singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
16 February 2020
(listening through speakers)Avid Acutus
Funk F·XRII
Benz Micro LP-S
Linn Kilmax DS (Renew)
TEAD Mastergroove Mk 2
TEAD Vibe Phoenix / Pulse 2
TEAD Linear A mk 2
TEAD Model One

More 7” single death-row special. This time a quick run through the sediment of W-Z.

I expected to hate this. Don’t like the name, the title or the sleeve. It’s a right racket. Jack White-ish singing, Fall-ish bass, terrible keyboards, and it all pretty much works. One-sided, with something that resembles a Battlebots vertical spinner etched on the ‘b’. I’ll keep this.

3

Judging by the front cover, one of them really likes the Mary Chain, one really likes The Velvet Underground, one really likes punk-pop, one really likes Kevin Smith, one really likes working in IT, and all of them really like sunglasses.

These three tracks of capable but unfulfilling garage rock came out in 1995, which is probably when I bought it, and when I last played it. Inside is a postcard I could have returned to the label at Unit 3, Greenfield Business Centre. And that probably says it all.

2

I can’t be bothered with people getting all unnecessary about Missis Thatch. I can’t be bothered with any loudly proclaimed political opinions. I can’t be bothered with any hard-coded party-political affiliation. I can’t understand how everyone hates The Tories, but they always win.

We’re talking about the kind of people who can trace back all society’s problems to a single root cause. Guardian opinion columnists blame Missis Thatch; millennial snowflakes blame anyone over 40; swivel-eyed gammon kippers blame the EU. I blame the internet. (The difference is, I’m right.)

It’s ridiculously simplistic, but somehow appealing to take all the things you don’t like about, say, the modern world, and pin them all on a single source, whilst ignoring any of the things you do like about the modern world but are equally (i.e. not very) attributable to that same source. And it’s not like selfish dicks didn’t exist before 1979. That’s baked right into humanity at the very basest level.

‘b’, Transition Girlfriend, is not one of these new-fangled fluid gender type things, but a girl who’s “good enough” until something better comes along. I don’t hate all men, but I can kind of understand why someone might.

All too earnest for me. I’m too old for earnest. Bloody kids today.

2

Why do Americans say “I could care less”, when they mean “I couldn’t care less”? I dunno. And, I could, I suppose, “care less”.

As well as saying “Die!” You Say etc (who were not American) say “Like I Give a Care”. It’s on Fierce panda, and it’s very Fierce Panda. Inconsequential boy-girl indie which, for all its pace and effort and volume, bored me utterly.

2

Doesn’t seem so new now does it? 2020 doesn’t even look like a year. I have wine whose drinking window will still be open when I die. 2075, shit like that. Most of the science fiction I’ve read wasn’t set that far in the future. I hope that following whatever apocalypse befalls us, feral survivors picking through the vitrified plains of the South Yorkshire/North East Derbyshire area unearth my wine cabinet and fully appreciate the at-peak Sauternes and port.

This is considerably better than the last one of theirs. The drums at the start of the ‘b’ sounded amazing. The bass on these speakers has improved no end since I made some plinths for them.

I’ll keep this, it’s not bad at all, and I like the sleeve.

3

This is XX Teens from earlier, prior to the name change. Xerox must have been really pissed off about having all the PARC stuff nicked to get uppity about some no-mark English indie band.

I’ve no time for pop groups who yield to the machine. Much as I love Frank Sidebottom I never forgave him for caving to the Beastie Boys. I like bands who are either so obscure as to be completely ignored by the bigwigs, or choose to disregard them when they kick off. I mean, Duran Duran Duran never changed their name did they? Or the other Donna Summer. V/Vm release other people’s records through a distortion pedal. Look at Negativland. Negativland would have told Xerox to go eat a bowl of dicks or somesuch.

Unremarkable, and I don’t like the sleeve.

2

A drumbeat with advice on how to reduce your chances of becoming a terror victim read out over the top. The ‘b’ is the same thing but without the drum beat. Brilliantly uncommercial, and I’m keeping it just because of that.

If I had an IQ of twenty or thirty I’d say “does exactly what it says on the tin”, like those people doing reviews on Amazon. They’re probably the same people who give a product five stars because it arrived, or no stars because it didn’t. They, my friends, are idiots.

Though much of the advice is either not helpful (“know what to do in case of nuclear attack”), or clearly not being heeded (“[Americans] do not speak loudly when overseas”), I played both sides, paid attention, and at the time of writing have not yet been sacrificed to Allah. So it’s working for me.

Does exactly what it – DAMMIT!

4

No.

1

I had no intention of getting rid of this, but it ended up on the pile, so let’s give it a spin. It’s a three-track single-sider, on Blackbean and Placenta.

I think it’s clear there’s a fair amount of snobbery in some of the decisions to keep or can these records. There’s some unlistenable shit in my collection, but because it’s incredibly obscure, or on cool labels, or simply because it is unlistenable, it doesn’t have to run the charity shop gauntlet. Most of what’s gone is pretty “uncool”: faux-indie labels; stuff Jo Whiley might like, generally with a crappy band name and a rubbish sleeve.

So this was never going to go was it? It’s actually not bad. Summery, definitely; sexy is more subjective. Lo-fi and pleasing, and obscure as you like. It seems to have lost its sleeve, and I had to go on Discogs and search the catalogue number (in the run-out groove) to find out what it was.

3

We’ve already had this a single-sided job, now it’s back as a gatefold double 7” with a badge. I have a deep prejudice against the gatefold double 7” format, so this is already an uphill struggle. A struggle made worse by the fact I don’t like the artwork, which is some weird colonial thing where the great white hunter is made out of food like in an Arcimboldo painting.

There’s a badge inside too, and that doesn’t help either. It’s all too slickly done, and feels like someone making something they think will appeal to record bores. A label like Box Bedroom Rebels or Great Pop Supplement, run by actual record bores, knows what we want, and gives it to us. We have a very delicate palate and it’s easily offended by ersatz “indie”.

Darlin’, as it was last time, is decent. Other tracks are pleasingly half-arsed and irreverent, but it was never all about the music was it?

3