documenting the optical sounds of '60s pop, Acid Punk & Psychedelia


Obscurities from the Underground

In 2008 I turned my attention to fifty ’60s styled / inspired nuggets that deserved to be listened. These singles went largely ignored but are worthy of your investigation.

  • STEMS – Tears Me In Two (Citadel CIT 013) 1985
  • BARRACUDAS – (I Wish It Could Be) 1965 Again (Zonophone Z11) 11/80
  • HEADLESS HORSEMEN – Gotta Be Cool (Resonance 45-88200 1988
  • FORTUNE & MALTESE & the PHABULOUS PALLBEARERS – Leave No Stone Unturned (Get Hip Records GH-212) 1997
  • ROADRUNNERS – I Believe (Uppers UMD-87102) 1997
  • MISANTHROPES – Why Do You Treat Me So Bad? (Get Hip Records GH-108) 1988
  • TELL TALE HEARTS – Circus Mind (Nevermore Records 1810) 1989
  • FUZZTONES – Nine Months Later (Situation Two SIT 61) 1989
  • EARLY HOURS – I’m Drained (Screaming Apple SCAP 40) 1996
  • RAIN PARADE – What She’s Done To Your Mind (Llama Records DK 002) 1982
  • TYME SOCIETY – I Gotta Know (Butterfly Records BUT-05) 2001
  • CHESTERFIELD KINGS – I’m Going Home (Mirror Records VRP-2026) 1982
  • STEPFORD HUSBANDS – Why Aren’t You There? (Cryptovision Records BR-11-1) 1984
  • OTHERS – In A While (Screaming Apple SCAP 043) 1996
  • JAM – Funeral Pyre (Polydor POSP 257) 05/81
  • HOODOO GURUS – Like Wow – Wipe Out (Big Time BTS-1588) 1985
  • DM3 – TV Sound (Get Hip Records GH-180) 1994
  • DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR – Vanishing Girl (Virgin Records VS 982) 1987
  • BERRY PICKERS – Whatcha Tryin’ To Do (Dionysus ID 074506) 1987
  • FORTUNE & MALTESE & the PHABULOUS PALLBEARERS – You Watch The Road (Dionysus ID O745102) 2000
  • CYNICS – No Way (Get Hip Records GH-101) 1987
  • MYSTIC EYES – My Time To Leave (Get Hip Records GH-102) 1987
  • SICK ROSE – When The Sun Refuses To Shine (Electric Eye EES 18) 1987
  • CHARIOT – What If I Run Out Of My Pills? (Munster MRCD 146) 1998
  • TYRNAROUND – Hello Or Goodbye (Polyster LUV 5) 1987
  • LOS NEGATIVOS – Moscas Y Aranas (Victoria VIC-301) 1986
  • LOS NEGATIVOS – No Soy Yo La (Victoria VIC-303) 1986
  • LOS FLECHAZOS – Dream In My Mind (Detour Records DR043) 1996
  • LAZY SUNDAYS – A Shade In The Light (Subterfuge Records) 1996
  • TRYFLES – When I See That Guy (Midnight Records MID-4513) 1985
  • VIBRASONIC – The Unloved Insane (Target Records TGT006) 1992
  • LES INCAPABLES – Jezebel (Teen Sound 004) 1997
  • INDIKATION – Tu Manipule Ma Tete (Larsen LZ 068) 2002
  • BACKDOOR MEN – Going Her Own Way (FAB Records BM-S 002) 1986
  • ESCALATORS – The Munsters Theme (Big Beat NS87) 1983
  • VELVET CRUSH – Gentle Breeze (Bobsled 15) 2000
  • STAIRS – Flying Machine (Go Discs GODCD63) 1991
  • BREADMAKERS – Searchin’ For Cool (Farniente Records 001) 1996
  • UNHEARD – I Don’t Believe (Kavern 7 Records K7-007) 1987
  • POPPEES – Jealousy (Line Records 6.14383) 1985
  • ULTRA 5 – The Streets Of Your Town (Zebrah Records ZR 003) 1996
  • PLIMSOULS – A Million Miles Away (Shaky City Records BMP 134) 1981
  • MAKERS – Nobody Gonna Break My Soul (Estrus ES744) 1993
  • LEATHER NUN – Son Of A Good Family (Wire Records WRMS 007) 1985
  • MINDERS – Right As Rain (Earworm 38) 09/99
  • RED KROSS – Mess Around (Way 6066) 1997
  • REVOLVING PAINT DREAM – Flowers In The Sky (Creation 002) 02/84
  • CLIENTELE – (I Want You) More Than Ever (Elefant Records ER-217) 12/99
  • KLIEK – Sandra (Twang! Records TS 130662) 1992

THE STEMS – ’Tears Me In Two’ / ’Can’t Resist’ (Citadel CIT 013) 11/1985

Well, here’s my number 1 after taking seven weeks of writing and uploading various covers, pics and sometimes an MP3s to get to this point. I’ve enjoyed every minute because it’s given me a reason to raid all of my record boxes marked neo garage and revivalism.

The Stems were an incredible band and couldn’t really fail with the song writing skills of leader Dom Mariani. They were short-lived but I think they were correct to break up the band when they did. Many groups go on far too long and become jaded. Others of course would never have the skill or talent to record an albums worth of material but never the less did so.

Anyway, back to this disc. This was The Stems second 45 on the collectable Citadel label outta Darlinghurst, Australia. ( a friend of mine managed to somehow obtain a Citadel T-shirt back in the late 80s…very envious of that item I can tell you)…

Saleswise, ’Tears Me In Two’ sold out and got to Number 1 in the Australian Indie charts. It reached the shores of Britain in 1986 but only as an import from a few shops in London.

It’s notable for it’s constant fuzz attack and Richard Lane’s opening scream introducing one of the very best garage punk songs of the 80s.

Everything is RIGHT about this record, even down to the simplistic art pop picture cover.

There’s a promo video of The Stems performing ’Tears Me In Two’ looking every inch ’The Knights Of Fuzz’….

The flip ’Can’t Resist’ is a fast tempo fuzz rocker, this time sung by Mariani.

I’ll sum this 45 up in one word….ESSENTIAL!…..

It’s odd you praise the songwriting skills of Dom Mariani but then post a song written and sung by Richard Lane. I liked the few songs he wrote more than Dom’s actually. Heads Up their new album isn’t too bad either.

THE BARRACUDAS – ‘(I Wish It Could Be) 1965 Again / ’Rendezvous’ (Zonophone Z11) 11/1980

They were remnants of London’s second or third wave decaying 70s punk scene, only The Barracudas were not punk rock, more like surf punk (at least that’s how the music came out sounding).

’1965’ written by guitarist Robin Wills, is their classic ode to a better time where girls were pretty, wore mini skirts and most everything was hip.
Check out these lyrics where Wills name drops, in a brilliant way, all that is cool in ’65.

’Jan and Dean
Y’know what i mean.
Surf City, Drag City, Folk City, Motor City, Hit City number one.
Fun City: Fun Fun Fun.
Chewy, Chewy. Yummy, Yummy and Louie, Louie.
Shindig, Hullabaloo. Bandstand and Where The Action is too.
Eight Miles High, Take a Trip.
Hope you flip.
Raw and Alive in ’65.

The flip ’Rendezvous’ is another cool surf punker where a poor surfer boy has been left waiting over an hour for his girl to turn up to meet him on a date. Fuck that, I would have given her 10 minutes tops!

Two brilliant songs on one brilliant 45. Plus you get to check out just how great The Barracudas looked on the picture cover. England’s long lost band.

THE HEADLESS HORSEMEN – ’Gotta Be Cool’ EP (Resonance 45-8820) 1988

New York band The Headless Horsemen may just have been the most talented outfit of the garage revival scene during the mid to late 80s. All of their releases are essential listening and shouldn’t be that difficult to track down, unfortunately several major killers have never seen the light of day on CD.

This really is a sad case of events. A quality band like The Headless Horsemen should have had the re-issue treatment by now!

After playing their debut album ’Can’t Help But Shake’ at least once a week in 1987 I couldn’t believe my eyes when I flicked through the record boxes in my local vinyl shop the following year and pulled out a brand new record by these guys. Sadly it wasn’t a full length album but a four song twelve inch record. Ha, remember the good old twelve inch record of the 80s..

’Gotta Be Cool’ is a Flamin’ Groovies type rocker with punkadelic guitar by Elan Portnoy who had been previously ’cool’ in The Fuzztones….

’Ya gotta stay with me if you wanna be cool’….

’See You Again’ follows next and the mood and pace slows down somewhat but the angst does not. Got to applaud the musicianship and general ’tightness’ of The Headless Horsemen, no doubt honed by their frequent gigs in New York. According to a write up in ’Kaleidoscope’ – issue 3 they had an effervescent stage show, an ear for a good hook as well as a good joke.

Side 2 opens with a Peter Stuart (ex Tryfles) original called ’Miles Above’. It’s a meandering folk rock tune with a jangle burst of greatness. Things get all a rockin’ next with the Larry Williams favourite ’Bad Boy’….I of course knew this song first from The Beatles cover. Don’t think I’ve ever heard the original come to think of it?!!

The Headless Horsemen recorded at Brill Buildings in New York and had access to vintage 60s equipment. They list the instruments used on the back cover of this record and if you’re a musician it will make your brain hurt.

Michael Maltese:
The Headless Horsemen have long been a favorite of mine and remain so. Even wrote a fan letter back in 1988 and still have my glossy 8×10. Well done, all around!

The Headless Horsemen were an amazing live band back in their day. I recall many a night in divey places seeing them play in NYC in ’86-’89.

Yep, they were amazing. Peter did lead vocals throwing the craziest bass parts around… and they were great guys too. That sleeve with Nuns and Teisco May Queen silhouettes have defined my ideas of what’s cool in guitarland ever since – along with the iconic Vox Phantom and Teardrop shapes, of course, courtesy of Elan’s previous band: the Fuzztones.

I kept in touch with Peter for a while and he dropped by at the rehearsal room of my old band, the Ace-Tones, when he was on tour (with Bianca ‘Bob’ and Flystrip). Did some songs together… must’ve been 1992 or something. Almost twenty years ago and I STILL play that kind of music!

FORTUNE & MALTESE and the Phabulous Pallbearers – ’Leave No Stone Unturned’ / ’Time Has Gone’ (Get Hip Records GH-212) 1997

Long time admired band Fortune & Maltese and the Phabulous Pallbearers turn all folk rock on us with this great two sider on the collectable Get Hip label.

’Leave No Stone Unturned’ is the more commercial side with ringing jangle guitar recalling the likes of The Turtles. They made a promo video for this song and it was released on the Knights Of Fuzz DVD a couple of years ago. It’s also been uploaded on YouTube.

The flip ’Time Has Gone’ has a tougher folk punk sound. Freddy Fortune’s snarl has never sounded better than on this.

THE ROADRUNNERS – ’I Believe’ EP (Uppers UMD-87102) 1997

I’m not too sure what they put into the water in Sweden but every so often that country unleashes a talented purist garage band as good, if not better than any other.

Take Stockholm band The Road Runners for instance. What kinda time capsule did they emerge from? And just look at their complete purist image on the sleeve of their debut single. I love bands that make an effort. Image is very important don’t you think?

The single was released as a five song CD with their finest moment ’I Believe’ in both stereo and the superior mono mix.

All songs are originals, all are written by lead singer Peter Carlsson except ’Come Here Honey’ which was written by guitarist Joakim Dimberg.

All songs are worthy of your interest especially ’I Believe’….an R&B shaker that moves roughshod over the melody of ’Keep On Running’….all of the other tracks are like long lost out-takes from ’Get The Picture’ era Pretty Things….

An essential release.

THE MISANTHROPES – ’Why Do You Treat Me So Bad?’ / ’Waiting For You’ / ‘(I’m Gonna) Waste My Time’ (Get Hip Records GH-108) 1988

Place this beast of a 45 on your turntable remembering to set the speed to 33, place the needle on the run-in groove, crank up the volume and prepare for lift off……a bendy guitar opening turns into crude snotty garage punk with attitude…. the singer is full of pissed off fury.

He wants to know why his girl ’treats him so bad’ and he wants to know NOW or some cheatin’ bitch is gonna get slashed. ha ha ha…..

Cue fuzz, hand claps and another cool lead guitar solo and The Misanthropes are done until you turn over the platter for the two song B-side.

’Waiting For You’ and ‘(I’m Gonna) Waste My Time’ can’t match the opening assault of ’Why Do You Treat Me So Bad’ but they sure as hell still hit the part of my brain that says to me ’pick up an axe and do some damage to squares’….

This is the only record The Misanthropes released so like their 60s counterparts they will be remembered as a one record, no hit wonder….

They hailed from Harrisburg, PA by the way.

Ahhh nostalgia. Two of these cats were previously in a very groovy Harrisburg, PA 60’s Pretty Things/Dutch beat styled r&b group called the Cool Italians, who sadly never made it into a studio…

THE TELL TALE HEARTS – ’Circus Mind ’ / ’Flying’ (Nevermore Records 1810) 1989

San Diego band The Tell Tale Hearts are a well known outfit among 80s garage followers but perhaps this record, limited to 800 copies on Nevermore fell under your radar. ’Circus Mind’ was a very obscure Pretty Things single but hidden away on a B-Side.

Here The Tell Tale Hearts deliver their finest ever moment turning a mellow late 60s song into a magical folk rock killer complete with harmonica, a steady Byrdsian rhythm and excellent lead vocals.

The flip ’Flying’ a Stax/Swart original is also magical. It’s a kind of slow paced musical composition with a pleasant organ break and soft drum work. I wish they never broke up and followed this path more often.

’Circus Mind’ was recorded at Hit Single Studio 1989.
’Flying’ was recorded in Yucaipo 1989 but not mixed and completed until 1993.

Bill Calhoun (lead vocals, harp)
Mike Stax (bass)
Ron Swart (organ)
Jon Mckinney (rhythm guitar)
Carl Rusk (lead guitar on ’Circus Mind’)
Paul Carsola (drums on ’Circus Mind’)
Craig Packham (drums on ’Flying’)

THE FUZZTONES – ’Nine Months Later’ / ’You Must Be A Witch’ (Situation Two SIT 61) 1989

’Nine Months Later’ is a scuzzy psycho trash rocker. The chorus gloriously rips off ’Hang On Sloopy’….but I don’t think the Goths would have noticed (ha ha ha)….yes, for some strange reason those puny faced vampire lovers seemed to dig this line up of The Fuzztones. Well they did in England, maybe it was because of their association with The Cult and The Damned?

The flip is a cover of ’You Must Be A Witch’ originally done by The Lollipop Shoppe of course. The Fuzztones version is a kind of heavy metal bash, far too polished. But I suppose they were signed to a major and had more studio time.

Got to mention the perverse single sleeve designed by Rudi Protrudi. The young pre school infant girl wearing sexy gear would have the Rozzer’s banging on Rudi’s backdoor here in the UK in 2008. We gotta protect our fuckin’ cherubs.

The other side of the sleeve shows a baby boy in Fuzztones T-Shirt and crocodile tooth necklace sobbing his eyes out. It’s gotta be the oldest looking nine month old baby I’ve ever seen. He’s even had time to grow a black mop top. A classic cover all the way.

Production by 60s legend Shel Talmy.

THE EARLY HOURS – ’I’m Drained’ / ’Hard Feelings’ / ’The Girl I Haven’t Met’ (Screaming Apple SCAP 40) 1996

’I’m Drained’ is easily the best song The Early Hours wrote and probably the only record you need to own by them. Not that the rest of their material is bad it’s just average garage pop and unfortunately singer songwriter Kirk Pohl has a weak vocal range, not that this had harmed almost every garage band in the past.

’I’m Drained’ is a killer tune made even better by Sean Carthew’s lead guitar riffage. The drums work well and the added touch of tambourine make this song way above average.

The two songs on the flip can’t match the A-side and are quickly forgotten.

Recorded and mixed by Tom Thorpe at Bonsai Studios, Perth, Western Australia October 1995.

THE RAIN PARADE – ’What She’s Done To Your Mind’ / ’Kaleidoscope’ (Llama Records DK 002) 1982

Los Angeles band The Rain Parade were the best psychedelic band on the planet up until the release of ’Explosions In The Glass Palace’. After this scorching mini album the decline set in and the consistency was gone. The album ’Crashing Dream’ on Island rarely sparkled.

It’s their early work that made them appeal to my senses. It was obvious that they merged Byrdsian & Pink Floyd’s lysergic moves with a modern pop twist. They were not just about wearing ’66 garage threads and haircuts like so many of the bands that followed.

’What She’s Done To Your Mind’ is an earlier take. Very much rougher around the edges and including original drummer Michael Murphy. The version on ’Emergency Third Rail Power Trip’ is a more polished performance. Either way, it’s a tremendous pop jangle tune.

The flip ’Kaleidoscope’ is the same version as the album cut. This time around The Rain Parade offer a slow paced acid psycher. I can’t imagine any other band in ’82 recording this type of sound. Only maybe Plasticland?

They were every bit as good live as on record when I attended their gig in December 1985 at The Riverside Club, Newcastle. It was perhaps my favourite ever gig. They were outstanding and brought along an authentic liquid slide projector that dappled shades, shapes and colours onto the stage.

THE TYME SOCIETY – ’When I See Her Eyes’ / ’I Gotta Know’ / ’Marion The Painter’ (Butterfly Records BUT-05) 2001

I’m not sure if The Others have quit for good? Hopefully a reader can leave a message with some details. Fortunately the leader of The Others Massimo Del Pozo has formed another brilliant garage band for me to enjoy.

This three song 45 on the collectable Spanish label Butterfly Records is a killer 12 string jangle and punk fest of the highest order.

All songs have a farfisa organ backdrop weaving in and out of the fuzz and jangle. real cool stuff.

Of particular interest is the ’New England Teen’ style moodiness of ’I Gotta Know’….this one will send a shiver up your spine with it’s perfection. ’Marion The Painter’ is a raga rock instrumental. All songs sung in English.

The recordings on this disc were made in Rome at Alien Studio, December 2000 and mastered at Delta Studio a few months later……buy it while you can.

THE CHESTERFIELD KINGS – ‘I’m Going Home’ / ’A Dark Corner’ (Mirror Records VRP-2062) 1982

This was the Chesterfield King’s fourth 45. The previous three are very hard to track down but this one regularly crops up on eBay so there’s no excuse for not adding it to your collection.

Both sides are perfect covers of ’66 garage punkers, sounding like they were recorded back in those glorious days.

’I’m Going Home’ is a Stones inspired rocker with harmonica and snarl. check out the original by The Choir. This tune was on The Chesterfield Kings album ’Here Are The….’ Strangely, this album is now out of print and has never been re-issued or digitalized to CD.

’A Dark Corner’ is the psychedelic punk obscurity originally done by The Bourbons. The Kings probably recorded this song around the same time as their album recordings but maybe this track was left off the long player to fill a B-Side.

Easily my most favoured line-up of this Rochester garage band and one of only two bands I ever wrote to back in the 80s. And how about the look of the record label? Purist ’66 or what!!!

I’m blown away that you’ve got this gig flyer posted here! This was the first gig I’d ever seen either The Cynics or The Chesterfield Kings live. I believe it was 1987 and I met the guys from The Cool Italians (later to become The Misanthropes) there for the first time who’d road-tripped all the way from Harrisburg, PA to Hoboken, NJ (a good 3 hour drive).

THE STEPFORD HUSBANDS – ’Why Aren’t You There?’ / ’Yeah!’ (Cryptovision Records BR 11-1) 1984

This record just reeks of lo-fi garage punk attitude even down to the disgracefully cheap sleeve. Well, that’s if you can call it a sleeve. More like a slip of paper with a black and white image of two Red Indians probably nicked from National Geographic.

At least the music on the disc is bang on the money. ’Why Aren’t You There?’ is a crude ’Back From The Grave’ type punk outing with basic instrumentation and drums that sound like the guy is banging on some cardboard boxes.

The Stepford Husbands on this release were Dave Amels from NYC and Englishman Gary Thomas. Cryptovision label Boss Mike Linn helped out on drums.

’Yeah!’ was more or less recorded live in the studio. It’s a groovy organ dominated instrumental with a fab guitar solo and sax. Instead of the sax I’d have gone with some fuzz.

Other information: ’Why Aren’t You There?’ was compiled on 80s garage collection ’Declaration Of Fuzz’ and Cryptovision Records also put out 45s by The Mod Fun and The Optic Nerve.

Brilliant band, they had a few other 45’s in the 80’s (including a cover of The Eye’s ”I’m Rowed Out”) on Dave & Gary’s short-lived Cryptvision label (also home of some mod Fun & Optic Nerve releases).

THE OTHERS – ’Can’t Tell You Lies’ EP (Screaming Apple SCAP 043) 1996

I’ve written about Rome band The Others several times before, check out the archives. They are the best thing to come outta Italy since spag bol. You need this EP if you have a liking for the jangly side of garage.

Four songs of 12 string magic for the listener to feast on. The two originals by leader Massimo del Pozzo are excellent. EP opener ’Can’t Tell You Lies’ is a delight and the folk punk of ’Today ’n’ Tomorrow’ is as sweet as a Summer breeze.

The other tracks are covers. ’I’ve Been Waiting’ was originally done by Dutch beat band The Fallouts. It was compiled on an old 80s vinyl LP titled ’Havoc From Holland’. I’ve not heard the original before but it will be a killer judging by The Others copy.

The other cover is ’In A While’ by The Pictorian Skiffuls. This fragile folk rocker has been a firm favourite of mine for years.

Massimo (vocals, 6 & 12 string vox guitars)
Bruno (bass, backing vocals)
Fabrizio (Hofner guitar)
Guiliano (Ludwig drums, tambourine)
additional harpsichord by Emilio.

All songs sung in English. Dig! The Others, they’re what’s happening.

THE JAM – ’Funeral Pyre’ / ’Disguises’ (Polydor POSP 257) May 1981

From 1979 to the end of 1981 The Jam were my favourite band. Back then I pretty much worshipped everything they had done to this point. Paul Weller was the voice of the youth (ie) teenagers like myself out for doing teenage things like smoking dope, playing football, getting off with girls if we were lucky, or just getting drunk under a tree on a few cans of cheap Kestral.

Their songs seemed to mean a lot to working class kids especially lads, hell they even covered songs by The Kinks and The Who and ripped off The Beatles on their previous single ’Start!’..

After ’Funeral Pyre’ I more or less gave up on them cos they turned too souly and by now I’d discovered The Byrds so it was ’case closed’.

However, ’Funeral Pyre’ was The Jam’s last GREAT 45. It was like nothing they had ever recorded before nor would they indulge in this kind of tortured mysterious rock again.

The pounding bass riffs from Bruce Foxton allied with the frenetic and prominent drum work from Rick Buckler and the obscure lyrics from Weller really made this song stand out for me. I’d never heard anything like it before.

It reached Number 4 in the UK Charts but that position was more or less taken for granted on pre-sales alone. So the rest of the public just didn’t get it and it quickly fell down the chart placings, only hanging around for 6 weeks. This was probably viewed as a disaster for the band themselves but musically it was a triumph.

The promo video for ’Funeral Pyre’ was also creepy and almost entirely shot in the darkness of night in some woods with kids wandering around with burning torches looking for things to set ablaze. A touch of The Wicker Man here.

The flip ’Disguises’ is a totally cool cover of The Who obscurity. The Jam make it sound even more psychedelic than the original with the echoey production and more especially with the backwards guitars.

HOODOO GURUS – ’Like Wow – Wipe Out’ / ’Bring The Hoodoo Down’ (Big Time BTS-1588) 1985

For some strange reason The Hoodoo Gurus didn’t get a place in The Knights Of Fuzz book? Can’t think why, maybe it was because the Hoodoo’s became quite a ’big’ band in the late 80s. I suppose I left them behind after the ’Blow Your Cool’ LP in 1987.

Anyway, back to this disc from ’85. The top side ’Like Wow – Wipe Out’ is modern day garage rock. Caveman stick work, slashing guitars and pounding bass make this the standout track on the album ’Mars Needs Guitars’..

’Bring The Hoodoo Down’ is non LP. This time the production is a bit too 80s for my taste. It’s just too clean and ’modern’ sounding. It’s got a great guitar solo though.

The Hoodoo Gurus played a gig in my home City, Newcastle at The Riverside Club on the 28th November 1985. I’ve got several photo’s from the gig I took. Two are shown below for the first time on the internet.

From memory, they put on a great show. Around about the same time period they appeared on a music show from Newcastle called ’The Tube’, and for me it was one of the only highlights in the entire run of the programme. They fuckin’ killed the audience with their loud guitars and primitive rockin’. I’m sure it will be on YouTube somewhere.

DM3 – ’Making Time’ / ’TV Sound’ (Get Hip Records GH-180) 1994

The talented and much admired musician/songwriter Dom Mariani formed a new band for the 90s called Dom Mariani Three or DM3 for short.

Casual listeners must know that Mariani was the leader of the fabulous Stems in the mid 80s and then The Someloves at the end of that decade. His next venture was more guitar rock orientated showing of his lead and riffarama guitar skills.

’Making Time’ is a mediocre cover of The Creation classic. Not sure why DM3 chose to cover this? There’s no way they could better the original. Far superior is the Mariani/Mather original ’TV Sound’….what a great rocker this is, one of the best tunes DM3 ever came up with.

Dom Mariani : Vocals, Guitar
Pascal Bartolone : Drums
Tony Italiano : Bass, Vocals
Iain Campbell : Guitar, Vocals

THE DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR – ’You’re A Good Man Albert Brown’ / ’Vanishing Girl’ (Virgin Records VS 982) 1987

Everyone and their dog must know by now that The Dukes Of Stratosphear were XTC in disguise. Although at the time I didn’t realise this but soon sussed out the details when I bought their first LP. Alias names were also used and so were song writing credits etc.

Anyway, the top side ’You’re A Good Man Albert Brown’ is one of those late 60s English psych cockney knees-up type charmers. Only I ain’t charmed in any way, just not my scene. Don’t know why this song was chosen as a single when they had much better ones to pick from?

This 45 is in the list because of the rather brilliant flip ’Vanishing Girl’. It recalls mid 60s Hollies pop magic with a stunning melody.

THE BERRY PICKERS – ’Watcha Tryin’ To Do’ / ’All Aboard’ / ’Wee Wee Hours’ (Dionysus ID 074506) 1987

According to Timothy Gassen’s recommended reference book titled ’The Knights Of Fuzz’, The Berry Pickers were from Hollywood in California. They obviously named their band after their hero Chuck Berry. Two of the songs on this record are Berry covers. Both are solid efforts but the authentic R’n’B of ’All Aboard’ is a particular success.

’Watcha Tryin’ To Do’ is an original composition written by guitarist Jack Lopez. It’s a lo-fi R&B take of Jagger’s Stones, circa 1964 but without their budget or the studio muscle Decca could provide. The song still works.

There are two things I dig about The Berry Pickers. The most important being that they did their own thing when most of the ’underground’ scene were going ’garage’ or ’psych’….they chose to represent the Blues and pulled it off for such a young band.
And secondly they made the cool decision to record in glorious mono.

Dan Herrera (drums)
John Vetter (bass)
Jack Lopez (guitar)
Jeff Alexander (vocals/harmonica)

Tracks recorded November 25th, 1986 but released in ’87.

FORTUNE & MALTESE and The PHABULOUS PALLBEARERS – Sonic Sounds From Seattle EP (Dionysus ID0745102) 2000

This band from Kalamazoo, MI are one of my favourite bands of all time and that’s a high compliment to make but hey, it’s true. They fuckin’ rock and leader Freddy Fortune has an awesome garage punk vocal delivery, full of angst and spit.

’Sonic Sounds From Seattle’ is an EP made up of four songs, two originals and two covers. Side A opens with a killer version of ’Girl, Go Run Away’ originally done by The Bedforde Set. It’s far superior than the original in every way, better vocals, classier instrumentation and the production slays the Bedforde Set.

’You Watch The Road’ could be my fave Fortune and Maltese tune. It’s a garage swinger with dumb lyrics just the way they should be. Fab organ weaving in and out of the punk lead guitar frills. Dig the rave-up ending of the song….

’The sidewalk scene in this whole City,
Is crawlin’ with girls who look so pretty.
The clothes they wear are causin’ a minor sensation,
Doesn’t leave much to my imagination’.

The B-Side opens with a Mysterians like organ dominated go go instrumental titled ’Don’t Question Me’. This one would be hip for those 60s hippie chicks dancin’ in those Sunset Strip cages. The EP closes with a rockin’ version of ’Jump, Jive and Harmonize’ originally by Thee Midniters.

You need this record.

All songs recorded July 29th, 1998 in Seattle, Washington at Kearney Barton’s Audio recording Inc.

THE CYNICS – ’No Way’ / ’Dancin’ On The Wall’ (Get Hip GH-101) 1987

One of the most famous 80s garage bands to emerge from those forgotten times were The Cynics from Pittsburgh. They had the talent to release scores of 45s and plenty of studio albums so their work should not be that difficult to pick up twenty odd years after their show of hands.

’No Way’ recorded in June 1986 but not released until ’87 is a garage fuzz punk blast with no let up. The label states ’recorded in anger’ and I ain’t gonna argue with that assessment. This Kastelic-Kostelich creation will have you tearing up the town knifing every hillbilly in sight. Don’t worry though, there will still be enough of those thick pig shit eaters to appear on the Jerry Springer Show.

The flip ’Dancin’ On The Wall’ is another demented fuzz winner with cool fucked off vocals. The Cynics take no prisoners that’s for sure. This track is not on the LP Blue Train Station.

THE MYSTIC EYES – ’My Time To Leave’ / ’From Above’ (Get Hip GH-102) 1987

Hailing from Buffalo, New York The Mystic Eyes were an unlikely looking garage band but they perfectly blended 12 string jangle with a crude backbeat on their classic ’My Time To Leave’.

It’s an anthemic number and very commercial sounding that would have done well in the indie charts had it got any exposure.

the flip ’From Above’ is a Q65 cover and has that cool folk rock groove with more jangle, acetone organ and casual vocals, almost spoken in a way. Singer Bernard Kugel is strangely putting on a fake Dutch accent as per the original. It’s also a non LP cut.

Bernard Kugel (vocals, guitar)
Craig Davison (bass, organ)
Eric Lubstorf (6 and 12 string guitar) died 1998
Scott Davison (drums)

SICK ROSE – Double Shot (Electric Eye EES 18) 1987

Italian 80s garage legends The Sick Rose released this two single assault in one smart package called ’Double Shot’ in 1987. And it’s a classic of the genre and well worth adding to your collection.

They cover two choice punkedelic songs. ’Nothin’ originally done by The Ugly Ducklings and ’My Time’ by The Golden Dawn. But it’s the originals by bass player Maurizio Campisi that stand out from the rest.

’It’s Hard’ is a fast paced punker with fuzz guitar and reverb. The organ is buried deep in the mix, would have preferred this to be louder. The best song is ’When The Sun Refuses To Shine’. Thankfully, the organ is high in the mix and as such this track is a garage punk swinger.

All songs are sung in English.

CHARIOT – What If I Run Out Of My Pills? (Munster MRCD 146) 1998

Here’s another rare CD single to make my Top 50 of recommended post 1975 ’45s’ to add to your collection. This time it’s a collaboration of musicians calling themselves Chariot.

They were formed by ex Posies Ken Stringfellow and Brian Young, Javier Escovedo (ex Zeros and True Believers) and Pat Fear from White Flag. Their mission was to play straight ahead rock and roll with a 60s pop slant, also embracing country rock and power pop.

This CD single is worth tracking down because it’s almost like a full album coming in at a full 26 minutes. So it’s gonna be money well spent if you can find it. It will be difficult though because only 550 were pressed.

What If I Run out of My Pills?
Nos Vemos Por Ahi
Un Poco de Animo

CD bonus Live on The Crayola Blaze Show with interviews and cuts such as the Choir’s ’I’d Rather You Leave Me’, ’Another Day Passes By’, ’Black Is Black’ and ’Un Angel Del Fuego’


TYRNAROUND – ’Want Of A Rhyme’ / ’Hello Or Goodbye’ (Polyester LUV 5) 1987

This is an essential 45 if you’re into psychedelia. The Tyrnaround were from Australia and formed in 1985. Both of these tracks were recorded in 1986 but not released until the following year.

’Want Of A Rhyme’ is easy on the ear pop psych, but the killer on this disc is the adventurous B-Side ’Hello Or Goodbye’….This one really recaptures Syd Barrett and the acid era Beatles perfectly. All the elements are present and the trippy time changes especially elevate the song to beautiful highs.

Ken Gardner (keyboards)
Michael Phillips (vocals) died 1999
Peter Fidler (guitar)
Leigh Underhill (bass)
Gavin Gray (drums)

LOS NEGATIVOS – ’Moscas Y Aranas’ / Un Dia Especial’ (Victoria VIC-301) 1986

Brilliant cover to compliment an outstanding 45. This band were the business all right. They had obvious 60s influences but added a mix of their own and sound very similar to my all time favourites from Australia The Stems.

’Moscas Y Aranas’ powers along at a high tempo with piping organ, loud bass and cool guitars slashing all over the place. The flip ’Un Dia Especial’ is more of a guitar psych trip with a ’modern’ production sound. If I was to compare it I’d have to line it up alongside those cool early Rain Parade records.

This 45 will be a hard one to locate but fortunately both songs were taken from their album ’Piknic Caleidoscopico’.

Unfortunately, when this does come up for sale you’ll have to fork out about $100…. I’m sure I read a couple of years ago that a Negativos collection on CD was in the works?

In fact, Mushroom Pillow republished ”Piknik” in CD three years ago. The reissue came with a lot of extras (new mastering, demos, video clips & a terrific booklet in spanish) and worths every cent it cost. I think it’s difficult that the other band’s discs will be reissued but, who knows? Wonderful blog yours. Cheers

LOS NEGATIVOS – ’Pasando El Tiempo’ / ’No Soy Yo La (Psicoastenia)’ (Victoria VIC-303) 1986

I’m staying in Spain for a few more 45s by a band from Barcelona called Los Negativos. They were a big hit in Spain but nowhere else and are largely unknown and their first couple of garage pop singles are now sought after and hard to find.

’Pasando El Tiempo’ is a commercial pop song with jangle, it’s pleasant enough but the flip ’No Soy Yo La (Psicoastenia)’ is a brooding garage pop side with immediate appeal.

It’s gotta be said that they had a pretty good 60s psych image as well.

LOS FLECHAZOS – Los Flechazos EP (Detour Records DR043) 1996

I wrote about this cool Spanish mod band months ago, check out the archives. This time I’ll highlight their ’must get’ four track EP released by small indie label Detour Records.

All songs are sung in English which is a big help for me cos I don’t know the Spanish lingo and I ain’t got a clue what they’re singing about. Two of the songs are Flechazos originals written by band leader Alejandro Diez, although the mod rocker ’Pretty Sight Of Sorrow’ is co-written by bass player Paco Vila.

The two covers are interesting. They tackle ’Good Thing’ in a good way but it can’t match the original Paul Revere and the Raiders version. But their attempt at ’Dream In My Mind’ is a killer. For those of you who don’t know the song it was originally done by English freakbeat legends Rupert’s People.

Plus points also must go to Detour Records for the excellent cover (front and back)….

One More Try
Good Thing
Pretty Sight Of Sorrow
Dream In My Mind

THE LAZY SUNDAYS – ’A Shade In The Light’ / ’Gong With The Luminous Nose’ (Subterfuge Records) 1996

Out of the Madrid warmth come The Lazy Sundays. I rate this 45 as their best for a few reasons. First of all the cover graphics are fantastic and the sleeve is made of very thick card, just like those mid 60s English EPs.

Also because the top side, ’A Shade In The Light’ an original by Christophe Albero & Juan Ribas, is a psychedelic delight with ’skying’, a trippy hammond solo and gritty psych lead guitar.

The other side is a memorable cover of The Fleur De Lys song ’Gong With The Luminous Nose’.

The other reason to add this record to your collection is that ’Gong With The Luminous Nose’ is only available on this single. It was not on their album ’The Texture And The Flavour’….

THE TRYFLES – ‘(Had Enough Of) Your Lies’ / ’When I See That Guy’ (Midnight Records MID-4513) 1985

One of my favourite bands of the 80s were the awesome Headless Horsemen led by bassist/singer/songwriter Peter Stuart. Well, that talented musician’s earlier band had been the rather crude and primitive sounding Tryfles from New York.

I’m saying crude because I don’t think the mediocre production helped much. If you dig crude and primitive The Tryfles are for you.

The tunes on both sides are rips of 60s garage bands. ’When I See That Guy’ pinches The 13th Floor Elevators most famous opening riff….

VIBRASONIC – ’Don’t Leave Me Tired / ’The Unloved Insane’ (Target Records TGT006) 1992

Both sides of this record are trippy mind blowers with fuzz, sitar, distortion and eerie sound effects. I’m amazed that a band could get this sort of sound in 1991 when it was recorded.

The Vibrasonic were just two English musicians, Victor K. Fitch and Simon Paul Jones although the strangely named Dr Daryl Bowers played organ on ’The Unloved Insane’….
This is psychedelia of the highest order.

LES INCAPABLES – ’1234 Success’ EP (Teen Sound 004) 1997

Here’s a wonderful record for all of you vinyl hounds out there to track down. It was one of the earliest outings on Italian Teen Sound Records outta Rome so may be a tricky one to add to your collection.

Les Incapables were a Montreal, Canadian garage band that had a liking for their garage punk to be mixed with surf. The added touch of a spooky Vox continental organ gave their sound an authentic ’66 style. Plus the playing is of a crude nature.

If someone ever gets around to compiling a 90s Back From The Grave compilation this band would be on it.

tracks on EP:
Pauvre Fou

THE INDIKATION – ’Tu Manipule Ma Tete’ / ’Jaqueline’ / ’Indikation Ye Ye’ (Larsen LZ 068) 2002

Sadly The Indikation broke up in 2007 but at least they left three incredible 45s and a pretty good album behind. Their singles are really where the action is though. This was their first 45 on the French label Larsen.

The Indikation hailed from Norway but the top side of this record ’Tu Manipule Ma Tete’ is sung in French. It’s a mod mover with a commercial beat that could easily have been accepted by the kids if they ever knew where to find decent music.

’Jacqueline’ follows in similar mode but is perhaps not as instant on first listen but repeated plays make this another strong track.

’Indikation Ye Ye’ is a swingin’ instrumental in Small Faces style and it’s this track I’m putting forward as the crowd pleaser. Buy this EP if you ever see it for sale but it’s now a hard one to score.

THE BACKDOOR MEN – ”Going Her Own Way” / ”Dance Of The Savages” (FAB Records BM-S 002) 1986

This was Swedish band The Backdoor Men’s second and last 45. Robert Jelinek and Hans Ingemansson would later reform as The Creeps.
’Going Her Own Way’ written by chief songwriter Ingemansson is a 12 string jangle delight and reminds me of those cool pop ballads by The Rolling Stones circa 1965/66…

The other side ’Dance Of The Savages’ is a surf punk instrumental showing their garage side. This one has a strange opening of backwards tapes. The organ led pounder hints at the sound The Creeps would adopt on their fabulous debut album. Sounds a whole lot like The Prisoners.

Not only did The Backdoor Men have the songs they also had the ’way-out’ image to back up their greatness……

THE ESCALATORS – ’The Munsters Theme’ / ’Monday’ (Big Beat NS87) 1983

London’s Escalators were the alter-ego of psychobilly band The Meteors…. Psychobilly sucked big time and was unfortunately popular in England for about a year until people realised how shit it was.

Thankfully, The Meteors got a little bit of garage in their soul first with a cover of The Electric Prunes ’Get Me To The World On Time’ under the guise of The Clapham South Escalators (Clapham South is a London Tube Station) then they released this Munsters Theme cover as simply The Escalators.

Reader comment:
for a start this ain’t the meteors. its the escalators….by this time this 45 was recorded the meteors were on another line up. the escalators were a band formed of ex meteors of a band of its own.

THE VELVET CRUSH – ’Gentle Breeze’ / ’Party Line’ (demo) / ’On My Side’ (Bobsled 15) 2000

Under-rated band The Velvet Crush released this three song CD single on Bobsled Records. ’Gentle Breeze’ is taken from their album ’Free Expression’ but the other two tracks are only available here. Pleasingly all cuts are in MONO. Seems strange that a modern band would do such a thing.

The music is mellow country rock with a definite late 60s Byrds feel, their earlier work is much more indie rock with jangle.

By the time of this release The Velvet Crush were down to a duo of Paul Chastain and Ric Menck. Production duties were by Matthew Sweet……DIG IT!!!!

Reader comment:

are you sure the version of Gentle Breeze is the same as on the LP ”free expression”? I have an early version which was released on a Creation EP in the early 90s (Post-Greatness EP) and in my records the two versions (2000 7 inches and 1992 12 inches) are similar, with a less cleaner sound than the free expression LP version

THE STAIRS – ’Weed Bus’ EP (Go Discs GODCD 63) 1991

Back in 1991 there wasn’t a lot of new bands to listen to in England. However, a four piece Liverpudlian set were. Perhaps The Stairs were our best kept secret, not that ’Weed Bus’ (a song about smoking pot) would ever get played on the radio!

This 4 song CD single is now very rare and sought after. All tracks are worth a listen. My favourite is probably the jangly ’Flying Machine’…

The Stairs only ever recorded in MONO and on this promo video they sound like The Rolling Stones but look like The Chocolate Watch Band. A mix that couldn’t possibly fail…but somehow it did.

THE BREADMAKERS – ”Continental Cool” EP (Farniente Records 001) 1996

If you dig your R&B authentic without the influence of garage look no further than The Breadmakers from Victoria, Australia. It’s a shame that they chose a crap name for their band and an even bigger shame that the cover of this EP is second rate. Just as well that the music contained within is excellent.

The musicianship and production stand out as does the best song on the EP ’Searchin’ For Cool’… if The Breadmakers were searchin’ for cool they definitely found it with this song and EP as a whole.

Searchin’ For Cool
Bordeaux Wine
Yeah Yeah Baby
Blues For An Olive

THE UNHEARD – ’Don’t You Stand In My Sunshine’ / ’I Don’t Believe’ / ’I Don’t Want Anything But You’ (Kavern 7 Records K7-007) 1987

Continuing my trip through the dark recesses of my record collection, post 1975 releases, I pulled this three song EP out of an Australian box…. The Unheard were a group of four garage teen punks and their record was probably ’unheard’ in the late 80s.

I dig the fact that they preferred to have a picture of a tone-bender fuzz box on the front cover of their record, with a very small pic of themselves on the back of the sleeve. And it’s for that reason I’m giving them number 40 slot on my ’Flower Bomb Songs’ Top 50 chart.

All three songs are fuzz punkers with barely a tune to write home about. ’I Don’t Believe’ is perhaps their best.

Ah my friend Pat Brownlee is/was the vocalist/keyboard/rhythm guitarist for this outfit. He’ll be amused to see this here. I’ve sent him the link.

Neat! By the way, they went well on into the 90s and were a very cool live act around Sydney, and the south coast of NSW. Their cover of the Sonics’ Psycho really rocked.

THE POPPEES – ’Jealousy’ / ’She’s Got It’ (Line Records 6.14383) 1985

This copy is the re-issue on German label Line Records (they also released those Mindrocker compilations). This 45 originally came out on Bomp Records in 1978.

’Jealousy’ is a merseybeat influenced rocker displaying their obvious love for Hamburg era Beatles. There’s plenty of ’Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s’ and a cool guitar break. The other side is a cover of Little Richard’s 1956 song ’She’s Got It’…. Both sides of the disc were produced by Flamin’ Groovies Cyril Jordan.

I once read that The Poppees could have been contenders but they blew their chance with a major label (Sire) and split up shortly after in late ’78.

Please be advised of a rare reel tape discovery in Los Angeles: the unreleased debut album of The Poppees. This 12-song tape includes 1 of the group’s 2 singles on Bomp Records, ”If She Cries.”

The songs are definitely performed by The Poppees and are not from their splinter period where they became the alternate group, The Boyfriends.

The Poppees tape was found with a stack of other reel tapes, apparently from a radio station, from groups including: Yard Trauma; The Brood; The Boss Martians; and others.

The tape is being researched for transfer and release—30-plus years later after the original recordings. The Poppees performances are found original and sparkling; fans will find their 3 decade wait was not in vain.

Standout tracks include, ”Somebody Loves You” and ”You’d Never Leave.” All The Poppees Best, Mark Matlock Andromeda International

THE ULTRA 5 – Back In The Savage Garden EP (Zebrah Records ZR 003) 1996

The Ultra 5 were similar sounding to their major influences The Fuzztones. Judging by their attire they also shared the same bag of skulls, voodoo beads, monsters and graphic design ideas.

This four track EP has it’s moments and it’s here because they covered ’The Streets Of Your Town’ originally done by Country Joe And The Fish on their 1968 LP ’Together’…. Any band that covers a Barry Melton song deserve my attention.

tracks on EP:
Hit & Run
Right Is Wrong
Down Below
The Streets Of Your Town

The Ultra 5 were from New York but this was a release on a small Belgium label, limited to 500 copies. 

THE PLIMSOULS – ’A Million Miles Away’ / ’I’ll Get Lucky’ (Shaky City Records BMP 134) 1981

Undeniably great Rickenbacker enhanced jangler by The Plimsouls. They had been around since the late 70s but ’A Million Miles Away’ dates from 1981. It featured in a movie from ’83 called ’Valley Girl’….not much into non 60s films (unless the late great John Candy makes an appearance) so I’ve never seen it.

THE MAKERS – Here Comes Trouble EP (Estrus ES744) 1993

Crude three track EP from Spokane, Washington band The Makers. Every bit as rabid and badly recorded as some of those original North West 60s bands. They sure look the part on the cover with their neat white jackets, black jeans and beatle boots.

It must have been a sight when they turned up for gigs in the 1965 Pontiac hearse (pictured)

The Estrus label on the 45 proclaims ’Estrus High Fidelity’. The music on the disc is anything but ’high fidelity’…it’s lo-fi garage rock and roll, Back From The Grave style. I’m sure that’s what they were aiming for anyway.

The highlight for me is the track ’Nobody Gonna Break My Soul’…it’s a perfect ’66 style punker.

tracks on EP:
I Can’t Stand It
The Mantis
Nobody Gonna Break My Soul

THE LEATHER NUN – Desolation Ave EP (Wire Records WRMS 007) 1985

Here’s another instance where I only own one record by a band. I’ve never even heard anything else by Swedish band The Leather Nun.

I did go to one of their gigs in 1986 but can’t remember a thing. Mustn’t have been that impressed.

I plucked this 12” EP from the shelves today and remembered why I probably paid to go and see them. ’Son Of A Good Family’ is great punk rock. It’s a mix in equal measure of The Stooges with The Ramones but with a half spoken half sung Lou Reed vocal delivery.

The Leather Nun named themselves after a London stripper and once shocked their audience by showing a porno movie at a concert. They didn’t do this at the gig I went to otherwise I would have remembered!

songs on EP:
On The Road
Son Of A Good Family
Desolation Avenue (full length version)

THE MINDERS – ’Right As Rain’ / ’Up And Away’ (Earworm 38) Sept 1999

I’ve got a few 45s by The Minders, I’ve even bought ’Hooray For Tuesday’ LP but don’t know a great deal about them other than they hail from Portland, Oregon.

’Right As Rain’ is my favourite Minders song simply because of the use of the Echoplex.

REDD KROSS – ’Mess Around’ (Way 6066 CD single) 1997

Long time going band from Los Angeles or are they? I’ve not read anything about them since the album ’Show World’ in 1997. This was a single lifted from that fine album which is full of modern day rock songs played with bags of melody and pop hooks.

THE REVOLVING PAINT DREAM – ‘Flowers In The Sky’ / ’In The Afternoon’ (Creation 002) Feb 1984

I can still remember buying this record from a shop in Sunderland. I probably bought it during the week it was released, which according to information from an online source was 25th February 1984.

Only 1000 were produced and is rare and sought after. It featured Andrew Innes who went onto Primal Scream, Christine Wanless and the Jasmine Minks’ Dave Musker on keyboards.

The wraparound picture sleeve was printed by Bobby Gillespie also later to be in Primal Scream and the sleeves were folded by Alan McGhee himself as was typical of all the first twenty ’Creation’ 7” releases.

’Flowers In The Sky’ is a frenzy of guitar feedback and distortion. It’s certainly psychedelic and this sound was ahead of it’s time especially in England. The Rain Parade and The Dream Syndicate were experimenting with this kind of psych in USA around about the same time I suppose but I’d heard nothing like it in my country.

The grass is green in the fields for you
The grass is green in the fields
Its red and green, its orange and blue
The grasses are there for you (cause I love you)

The flip ’In The Afternoon’ is more of the same trippy psychedelia. It could almost be an extension of the top side but this time the vocals are female.

One for the shoegazers…..

THE CLIENTELE – ‘(I Want You) More Than Ever’ / ‘6 A.M. Morningside’ (Elefant Records ER-217) Dec 1999

Whilst I take my leave from the 60s for the next couple of months I’m gonna post fifty 45s that were released after 1975 that I recommend.

I’ve got good taste and an ear for coolness so fear not my regular readers this ain’t gonna be the ’end’ of Renaissance Fair, more of a journey into the unknown (maybe).

In at number 49 is this marvellous record by English band The Clientele. It’s the only record or CD I own by them (not sure why I’ve not investigated further??)

Anyway I was in one of the local record shops in Newcastle and bought this as a new release back in 2000. Not that I knew what to expect or anything, I just took a liking for the cover….

(I Want You) More Than Ever is a very fresh sounding melancholic pop tune that brings those special Curt Boettcher songs to mind. This has a lovely melody, really beautiful.

The flip ’6 a.m. Morningside’ is just as good, perhaps even more mournful. It comes across like a mix of ’Sunday Morning’ (Velvets) with 1968 period Donovan.

The Clientele sound 60s and they probably don’t even mean to.

THE KLIEK – ’Sandra’ / ’House Of Stone’ (Twang! Records TS 130662) 1992

I’m not sure if these scary cats wearing those even scarier clothes would entice the random record buyer into purchasing this 45.

Just look at how that top hat tries to evade the blokes head sitting centre. The last time I saw a top hat that small it was racing around a monopoly board.

Fortunately I knew all about The Kliek. They just happened to be the best Dutch beat group since the 60s. ’Sandra’ is a beat punk offering and at 2:19 is a short blast of coolness. It was written by singer Robert Muter, who would later form his new band Kek ’66 after the demise of The Kliek.

The flip ’House Of Stone’ is a cover of The Grass Roots garage punker from 1966. Couldn’t possibly compete with the original but it’s a pleasant blast. Almost note for note interpretation. Could have done with more fuzz though.

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