This is a follow-up to last Chanukah’s popular assemblage of fantastic, vintage 45s that I either recently acquired or finally got around to listening to in 2016. At the end of the write-up is a link to download the entire bundle in MP3 or FLAC. Here’s the record-by-record breakdown of the whole ball of wax.
Faith. No Man – Quiet in Heaven b/w Song of Liberty (1983, Ministry of Propaganda)
Holy cow. This was a find (and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t even own an original copy of the record). Faith. No Man was a very, very early incarnation of Faith No More. The only members that transitioned over to the platinum hit-makers were Roddy Bottom, Mike Bordin and Bill Gould. Mike Patton and even Chuck Mosely were nowhere near the band when this 7″ was cut. M. Morris is the man on the mic. Both songs bear a heavy handed Killing Joke influence, right down to the tribal percussion A really cool, intriguing record even if The Real Thing wasn’t your thing. Check out the bio in the hyperlink above. Note: I only have this one available in MP3.
And speaking of KJ, this was the record that got me through the front door, in a colossal way I might add. Seeing the video for this (and “Eighties”) on 120 Minutes launched me on a profound and vastly fulfilling post-punk trajectory. Geordie’s doomy but tuneful guitar lead-in had me enticed from second one, and Paul Ferguson’s martial drum line couldn’t have fit “A New Day” any better. A perfect ten all the way around, and although Killing Joke put out many fine singles and records I think this one tops them all.
The untimely passing of Stiv Bators in 1990 has always posed a big “what if” for me. Were he alive would he have reunited with the Dead Boys, Lords of the New Church, or both? Neither perhaps? Maybe we’d be Facebook friends. Who knows. The only thing I can confirm is that I was a fan, and when it came to the first LotNC album (a 1982 self-titled effort) few debuts have impressed me more. This 7,” which is supposedly limited to 300 copies, but seems more common, is obliviously a cash in. We get a subtle remix of “Lil’ Boys Play With Dolls,” Stiv’s homage to the New York Dolls, and two ’82 live tracks on the flip, with the guitars a bit low in the mix unfortunately. The tunes shine through though, and I hardly regret the purchase.
Klark Kent – Don’t Care, b/w Thrills & Office Girls
Excellent as The Police were, they operated within considerably strict parameters. No wonder Stewart Copeland opted for something on the side. Klark Kent was his alias, and over the course of an EP and a handful of singles, Copeland manifested a nervier power pop stride that “the cops” only hinted at. Safe to say if early Elvis Costello was your bag, or Brit power pop in general, you might enjoy this. BTW, all of the Klark Kent material was reissued on CD in the mid ’90s as Kollected Works, but it’s a heck of a lot scarcer than the original records.
The Wishniaks – Tickertape Trash b/w River (1990, Junk)
Philly’s Wishniaks had been hiding in plain sight for years. In fact, I recognized the name as far back as the ’90s but didn’t venture a listen until I got around to playing their wonderful 1988 Nauseous and Cranky ep just a few months back. Smart and inspired power pop with an indigenous stripe, and even something of a serrated edge to boot. Here’s a single that came a couple years later that’s nearly as vibrant, especially the thoughtful “River.”
The Beef People – Fragile b/w Nothing You Can Do (1986, Zub)
Bit of a cold case, this one. The only vital stats I have is that The Beef People were a co-ed, female fronted (Adrienne Meddock’s the name) four piece from Greenville, SC. “Fragile” has a quivery but entrancing snyth line running the gamut of it’s all too fleeting 161 seconds. Some serious homegrown magic on this one. The flip, “Nothing You Can Do” is punkier and not as immediate, but hey, there’s only two songs here, so I’ll take what I can get. Coincidentally, there was a completely different but concurrent crew dubbed The Beef People, also making the rounds. Make your best effort not to get ’em confused.
Pylon – Crazy b/w M-Train (1981, DB)
Pylon were the epitome of ‘cool’ if there ever was such a thing. Like the Beef Peeps, they were also a co-ed quartet, but made significantly bigger waves in their native Athens, GA not to mention numerous points beyond. Some of the most affecting and curiosity-inducing post-punk you’re likely to ever lay ears on. “Crazy” was later covered by REM, and Michael Stipe has gone on to admit his jealousy of the original. “M-Train” is angular as all-get-out, but that bass line is irresistible. There’s never been anyone like Pylon before or since. Check out the reissues of Gyrate and Chomp (if you can still find them) plus a more recent live record from DFA Records.
Articles Origin: Seven more scintillating singles.