Holiday Slides – Ornate Coalmine (1989, $in¢ere)

An ace find here. What de minimis info that exists online regarding Holiday Slides somehow fails to mention this record.  For shame, because this New York trio come barging straight out the gate with “Fall of Rome,” sounding like the best thing the Replacements didn’t lay down for Don’t Tell a Soul.  And believe it or not, it ain’t downhill from there folks.  “That’s Your Darling for You” is a glossy but wondrous slice of sophisti-pop faintly channeling the Three O’ Clock and Squeeze.  In fact, the tenor of Ornate Coalmine feels like something of a precursor to soon-to-arrive conglomerations like Jellyfish, the Wondermints, Owsley, and heck, throw a little Sloan in there too.  Plush arrangements and polished songcraft utterly belie the fact that this was presumably a privately released album.  Not everything they fling at the proverbial wall sticks, but in addition to the aforementioned, make sure to investigate “Go to the Police With What You Know” and “Fe Fi Foe.”  A cassette album that preceded Ornate, Can You Count the Brunettes? has been made available in rerecorded form on Bandcamp

01. The Fall of Rome
02. That’s Your Darling For You
03. Fe Fi Foe (Be Big About This)
04. Down on Our Luck
05. Rick Wakeman
06. Astronauts on Your Birthday Cake
07. Ring
08. What a Lovely Surprise Karoline!
09. Have a Heart
10. Jason’s Home
11. Go to the Police With What You Know
12. Terminal Hotel

Articles Origin: Holiday Slides – Ornate Coalmine (1989, $in¢ere)


Zeitgeist – Translate Slowly (vinyl mix) (1985, DB)

A couple of you have pointed out the CD version of  Zeitgeist’s (later The Reivers) Translate Slowly, which I initially shared back in 2007 is a different mix than the vinyl version.  So, voila, I’m presenting you with the vinyl mix, taken from my own copy. Yes, sonically there are differences between the two of them, with the original analog version striking me as a tad bit murkier and grittier.  The CD mix, as as you might expect, is the brighter of the two, yielding a more lucid semblance to just about every given facet of the record.  The link to that version is here, where it’s always been. 

For the uninitiated, Zeitgeist/Reivers crafted an impeccable album of jangly and clangy left-of-the-dial rock (this one).  After the name alternation they made two more equally substantive albums (Saturday and The End of the Day) for Capitol Records in the later ’80s, and then some independently, including a reunion record in 2013.  Check out my original entry for Translate Slowly here, and the band’s impeccably detailed website

PS: Track twelve has a skip that I couldn’t do anything about.  My apologies. 

01. Araby
02. Cowboys
03. Legendary Man
04. Blue Eyes
05. She Digs Ornette
06. Things Don’t Change
07. Translate Slowly
08. Sound and the Fury

09. Without My Sight
10. I Knew
11. Freight Train Rain
12. Hill Country Theme

Articles Origin: Zeitgeist – Translate Slowly (vinyl mix) (1985, DB)

Nice Strong Arm – Cloud Machine ep (1989, Homestead)

In the mood for some insular, densely packed indie rock, often approaching something of a melancholic maelstrom?  Yeah, me too.  NYC noiseniks Nice Strong Arm never failed to satisfy in this realm.  I featured their Mind Furnace and Stress City LPs prior to tonight’s offering, both of which garnered no shortage of approval.  I’m about 95% certain the Cloud Machine ep was NSA’s final recorded spasm, featuring two new studio tracks on side one, with the flip providing some live action.  “Cloud Machine” is another slyly dissonant, subtly melodic post-punk jewel in the band’s sinewy oeuvre, amped-out to the hilt I might add.  Can’t get enough of that guitar.  The instrumental that follows it, “Cop Show” doesn’t make quite the same impression, but a live (at CBGB’s no less) run through the choice Furnace kernel “Faucet Head” on side two more than compensates.

01. Cloud Machine
02. Cop Show
03. Faucet Head
04. Life of the Party

Articles Origin: Nice Strong Arm – Cloud Machine ep (1989, Homestead)

VA – Teen Line #6 American Powerpop & Pop-Rock Singles A-B

Since I won’t be delivering any more musical delights until Monday, I thought I’d make the weekend count by sharing this sixth installment in my Teen Line compilation serial, as it were.  Teen Line was a formally in-progress and now sadly incomplete and abandoned project that was in the hands of the Hyped to Death curators who were also responsible for the Messthetics and Homework series, loosely modeled after the considerably more renown Killed By Death DIY punk comp empire.  Culled from numerous self-released and small indie label 45s (with a selection from the occasional LP) the Teen Line series informally cataloged and canonized some of the finest American power-pop/punk songs the late ’70s/’80s had to offer – that in all likelihood you wouldn’t have known about otherwise, especially three to four decades after the fact.

The names populating this disk may be virtually unknown, but minor as characters like The Bandables, B-Lovers, Ambulance and Blue Shoes were, the quality of their brief recorded output was pretty staggering. I believe The Bandables and Bats are the only acts here that have appeared on these pages prior, but considering how I’ve raved about both of them you’d be crazy not to investigate the par excellence flock of once indie pop hopefuls they’re surrounded by here.  Vol. 6 consists of 27 selections, and the complete tracklist is to your right.  To check out the five previous Teen Line installments and/or read more about the series in general, point your cursor here

Articles Origin: VA – Teen Line #6 American Powerpop & Pop-Rock Singles A-B

Love American Style – Undo (1997)

Once upon a time (say early/mid ’90s) there was a very good noise-pop band called Smashing Orange, who as it so happened were overshadowed by another band from that era who also had the word “Smashing” in their moniker.  Before I digress any further I won’t provide you any other clues besides that.  Preceded by a couple of superlative eps in 1991, the next year saw the release of their debut, The Glass Bead Game, a white-hot cocktail of dream-pop amidst a molten, amped-out stew of feedback and Rob Montejo’s distant vocal aplomb.  S/O soon made the major label jump, churning out one more platter, 1994’s No Return in the End.   Sadly, No Return… did in fact illicit the premise of it’s title, bearing none of the hazy or raw hallmarks of the debut, and instead opted for a more streamlined m.o. that was often indistinguishable from many of the band’s contemporaries.  Smashing Orange called it a day not long after, but wouldn’t you know it, Montejo would soon straddle a new rocking horse, Love American Style.   

Their lone LP, Undo, actually undoes a lot of the pedestrian drag that plagued No Return.  While not an out-and-out throwback to his shoegazing days of yore, Montejo colors from a diverse set of palettes here.  “Not About to Lose It,” and “Divider” mine a pretty divine Superdrag vein, the shuffling “Easy” and the strummy acoustic respite “Anodyne” point to a considerably more lucid penchant, while a measured amount of tremolo smoothly infiltrates “The Sky Will Be Milk” to primo effect.  Undo may fall shy of a masterstroke, but once you’re acquainted with it, partaking in this disk is nonetheless a treat.

01. Hail the Flounder
02. Undo
03. Easy
04. Not About to Lose It
05. Ticket
06. Divider
07. I Know You Know
08. Whipping Cinders
09. Radio Smile
10. Be In Your Body
11. Anodyne
12. The Sky Will Be Milk

Articles Origin: Love American Style – Undo (1997)