20 February, 2014
20 OS HAXIXINS - 'Under The Stones' (Groovie Records GROO 0024) 2010
Second time out for Brazilian group Os Haxixins on my blog "Flower Bomb Songs". I've been playing their second album "Under The Stones" for the last few days and the songs are really burying deep in my mind.
They're clearly fond of mid '66 garage sounds but have combined this with some spooky Doors like organ. I was actually very intriqued by the organ sound and I'm led to believe that they're using a Diatron.
Also in the mix is a heavy use of fuzztoned guitars and reverb. Most of the songs (apart from the two covers) are sung in their native language which is a huge bonus, for me anyway. No need to criticize unusual or wrong pronunciation of English words.
Hard to pick out a favourite as the whole album runs along smoothly, most songs have a fast tempo, no ballads. I'm not sure if Os Haxixins could pull off a slow love-song or ballad. I don't think it's their style.
17 February, 2014
EMERGENCY EXIT - 'Maybe Too Late' / 'Why Girl' (Dunhill D-4060) February 1967
I've had this 45 for years and have been meaning to write about it for just as long but somehow it never made it's way out of my record box until now. The Emergency Exit hailed from Seattle, WA and were active during most of 1966 and until mid/late 1967.
Two previously unreleased songs "Happy Song" and "Why Girl" can be found on a couple of volumes of the Big Beat CD comps "North West Battle Of The Bands". The version of 'Why Girl' is an earlier take from March 1966 and sounds more like a demo than a fully fledged studio cut.
'Happy Girl' has a rough British Invasion style and probably dates from around the same time.
Their first 45 'Maybe Too Late' / 'Why Girl' was released on the local label Ru-Ro Records during December 1966, and must have impressed someone at Dunhill Records as they were signed to the label. A couple of months later the Dunhill pressing was released and is arguably the labels toughest ever release.
'Maybe Too Late' is a wonderful jangle beat pounder with reverb and blended harmonies. I really dig this side, although it scores lower than 'Why Girl' in "Teenbeat Mayhem".
'Why Girl' has a throbbing beat with weird echo FX making it a 'way-out' teen punk record. It was compiled back in the 80s on a Boulders comp but since then has been missing in action.
A second Dunhill record followed in June 1967, 'It's Too Late Baby' / 'You've Been Changing Your Mind' but it's a record that I've not heard before.
Jim Walters (guitar)
Paul Goldsmith (guitar) * briefly a member of The Wailers
Luther Rabb (bass)
Bill Leyritz (drums)
|grainy picture scanned from the Big Beat CD booklet|
|grainy picture scanned from the Big Beat CD booklet|
15 February, 2014
THE MIRACLE WORKERS - 'Inside Out' (Voxx Records 200.031) 1985
Currently immersing myself with "Inside Out" by The Miracle Workers... This was released on Voxx Records back in 1985 and became a dominant presence on my turntable back then.
Let's face it, in '85 the music scene around the entire world was uninteresting apart from the odd scene here and there. You had to dig a little deeper beyond music weeklies like NME, Sounds and Melody Maker.....good rock 'n' roll music was out there untouched by lousy 80s production and synths.
All songs on this steller album are Miracle Workers originals apart from a choice cover of 'Hey Little Bird' (The Barbarians)...If you want your garage beat undiluted with fuzz, maracas, tambourines and pissed off snarl I can recommend this....shame it was recorded in stereo and not MONO though.....
Impossible to pick out a favourite track as they all simmer and explode so I closed my eyes and settled on the intense "One Step Closer To You"....written by lead singer Gerry Mohr.
The CD version of the album released many years later came housed in a different cover.
I contacted Miracle Workers guitarist / organist Dan Demiankow via Facebook this week and he kindly answered some questions I put to him.
DAN: "The above album cover that you posted, was the first pressing. We hated the bamboo lettering and the yellow background. Then there were 2 other Bomp versions, and 1 Virgin Records versions pressed. My favorite was this Virgin Records cover".
"Funny story about this photo. We did several photo shoots with different photographers. After getting the pics back on this shoot/photo, we decided to not use any photos from this shoot. But, somehow, these pics got out there."
"When I asked the guys who let these pics out, everyone shrugged their shoulders, "Gee, I don't know. Wasn't me." Well, that's show biz. Looking back, I now like these pics and am happy they are out there. Still, OK, who's gonna fess up?"
EXPO67: What are your memories about recording this album?
How many hours / days did the recordings take? Any songs abandoned because they weren't working? Any songs unreleased?
DAN: "As I recall, this album was done in two days. First day, all the songs were recorded live, in the studio. Meaning, we played together, like we were on stage. No song was over three takes. Usually, the second take was the one we kept."
"We had a philosophy that we had to get it in three takes or less. Our great engineer, Gary Bomb, was so fast, he made it possible for us to hurry and re-play the song right away, if we wanted to. The second day, we did some overdubs, and mixed down the album. In my opinion, it was Gary Bomb that suggested aggressive mixes and played the most major role in mixing the album. If it were a different engineer, I don't think we would have sounded so aggressive."
"No unreleased recordings in this session.
No songs were abandoned. We never fought over what songs go on our albums. We had the attitude that, oh well, we'll put any songs not yet recorded on our next album.
Greg Shaw asked us to record an album. We had no idea it would be well received. To us, we were just another 60s style garage band, happy to record an album. Overall, we just recorded what we played on stage. That's probably why the music had the energy that it had.
OK, here's a fun note: during the excitement of the sessions, the engineer accidentally grabbed a Herbie Hancock tape and we recorded over it. Oops!"
photos from Dan Demiankow's archive and taken from a Facebook page devoted to The Miracle Workers
|Miracle Workers - Gerry at the Rodeo Club Portland, Oregon, 1985|
|Miracle Workers - At the Rodeo Portland, Oregon|
|Miracle Workers - 1985 at the Rodeo Club Portland, Oregon|
|Miracle Workers Autumn Shade fanzine box set project show flyer courtesy of Kristin Angelique|
12 February, 2014
THE ESCORTS - 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy'/'All I Want Is You' (Fontana TF 453) March 1964
The Escorts played at Liverpool's Cavern Club during the same period as their friends The Beatles. Indeed they beat their rivals at being the first mersey group to record Larry Williams' classic 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy'.
The Escorts version has a youthful teenbeat sound with a crisp backing. According to the liners of the long outta print Escorts retrospective on the Edsel label, band members Terry Sylvester and Mike Gregory dismiss the 45 citing the lack of production skills by Jack Baverstock.
Despite a tour with Gene Pitney, Billy J Kramer and Cilla Black to promote their debut record, The Escorts never charted in England. At least they had some sharp suits and boots and one of my favourite band logos from the 60s.
DUFFY POWER - 'It Ain't Necessarily So'/'If I Get Lucky Some Day' (Parlophone R 4992) February 1963
Killer mod 45 that was released in 1963 but is captured in my '64 round up because it just oozes greatness and was perhaps ahead of it's time.
'If I Get Lucky Some Day' is classy bluesy mod with bursts of hammond organ. It's believed that Big Jim Sullivan added lead guitar to this recording. Shame it was lost on the B-Side.
Duffy Power extolling an air of nonchalance...circa 1964
DOWNLINERS SECT - 'Find Out What's Happening'/'Insecticide' (Columbia DB 7415) November 1964
1964 was quite a successful year for the Downliners Sect, they didn't really hit the big time or anything like that but 'Little Egypt' was a decent seller.
'Find Out What's Happening' was the ravin' follow-up and it was popular enough to get them a spot on TV Show "Ready Steady Go" (I've never seen this clip before, don't even know if the tape still exists?)
The flip 'Insecticide' is more intense R&B with wailing harmonica.
Don Craine is basically telling his girl that if she leaves him he's gonna 'insecticide' her....I doubt that he means spraying her with some insect killer either...
THE KINKS - 'You Really Got Me'/'It's All Right' (PYE 7N.15673) August 1964
This one needs no introduction....hard driving 60s rock complete with tense vocals and a killer distorted lead guitar solo.....Wow, it burns!
One of the most influential songs of all time.
THE KINKS - 'All Day And All Of The Night'/'I Gotta Move' (PYE 7N.15714) October 1964
The follow up to #1 hit 'You Really Got Me' was 'All Day And All Of The Night', another Ray Davies penned rocker relying on a similar power chord riff. Ray doesn't sound as pissed off on this one but it still smokes...
The hard driving beat of 'I Gotta Move' on the flip is another gem that may not be as well known to the casual listener.... have a listen to greatness...
THE KINKS - 'Kinksize Session' (PYE NEP 24200) November 1964
A month after I was born the first Kinks EP was released.
The back sleeve advertises their debut album. None of the four songs on this EP were on the album so it's a must have item for your Kinks collection!
'I've Gotta Go Now'
'I've Got That Feeling'
'Things Are Getting Better'
THE KINKS - 'Kinksize Hits' (NEP 24203) January 1965
The next Kinks EP was released a couple of months later in January 1965.
It gathered up the previous two hit singles complete with B-Sides.
02 February, 2014
19 MYSTIC SIVA - 'Same' (World In Sound RFR-002) 1970
This album by a group of teenagers is rare, try to find an original copy. If you do, you're likely to have to delve deeper into your pockets than ever before to purchase some black gold.
If you dig laid back rockin' with tripped out lead guitar, wah-wah and Hammond B3 organ, this record is for you. Not only that, but obscure re-issue label "World In Sound" have located the master tapes and have really gone to some extremes to bring the psych head a mind bending package, the very thick card sleeve is heavy, nearly as heavy as some of the guitar riffs by Al Tozzi....
Each and every song on the album has an eerie psych quality but "Supernatural Mind" is a dark burst of psych that will leave you mesmerized...hard to believe that the kids that made up Mystic Siva were all in their mid-teens....that's enough to blow your mind alone!
01 February, 2014
18 FIFTH PIPE DREAM (Relics 3027) 2013