Monday, 16 December 2013

Various Artists - "Frost Bite Footwarmers" (Frostbite Records GT 006 VA) 1980

 Another great muddy sounding transmission from the increasingly distant past, and full of honest , barely competent, endeavour it is too.The championing of amateurishness over dull ,predictable professionalism is all too evident, and we've got one of the best group names this side of The Bathroom renovations:...... The Bowel Five good is that? If that doesn't make you want this, then you're probably still in mourning for Margaret Thatcher, or as dead! Mark Automaton delves deep into those vast memory banks to bring us enlightenment about the various muffled meisterwerks on this lovely C60: "The whole thing was put together by Mic Woods (who also contributes a track under his own name), shortly before he joined the Instant Automatons. The two Instant Automatons tracks featured were recorded live, can't remember where exactly but it was probably Meanwhile Gardens. I'm afraid I know nothing about the Bowels Five Trio, but I do find their cover version of "Jean Genie" particularly endearing in the way that it begins by sounding like a bog-standard pub-rock cover and then all falls apart at the chorus. Similarly, I know nothing about the A.P.J.s - they do sound a bit like a Danny & The Dressmakers tribute band, though. Unfortunately, I can't tell you whether the Membranes as featured on this tape are the same as The Membranes from Blackpool. I do think "French Fried Cat" is one of my favourite titles ever, though.  Herman Broadwhistle was a Mic Woods side-project. Encountering his MOR cover-versions among the rest of the muffled DIY clatterings on this tape is a somewhat jarring experience - like finding a trout in the milk. The G. Hope of G. Hope & T. Else is Gordon Hope, later of This Little Alien* (and even later of Those Little Aliens), but I don't know who T. Else is/was.  Merz (Protag's side-project) contribute a very early version of a song that would eventually be released on the "Angst In My Pants" EP and credited to The Instant Automatons.  Heddon St. W1 (another Mic Woods side-project) are notable (in my mind, anyway) as pioneers of sampled music - recording and re-recording bits off existing tapes and records and then bunging them all together to create the sort of Robert-Fripp-meets-Metal-Machine-Music weirdness exemplified by the track "Ohm's Law"."  *Snatch 3 I think?

Track Listing: 1 Instant Automatons -" Emma" 2 The Bowels Five Trio - "OK That's Cool 1&2" 3 Membranes- "French Fried cat/Skid Row baby" 4 APJ's - "Shaving" 5 Herman Broadwhistle - "One Man Band" 6 Herman Broadwhistle - "Just had to go" 7 Mic woods - "Sniffin Glew" 8 G.Hope and T. Else - "Thats more like it" 9 Merz - "restless Night" 10 Heddon St W.1 - "Ohm's Law" 11 The Bowel five Trio - "Jean Genie" 12 Instant Automatons - "One Sun Left" 13 G.Hope and T. Else - "Thats more like it 2" 14 APJ's -"Piano Blues" 15 Herman Broadwhistle -  "Something"

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Get some frostbite in yer footwarmers HERE!

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