Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Moth Balls

Stack Waddy were a hairy buncha slovenly bastards from Manchester with a neanderthal knack for amping up old rhythm 'n' blues gems and early rock 'n' roll standards into something a little more visceral..  Here's their self-titled LP, recorded in 1970 but unfortunately held back til early '71 due to John Peel's Dandelion label having a few distribution problems..  Ultimately costing the band valuable momentum during the feeding-frenzy of the 'heavy UK blues boom' of the early '70's..  Comin' on like early Sabbath (Ozzy was a big fan and used to turn out for shows) meets The Sonics (via an overwhelming R 'n 'B / R 'n' R fixation) and, prone as I am to over-stating my comparative propositions, in this case I'm not drawing the comparisons lightly (honest)!  Massively under-rated stuff here for sure..  Shaggy, blue-collar, back-to-basics boozy-boogie-woozy with lumbering licks aplenty, always sounding encouragingly fierce even when they'd slowed things down to a crawling growl..  Expanding upon their intrinsic garagey vibes and wherever necessary condensing the grooves into their most essential arrangements..  A cranky quartet who imbued their raggedy-arsed rhythmical interpretations with a heavy shambling syncopation and topped it all off with the imploring guttersnipe howls of a rasping brickie for a frontman..  John Knail would alternate between a gruff alcoholic croon and several sweaty-bucket attempts to out-honk Beefheart or Edgar Broughton, all in between puffing on a gasper and occasionally tootin' that ol' harmonica son.. Phew!  Ten triple-distilled tracks on the original LP fortified here by nine previously unreleased bonus tracks of comparable calibre..  Play loud as always and don't forget, further understanding can always be facilitated by providing your own counterpoint in the background: i.e. the tinkling of ice in your glass, the steady flick 'n' click of your lighter, a sharp inspiration of breath followed invariably by the grateful exhalation of any residual fumes and vapours..  Hmmm..

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Jams From The Heart

What's that?  Drug-addled axe-wizards from the 60's and 70's who've under-achieved their way into funked-up arpeggiated immortality regardless?  Yeh, we love 'em too friend..  Well now, how 'bout Funkadelic's minor-key manipulating, (maggot) brain-bending, tripped-out funky string-tickler with some heavy 'Jams From The Heart' then?  No probs!  Here's Eddie Hazel given a rare chance to cut loose by himself in 1975 as a way to cool down from his faintly criminal inclinations and kick-start the ol' lick-chopping machine for his first 'proper' solo album, 1977's 'Game, Dames & Guitar Thangs'..  Having been more or less given the bootsy from Funkadelic by George Clinton at this point, Ed needed to stretch out a little after finding himself behind bars at Lampoc for a spell..  Allegedly convicted of trying to bite a chunk out of an airline hostess mid-flight, while deep in the grip of an angel dust frenzy.  Backstepping hastily from that definite 'Yikes!' moment, he duly delivered a scant four tracks in half an hour here..  Two long, psyched-out, funked-up snorters topped 'n' tailed with two concise fragments of foot-tapping, bounce-adelic rubbery butt-shake..  Supported strongly in his ecstatic endeavours by none other than Buddy Miles (from Hendrix's apex-era Band Of Gypsies amongst many others) an obvious adept at reacting to his fellow funkateers - keepin' the drums alternating between a tight, clipped beat and loose, free-form flourishes to punctuate Eddie's exploratory freak-outs..  For best results:  Relax..  Don't pay no mind to that income tax..  No need to seethe..  If you'd just let yourself breathe..  Watch the walls psychedelipeeps, they'll show ya..

Thursday, 12 January 2012


So, imagine you're the former drummer from legendary fast HC band Siege and you've finally reached a potentially terminal constriction in your creativity by utilising such a narrow-minded, one-dimensional approach to noise-making..  What's left to do but a big, fat free-form musical U-turn to state your now uninhibited, lysergically induced intentions?  How about opening up your record with a droning four minute atonal bass 'solo' that lasts longer than three of your old band's songs played back-to-back?  Not bad!  Nightstick's first full-length, 'Blotter' from '97 saw them furiously furrowing their brows into fucked up grooves, confirming the confrontational nature of their caustic wit and consolidating their concept of belligerent anti-any-state-but-altered art via the rhetoric of class warfare..  Half the album consists of massively monged-out cover versions (Funkadelic, Pink Floyd and Lydia Lunch), no doubt conceived in a twitchy, transfixed state of cosmic fear and loathing..  Cranking up the sense-subtracting onslaught even further for live shows the band were joined onstage by a succession of 'performers' named Padoinka The Clown..  Why?  To perform interpretive dance and improvisational movement of course!  Doing the cold-turkey hot-step and monkey-on-my-back boogaloo nightly was clearly a draining experience for the poor chaps and so the 'Stick unapologetically blazed through a handful of their junkie type associates in the process..  In short, a totally twisted trip of titanically turgid dirge-a-thon proportions!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Out On The Street

Excavating another curious nugget of the late NWOBHM era from the depths of the beer-cellar - Harrier's lone EP emerged in '84 on Black Horse Records a label named for and very probably sponsored by their local metal-pub (Metallibar? No.).  'Out On The Street' definitely sounds dated enough nowadays, but even back then it must have sounded almost archaic..  Seemingly underwhelmed by the rapid progressions in style and speed occurring around them, the lad's inspirations audibly sprang almost exclusively from earlier decades..  That most surely includes the heavy freaks from the sixties as well..  For example, a definite Steppenwolf (!) vibe can be detected on 'Nickels And Dimes', with its familiar punchy, boogie-driven staccato swing..  Maybe it's their regular deployment of groovy keyboard noodles and general mid-pacing that invokes thoughts of the seventies.. But then there's the side-long 'Shine On', which might well initially send shivery fingers of man-ballad dread down yer sweat-flecked spine but it eventually heats up into a sweet bass-driven rocker..  It's not exactly a hitherto undiscovered artifact that redefines contemporary metal analysis and transcends time itself - but, for those no-lifes who still retain a vague affection for the rampant sugary rush of ridiculous self-righteousness that only the decaying recesses of the NWOBHM underground could provide, there may be ample sustenance indeed..