Sunday, October 18, 2020

Doctor's Order - Out Of Order (The Lost Early Album) - No. 239

 Doctor's Order - Out Of Order (The Lost Early Album)

 

This is just a quick one. A full review will follow asap. Doctor's Order "Out Of Order (The Lost Early Album)" is available at


https://www.blues-shop.fi/kauppa/tuote/out-of-order-the-lost-early-album-by-doctors-order-cd/?fbclid=IwAR0BSTN_HTRl2lIfrH30Jmbuhf5izNqUg8Lqiv9nB59OiO8PERQrcAmLi9A

 

The CD is limited at 100 copies and at last count (2 days ago) there are only 14 of them left. So hurry up, if you want a piece of the action.

 



Cheers

Roland

Friday, October 9, 2020

Eight Rounds Rapid - Love Your Work - No. 238

 Eight Rounds Rapid - Love Your Work

 

A new one from Eight Rounds Rapid, "Love Your Work". This one is available on CD and LP and has been released in August 2020. As with the previous releases, I can't quite figure out what I'm listening to. I like their sound and the songs very much and yet, I'm still at a loss. This is probably human nature, your brain files everything in drawers and if you don't find the proper one, you panic. I hear traces of Industrial and Motorik with a dash of Punk and the urgency of the British scene ca. mid-70s.


The album is very, very British. In a way, if you like the Jam, you're on safe ground. Not that they sound like Paul Weller and Co., but their englishness is exactly the same. Mind you, this is not your Sunday morning fare, your brain does have some food for thought here. I'm not going as far as to call it avant-garde, but again, you can see it on the other side of the fence. The album is perfect for me, but then, I'm a fan of Industrial, Avant-Garde, Noise ... don't ask me. 😎


To pick one track over the other is a moot point here, since the release works as a whole ... and I might add "only". At the moment I can't imagine just listening to one song or two and be done with it. The CD/LP begs to be played at the complete duration. The 12 songs come in at just 30 minutes + and everyone with half a brain should be able to muster this attention span. And you'll be rewarded plenty. "Love Your Work" is a remarkable release and I know, it'll keep me busy for some time to come. If you have troubles finding the release for sale, go to the band's website or get it from Juno. I got my CD and LP from the latter, since I don't have PP anymore and that's all the band offers as a payment option.


Cheers


Roland

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Milk Men - Deliverance (CD) - No. 237

Milk Men - Deliverance (CD)

The third CD courtesy of the Milk Men. Previous offers were "Full Phat" (2016) and "Gold Top" (2018) and now this year the new one called "Deliverance". If you see a pattern here, call yourself a genius. To get this out of the way, it seems highly unlikely that you'll find one of their CDs in a regular record shop. Best avenue to take is point your browser at http://themilkmenmusic.com and have your credit card ready.

I don't know much about the Milk Men except that a) their drummer toured with the Pirates at the end of their tenure and b) their bass player is the son of the great Mick Green. There you have it, all the right reasons to buy their CDs. The full line-up consists of:

Adam Norsworthy - Guitars (plus Keyboards and Percussion)
Jamie Smy - Vocals
Mike Roberts - Drums
Lloyd Green - Bass

The new album has been recorded in February 2020 and probably due to Covid-19 and the lack of promotion on the road, almost sunk without a trace. Which is a shame really, as this is definitely one of the CDs that would deserve a wider distribution among the cognoscenti. I haven't picked the earlier CDs yet from my collection, as I like to assess an album first on its own. If I'm not completely off my bearings, this time there's much more Blues in the offering. This is R'n'B in the best tradition of the U.K. scene and tracks like "Bad Girl" remind me of a long line of bands but the Milk Men present their music with their own twist.


Jamie Smy does a very good job and his vocals are bull's eye. He's got a somewhat rough voice for singing purposes and it's just the right amount of whisky and smoke. Not overdone to the point of ridiculousness. Most songs are the faster paced ones, but there's "Why Can't You Stay?" for the ones waiting to get their lighters out and get all misty eyed. Except maybe "One More Day", this'll be your last chance before the motorway.


A remarkable job on guitars by Adam Norsworthy. I quite like his relaxed style of playing, not to insinuate yawnsville, quite the contrary, I'm actually quite taken by his performance. Mike Roberts I got to know during a tour in Finland with the Pirates and Doctor's Order, that's way back when ... he's definitely one of the good guys (personally as well as behind his drum kit). On bass is Lloyd Green and his playing is stellar.

Sometime I think, "where have I heard this one?", as with the rhythm in "Taking Her Time", I'm quite sure I have the original, where this is lifted from, somewhere in my collection. I'm leaning towards a Rolling Stones riff. In general, the album is for you if you can spell Pubrock without failing and as the term includes a wide range of styles, you can choose your position. To me, this is a very enjoyable 38 minutes of listening pleasure. Get you copy at the URL above. Bands like the Milk Men need your support and you'll be rewarded with good music.

Cheers

Roland

Monday, July 27, 2020

Doctor's Order - Alternative Doctors In Disguise (Rehearsal Tapes) - No. 236

Doctor's Order - Alternative Doctors In Disguise (Rehearsal Tapes)

Doctor's Order are history. Nearly twenty years on the road, in the studio and at rehearsals. They've made quite a body of work to be proud of and quite rightly so. Their debut album "Doctors In Disguise" came out in the early noughties and when I got the CD (out of the blue, I have to add), I was immediately taken by the 14 tracks on offer. My kind of music. Well written original songs with not even a handful of covers, beautifully executed (on the right side of rough and ready), what else did I want more?

Well, for one, seeing the band live in concert and I happened to be at a few of their gigs in Finland. Sometimes I had the urge to get a frequent flier account with Finnair. However, I decided against it. Not that I have anything to hide, but I never used any bonus program.

A while ago, Teppo told me, that they were disbanding Doctor's Order and I just made it to Finland to see the band at one of the last gigs before the final curtain. Their legacy is preserved on quite a few CDs and one LP and if you want a down to earth and honest band, get some of their releases. Throughout the years, their music got a bit more sophisticated (which is not a bad thing per se), but with each new release I referred back to their debut. Doctor's order branched out (musically speaking) yet stayed true to their roots and still, their "1, 2, 3 let's go" attitude on "Doctor's In Disguise" is, where, in my opinion, the real heart of the band is.

Later releases didn't slack in the songwriting department and the band offered quite a few gems during their lifetime. Of all the CDs by Doctor's Order in my collection, the debut is the most listened to. By a country mile. There's a "Tres Aniversario Edicion" with 11 bonus tracks (the whole CD is remixed and remastered) and the book on Doctor's Order had been closed after almost 20 years of holding up the flag of true R&B (British style). If I talk about R&B (British style), I'm thinking of Dr. Feelgood, Inmates and a lot of others, mainly going under the Pubrock flag. This is what I had to say about the debut CD:

http://www.drfeelgood.ch/docorder.html

2020 comes and with it Corona. I'm bored to tears (Greg Koch) during the lockdown and in comes a message from Teppo. The band has decided to release "Doctor's In Disguise" as a 50 copies only item, called "Alternative Doctors In Disguise (Rehearsal Tapes)". The bad news first: With only 50 copies on the street, this is sold out already. I don't know how they arrived at that number, but there's certainly more fans of the band interested in this item. Maybe, just maybe, it was a number that could easily be sold off and not having to care for stock for the next 20 years.


The "Rehearsal Tapes" are not the full commercially released album.  For starters, there are 13 tracks on the CD (the original had 14 on the clock). Missing are "Talking 'Bout You" and "The Meanest Of The Mamma's". The recordings were actually done at Timppa's place and I can only speculate, either the two tracks were forgotten at the time, were not ready yet or the tape was simply broken (or the minidisc or whatever this was recorded on). Having said that, don't expect an audiophile masterrecoding but a honest down to earth glimpse into a work in progress.

When I listened to the CD for the first couple of times, I did so on my smaller stereo unit and the sound was somewhat muddy. Not to the extend that it was bothersome, but so, that one notices the "flaws". I'm never using treble or bass on my units. Just never. Switching to my main stereo brought the music out much shinier, but I do believe this has mostly to do with the loudspeakers I'm using there, as they are somewhat top level heavy. When I'm getting serious with my music, I'm using the larger unit and when I'm listening to my Phil Collins solo collection, the smaller nearfield listening system will have to do. 😇

As a matter of fact, both setups work for me. As I might have said (did I?), I like my Doctor's Order on the rough side, yet enjoy the later recordings just as much, because they came across more polished but never made it across the wall to the Phil Collins side, so to speak. I have absolutely no talent (or my short-term memory fails me - I don't know) for comparing the same track in different recordings side by side. I do so sometimes in an audiophile setting (same tracks, different pressing, or as the saying goes "the squirrel has a hard time feeding itself).


Although I've heard these songs so many times, I had a hunch, that the tracks sounded slightly different. As per Teppo, the recordings were done about a month before they got into the studio to record the album.  I'm not done yet, but it takes time to dissect the songs and I'm not sure I really want to do that. There's no way one can explain the world according to "Doctor's In Disguise". So, sit back and just enjoy it.

There's one track on the CD, that's not on the original debut album. "Hey Baby". I'm not sure wether this made a show on another album, but I have a feeling that I do know the song. Might have been a part of the band's live shows. I draw a complete blank, except that it is more than familiar to me. In conclusion, this item is absolutely essential if you're, like me, a die-hard Doctor's Order fan. When Teppo told me about this, I went "oops, I don't believe this" and when I got the CD in the mail, I couldn't wipe the grin off of my face. I know, it's not fair waxing about a CD that's essentially unavailable, but worse things can happen (not many, granted).

Cheers

Roland

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Ghools - I't Will Be Fine (7") - Nr. 235

Ghools - I't Will Be Fine (7")

I found the Ghools 7" from 1966 in one of my local record shops today. It has been on my want list for forever and a day:


This is a case of desiring the item because it's rare and not because it is any good. Truth be told, this is a rather mediocre piece of two sides of 1966 Beat music. The slab of plastic was released in 1966 on the now very collectable Layola imprint.


I don't know anything about the Ghools and I believe this was their only release back then. The band seems to have hailed from Basel/Switzerland and you'd be hard pressed to find  any substantial information on the www. Well, I didn't. Except that the two tracks seem to be in great regard with critics. Who said I understand anything about music? I can tell for free, I didn't make this claim.


The track "I't Will Be Fine" is a typical typo and quite funny. Some bands in Germany, Switzerland and Austria were aping their stars (and this is what they were, stars to them) and that didn't hold them back to write lyrics in "English", although they barely understood the language. It was all about playing a role and it didn't matter if the clothes didn't fit, noone in rural Switzerland would have a clue anyway. Liverpool, Manchester and London were worlds away and those local bands were trying to live their dream.

As a piece of Beat history in the Northwestern part of Switzerland, this is priceless. But it comes with a price (pun intended), don't even think for a minute you can have this for chump change. As with a lot of other rare stuff, the asking rate is solely determined by the almost total absence of this item from the market. As such, this 7" is certainly a talking piece.

Cheers

Roland

Friday, April 24, 2020

flector - Interview With Cedy - No. 234

flector - Interview With Cedy

And here we are, the last installment of the interview series (before a shortened translation comes up). This time it's Cedy, lead guitarist and responsible for some great licks. I hate to admit it, but by listening to recorded flector tracks, sometimes I couldn't make out who is who. Carlo or Cedy, Cedy or Carlo. Glad this has been settled ... sort of.

There are certain telltale signs that make you realize it's either Cedy or Carlo. Just by rereading this interview, it finally dawned on me, but don't ask. I'm telling you anyway. When the guitar opens up to widescreen, it's Cedy. When it gets lyrical and at the same time pompous, it's Cedy. And if it's solid and in the service of the song, you're talking Carlo. But we don't do shootouts, it's about the final result.



Cheers

Roland

Sunday, April 12, 2020

flector - Interview With Manu - No. 233

flector - Interview With Manu

And here's the interview with Manu (bass). You know, once upon a time I really thought a bass player made dumdumdum all night long and he/she was best pal with the drummer who went bambambam (or thereabouts). Well, I changed my view on drummers a long way back, especially with my Jazz leanings and realised, there's more to the noble art of drumming than hammering a drumset through the floor. Although I do admit, I saw Apocalyptica once in concert (Montreux Jazzfestival) and their drummer, I swear, I don't exaggerate, actually hammered his equipment through the stage floor. O.k., maybe a bit! It was wonderful, it was great and a marvellous sight and sound.

Bass players with their dum dum dum are an altogether different beast. It was also a long time ago that I realised, it's not what it appears to be. Take Norman Watt-Roy (The Greatest Show On Earth, Ian Dury or the Wilko Johnson Band) and you know what a bass guitarist can do. Granted, Norman is not your typical bassist and rather extroverted when playing his instrument, but what a performer he is. Another is Mellow who I've seen only once at a gig and he seems to be a "free form" bass player as well and Teppo who is more structured, but this comes with the terrain. Btw, the coolest bass solo? Definitely the Siegel-Schwall Band on their "Same" album during the "Next To You" track. Wonderful, just wonderful and I kid you not, especially the bits he doesn't play. I still get goosebumps listening to this.

But I digress, this is about Manu and his views on life, playing bass in flector and the general pitfalls of life (the latter is going to be part 2 😎).




Cheers

Roland






Sunday, April 5, 2020

Mick Clarke - Big Wheel - No. 232

Mick Clarke - Big Wheel

I've downloaded(!) (thunder and lightning!!!) Mick Clarke's latest opus "Big Wheel". You can get it for free on Bandcamp and he's only asking for your working e-mail address.  I know, I know, requests for e-mail addresses are soon followed by spam, but I don't fear the like from Mick Clarke. A message every now and then, that's o.k. with me.

Normally I don't do downloads, I'm old-fashioned this way and I want to hold a physical object in my hand, be it CD or LP (and no, a USB stick doesn't count as physical object where music is concerned). The bad news first, there's no CD available so don't go searching. The good news, it's free, but I hope you retaliate in kind and buy some of his releases.

Of course, I had to download the wav-file and burn it to disc (I'm not seriously listening to some speaker integrated into the laptop-/desktopsystem. I might check a 30 second clip, but that's the extend of my listening online). CDr done and dusted, this is now playing for the second time on my second standalone HiFi setup (this one a smaller Yamaha Network one) on my working station. I've found, however, if I switch to my main one, this is going to be like day and night. A while ago I started on a CD on the Yamaha and halfway through I went over to the living room stereo (because I was done on the laptop) and lo and behold, the sun went up,  the curtains were drawn and a former average sounding CD shone bright (and I'm not talking about a cheapo setup on my desk). However, I believe, these Yamaha speakers are not made for nearfield listening. I'm sitting practically inside these things and that's not the pure audiophile idea of HiFi.


The recording sounds a bit muffled on the Yamaha, but I bet it'll all change when I take it to the main stereo. What you get is almost 60 minutes (and exactly 14 tracks) of prime Mick Clarke. Naturally, Mr. Clarke is not going to reinvent the wheel, but he's doing here again what I like him best for, churning out his brand of Rock and Blues. And this is the point, listening to these songs, they are like old acquaintances, the kind you've never really lost sight of. The ones you don't have to ask "Sorry, btw, I forgot your name, who are you?". Fact is, I'm at home (in the proverbial and literal sense) with these songs. Mick Clarke is on my heels for at least a couple of decades. And I'm grateful for guys like him.

I've no intention of analyzing this bunch of songs to death, I'm really enjoying it much too much. Mr. Clarke, keep on going, the world needs people like you.

Cheers

Roland