singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
21 August 2014
(listening through speakers)Avid Acutus
Funk F·XRII
Linn Kilmax DS (Renew)
TEAD Mastergroove
TEAD Vibe 1.5 / Pulse 2
TEAD Linear A
TEAD Model One

Never heard of the former, but a big fan of the latter. Former are a bit like the poppier end of 90s indie-rock. Think perhaps Fuzzy or Toenut: it’s good. Joanna Gruesome’s song sounds a lot like most of their others. In fact, it’s very familiar indeed. I checked, and it’s the first song off Weird Sister. Sounded great there, sounds great here.

4

Blimey, are they still going? Apparently yes, and still putting out clever, literate, slightly socialist melancholic toe-tappers with a northern soul aftertaste. It’s impressive when a band has sufficient faith in their lyrics to put them on the front cover of a record, and in this case it’s justified.

Lovely blue vinyl with no middle, with well-matched sleeve art.

4

On Finders Keepers, so you can probably guess where this is going. Plinky-plonky piano, slinky sex beats, a woman talking in French, recorded in 1968. Obviously it’s a Christmas single. B-side has seagulls, screaming, maniacal laughing, jungle drums, and Silent Night played on an accordion. Happy Christmas!

5
Kate's BushBaby Girl
7" flexidisc

I always believed the flexidisc was the absolute shittiest of formats. Below minidisc, cassingle, and even an untagged 128kbps MP3 with a non-descriptive filename. But I didn’t reckon on this beauty. With the depth of colour and transparency of a Robinson’s orange jelly, gold printing on the textured poly sleeve, three tracks, trippy sleeve art, inserts and sleeve notes galore, this is a record made and put out by someone who gets it.

It’s also easily the best sounding flexi I ever heard. I had to stick another record under it, weigh it flat with the Level 45, then turn up the tracking weight to nearly 3g, but it sounds pretty much as good as a lot of proper singles.

The music is decent quality indie fayre, far better than the terrible band name might lead you to expect. Not the best three tracks I’ve ever heard, but I’m very happy to add such a handsome artefact to my collection.

3

Back in the day I hoovered up anything I could find on In the Red. It was a proudly, wilfully, difficult and obnoxious label. That Jack Starr 7” is still a highlight of the gloriousness of utterly unlistenable shit, Here, we find the title track is on the b-side. See what I mean? There’s no need for that is there?

Sleeve art is good, with the rear featuring a close up picture of a massive pile of worms, badly superimposed with a pair of ten-year-old girls’ faces, with their eyes replaced by something like manga explosions.

As you might expect, the music is massive stomping garage rock with a little too much reverb and a little too much distortion. The guitar sound at the end of side-A is enormous, and I also like the 50s sci-fi effect noise at the beginning of the ‘b’.

Disappointingly accessible.

2

I’ve been saving this one until the end, because I particularly like the band. It has the usual photocopied monochrome sleeve, Sarah-style middle, and el-cheapo sub-Ziploc bag. This time. Charles Bronson-Burner and the gang are totally synthy, and less catchy than normal. Gary Numan in the house, y’all. The b-side is messier, with more echo, more hooks, and a great end.

The sleeve art is three Well-chosen photographs, one of which is printed on heavy-stock tracing paper as an insert. It’s not Jessica 6, but still, I like this band a lot.

3