Friday, September 23, 2011

Strawberry Switchblade, Self-Titled , 1985


 I'm always in search of new, compelling muaic from times past, as well as the present. I'm taking you back in time however, and to the eightees to be precise. There was no better time for pop than then. Pop Goth and New Wave were at their peak and I am well-known to be a fan of great female vocals. I don't really mind that little teeny bit of cheesy 80's pop if it's done well, and it's intention is to be...cheesy!

Strawberry Switchblade was a new wave duo band from Glasgow, Scotland UK in 1981. Rose McDowall later become associated with the industrial scene and contribute to projects such as Coil, Current 93, Death in June, Nature and Organisation, Nurse With Wound, Psychic TV, Boyd Rice. Jill Bryson and McDowall bonded  in the Glasgow punk scene of the late 70s. 

Since Yesterday, became a top 10 hit in the UK ,  and a huge success in Europe  as well as Japan . The track's opening fanfare came from Sibelius' Symphony No.5 and had also featured on the earlier hit "Beach Baby" by The First Class. The girls' strikingly contrasting black and white wardrobe, including the polka dot rah-rah skirts worn for the sleeve of Since Yesterday, attracted some coverage at the time. Their somewhat "Gothic" appearance was part of their ensemble and was particular to their personal demeanor. In my very personal opinion, you can tell there was a partnership with Boyd Rice and Friends. And they've a high similarity to artists such as Lene Lovich, Danielle Dax, Altered images, X-Mal Deutschland, The Wake and Dolly Mixture. If you're into the likes of the previously mentioned, this album would make a welcome addition to your music library!

1. Since Yesterday
2. Deep Water
3. Another Day
4. Little River
5. James Orr Street
6. Let Her Go
7. Knows What Love Is?
8. Go Away
9. Secrets
10. Who Knows What Love Is?
11. Being Cold
12. Beautiful End
13. Poor Hearts
14. Ecstacy (Apple Of My Eye)
15. Jolene
16. Black Taxi
17. Trees And Flowers (Extended Mix)
18. Michael Who Walks By Night
19. Since Yesterday (Extended Mix)
20. I Can Feel


Self Titled-

Enjoy this rare pop album!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Areola Treat, Pleasure Machines, 2011

As readers of my posts are well aware, I have documented this band several times on my blog posts, just because I believe them to be a good experimental art rock band, and deserve credit for their writing, drumming and vocal skills (their live performances are mind-blowing). As you also know, I had been wowed away after seeing them live in a Brussels punk club. I often visit their web pages and browse for pictures and info of the band. I am also aware that many of you out there, the world over, have got to know about the band through my little blog, and others through other music blogs or discussion threads, however I have purchased their album online (plus a few extra copies for friends) and am posting Pleasure Machines for your enjoyment.

One of the most striking features about the album, is the versatility of this band.  Whereas the  ep was all about the beats and the punchy lines, Pleasure Machines seems  slightly more directional and structured. At some points, you can't really tell where it is going, so it will surprise you. Yet most often, the songs are a good trip. The fun element is still quite predominant and their new work is much more thorough. It is versatile in a clever, yet not in a subtle way, which is something not all listeners can relate to, as some of my readers prefer a more or less consistent mood throughout, so as I said, it's not for everyone, however, if you are enamored of Nina Hagen and Diamanda Galas, you will appreciate the various vocal styles offered. The music remains playful yet strict, and once again the command on the vocal chords is splendid. The drummer is another very pivotal element in their music style as a whole. Very structured delivery in most tracks, quite intense I would say. I usually believe the bass in many bands I listen to are what  make a good artpunk/post punk/indie band and don't usually focus on the drumming skills, however, the drummer Chris is what gives this band a backbone, with his amazing technique . Most of the tracks on this album are still as memorable, adding a touch of finesse at times (the yelps and cat-howls still being present). The frontwoman (Lisa) who seems the designated writer in the band, seems to have a vast range of  (top-notch) musical influences and taste  and I do have a thing for vocals that double as effect peddals! Pretty great stuff on the whole. Always remember, as with all of my other posts in my blog, if you like it, go ahead and buy it!, (or blog about it and share the good word).

Unfortunately I have no knowledge of the band's exact whereabouts this year, except for this Summer, they have been and will be playing in various different local clubs in Europe in Malta, where they hail from.