Band of Outsiders – Acts of Faith (1987, Sourmash)

New York’s Band of Outsiders, must have truly lived up to their outsider quotient, as there is nil info or remembrances to be had on them, at least in cyberspace.  The cult band in question, had ties to yet another NYC cult act, Certain General.   The overlap between them will likely mean nothing to a good 99% of you, but if you want a more detailed timeline of their somewhat complicated confluence, Trouser Press lays it all out for you.

The Outsiders evoke the tenor and tonality of a group far more storied than they apparently actually were.  Still, that didn’t stop them from swabbing elements from contemporaries like the Feelies, Dream Syndicate, Let’s Active (occasionally) even stretching a little further back to the Soft Boys and the Velvets.  Their approach was more traditional than advanced, lending itself to a wholly earnest aptitude, which must have really flown in the face of flash and superficiality of their chosen era. Per Trouser Press:

Band of Outsiders relied not so much on hooks or abandon as an ensnaring ambience.

Acts of Faith, partially consisting of material from earlier EP releases, is a pleasurable if not a tad meandering listen.  I found most of the highlights residing on side two, including a John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band cover, “Remember,” and the even brighter and livelier “Clean Saint,” which loosely suggests an affinity for John Wicks and the Records.  The album caps off with the wailin’ “Weeping Willow,” a bratty, organ-laced, garage rock rave-up.

01. Conviction
02. I Wish I Was Your kid
03. Somewhere East
04. Conversation
05. Longer Than Always
06. Remember
07. Killing Time
08. In a Minute
09. Fire in the Wall
10. Clean Saint
11. Weeping Willow

http://www1.zippyshare.com/v/zgTDblyi/file.html

Articles Origin: Band of Outsiders – Acts of Faith (1987, Sourmash)

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Mexican Pets – Nobody’s Working Title ep (1994, Blunt)

This gem of a band/record breezed by my eyes not too long ago when I spotted some of their recordings on one of my file-sharing platforms of choice.  At the time I had no idea who Mexican Pets were, but the name must’ve caught my attention because before I knew it was downloading a folder of supposed “early demos,” quite randomly at that.  Smart move on my part.  As it would soon become evident to me the Pets were a bygone Irish inde-rock outfit who to my sheer good luck wielded a penchant for meaningful songwriting couched in a distortion-savvy, albeit tuneful construct.  To this set of ears, similarities to one of their contemporaries in the opposite hemisphere, namely Australia’s Glide, made for an enticingly pleasant surprise, though MP’s likeness to the aforementioned was in all probability a sheer coincidence.  All of this aside, the songs on that demo spoke for themselves, drenched in bittersweet, melancholic sentiments, intermingled with melodic but fuzz-addled guitar swells (a la Swervedriver and early Dinosaur Jr.), all cloaked in a raw, mid-fidelity context that allowed the Pet’s warm, analog hues to come bristling to life so genuinely.

The Pets’ recordings never made it stateside, and the band folded by the late ’90s, having only one proper album to their credit, HumbuckerNobody’s Working Title is actually a consolidation of two earlier EPs, and those songs wound up on yet another future compilation.  A decent overview of their career can be accessed on Wikipedia, and hopefully there will be more to come regarding them in the not-too-distant future on these pages.

01. Stigmata Errata
02. Subside
03. Magnet Force
04. How to Have More Fun
05. Bruise
06. Merry Hell

http://www33.zippyshare.com/v/5MNYg6uR/file.html

Articles Origin: Mexican Pets – Nobody’s Working Title ep (1994, Blunt)

Confuse a Cat – Ankles tape (1992, 360)

Well, I know this won’t be for everyone, but Confuse a Cat are/were such a WTF proposition I couldn’t resist sharing this.  Their moniker (a nod to Monty Python) should tip you off to their decidedly eccentric and crooked nature.
Hailing from the relatively conventional environs of Birmingham, MI, this coed foursome sounds like they had a shared affinity for the Violent Femmes, Stump, Agitpop, and perhaps Captain Beefheart.  The overarching vibe on Ankles is loose, but nimble, with bassist Jenny Gabel’s skittish bass runs punctuating an already frisky sonic backdrop.  No power pop or overt catchiness here, yet CoC’s tunes are just structured enough to infiltrate the fringes of your cerebellum – that is if you’re willing to invest multiple spins of this often tricky reel.  “Let the Bugs Crawl” and the rambunctious, violin-enhanced “Latin Libra” are a couple of the arguable highlights here.

01. Latin Libra
02. Mellow Soul Breath
03. T.V. Boy
04. Let the Bugs Crawl
05. ¡Whirl!
06. Empty
07. Junco Bird

http://www105.zippyshare.com/v/Pa2RoyyI/file.html

Articles Origin: Confuse a Cat – Ankles tape (1992, 360)

Silver Tears – s/t ep (1984, Ripe)

I believe someone requested this a few months ago.  More rock o’ the ’80s, from southern Cali by the looks of things.  If you liked 415 Records acts like Red Rockers you’re bound to dig this, although Silver Tears steered clear of upright accoutrements that contained fancy buttons and such.  A fairly pedestrian yet occasionally compelling modern rock modus operandi abounds here, with a bit of an Anglo bent dontcha know.  I especially enjoy the ringing guitar tones percolating on the melancholy-ish “Safe Home.”  And maybe I’m the only one to pick up on this, but mouthpiece Roger Prescott extends a vocal panache that negligibly resembles Joe Strummer.  Like I said, that interpretation is entirely mine, so make of it what you will. 

01. Over and Over Again
02. Safe Home
03. High Life
04. New Funk

http://www84.zippyshare.com/v/lJbLbWxy/file.html

Articles Origin: Silver Tears – s/t ep (1984, Ripe)

Re-ups and reloads.

The Cutss/t LP
The ChantTwo Car Mirage/Three Sheets to the Wind
The Johnsonss/t LP
Game TheoryBig Shot Chronicles demos
Helmet Boys/t LP
Speed the Ploughs/t LP
V/AWhy Do You Think They Call it Pop?
V/AThe Living Room comp
ShortfallHooray for Everything
New Sweet Breathsingles
UFOFUsingles
The PapillomasCorolla, Twice as Early…, When Years Were Bee Stings
The Caretaker RaceHangover Square
RamrodsJivin’ & Twistin’ ep
PollyannaHello Halo 
Papas FritasFriday Night 7″
WillardSunshine Wire 7″
The Fluidlive Chicago, 1991
BadbobNow is Reaction
Pointed SticksRaw Power Pop (live)
The WardellsNow
AVEP 7″
DresdenMisadventure
The BounceThings That Go Bounce in the Night ep
BaxtersEra Buffet
The Playmates!Short Wave
The LadsOut From the Shadows
Brilliant OrangeHappy Man ep
PengwinsMad About the Band ep
The MiceWho Cut the Cheese?
SeafoodMessenger in the Camp
Cod LoversFrench Plums
Sand RubiesRelease the Hounds
The Welcome MatGram
Alligator GunOver and Out & singles
V. CardBright 7″ & Pool Card ep
Radar MercuryThank You, Goodnight ep & demo

Articles Origin: Re-ups and reloads.