Twas many a moon ago when a certain English gentleman, Marty I believe his name was, was here from the Great Isle visiting a friend of a friend. I don’t think I had known him for more than (5) minutes before, naturally, I felt it my solemn duty to pester him until he told me the name of at least one band from the UK that no one was yet listening to here in the States. After several not so veiled threats of violence he finally gave up a name. “The Housemartins,” he said. “The what Martins?” I replied. This cat was setting me up for sure. “The Housemartins,” he said again. “It’s boppy English music played by nerdy white guys.” Oh…this I just had to hear.
He lent me a cassette (I told you it was a while ago) and the first song I heard is featured above. ‘Me and the Farmer’ was released as a single in August 1987 and then later released as part of what would be both their 2nd and final studio album ThePeople Who Grinned Themselves to Death. Quite honestly, while I dug this tune and another song from the same album called ‘Build’, the rest of the album didn’t thrill me. It did however make me curious enough to procure a copy of their debut release entitled London 0 Hull 4. I was (and still am) completely enamored with tracks like ‘Happy Hour’, ‘Flag Day’, ‘Sitting on a Fence’ and ‘Think for a Minute’. The music was the furthest thing from complicated and yet seemed to sparkle with a certain brilliant simplicity that was quite intriguing. What I struck me most, though, was that it was, and still is, instant sing-a-long music. Take gander at the vid above and see if you don’t agree!
Our friends at Criminal Records in the UK are making headlines again with a couple of very intriguing artist announcements. First and foremost, The Kut has sold out their “Love Hate Vampire Shotgun System Circus” Tour AND is about to commence recording their debut album AND they have a new video AND…well that’s it but, needless to say we are pretty stoked about it. Maha (lead vox/guitar), Fidan (drums/vox) and Alison (bass/vox) are on fiyah at present and we wish them nothing but continued success. Can’t wait to hear the new stuff!
Speaking of new stuff, checking out the newest band to sign with CR is an absolute must. Argonaut is a 5-piece ensemble that hails from London Town and are criminally good in their own right. Lorna (vocals), Abby (keys, guitar, vox), Nathan (guitar), Paul (bass) and Rob (drums) cite a variety of influences that have paved they way to a remarkably original sound…thankfully none of those influences was Englebert Humperdink! But seriously folks, theirs is a sound awash in gritty guitars, driving drums, siren-esque vocals and just a hint of dissonant angst…very cool.
New music is already on the way in 2012 from our favourite/rehabilitated juvenile delinquents from Great Britain. We are pleased as punch that Damn Vandals have a new EP that is expected to drop at the end of February. We can’t wait to hear it.
[itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/all-alone/id478899535?i=478899536&uo=4″ title=”Eureka Stockade – All Alone”]
This just in… Eureka Stockade, my favorite alt-country band from the other side of the pond have just released their latest single “All Alone”. As with their previous tracks we’ve shared here, the sound feels much more like Georgia or Tennessee rather than England’s Cambridge. But between the steel guitar (which I’m always a sucker for), the ambiance set by the cello, the joyous drumming, and the earnestness felt in the Michael Stipe-like vocals…I don’t really care where they are from.
Once again, Eureka Stockade deliver well crafted musicianship, meaningful lyrics, and a soulful delivery. Talent, genuineness, uniqueness. Across all genres, those are the qualities we applaud here at Froglix.
Much like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, so it was for the remaining members of Joy Division. After the tragic death of vocalist Ian Curtis, bandmates Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris were faced with a very difficult decision…would they keep pressing on or simply quit the music scene altogether. Well the answer came quickly and press on they would. The addition of keyboardist Gillian Gilbert completed the original line up of what would become one of the most critically acclaimed post-punk/new wave bands of all time…New Order.
In early years, their sound was somewhat a continuation of what they had begun with Joy Division but they soon picked up on the dance vibe emanating from New York and began building the most appealing of those elements into their songs. “Blue Monday” is the absolute epitome of their transformational sound. Oh…and by the way…it’s one the best selling 12″ singles of all time.
Somehow…I think these cats were on to something but take a listen and dig it for yourself.
The English Beat on [itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mirror-in-the-bathroom/id35843516?i=35843518&uo=4″ title=”The Beat on iTunes” text=”[object Selection]
For the Flashback this week we present for your listening and viewing pleasure the Titans of Two Tone…The English Beat. From 1978 – 1983, Dave Wakeling, Ranking Roger, et al were at the epicenter of all that was Ska and the (3) studio albums released during their run have become rude boy classics. “Mirror in the Bathroom,” from I Just Can’t Stop (1980) is one of my absolute favourites and, even though the original line up has long since broken up, Mr. Wakeling still gets a certain swagger in his step when this one comes up on the setlist. Take a listen…and you’ll see why.