The House Of Love were one of the most successful and critically acclaimed bands to grace Creation Records back in the late 1980s.
Their eponymous debut album, which was cited as one of the best albums of 1988 by music magazines and Indie fans alike, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year!
For the first time, the album is re-mastered from the original quarter-inch tapes, especially for this limited double vinyl edition in a gatefold sleeve.
Disc One replicates the original LP while Disc Two mops up all of the non-album tracks from various singles, from the original version of ‘Shine On’, ‘Real Animal’ and ‘Christine’ to their final single for the label, ‘Destroy The Heart’.
This was posted on Pete Fij’s (Pete Fijalkowski) facebook profile here.
“A lot of internet chatter about the demise of the NME magazine which is about to finish publishing it’s last print edition, so just thought I’d share some of the pivotal points in my early career involving the paper which kind of sums up the highs and lows of my career and relationship with the print press of the time.
It’s hard to emphasise now just how influential and important the NME was. It was Facebook and Twitter. It was the internet. There were maybe 3 or 4 roots to your audience – the NME, Melody Maker, Radio One (evening shows with Mark Goodier or John Peel) or maybe SNUB tv. That was it, but top of the pile, if you were to have just support from one of those, it would be the NME every day of the week – it led the way head and shoulders in terms of importance for all things indie/alternative
Adorable first got came to wider attention back in late summer of 1991 when a white label we had pressed up got picked up and got a rave write up in the NME from Simon Williams which led to us coming tantalizingly close to signing with Rough Trade.
A few months later in January 1992 we got invited by NME to be part of their ‘NME On For 92’ showcase gig at The Venue in New Cross, London which brought unsigned or very new bands to the attention as ‘ones to watch’ – it was I suppose what the BBC’s ‘Sound Of’ is these days, often these showcase nights would feature bands who would go on to be huge, so the public and industry alike would come to see the next big thing. There were 8 bands over the 2 nights – we played with Suede on our night, both of us unsigned at that point, PJ Harvey was headlining the following evening. We went on stage knowing this was a pivotal moment, our one big chance, and we played a blinder of a show. I recall coming off and saying to others, “if we don’t get signed after that, we never will”. The next morning our manager Ed Connelly was struggling to keep up with all the offers coming in, he kept ringing us back every couple of hours with updates (“Cherry Red have made an offer, and RCA have left a message, and Chrysalis want a meeting tomorrow”) – we had probably a dozen offers, including several major labels, but Creation Records was the one that mattered (though we flirted with the idea of signing to Blur’s Food Records as well).
Our debut single (take 2) ‘Sunshine Smile’ got Single of The Week in NME (again reviewed by Simon Williams who said it was one of the best things since The Railway Children….hmmm), and this coupled with topping the NME indie charts was for me a real feeling of arriving. I remember opening the paper in a small side street in London outside the venue we were playing and seeing we were #1 in the NME charts and thinking “YEEEESSS!” I’d bought the paper every week, and used to pour over reviews, interviews, and the charts, so achieving these two milestones with our first release was a massive achievement. What I wasn’t to know that the first week of my career would be the high point and it’d be down hill from then on. Probably just as well.
Wil and myself did the interviews, and our attempts to distance ourselves from the attitude-light shoegazing movement, and align ourselves more to our outspoken heroes such as Morrissey, Julian Cope & Ian McCulloch, pushed us too far in the eyes of the press the other way, and we were considered pretentious arty know it alls (although there was more than a grain of truth in that!), and seen as egotistical and arrogant. That we had managed to achieve this image in 2 interviews that ran in total for just over a page means we made quite an impression, but sadly for us the wrong one, and we never got interviewed again in either the Melody Maker or the NME for our entire career after our debut single.
To make matters worse, our 3rd single ‘Homeboy’ (which I think was our best release) didn’t even get reviewed in the NME, despite the fact that our first two singles were hanging around the top end of the indie charts. ‘Sistine Chapel Ceiling’ got another single of the week, but still no interview feature piece.
I knew we were in serious trouble when in a small written 1/8th page Q&A piece in the NME to coincide with the album, they substituted my written answer to a question with a quote from a previous interview taken out of context and deliberately chosen to paint me as an arrogant tosser. I was advised by my press officer not to complain but I was furious that something so clearly black and white as a written answer to a questionnaire could be ignored and so openly manipulated, and how a persona was being created for me by the press (there would be a slow drip of casually referencing our egotism in the reviews of other bands etc all the while) over which I had no right to reply apart from the wingey “woe is me” single ‘Kangaroo Court’ (“I know I’m losing my appeal / cause I was hung, drawn and quartered before my trial / and every single thing that’s not real / was put before the jury without the privilege of denial”).
Our debut album ‘Against Perfection’ came out in March 1993 and the review in the NME described it as “a flawed classic” which I rather liked , though the 6/10 score seemed to go against the largely positive write up. We were later told by the reviewer that he had given it a higher score, but the reviews editor who didn’t like us had marked his score down, and it was at that point I realised that the stakes were stacked too high against us and it would be a miracle to turn this ship around.
By the time our second album ‘Fake’ came out in the autumn of 1994, we were on the ropes. The NME review finished us off mercilessly, complaining the album was “drenching us with tawdry non-songs and dashed promises that are anodyne and limp-wristed” with a 5/10 score (that probably DID reflect the reviewer’s opinion this time). Battered and bruised we called it a day realising that without support of our label (who had been distant from us from the word go), or the most important player in the music business at the time we were pretty much sunk.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
So a genuine thanks NME, and an equally genuine no thanks.”
Happy Days, The Catherine Wheel’s 3rd album, is being re-released for Record Store Day on April 21st. (Can we get Adam & Eve, please? If anyone wants to sell me their copy then please message me.)
Limited, one-time pressing of 2000 copies.
Here is the official Record Store Day text on the re-release:
‘Happy Days is the third full-length album by English alternative rock band Catherine Wheel, released in 1995. Like its predecessor, Chrome, it was produced by Gil Norton, and the influences of heavy metal and hard rock are prevalent on this album; however, the band does retain some elements of the shoegazing style that dominated their previous albums, particularly on the songs “Heal” and “Eat My Dust You Insensitive Fuck”.’
Moaning is a band defined by its duality. The abrasive, post punk trio comprised of Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson, and Andrew MacKelvie, began nearly a decade after the three met in L.A.’s DIY music scene. Their impassioned debut album comes born out of the member’s experiences with love and distress, creating a sound uniquely dark and sincere. Although the band is just breaking out of their infancy, Moaning’s sleek and cavernous tone emphasizes the turmoil of the era they were born into. One where the endless possibility for art and creation is met with the fear and doubt of an uncertain future.
The three began regularly frequenting DIY institutions like The Smell and Pehrspace, eventually selling out dozens of their own shows at both venues with their first few bands. Solomon recalls, after a brief hiatus from playing together, Moaning’s conception came when he sent Stevenson and MacKelvie the first demo for “Don’t Go,” setting the tone for the impulsive songwriting that would follow. The three fleshed out Solomon’s primitive recordings, adding in MacKelvie’s heavy syncopated drumming, and Stevenson’s melodic driving bass and synth parts, capturing each member’s personality in their sparse and fuzzed out tracks. Like many of their previous collaborative projects, Moaning forces pain up against pleasure, using the complexity of personal heart break to inform the band’s conflicted sound. The band eventually landed on the apt moniker Moaning, admiring the ambiguity the name held, and hoping to reference both an intimate wail and an anguished scream.
After laying the groundwork for the new project, Moaning quickly began showing off their first songs to audiences around their local scene, and eventually booked their first few tours on their own. Months after the band’s running start, the three went into their home studio to record an early version of “The Same” and decided to shoot a music video for the track. The band was tipped off about a house that was being demolished nearby, so they assembled a group of friends and filmed them taking turns destroying the estate while Solomon, Stevenson, and MacKelvie tried their best to perform the song amongst the chaos. The video’s budget was limited to the sledgehammers, spray paint, and case of beer they provided for the friends who were invited to cause havoc, emphasizing Moaning’s desire to make as much impact with as few resources as possible. The track’s skidding percussion and toned back vocals gave merely a glimmer of the target Moaning aimed to hit with their sound, and would be revisited with further experimentation on a later recording.
Upon its release, the homemade video for “The Same” caught the attention of Alex Newport, a seasoned engineer and producer who had previously worked with At The Drive-In, Bloc Party, and the Melvins. Newport was first to approach the band, eagerly extending the offer to help record whatever they planned to work on next. The young band was flattered by the gesture and were won over by Newport’s sincere enthusiasm during their first visit to his home studio. The three began working on the tracks that would make up their self titled release, employing a lush, open ended production quality that had never been at the band’s disposal. Tracks like “Artificial” stand out among the recordings, where Moaning used the studio’s recourses to take their frantic live arrangement and give it the intensity merited by Solomon’s lyrics. Once recording concluded Moaning started shopping around the album, and eventually it made its way to the Sub Pop office, where buzz began amongst the label’s staff. Sub Pop’s representatives and Moaning finally crossed paths at SXSW, and one month after the band’s explosive set, the three were hastily offered a record deal.
As a whole, Moaning drifts from sentimental to catastrophic, hiding meek and introspective lyrics within powerful droning dance songs, giving sonic nods to some of the band’s musical heroes like New Order, Broadcast, and Slowdive. The band’s youthful attitude is met with the weight of topics like loss, routine, and mental health, reflecting the anxiety towards the status quo that much of their generation faces today. Where many young bands take years to find their footing as writers and performers, Moaning has built up a confidence in sound and vision from the ten years of playing basements, bars, and ballrooms together in their previous projects. Yet, even with their polished exterior, Moaning continues to make the sacrifice of deeply personal anecdotes and emotions to their audience for the benefit of their craft.
Olympia, Washington outfit CCFX has already garnered some nice media coverage from Pitchfork (7.5 rating) and NPR Music.
CCFX is a new group resulting from a merger between two Olympia pop music outfits; CC Dust and Trans FX. On their debut self-titled EP, artists Chris McDonnell, Mirče Popovic, Mary Jane Dunphe and David Jaques offer a record that is at once a showcase and an aberration of what is currently coming out of the Pacific Northwest.
The opening track, The One To Wait, sounds like an early version of The Cure doing their own take on Suzanne Vega’s Tom’s Diner. Maybe it’s only the drum beat but still.
Recommended if you like: The Cure, The Chameleons UK
Recorded and (re)mixed with local OG Captain Tripps, the EP’s sound partially recalls late 90’s/early 00’s indie pop as chiming, melodic guitar parts counter and complement Mary Jane’s brilliant voice. In the same vein of the past few decades’ most beloved and coveted hitmakers (both in the clubs as well as on the radio), the music feeds on a sense of nostalgia not necessarily specific to any one time or place – sun-kissed riffs seem to go on forever, supported by a steady breakbeat.
The timbre of the music is warm and just slightly fuzzed out, and the expressive quality of Mary Jane’s voice is pushed to the front. The b-side’s “Ode,” a late CC Dust piece, and “2Tru,” written by Popovic, were put together around the time of Trans FX’s The Clearing, whereas “The One to Wait” and “Venetian Screens” found Dunphe, Jaques and McDonnell picking up where they left off a year later, swept up in the productive frenzy leading to TFX’s latest effort, Gaslit.
CCFX, over the course of this palpable evolution, have struck that rare yet essential balance between heartfelt sincerity and calculated disillusionment, bearing the mark of a project which is as fearless as it is humble, out there living as big as it wants to be. These four tracks grant listeners access to suppressed and superseded feelings from youth, paired with a backwards glint of whatever strange luxury this epoch’s future might still hold. FFO St Etienne, Q Lazarus, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, dancing, celebrations, success stories, TFX, CCの, etc.
American Laundromat Records has announced the 25th anniversary reissue of Juliana Hatfield’s “Hey Babe”. It’s available for pre-order now.
“We cannot be more excited to reissue Juliana Hatfield’s debut album “Hey Babe” on vinyl to celebrate its 25th Anniversary. We took great care to have our friend and long-time collaborator, Sean Glonek at SRG Studios newly master from the original 1/4″ analog tapes. The artwork has been recreated from the original LP art but with a little twist thanks to the skill and creativity of award-winning designer, Aaron Tanner of Melodic Virtue. This exclusive limited-edition pressing, in a single-pocket gatefold jacket, was pressed by hand at Burlington Record Plant in Burlington, VT.”
Mystery Wild Card Color Vinyl (50 pressed) Label Exclusive (Sold Out) [They usually do two or three different variations though sometimes just 1 color]
Clear Vinyl (100 pressed) Label Exclusive
Translucent Green Vinyl (175 pressed) Label Exclusive
Virgin Black Vinyl (325 pressed)
Translucent “Amethyst” Purple Vinyl (350 pressed)
*Please know due to licensing restrictions, we are unable to include digital downloads.
All “Bundle” pre-orders will be signed by Juliana
Test Pressings will be signed & personalized by Juliana
All pre-orders ship in early March 2018, unless your order included “Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John.” In this case, everything will ship in early April.
“Hey Babe” was produced by Gary Smith (Pixies, Throwing Muses, Blake Babies), and was originally released on Mammoth Records back in 1992. The album featured a bevy of guest players, including Mike Watt, Evan Dando, John Wesley Harding, Clay Tarver, Chick Graning, and Todd Philips.
Mixonline has a great interview with Sean Magee, Abbey Road Studios engineer, about The Beatles recent vinyl releases.
It’s an interesting and informative read for those interested in vinyl. He explains the challenges involved that’s worth the read even if you’re not a fan of The Beatles. He explains how they used test pressing after test pressing and even different types of pressings, traditional lacquer versus Direct Metal Mastering (DMM), to get the best possible quality.
Fazerdaze is the shoegaze/dream pop project of Amelia Murray, of Wellington, New Zealand. She released her debut self-titled EP in October 2014, recording it entirely in her bedroom studio in Auckland. With the help of multi-instrumentalist, Jonathan Pearce, who mastered the release, she created a dream-pop sound, using electric guitars and effect pedals.
Morningside, the debut album, was released on May 5, 2017.