Friday, August 31, 2007


In the limited universe of 1980s garage-revival bands who’re any good, THE MORLOCKS are the ones that stand mophead-&-slumped shoulders above the rest, on this single EP’s merits alone. “Emerge” is a total monster, a record that pre-dated the hallowed early 90s let-it-rip garage punk by almost a full decade. It’s the razor’s edge of that overloaded, screaming 60s punk made famous on “Back From The Grave”, updated for 1985 stylings by a gaggle of cretinous San Diegans who absolutely lived 1965 in every way, shape and form. Most of the time bands that dress the part just blow. The Morlocks did not. “Emerge” is easily their high-water mark, and it’s a stone drag that the only other full-length LP they put out was a live record. We hate live records! (Though rumor has it that it was a fake live record – it sounded like dog dribblings nonetheless). I also don't care much for the GRAVEDIGGER 5, the loins from which the Morlocks sprang. But that's me. This guy Leighton, the lead Morlock, with bangs obscuring just about everything save his chin, was quite a mod/punk scene hero among the mod/punks I met around & after this time. I heard lots of Leighton drug and Leighton drinking stories -- in fact, the San Francisco house I moved into in 1989 was said to have been recently vacated by The Morlocks, who did in fact move to SF after this record to do more drugs and toughen their sound, as if that was possible. They died there as well -- figuratively -- and I never found out if Leighton was truly shagging birds in what later became my bedroom.

"Emerge" has some covers of 60s punk staples that stack up extremely well against the originals, and given that the originals -- MURPHY AND THE MOB's "Born Loser", THE ESQUIRES' "Judgement Day", "By My Side" by (I forget) -- are some of the most ferocious rock firebreathers ever, that's not half bad. But it's an original howler called "In The Cellar" that made this band's rep in 2 minutes flat -- an overmodulated, fuzz-filled catastrophe that goes way, way beyond "in the red" and into something very deep crimson. It's really ugly, and I mean that as the highest of praise. If you crossed some of the Japanese fuzz/noise bands of relatively recent vintage with, say, THE SONICS, you might get a sense of how boss this is. Hopefully someone will get busy and put this 8-song 12"EP onto a CD, and dig up any other hot Morlocks tracks that never made it out during this era. Hey, how about you?

PS - I know they're actually still playing music under this name, but I'm a curmudgeon. What they did 22 years ago is just enough for me.

Play or Download THE MORLOCKS - "In The Cellar" (from the "Emerge" 12"EP)
Play or Download THE MORLOCKS - "By My Side" (from the "Emerge" 12"EP)

Monday, August 27, 2007


I can dimly recall the kerfuffle this particular fake-o xenophobic stomper generated back in the early 80s, thus proving how successfully the joke was employed. WHITE PRIDE - now there's a name to get the typewriters tapping - were roundly criticized for the "Peace My Ass" EP in the pages of Maximum Rock N Roll and virtutally everywhere else, and taken literally, that's understandable. My take is that the knuckle-draggers responsible for this, who included amongtheir number Mike Doskocil (later of DRUNKS WITH GUNS), probably were very anti-PC before their time, and chose to "make mirth" with the concept by going ridiculously over the top, all the better to stir up the hysteria of the anti-Reagan left so stridently strident at the time. A bonus is that the song itself is funny - at least to a humorless reactionary like myself. It's also a meatheaded punk/metal romp somewhat reminiscient of POISON IDEA as they slowed down, with barked, eye-bulging vocals that are a gutbuster in & of themselves.

Then again - covering myself here - if it was serious? Well, it's just too stupid for words, as are most current commentaries of the subject. As a supporter of "the money machine", I say: Tear down the walls, baby! Let 'em in!

Play or Download WHITE PRIDE - "Illegal Aliens" (from 45)

Friday, August 24, 2007


Certainly it’s not news that there are new live CDs out from THE FALL, even when they’re from the hallowed 1979-1983 period. I certainly can’t keep up with the flood of releases, but I’ve been buying some of the live discs from this era, along with the “repackaged” versions of old LPs, complete with alternate versions, demos, live tracks and the like. Remember when the only live FALL stuff you could get from the glory years were the “Totale’s Turns”, “A Part Of America Therein” and “In A Hole” LPs? Man, I paid a pretty penny for those last two as well, but then again, THE FALL are one of those half-dozen key bands in my musical development. Once I locked in with them, they earned their place in my head as the single greatest & most influential British act of the last thirty years.

So here are two previously-unknown-to-me live tracks that made their way onto the 2xCD reissue of “HEX ENDUCTION HOUR”, which as I’ve stated before, is the finest of all FALL records. Don’t believe me? Just listen to it. “Session Musician” and “Jazzed Up Punk Shit” are certainly not of the caliber of anything on the original LP, but as stand-alone extras – and as songs that never got waxed into studio versions – they’re great, and are “must-haves”, as they say.

Play or Download THE FALL – “Session Musician”
Play or Download THE FALL – “Jazzed Up Punk Shit”

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I don’t think I’ve come across a single better track from swinging 60’s France than “Fallait pas écraser la queue du chat” by CLOTHILDE, a beautiful, complex, uplifting baroque pop masterpiece. I heard it being played at a French bakery last year and I actually asked for the manager to compliment him on his excellent choice in customer ambiance-setting. CLOTHILDE released a mere two EPs, but as I’m coming to find out, several of her eight wonderful songs (they’re ALL fantastic) were re-sung in different languages for other European markets. Such is the case for “Fallait pas écraser la queue du chat”, which I’m posting for you here in its original form and again as “Sopresa!”, a Spanish-language version of the same tune, with a quicker fade-out toward the end. You judge which is the sexier language– I know who I’m voting for. If you’re like me the first time I heard this song, you’ll be playing it five or six times straight, telling everyone you know about Clothilde, carving her name in your arm, stalking her on the Internet, and naming your firstborn son after her. Thanks again to JA for turning me onto her way back then.

Play or Download CLOTHILDE – “Fallait pas écraser la queue du chat”
Play or Download CLOTHILDE – “Sopresa!”

Friday, August 17, 2007


One of the great under-the-floorboard artifacts of the late 70s flowering of UK bedroom post-punk is this four-song EP from Camden’s STEPPING TALK. Low-key and aimless to a fault, it illustrates perfectly that special rainy, damp, cold leftist/labour D.I.Y. sound that encapsulates barely-pre-Thatcher Britain in 1979. As I understand it, the band were drinking pals with the early SCRITTI POLITTI, with whom they share that shambling, agitprop-infused approach. The “Alice in Sunderland” EP employed the two-concurrent vocals trick popular at the time, where one guy sings and a girl tells a totally unrelated story on top of him. Weird horns float in, out & around a thumping but lackadaisically-played bass. The excellent “Common Problems” sounds as if the band, attempting but failing to play in unison for most of the song, had a piece of carpet pulled from under them midway through & scrambled to keep playing in spite of it. The form and construction of these little set pieces owe something to jazz, but more likely there were a very deliberate attempt to pull off something jazz-like by playing particular instruments in sequences exactly backward of what one would expect from the rock music of the day. The instrumental “John’s Turtles” is the most experimental of the bunch, and sounds like a strange & frightening tribute to some peculiar British-created white man’s dub. It’s a really cool period piece from an era in which it seemed like 20 of these warped, provincial slices of indie vinyl came out every week in the UK and US.

Play or Download STEPPING TALK – “Alice in Sunderland” (Side A, Track 1)
Play or Download STEPPING TALK - “Health & Safety” (Side A, Track 2)
Play or Download STEPPING TALK - “Common Problems” (Side B, Track 1)
Play or Download STEPPING TALK - “John’s Turtles” (Side B, Track 2)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


I guess a few months ago some too-lazy-to-write-critically switch flipped inside and I started exclusively posting mp3s here at Detailed Twang, saving myself from having to exhaustively describe the rockin' in favor of letting the music do the talkin'. Did you know that since the January 27th, 2007 post we've almost exclusively posted mp3s, sometimes up to 4-5 times per week? Did you know that every song from that date forward is still available for download? Did you know that every one of these handpicked treasures totally rules? So that I may take a break this week in favor of trying to learn the ropes at my new place of employment (don't fret, alcoholics, Hedonist Beer Jive's still posting - that's even easier to pen than this one), here are a few favorites you might have missed:


Friday, August 03, 2007


If I "collect" any band, it's THE FLESH EATERS. Any time I get any new unearthed rarity of theirs, I'll share it here. Previously I posted some live tracks of theirs from a December 1982 KPFK radio session, a video of the "Minute To Pray..."-era Flesh Eaters from YouTube, and their incredible live version of "River of Fever" from a flexi included with a 1982 issue of TAKE IT! fanzine. The show that gave us the latter song was recorded on July 17th, 1982 at a Detroit punk club called Clutch Cargo's, home of many a Negative Approach and Die Kreuzen show. The Flesh Eaters opened for Chicago melodi-punks THE EFFIGIES, and almost certainly blew them out of the water.

Wait, you can actually hear it for yourself, because I have procured top-secret access to the entire show. Here are three tracks from that night in Detroit in the balm of a Michigan summer - listen and learn as the "Forever Came Today"-era Flesh Eaters show a generation of punks how it's done.

Play or Download THE FLESH EATERS - "Pray Til You Sweat" (live 7-17-82 Detroit)
Play or Download THE FLESH EATERS - "Hand of Glory" (live 7-17-82 Detroit)
Play or Download THE FLESH EATERS - "Every Time I Call Your Name" (live 7-17-82 Detroit)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


The rightful heiress to the spirit of Neutron Bomb/Babylonian Gorgon Los Angeles punk of the late 70s probably doesn’t even know she’s directly descended from it, but oh my friends – she is. Chicago’s MISS ALEX WHITE AND THE RED ORCHESTRA now have their second excellent CD under their belts with the release of a new one this year called “SPACE & TIME” on In The Red. For about the first eight or nine songs, it’s hands-down one of the best records of the year, then loses a little steam before finishing up in the Top 15 nonetheless. It’s a little more varied than the first CD of theirs – which I wrote about here – in the sense that tempos are all over the proverbial map & straddling all manner of punk styles. Kinda like a lot of those wacky Masque punks of Darby Crash’s day – your UXAs, your Metrosquads, your Howard Werths, your Controllers - even your early punk-era GO-GOs (check the bouncy girl-group pop of “She Wanna” if you don’t believe me). I saw them play a few of these songs live last year and knew it’d be a good record, but it’s even better than that. I’m going to post a couple for you here, but you might want to think about skipping that and clicking here instead.

Play or Download MISS ALEX WHITE & THE RED ORCHESTRA – “In The Snow”
Play or Download MISS ALEX WHITE & THE RED ORCHESTRA – “Future Talk”