Thursday, July 21, 2022

va Battle of the Bands (1982) [NEW LINK! Updated July 28, 2022]

 I, like you, usually find three or four good songs in a compilation and just kind of disregard the rest of the tracks. Sometimes I wonder why the person who put the comp together included that one, or two, crappy song(s) with the weird vocals and just assume the bass player for that band is the brother of the girl the compiler is banging at that time.  

This one is different. This one has three songs I don't like but the rest are all gems. 

Thin End of the Wedge plays a droning slow ballad with female vocals and annoying heavy metal guitar screeching in the background. 

The Popes is a little too Danceteria-in-1986 for my taste. New romance dance music. 

And It's a Tightrope sounds like three or four Bowie fans playing two or three different songs at the same time. It sounds like an unfinished song.


Now, despite the bad things I said about these bands, none of them are so terrible I have to skip them. I really can play this comp all the way through. 


There are some really great moments on here. The first track by The Crack is a got' damn classic. It's from their 1989 album  "In Search of..." and it's the best song on that record. That's not my opinion, that's a scientifically provable fact.


I originally got this record for the Andy Pandemonium song which isn't bad but I was happy to hear a Private I.D. song that I didn't have and the ska-inspired track by Southbound - whoever they are. 

Suspicious Minds by Mézzoforte is not a cover of the oldies tune but it's a mellow post-punk song with appropriate 80s new wave keyboard and just a slight twist of goth. Bingo Erotica by The Creamies is an odd choice because these guys only released one single in their days (this song isn't on it) but they did record a few other songs and this one is not really one of their best. It's not bad but they have better. I'll post them someday. The 3X song is the most mature song on the record. Well-composed power-pop with an MTV-worthy chorus.* MTV from 1982 I mean.

1 The Crack - Don't You Ever Let Me Down

2 Mézzoforte - Suspicious Minds

3 Andy Pandemonium - Digital Alarm Clock

4 The Creamies - Bingo Erotica

5 Freestate - Solitary Visions

6 This End of the Wedge

7 Shoot the Moon - Strawberry Fields Will Never

8 The Popes - Pope Music

9 The Feel Wasted Ground

10 Southbound - Keep on Winding

11 3X - Echo of Guilt

12 Private I.D.

13 It's a Tightrope - So





*I'm not really trying to see how many hyphens I can put in one sentence. I will someday but today is not that day.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Some Body - Arbeit Mächt Frei 7" (1985)


 I'm thinking that this band went a little above being offensive to the point that it ruined the band. The title of this single has nothing to do with their music but it was intentionally offensive. I don't think it worked out too well for them. Great effort though!

From Discogs: "Arbeit Mächt Frei" is this Cincinnati power punk band's second release, following the cassette-only "Something For". The record was banned from many retailers upon release, for it's provocative title as casual shoppers in consumer record stores missed the connection between the Nazi slogan, corporate America, and it's effects... The lead off track, "Bomblast" is a bouncy, happy-sounding ska-tinged song about screwing through a nuclear war to repopulate the earth, while the backing track "Rules of Order" is a dark turn on fascism, consumer culture and peer pressure, ironically predicting the effects of being banned (as this record soon would be!).

While the original color design was color, the release was black and white – copies sold at the release party came with an 8-pack of crayons! A few color covers exist, but most of these appeared more than 20 years later, as one-offs for the band members."

A - BomBlast

B - Rules of Order



Saturday, May 21, 2022

Paula Swann - Paula Swann LP (1982)

 Probably too hard rock for new wave/pop fans. Probably too new wave/pop for hard rock fans. Very rare nonetheless. 

Paula Swann was from California and I can't find any information about her. I'm assuming this is her only release.

1 I Want You Back

2 Comin' Down Like Rain

3 Too Rich

4 Traffic Hazard

5 Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

6 Jade Continental

7 Touch Tone

8 Juvenile Hall Brats

9 Beat Me, Whip Me

10 Love Potion #9



Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The Numbers - The 4 Great Tracks (1989)

  Japanese punk - three punk songs and one ska/reggae track. . This is probably the only thing this band ever released.

My copy of the record looks pristine but it is very crackly. I tried to remove the crackles but it just isn't going to happen.

1 I Don't Submit

2 I Hate

3 Under Control

4 In that Week




Friday, May 6, 2022


 Zanoni was a punk/post-punk band from New York who played it straight. No keyboards or horns. Just guitar, bass, and drums and vocals that are more gothic than punk.

Their first release was the "Subway Devils" 7" in 1981 that sound like the rhythm from Mirror in the Bathroom with the guitars from the beginning of Holiday in Cambodia. It's a weird mix, especially with the goth vocals, but it really works. 

These two records are probably the only thing they released but there's no filler here. Every song is very well-written and performed with a sense of seriousness. 

Zanoni - Zanoni (1982)

1 Camouflage

2 To Entertain You

3 Stellazine by Starlight

4 Mothers Milk

5 Lately

6 Turn Your Will

Zanoni - Subway Devils 7" (1981)

A - Subway Devils

B - I Saw Your Face


The scans for the EP are my own but I don't have the cover for the 7" so I stole that image from the internet.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Henry's Final Dream

 This was a British college band whose sound could be described as experimental power pop with a saxophone. These are their only two releases (as far as I can tell) and each one starts off with a song that demonstrates that they were capable of writing a decent pop song but then the other songs show that these guys were having fun and they were aware of the experimentalism of the new wave scene instead of just being a straightforward mod band. 

Henry's Final Dream - Indian Summer 7" (1980)

1 Indian Summer

2 Marketplace

3 Autumn

Henry's Final Dream - I Couldn't Jump 7" (1981)

1 I Couldn't Jump

2 If I Knew (What Love Was)

3 Wardrobe


Friday, April 22, 2022

The Pistons - Standing in the Rain 7" (1979)

 I bought this thinking I had found a long lost Pistons record but it turns out this is a different band who had released a couple other singles

The B-side is basic pub rock but the A-side is more quirky. Imagine if Tom Jones got his start in a garage band in 1977. 

I have no plans on getting the other two records. Not really my cup of tea but I'm hoping somebody out there appreciates it.

A - Standing in the Rain

B - Raised on Rock'n Roll


Sunday, March 13, 2022

Baby Snakes

 Baby Snakes was a mod/power pop band from Sweden who did a total of three ska songs which appeared on some compilations so people called them a ska band. They're not. Most of their music is power pop for their mod audience.

This is what I believe to be every song they ever released. 

Baby Snakes - The Demo (1986)

1 Broken Toy 

2 Cool Jerk

3 Ormen

4 Misplaced Love

 Baby Snakes - Broken Toy 7" (1987)

1 Broken Toy (a very different version than the one on the demo)

2 Two of a Kind


 Baby Snakes - Impudent Reptiles (1987)

1 Snake's Theme

2 It Wouldn't Have Lasted

3 Eight Days in Khairo

4 Whiskey Bar

5 Jazzica

6 Land of Dreams


I included two loose tracks. 

*She'll be gone - which was the only song of theirs to appear on compilations that was not on the other releases

*Ormen -  this was included on a 1996 comp called Roots of Swedish Pop Vol. 1 The Mod Years. It is the exact same recording from the demo tape but I included it because the quality is a bit better than the tape rip. 

About the demo tape. For the last couple decades one thing I knew for a fact was that this demo tape is so rare I would never get to hear it and I was certain that I would never own a copy myself. 

A few weeks back I was buying a rare tape from Discogs and the seller had a copy of this so I do hold in my possession a physical copy. This is my rip of the tape and my scan of the cover. The tape itself is solid black with no printing or stickers. I know a few of you out there have been looking for it so I am willing to trade or sell it.



I was able to convince my kids that this band was so famous that in Home Alone 2 Uncle Frank was singing their song "Cool Jerk" in the shower. They believe it. They're kids. Kids are stupid.




Monday, February 21, 2022

va Zombi Rock (1987)


This is a compilation cassette from Italy. It's a selection of bands who really didn't release anything outside of this compilation and this label didn't release anything but this tape.

A couple of bands had some success - Strike is probably the most successful but Madhouse also released a few things. 

The other bands can only be heard on this compilation which can be described as post-punk/goth/metal with some hard rock (think early AC/DC)  and even some minimal synth. I mean very minimal amateur synth. 

I think the bands Shark Beat and Room 101 had some real potential (even though Shark Bite's song was a cover).

1 Purple Flashes - This is My Right

2 LTD - Watchout

3 The Strike - What'd You Say?

4 Pin Up - Euroamericans

5 Shark Beat - In the Midnight Hour

6 Sub Way - I Can't Wait 

7 Madhouse - Madhouse

8 Overthrow Rags - Comunque Duri

9 Chain - Dead Garbage

10 Room 101 - Blood

11 Mabel Violet - Mabel Violet

12 Radio On - Radio On

13 Restless - Make Up



Saturday, February 19, 2022

Max Headroom and the Car Parks

 This British band put out a great ska 7" in 1980 (Don't Panic / Rhythm and Blue Beat) and then, two years later, they released this single which seems to be their last recording. 

It's hard rocking / post punk / power pop. I don't know what to call it. Too punk for power pop. Not punk enough for punk. Certainly not ska. Lots of 'guitar wank' as I have heard it called. 

A - Soldier

B - For Want of a Four-Letter Word


I included the ska 7" in the download. Now you have their entire discography. All four songs - as far as I know. If I'm wrong, please let me know.