Friday, February 28, 2020

The Fleshtones: Roman Gods 1982

The Fleshtones were formed in 1976 in Whitestone, New York by Keith Streng (born September 18, 1955, New York, New York) and Jan Marek Pakulski (born August 23, 1956, Lewiston, Maine), two roommates who discovered that a previous tenant had left behind some instruments in the basement of the house they were renting. Streng, on guitar, and Pakulski, on bass, were soon joined by neighborhood friends Peter Zaremba (born September 16, 1954), Queens, New York) on harmonica, keyboards, and vocals, and Lenny Calderon (born 1958), New York City) on drums.

In 1980, with the Red Star Records album not released (but later issued on cassette on ROIR, and subsequently on CD and vinyl), the Fleshtones were signed by Miles Copeland III at I.R.S. Records, where they worked with producers Richard Mazda and Richard Gottehrer.

Roman Gods is the first album by The Fleshtones. Trouser Press called it a "big leap forward" from the band's debut EP, Up-Front, noting that its adds "new personality and passion to the beat".  The album was largely recorded at Skyline Studios in New York City in June 1981, with the exception of one track ("The World Has Changed"), which was recorded at RKO Studios in London in February 1981, and produced by Richard Mazda. The record sleeve was designed by lead singer Peter Zaremba. The song Shadow-line (to J. Conrad) was performed by The Fleshtones in the concert film Urgh! A Music War.

[ AllMusic Review by Mark Deming 

In the 1980s, of the dozens of bands who were mining the sounds of '60s garage rock for inspiration, few were smarter or wittier about it than the Fleshtones; lots of folks might have sounded more like the Knaves or the Remains or whatever band they chose to embrace as a sonic template, but Peter Zaremba, Keith Streng, and their partners in Super Rock were able to communicate heart, soul, and actual thought instead of a mere awestruck nostalgia.

The Fleshtones could also rock pretty hard, and were willing to mix up their influences a bit (not many nuevo garage bands would pick Lee Dorsey as the source of their album's sole cover tune). There's never been a real substitute for seeing the Fleshtones live (not even their live album quite fills
the quota), but Roman Gods does a fine job of getting their ideas down on plastic with muscle, enthusiasm, and creative thinking, and it boasts several of their best songs, including the hard-charging "R-I-G-H-T-S," the moody "Shadow Line," the rollicking "I've Gotta Change My Life" (good advice!), and the title cut, easily the finest Kingsmen tune ever written by some guys from New York 20 years after "Louie Louie" was a hit. It's cool, it's not dumb, and it sounds great at a party -- Roman Gods is everything you've ever wanted in a garage revival album, and more!]

It was at this time that the band replaced Calderon with drummer Bill Milhizer (born September 21, 1948, Troy, New York), and appeared in the British punk/new wave film Urgh! A Music War, and released its first EP Up-Front. Four albums on I.R.S. followed: Roman Gods (1982), Hexbreaker!! (1983), and the live Speed Connection and Speed Connection II (1985). In 1982, they appeared on Dick Clark's American Bandstand TV show. In 1984 they re-recorded "American Beat" as part of the soundtrack of the Tom Hanks's movie Bachelor Party.

Despite having a large cult following, the band never achieved commercial success: Roman Gods debuted at No. 174 on Billboard’s album chart, the highest position that a Fleshtones album has attained.

The Fleshtones played at a CBGB 30th Anniversary show along with The Dictators in December 2003, and in August 2004 played Little Steven's Underground Garage Festival at Randalls Island in New York City with 39 other bands, including The New York Dolls, Iggy Pop, The Strokes, and Bo Diddley.

The Fleshtones signed with Yep Roc Records in 2003, which has released the albums Do You Swing? (2003), Beachhead (2005), Take A Good Look (2008), Stocking Stuffer (2008), Brooklyn Sound Solution (2011), Wheel Of Talent (2014), and The Band Drinks For Free (2016), as well as the EP Quatro X Quatro (2012), the compilation Budget Buster (2017), and several singles.

In September 2016, the Fleshtones toured China for the first time in the band's career. The tour was organized by Shanghai-based punk band Round Eye.


01. The Dreg (Fleshtone-77)  -  Keith Streng, Peter Zaremba    3:17
02. I've Gotta Change My Life  -   Keith Streng, Peter Zaremba    2:32
03. Stop Fooling Around!  -  Peter Zaremba    4:06
04. Hope Come Back  -  Keith Streng, Peter Zaremba    2:25
05. The World Has Changed  -  Keith Streng, Peter Zaremba    3:10
06. R-I-G-H-T-S    -    Keith Streng, Peter Zaremba    2:32
07. Let's See the Sun  -  Peter Zaremba    2:40
08. Shadow-line (to J. Conrad)  -  Keith Streng, Peter Zaremba    3:13
09. Chinese Kitchen  -  Keith Streng, Gordon Spaeth    2:12
10. Ride Your Pony  -   N. Neville    3:21
11. Roman Gods     -     The Fleshtones    4:40

The Fleshtones

Bill Milhizer – drums
Jan Marek Pakulski – bass guitar
Keith Streng – guitar
Gordon Spaeth – alto saxophone, harmonica, art direction
Peter Zaremba – vocals, illustrations, design
John Weiss – tenor saxophone

Friday, February 21, 2020

Bevis Frond: Bevis Through The Looking Glass 1987 - Triptych 1988

Bevis Frond - Bevis Through The Looking Glass 1987

The Bevis Frond is an English rock band formed in 1986 in Walthamstow, London, England. The band is fronted by Nick Saloman and has recorded many singles and albums on various independent labels.

Saloman was originally in a band known as the Bevis Frond Museum in the late 1960s, and in the 1970s, whilst at college, he played guitar with a duo called Oddsocks. They released one album, Men of the Moment. In 1979 he formed a band called the Von Trap Family, who released the first single on his own Woronzow Records label. The early Von Trap Family recordings, comprising three sessions, were released on the Bevis Frond Bandcamp site for the first time in May 2010.

The next release on Woronzow was in 1982, a 12" single by Room 13 with Saloman on guitar and future Bevis Frond drummer Martin Crowley. After Room 13 reached the end of its natural life, Nick Saloman had a bad motorbike accident that left him with a constriction of movement in his left arm. True to form, he had the arm set so that he could continue playing guitar. With the proceeds from a damages claim he bought a 4 track recorder and recorded some music which he decided to press as a limited release of 250 albums, more for the sake of just releasing an album than anything else.

He was very surprised when Funhouse records in Kent phoned him up and asked for a couple of hundred copies as they had been selling the album quite briskly. Saloman's desire was to "record the kind of music I'd like to listen to… I wanted a Hendrix/Wipers/Byrds sound but with a distinctly British feel.

" Subsequent albums were also recorded in a home studio and released on Woronzow until 1988, when he signed a deal with Reckless Records for the UK and USA. All the early albums were finally re-released on CD and Reckless financed the recording and release of his sixth album, Any Gas Faster, using a professional studio for the first time, reuniting him with Drummer Martin Crowley. This is also the point that he began touring. Another 1990 album, Magic Eye, was a collaboration with Twink of the Pink Fairies.

In 1990, he returned to the studio to record his next album, New River Head, which featured guest musicians including Barry Dransfield and David Tibet. The next year he recorded London Stone, but Reckless were less than happy with the album, and in the ensuing friction, Saloman decided to release the album on Woronzow again. All his subsequent albums have appeared on Woronzow.

[ AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason 

Although the Bevis Frond only appeared on disc with 1987's Miasma, Nick Saloman had in fact been a struggling musician for a good two decades before that breakthrough. (Indeed, the final track here, the paisley pop "Alistair Jones," was recorded in 1967, when Saloman was all of 14 years old.)

Originally released in a signed limited-edition record of 500 copies, then reissued as a double-LP set on Reckless (with all of the tracks eventually showing up as filler on Reckless' CD releases of the Bevis Frond's first several albums), Bevis Through the Looking Glass is a strictly historical collection of tracks that are primarily for the complete Bevis Frond devotee. 

Surely the average listener will find the 14-minute noodlefest "1970 Home Improvements" a tiresome slog, much less the side-long murk of "The Shrine." The more concise tracks on disc two are much better, with "Rat in a Waistcoat" being among Saloman's most biting early pop songs.


Originally released 1987 as a limited edition of 500 double-LP's with home-made sleeves, then in 1988 as another limited edition of double-LP's.
This is the first CD release, which includes new liner notes by Saloman and a reprinting of his spoof record-collecting catalog that came with the original release.

The Bevis Frond ‎– Bevis Through The Looking Glass
Label: Rubric Records ‎– RUB 21
Format: CD, Album, Reissue
Country: US
Released: 2005
Genre: Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock
Originally released: 1987


01. Intro     0:33
02. 1970 Home Improvements     13:50
03. Now You Know     3:14
04. The Shrine     19:39
05. Rat In A Waistcoat     5:22
06. In Another Year     2:40
07. Express Man     2:17
08. Mudman     5:23
09. Song For The Sky     3:35
10. Purtle Sline     8:16
11. I Can't Get Into Your Scene     3:20
12. Soot     3:19
13. Die Is Cast     3:04
14. Alistair Jones     3:00

Take it HERE 

Flac Size: 464 MB
MP3 @ 320 Size: 181 MB

Bevis Frond: Triptych 1988

[ AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett  [-]

The Bevis Frond's third album -- like the previous two, essentially a solo affair -- finds Nick Saloman again exploring things his way, recording what he likes how he darn well likes it. The recording quality is audibly cleaner even only two official albums on from his debut with Miasma, but he loses nothing of his own individual approach to making the music.

Some of his brightest, best hooks appear here -- it's no stretch to say that Roger McGuinn and company could have happily placed their own stamp on "Lights Are Changing," and Saloman delivers both music and lyrics with a warm, delightful air. Other comparatively calm but no less fascinating cuts include "Old Man Blank" and the (self-)conversational descending chime of "Hurt Goes On.

" The opening "Into the Cryptic Mist" is actually one of his most interesting, individual pieces, with a lovely central guitar part at the core, changing slightly as it goes while he adds everything from extra electric filigrees to keyboard solos over it. It's a good demonstration of his skills when not at full overdrive, though he does conclude the piece with one of his more expected nuclear-strength workouts.

The second side, meanwhile, contains one of his monsters -- "Tangerine Infringement Beak," a nearly 20-minute-long number. A multi-part song that covers everything from expected full Frond fun to way cool keyboard solos over minimal grooves and back to chiming bells along with the feedback and more, it's a worthy treat.

There's one delightful diversion early on -- "Debbie's New Song for Drums," which consists of the young person mentioned in the title having a quick little bash on things. It's a fun, unself-conscious move from someone comfortable in what he does and doesn't worry about always having to seem cool -- a very good sign.]


The Bevis Frond is essentially Nick Saloman, who does vocals and plays guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards. He is also the producer.The recording and touring band has included at various times:

    Adrian Shaw (bass guitar)
    Bari Watts (guitar)
    Ric Gunther (drums)
    Paul Simmons (guitar)
    Rod Goodway (guitar, vocals)
    Andy Ward (drums)
    Jules Fenton (drums)
    Martin Crowley (drums)
    Debbie Saloman (vocals)
    Dave Pearce (drums)

The Bevis Frond ‎– Triptych
Label: Rubric Records ‎– rub 20
Format: CD, Album, Reissue
Released: 2001
Genre: Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock
Originally released: 1988


01.     Into The Cryptic Mist     4:25
02.     Debbie's New Song For Drums     0:25
03.     Lights Are Changing     4:55
04.     Gemini Machine     4:05
05.     Phil Exorcises The Daemons   1:40
06.     Old Man Blank     3:45
07.     The Daily Round     3:05
08.     Hurt Goes On     4:25
09.     Corinthian     3:13
10.     Nowhere Fast     2:41
11.     Tangerine Infringement Beak     19:17
12.     Hey Joe     1:28

     Extra Tracks

13.     Time To Change     3:58
14.     You're Trying To Get Me High Again     2:55
15.     Still Couldn't See Her     2:40
16.     The Pilgrim's Way     5:22
17.     Through And Through     3:59
18.     You Got To Unwind     3:17 

Take it HERE  

Flac Size: 430 MB
MP3 @ 320 Size: 176 MB

Friday, February 14, 2020

Clock DVA: Thirst 1981

Clock DVA are an industrial, post-punk, and EBM group from Sheffield, England. They formed in 1978 by Adolphus "Adi" Newton and Steven "Judd" Turner. Along with contemporaries Heaven 17, Clock DVA's name was inspired by the Russian-influenced Nadsat of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange. Dva is Russian for "two".

One of the first groups to arise during the formation of the Sheffield Electronic Scene, Adi Newton formed the first lineup of Clock DVA, after his departure from The Future (the other members of which would go on to form The Human League and Heaven 17,) in 1978 with Judd Turner (bass), David J. Hammond (guitar), Roger Quail (drums) and Charlie Collins (saxophone, clarinet) in 1978 (the term 'DVA,' [meaning 'two' in Russian] was inspired by Anthony Burgess' satirical science fiction novel, 'A Clockwork Orange.')

Originally focusing on experimental music inspired by science fiction and the occult (with the latter fading as time went on) and later reflecting the burgeoning industrial and electronic body music that had begun seeping into underground music scenes on both sides of the Atlantic.

After a handful of privately produced cassettes (most of which have since been collected in the 'Horology' boxed sets of lps from the German label Vinyl-On-Demand) the band released a cassette on Throbbing Gristle's Industrial Records label. "White Souls In Black Suits" features Founder members Adi Newton ( vocals, violin, EMS Synthi E, tapes), Steven James "Judd" Turner (bass, vocals, treatments, rhythm machine, ex-Block Opposite), and the original guitarist David J. Hammond (guitar/treatments).

Two additional musicians were added to the line up, Roger Quail (drums) and Charlie Collins (saxophones, flute, and percussion,) and featured a sound much more in line with their contemporaries outside of the Sheffield scene (which had gravited to a smoother more pop oriented sound, for the most part.) The first formalised DVA line up also featured Simon Mark Elliot-Kemp on synthesiser.

In 1981, David J Hammond left and guitarist Paul Widger joined in 1980. The following album, "Thirst," was produced by Psychic TV producer Ken Thomas and released through the independent Record label Fetish (and was cited, by the NME Journalist Paul Morley, as one of the great albums of the 80's alongside Joy Division's "Unknown Pleasures" and The Falls "Dragnet".) 

Newton had previously worked with members of Cabaret Voltaire in a collective called The Studs and with Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware in a band called The Future. He formed the first lineup of Clock DVA in 1978 with Judd Turner (bass), David J. Hammond (guitar), Roger Quail (drums) and Charlie Collins (saxophone, clarinet) (born 26 September 1952, Sheffield).

Clock DVA was originally known for making a form of experimental electronic music involving treated tape loops and synthesizers such as the EMS Synthi E. Clock DVA became associated with industrial music with the 1980 release of their cassette album White Souls in Black Suits on Throbbing Gristle's Industrial Records.

Paul Widger joined on guitar. The LP Thirst, released on Fetish Records, followed in 1981 to a favourable critical reaction, knocking Adam and the Ants' Dirk Wears White Sox from the top of the NME Indie Charts, by which time the band had combined musique concrète techniques with standard rock instrumentation. "4 Hours", the single from Thirst, was later covered by former Bauhaus bassist David J on his 1985 solo EP Blue Moods Turning Tail.

Thirst is one of the best post-punk albums of 1981, and "4 Hours" is on par with "Final Solution" and "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" as an anthem of disaffection from society. At the time, the band had a conventional guitar/bass/drums lineup (with the addition of dissonant saxophone and clarinet). The album is unlike what came before it (the improvisatory White Souls In Black Suits) or afterward (the electronic Clock DVA of 1989-1993).
The entire band left after Thirst to form a new group called The Box, and vocalist Adi Newton formed a new Clock DVA for the next record, Advantage. Allmusic's biography links to a French-Canadian band called The Box, but the ex-DVA members actually went here:
Turner died in September 1981 due to an accidental drug overdose.

In 1982, Newton formed a new version of the band. First releasing the single "High Holy Disco Mass" on the major label Polydor Records under the name DVA, the band then released the album Advantage (with singles "Resistance" and "Breakdown") under the name Clock DVA. After a European tour in 1983, however, the band split acrimoniously. Adi Newton went on to form The Anti-Group or T.A.G.C. They released several albums continuing in a similar vein to the early Clock DVA, yet more experimental.

In 1987, Newton reactivated DVA and invited Dean Dennis and Paul Browse back into the fold to aid Newton's use of computer aided sampling techniques which he had been developing in The Anti Group.
Adi Newton reactivated Clock DVA along with his creative partner Jane Radion Newton in 2008.
In September 2016 Clock DVA performed a series of live dates in the United States.


01.     Uncertain     7:58
02.     Sensorium     3:22
03.     White Cell     4:33
04.     Piano Pain     3:46
05.     Blue Tone     4:59
06.     North Loop     4:54
07.     4 Hours     4:36
08.     Moments     7:36
09.     Impressions Of African Winter     6:23
10.     4 Hours (Original Single Mix)     4:48
11.     Sensorium (Original Single Mix)     3:21


    Bass – Turner
    Composed By – DVA
    Design [Sleeve] – Neville Brody
    Drums – Roger Quail
    Engineer – Ken Thomas
    Guitar – Paul Widger
    Liner Notes – Genesis P. Orridge
    Lyrics By – A. Newton
    Producer – ClockDVA, Ken Thomas
    Saxophone, Flute – Charlie Collins
    Voice, Clarinet, Tape – Adi Newton


Active, then immobility
I am myself
Against their laws of morality
I turn towards the eastern block
Create a new mental space
Carve out an area which is undefined
Begins to work
Then wheels turn
Juliette invades my dreams
Nature is benign
Darkness is sweeter than earths red wine

In my white cell
Nothing is right
Imprisoned, I make my own world suffer
For sensory deprivation increased my will
Their cruelty is ironic
For my pain is freedom against their will

I put pen to paper for my cause
Glorify my perversest thoughts
Four walls enclosed
I am alone to dwell on the darkest thoughs of man
Even though I could not exist I tried

120 days lost
And then complete
I ask for a non-religious funeral
But I am inturned in holy ground
Locked in endlessness in my white cell
As a person lost of sense and of will

In my white cell

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Strawbs: Hero And Heroine 1974, Remastered 1998

Strawbs (or The Strawbs) are an English rock band founded in 1964 as the Strawberry Hill Boys. Although the band started out as a bluegrass group, they eventually moved on to other styles such as folk rock, progressive rock, and (briefly) glam rock.

They are best known for their hit, "Part of the Union", which reached number two in the UK Singles Chart in February 1973, as well as for "Lay Down" a popular progressive rock hit from the same LP. The Strawbs also toured with Supertramp in their "Crime of the Century" tour, doing their own "Hero and Heroine" tour, which drew musical similarities and themes.

After the folk-tinged Dragonfly, Cousins and Hooper added Rick Wakeman on keyboards, Richard Hudson on drums, and John Ford on bass. The new line-up had their London debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where they recorded their third album, Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios; the Melody Maker reported on the concert with the headline "Tomorrow's superstar" in reference to Wakeman.

Wakeman stayed with them for one further album, From the Witchwood, then departed to join Yes, remarking to the press that "I'm sure we'll all benefit from the split because we were beginning to compromise a lot on ideas – like we'd use half of my ideas and half of theirs – and I don't think it was helping what was eventually coming out. We ended up lacking challenge. Complacency set in, and for the last couple of months we just weren't working."

He was replaced by Blue Weaver, who had previously been with Amen Corner and Fair Weather. This line-up produced what many feel to be the archetypal Strawbs album Grave New World, before yet another change, the departure of founding member Hooper, who was replaced by electric guitarist Dave Lambert, formerly of Fire and the King Earl Boogie Band.

After the tour supporting the previous album, Bursting at the Seams, there was an acrimonious split leaving only Dave Cousins and Dave Lambert to rebuild the band. John Hawken of The Nashville Teens and Renaissance on keyboards, Chas Cronk on bass and Rod Coombes on drums from Juicy Lucy and Stealers Wheel completed the line-up.

The new line-up gelled very quickly and studio sessions were very productive. The album was released first in the US to a warm reception, and then in the UK where reviews were less positive. The album only reached number 35 on the UK Album Charts and the band increasingly began to look to North America for a successful future.

Cousins and Lambert rebuilt the band, adding John Hawken (formerly of The Nashville Teens and Renaissance) on keyboards, Rod Coombes formerly with Stealers Wheel and Chas Cronk on bass. This line-up recorded the 1974 Hero and Heroine and Ghosts, and tended to concentrate on the North American market with relatively little touring in the UK.

Strawbs still retain a great fan-base today in the US and Canada. Hero And Heroine went platinum in Canada, and both albums sold extremely well in the US too. A further album, Nomadness, recorded without Hawken, was less successful, and was their last for A&M Records.

The album, although still recognisably Strawbs, contains tracks with harsh "straight talking" lyrics, in contrast to the more lyrical approach shown on Bursting at the Seams. The music is more Gothic and doom-laden with washes of mellotron and guitar power chords, especially on the longer tracks.

( AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder 
The group's ballsiest album to date, a surging, hard-rocking follow-up to Bursting at the Seams, which debuted a new lineup, Richard Hudson, John Ford, and Blue Weaver having left to form their own group. In their places, ex-Nashville Teens keyboardman John Hawken and the more muscular rhythm section of Rod Coombes and Chas Cronk make their debut, on what is the Strawbs' first fully electric album.

Dave Cousins' songwriting (augmented by Dave Lambert, who also contributes some slashing electric lead guitar) is still as romantic as ever in various spots ("Shine On Silver Sun," "Deep Summer's Sleep"), but also boasts dark visions ("Round and Round") which, coupled with new band's muscular playing, made the Strawbs one of the hardest-rocking progressive bands in the world.

Hero and Heroine deserved better, being one of the best guitar-driven progressive rock albums of its period.)  


01. Autumn     8:27
02. Sad Young Man     4:09
03. Just Love     3:41
04. Shine On Silver Sun     2:46
05. Hero And Heroine     3:29
06. Midnight Sun     3:06
07. Out In The Cold     3:19
08. Round And Round     4:44
09. Lay A Little Light On Me     3:27
10. Hero's Theme     2:28

    Bonus Tracks

11. Still Small Voice     2:28
12. Lay A Little Light On Me (Early Version)     2:20

Label: A&M Records - 540935-2
Series: A&M Re Master Pieces
Format: CD, Reissue, Remastered, PMDC
Country: Europe
Released: 1998
Genre: Rock
Style: Folk Rock, Prog Rock, Classic Rock


    Art Direction [Art Director] – Michael Doud
    Bass, Synthesizer, Vocals – Chas Cronk
    Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Rod Coombes
    Engineer – Freddy Hansson, Tom Allom
    Photography – Tony Evans
    Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Mellotron, Synthesizer – John Hawken
    Producer – Dave Cousins, Tom Allom
    Remastered By – Roger Wake
    Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Dave Lambert (4)
    Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Written-By – Dave Cousins


Hero's face was gaunt and tanned
His sail was set in search of land
His life-raft, solely by him manned
Was guided by the tide

Heroine wore fleecy white
She beckoned like some savior bright
Shipwrecked sailors in the night
Were bid welcome to her side

Where one man's search must surely cease
The irresistible white fleece
Led Hero in search of the peace
When she alone could offer

Thus he knelt before her feet
Wary lest their eyes should meet
He knew his life was incomplete
For he had yet to suffer

Enticing Heroine, so calm
Took Hero firmly by the arm
Told him that she meant no harm
That she alone could save him

Hero could no longer speak
Realizing he was weak
His life increasingly grew bleak
For all the love she gave to him

While storm clouds gathered high above
The heroine, he grew to love
Turned slowly to a snow white dove
And spread her wings to fly

Crushed and broken in the end
Hero watched his soul ascend
Knowing that he was condemned
To sail all alone to die