speakers)Avid Acutus
Funk F·XRII
Linn Kilmax DS (Renew)
TEAD Mastergroove
TEAD Vibe / Pulse 2
TEAD Linear A
TEAD Model One

My favourite record shop had a 7” sale, so I bought myself a load of crap. Remember, this is the stuff that no one bought when it was fresh, and it’s not likely to have improved with age.

Someone from Vyvyan Girls I believe. They’re a band I own several records by, but don’t really like all that much, so I’m not sure why I’m dipping into the “… & related” category. It’s a pretty good a-side though, a little like a rough sketch for a Man or Astro-Man? record. Yeah, good one. The b-side (technically on the “tight side”) has vocals, but probably doesn’t need them, and otherwise follows the same pattern as the A. That is, rumbling, somewhat lumpy drums, and a single strong guitar line later joined by a sheet of noise. It’s good, and probably better than the vast majority of the Vyvyan Girls stuff. I like a vocal buried way down in the mix; it makes you strain to hear, so you listen more. No middle and folded/bagged sleeve for top indie cred.

4

It’s early October, Christmas has already gone full-blown at Costco, and I’ve seen a couple of seasonal ads on telly this weekend, so I’ve got no qualms about dipping into this. A-side is a ridiculous racket. Silent Night, utterly butchered, with awful sample loops and tuneless beeps. Needless to say, I love it, and there’s a strong chance it will be on this year’s Christmas Spacker. Does the original say “Holy penis so tender and funky”? I’m not much of a churchgoer, so I can’t say for sure. This is by Vector Field, who almost certainly don’t know what one of those is.

On to the b-side, and hark the orchestral stab, showing its face for the first time since its 80s heyday, courtesy of the unlikely-named James Pants. Then someone called Baron Zen does a pretty banging by any standards song which mentions Christmas a couple of times.

3

“I’m a veggie you’re a vegan, let’s eat soya”. F–k off. That said, yuba, at a good yuba place in Kyoto, is as delicious a thing as you’re likely to eat. This is really pretty awful, with that terrible piety that reminds me of that joke: “Q: how do you know when there’s a vegan in the room? A: he tells you”. If most of the “vegetarians” I know had written this, the lyric would have been “I’m a veggie you’re a vegan, let’s eat fish, chicken, and a bit of bacon every now and again”.

Side 2 is something about video games, but not a patch on that crackpot Aphex Twin Pac Man thing. This is an awful record. Picture disc too, which is pretty much a guarantee of shitness in itself, rectangular Rock Lobster excepted.

1

Semi-legenday Slap-A-Ham insanity, notable for having 64 songs on a 7 inch record. So don’t be expecting Bohemian Rhapsody. All your favourites are here: Mouthfart, Bloody Mess and the Skabs, Meat Shits and Splatterreah to name just four. Atrocity are the only band on here who I think have had any kind of success. I’m going in. Brace yourself Rodney.

I’ve already lost track of where I am, but there’s more variety than I expected. Of course, the thrash + sound of vomiting thing is there, which I find comical.

Some songs are a second or two long. One, I’m sure, is under a second. Very few have discernible lyrics. Halfway through side 1 a band called “A.C.”, (I shan’t dignify them with their full moniker either) who on the sleeve explicitly state that they hate the word grindcore, do six of the least musical PIECES OF GRINDCORE I have ever heard. Assuck are hilarious. One of Meat Shits calls himself “Turd Cutter”. There’s some extremely crude politics on display here. Napalm Breath do a track called Go Back to Seattle (& Get a Haircut), which is awesome, though I have no idea which song it was. Best title goes to Skeletal Earth’s Intestinal Dry Heave. Honourable mention to Vomit Omlet. Job done.

3

Some groovy loop, mad electronics, with a story that makes no sense. Strangely compelling.

This is a good example of why I love seven inch singles. Forget all that “perfect pop” bollocks and “saving your pocket money to go to Woolworths” and the horseshit people come out with on 6 Music documentaries. Singles are the default outlet for the wierdest wankiest one-of-a-kind crap. It’s that lovely Lagrange point between “No one would ever finance an album of this” and “put it on the internet because who cares anyway?”. It takes money, and effort to release a single, so someone’s got to love it, but no one expects to make money off it. Long live stupid singles.

3

Finally, something well recorded. That bass sounds great through the HD800s. This is far better than I thought it would be. Catchy, made up of Phil Spector references, nice sounding.

Marty Feldman Eyes probably means nothing to kids today. It’s a bit novelty, and the pun’s been done better on Dickie Davies Eyes. (And now the cop sucker.)

3

Here we go again. 69 songs this time. Pre kick-off favourites look like Arse Destroyer, Putrid Offal, and Intestinal Loudness. Big-hitters are Melvins and Discharge.

Opener, by Intense Degree, is a proper song, and a good one. Has Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh gone soft? Lost its edge? Skimmed call their song I Wonder Who Can Say in 15 Seconds Anything More Sophisticated than Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh. Not many, Skimmed, not many. A couple of bands use their slot for something interesting but, again, I don’t know which ones. Some just do that silly death metal thing. I would not burn a church down for any of these. T.M.P do two songs at the same time, one in each channel: you wouldn’t know. Audiostench do a great pure noise thing. Sockeye claim to cover Don’t Fear the Reaper in two or three seconds. Graham Hoggins brings teh lulz.

Side two: Discharge have a tune. So does someone else later. Media is the Hands of Assholes. Possibly a girl singing there? I doubt it: hardcore is always a total sausage-fest. Cematarium - you can tell the words! Someone does the beginning of Doo Wa Diddy. Jump Back Jesus say Boycott Speedbumps, which reminds me of that Viz letter: These so-called speed bumps are a joke. If anything, they slow you down. What’s with the grunting?

As the sleeve says: “sounds like shit to me!”. Apparently there’s another one of these floating around somewhere. I have to get it.

3

On Rock Action, so I was expecting some kind of proggy post-rock thing. Instead, I get some straight-edgey hardcore. Proficient, but dull. Rather like Rage Against the Machine, who I never had a lot of time for. To my ear, boring. But on nice thick, dark brown vinyl.

1

Red vinyl, and self-released, so good on them, even if it’s crap.

Much as the fatuous part of me wants to say “it was”, and move on, it wasn’t. I can see the A-side being pretty good down the indie disco after a beverage or two, but I’m far too old for that kind of thing now. B-side doesn’t half remind me of something, but I maddeningly can’t put my finger on it. Something by James? It’s just the verse. Good indiepop record.

3

Little bit of politics, yes indeed ladies and gentlemen. The Sack is a good record, but this one, lyrically, is a bit heavy-handed and clumsy. The music is quite good, but on the whole the two songs sound like they’ve been lifted from a not-very-good musical made by left-wing students.

2

On the old “weapons-grade vinyl”, this sounds good, clean and dry and has a nice singy/talky thing. It also contains the lyric “Stephen Hawking must be talking out of his arse” which, as a supporter of far more important, far less famous physicists, makes me smile. I love the smooth swingy bass, spare drums, and nervously scratchy guitars. All four songs are strong, well put-together and performed, and I always enjoy a bit of boy/girl singing. Good record.

I’m also pleased to note that “Neil Barrett sings from a phonebox in Farringdon on track 1”. Take that, Sarm West!

4

Last thing in the surprisingly agreeable pile of sale crap is this split. It’s another 33rpm job, which I’m never entirely comfortable with. 7 inches should be 45rpm, right kids? Makeshift Conspiracy are three girls who took their band photos in a booth, and say on the insert “don’t write, we broke up”. They did a split single with “The Sarcastic Bitch”, which is the best band name I have ever heard. They’re part indie-pop, part indie-rock. Not as riot-grrly as I expected, but I rarely mind being wrong. Very middling this. Right slap-bang on the median. And possibly the mean. Sourtooth probably dip slightly below that median, but they’re still okay. Not a bad record, but I can’t see myself ever playing it again. Still, what do you want for eighty pee?

2