Monday 30 June 2014

He's Dead Jim - "A Great Way to Die!" (self released cassette) 1984

"Punks not Dead Jim", said Bones as he reads the cover of the Exploited lp released a year or so before this DIY effort from Aberdeens fifth finest garage band.
"Mmmmm, Illogical", says Spock, as he finds it hard to comprehend how a group as miserably shite as the fucking Exploited had the shear  nerve to say something is 'not dead' when they have evidently played a major role in killing it!?
Luckily, other parts of bonnie Scotland did their best to counter such celtic musical atrocities such as Deacon Blue, Hue and Cry, and Big Country, by creating a special strain of unmacho punk influenced pop.
This 5 track demo cassette from HDJ, does have a please like me tone to it, but only to serve the purpose of securing Gigs from the cloth eared promoters of 1984. That being so, this has a great lo-fi sound to it, emphasised by the metallic sound baffling of the steel garage door. Another great touch is the recycling of an evil Barry Manilow cassette, to house these fine tunes. Top labels pay high flying designers thousands to come up with sleeve concepts that don't come close to this. The genius of necessity cannot be recreated by millionaires.
But what I really wanna know is..... who's Manilow cassette was this originally?
"I shite the songs that make the whole world SICK!", sings Barry in Vegas.

Neil Christie of HDJ explains:
"A Great Way to Die! was recorded about 18 months (after 'Lionise the Masses') and was done in an original edition of just one (the one you see in pics here), recorded on top of a Barry Manilow cassette. We used this as a demo to get local gigs. For this tape Andy Milne had taken over from Murray on drums, and Allan had mostly taken over from me on lead vocals, while I had taken up guitar. This all made us sound slightly more competent but, let's face it, this was not a sonic makeover of Scritti Politti proportions - we still made a bloody racket."

DOWNLOAD a great way to die HERE!

He's Dead Jim - "New Gods For The Smug" (Self released Cassette) 1983
This is how pop music should be. Played by dilettantes* outside of the accepted system,with only a passing thought of appealing to an audience other than themselves. With no other discernible ambition other than to create something fleeting; worthwhile only to a small section of the planet, and be satisfied with that! A healthy bi-product of this healthy attitude, is that it often leads to something bordering on greatness. Not saying that He's Dead Jim are Great, but they definitely score 10 out of 10 for doing it right. This is perfect Pop music,done perfectly.

More thoughts on the subject by Neil Christie(HDJ)  :

"New Gods For The Smug: another bunch of garage recordings, this time from 1983.
This captures us at a point where we had started to sweeten the primitive metallic sludge of our earliest recordings with touches of melody and even, occasionally, vocal harmonies of a sort. It's still not exactly Haircut 100 though.

We were quite proud of the (mostly inaudible) lyrics to Terry Burns, a song about lovers (perhaps the same Terry and Julie from Waterloo Sunset) who burst into flames:

Thrashes to ashes, lust to dust
When humans spontaneously combust.
There's no explanation for the conflagration
When humans spontaneously combust.

The song Oil was a move away from our usual subject matter of science fiction and gurls with its biting critique of the oil industry and its effects on our home town.

Oil - boring! Oil - boring! etc

Poetry? I think so."



  1. A person who claims an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge.
  2. A person with an amateur interest in the arts.

Track Listing:

1 His Own Number
2 Haywire
3 The Hour Steals On
4 Terry Burns
5 Oil
6 Jeepster
7 Wonderful Times
8 Prisoner of the Atom
9 Jenny Channel
10 Point Blank range
11 Backburner

DOWNLOAD and be very smug HERE!

He's Dead Jim - "Toys Attack The System" (unreleased recording) 1983

Here's a treat for all you vast legions of avid He's Dead Jim completists out there! Some unreleased garage recordings from those grey days of 1983, when we had to endure all things Goth. This trend went mercifully unnoticed in the HDJ garage.
 As the nations' youth dressed for the funeral of rock'n'roll,and Bauhaus finally gave it the coup de grace; HDJ continued making energetically dissonant punky pop songs in their Aberdonian garage.
This collection shows a musical sophistication of sorts,its even 'funky' in parts; and there's a.....gulp!.....ballad?
Don't worry, its still a raw lo-fi racket, albeit a more cultured raw lo-fi racket.

As Neil (HDJ) says:

"More garage recordings, this time from 1983. These have never really been distributed in any form, until now. By this point we'd learned to play, a bit, Andy had joined on drums and brought his bass pedal with him, and we were experimenting with different musical styles. Depending on your point of view, this may be a blessed respite from the grindingly primitive monotony of earlier recordings, or laughable jazz-odyssey pretension. On Siren you can hear the distinctive sound of the shittest and tiniest keyboard ever invented, the Casio VL-Tone, and we even attempt a ballad with Stolen Heaven. But fear not, most of this is still a grim and cacophonous sonic ordeal."



1 Green For Go
2 Back To You
3 Siren
4 The Land Where The Dolls Go
5 Eternally
6 Tomorrow is Yesterday
7 Stolen Heaven
8 The Process
9 Swim to Oblivion
10 Line of Broken Hearts
11 Kiss Tonight Goodbye

He's Dead Jim - "Bad Noise For Tuff Trendies" (Savage frenzy productions) 1981

HDJ’s first release from the garage is thee ultimate 80’s lo-fi fuzz punk cassette classic. This recording has the best fucked up fuzztone guitar this side of 1960’s technology. Mix this up with some punk influenced melodies,lo-fi sci-fi, a sense of humour, and you get a heady cocktail of DIY garage punk rock. Thank fuck these boys were never allowed near a proper studio! I dread to think what Martin Hannett would have done to them.
Instead, glory in the raw dissonance of this carbon monoxide fuelled smog fest, and wonder at its simple genius.
As a bonus, you also get no less than four versions of the eponymously titled “He’s Dead Jim”, where the lyrics are wholly made up from titles of Star Trek episodes, from the days when ,thankfully, there was no ‘Next Generation’! Which is apt indeed, because was this part of the last generation of the rock age? 

“He’s worse than dead Jim.......his Brain has gone!” (Dr Mcoy, from ‘Spock’s Brain’)

Neil Christie (HDJ) fills us in on some of the finer details behind this recording:

"This was our first cassette, from 1981, recorded within weeks of most of us (apart from lead guitarist Neil "minor chords are for girls" Smith) picking up an instrument for the first time and released in small numbers under our own 'Savage Frenzy' imprint. What you hear is a combination of ham-fisted thrashing, sub-lo-fi recording and hoarse screaming. We didn't have a microphone or PA, so vocals were simply shouted above the noise. The borrowed drum kit had no bass pedal, which made for an idiosyncratic approach to rhythm. The guitars were channelled through knackered amps and usually further distorted by the use of the 'Big Muff' fuzz pedal."


1 He’s Dead Jim
2 Wild Thing
3 Lampshade Lampshade
4 Towel on the Radiator
5 We Want Groupies
6 Headache
7 Rachel
8 Klingon Stomp
9 Archibald Willingham Butt
10 All About Losing
11 Bread and Circuses
12 Something awful
13 He’s Dead Jim (Mur)
14 He’s Dead Jim (Dub)
15 He’s Dead Jim (Remix)

He's Dead jim - "Lionise the Masses,Massage the Lions" (self Released Cassette) 1981

Lets change direction back to something a bit more pop orientated, where 'proper' songs roost.
so we switch from the sun-kissed beaches of California to the jolly grey skies of bonnie Scotland.Indulge in some classic UK DIY, and cleanse your mind from all this avant garde nonsense.
Here's Scotlands answer to  Airway(?)....yes it's He's Dead Jim!

As the Subway Sect had a disproportionate influence in Scotland, after their sojourn north of the border as part of the White Riot Tour in 1977; one thought it apt that we are now exposed to some classic scottish DIY Punk. That said, it was brought to my attention that the 'Sect Effect' only centred itself around Glasgow, Edinburgh and the general M8 area. So naturally, we go to Aberdeen, where we find "He's Dead Jim" grinding out sub lo-fi punk pop classics in their garage. Plenty of weedy Ron Asheton riffs, Swell Mapisms, and a sense of humour; this home-made classic could have been massive had it been  from 1981's fashionable place to be, Edinburgh. Not bad from, as Neil Christie of HDJ said,"(for)unquestionably Aberdeen's fifth best garage band of the early '80s."

He's Dead Jim has the honour of having a compilation Cd-r of their cassette greatest hits released on the great Hyped2Death can buy it HERE!

More from Neil:

" Lionise the Masses, Massage the Lions was recorded late 1981.

It features the original line-up, struggling with our equipment and incompetence. 
It was recorded in the garage, in mono on a reel-to-reel machine and distributed in very limited numbers to friends and 'fans'.
The garage had a large metal door that reverberated as the volume increased and I like to think gave the recordings a uniquely harsh metallic edge. The neighbours enjoyed our practising so much that they complained to the council and got an injunction for 'noise pollution' to stop us from rehearsing. It was inconvenient to be shut down by The Man, but we were delighted to be officially classified as 'noise pollution'. That seems like a pretty good genre name for what we did."

DOWNLOAD this diy guide to lion massagerie HERE!

Saturday 28 June 2014

John J. Lafia ‎– "Prayers" (Trance Port Tapes ‎– trance 4) 1984

John J. Lafia ? Dunno who this guy was/is, but this cassette is one of the best primitive futurist minimal electronic records I have heard.
Full of fuzzy space, disembodied passionless voices, warm rounded analogue electronics, sparse beats, from the days before MIDI connectivity turned everyone into a electronic orchestra.
This is the sound of alienated isolation, in a world where humanity is in danger of becoming terminally redundant. Far more relevant to the modern world than it was in 1983.This is an age where we carry our brains everywhere we go and call them smart phones,the first stage of human evolution into Cyborgs.......and what’s wrong with that ?.....put answers on a postcard and send them to Mr Tony Blair, New World Order HQ, Jerusalem, Palestine.


A1 Life Is Short
A2 Dream
A3 Fear
A4 Ritual
A5 Sinking
B1 A Promise
B2 Spaghetti Western
B3 Flying
B4 Hidden Things
B5 Escape

DOWNLOAD and pray for more like this HERE!

Various Artists ‎– "Live At The Trance Port" (Trance Port Tapes ‎– trance 5) 1984

More from post-punk L.A., means more from Trance Port Tapes, and 'Live From The Trance Port' cassette.Which is basically what it suggests ,live recordings from four Trance Port artists.
First up we get the 'Electronic Beat Poetry' of 'Randall Kennedy In Reconstruction'. A kind of hipster white rap set to a backing of a mutant disco electronic backing. Rather effective,but three tracks is enough of that I reckon.(A full tape of this exists on Trance Port ?it might be available soon via Carlo ?-see comments on L.A. Mantra).
The LAFMS connection part one is the improvised chamber music of the wonderfully named ,Fat & Fucked Up. Serving up a quarter of an hours worth of cello scraping,viola plucking,contra bass slapping,scat squealing modern pseudo classical improvisation. A fine act indeed.
Stillife get all minimal, with three hypnotic tunes that remind one of Steve Reich,Terry Riley, and Eno coming at ya all in one big repetitive ambient mantra. This would have undoubtedly been taken more seriously in New York, leading to a string of LP's on CBS classical.
Finally we get LAFMS part two,another Brad Laner vehicle, Debt of Nature. Abrasive,crude,highly treated Punk,is what it says in the booklet.Who am I to argue with that ? These are the best tracks on the tape by nano-metres (that’s a very small distance to you sensible persons out there).


A1 Randall Kennedy In Reconstruction Smith's Room 3:47
A2 Randall Kennedy In Reconstruction Graveview Trace 4:10
A3 Randall Kennedy In Reconstruction Let's Do It 4:08
A4 Fat & Fucked Up Suite For The House Of The Lost Boy (In Five Parts) 15:31
B1 Stillife Celadon 7:23
B2 Stillife To The Light (For Ellen) 7:22
B3 Stillife African Slugfest 5:19
B4 Debt Of Nature Officer Dillon (We're Going To Kill You) 1:49
B5 Debt Of Nature Inside Out 10:38

Friday 27 June 2014

Ron 'Pate's Debonairs ‎– "Raudelunas Pataphysical Revue" (Say Day-Bew Records ‎– SDB-1) 1977

Talking of tenuous LAFMS connections, Here's Ron Pates Debonairs featuring the Reverand Fred Lane from 1975. I am not aware of anyone from the LAFMS appearing on this record, but I always assumed there were as it seems to walk the same lonely highway as many of their releases from the same epoch. Weren't the Doo Dooettes also the Captains of Industry ?......if not, they should have been ; and Airway could have been the Lonely Astronauts ?
This record is an accurate recreation of how one of those shit variety shows of the 60's and 70's sounded in the mind of the children who had to endure such awful dross under instruction by their pre- rock'n'roll generation parents.
The Reverand Fred lane's monologue's are lessons in surreal,often hilarious, nonsense;just like the monologue's of such proto-paedophiles as Bruce Forsyth,Sammy Davis Jr and any other media mannequin you are aware of, except that they intended to amuse and failed.All accompanied by reams of canned laughter and applause. In fact, if you compare the atrocious verbal vomit, that emitted from the offensive gob of serial sex pest,rapist, and necrophile, Sir Jimmy saville , with that of Fred lane, you will find very little difference.Other than different senses of irony. One sinister, the other satirical ; whereas John Q. Public would see it the other way around, taking the side of the state funded child abuser over the inspired satirist.
One of my favourite moments, that virtually happened every week on the Generation Game and Blankety Blank, is the Raffle. An 'Ugly' man wins the Car Tyres, to take home to his lovely wife.
The prizes are as valueless as the real prizes on those terrible TV shows.
My personal favourite prizes that I remember being won in my youth, were a 'Mug tree' on Blankety Blank, and every week it was either a Speed Boat or a Caravan as the star prize on Bullseye.(for non UK citizens out there I have provided links to enlighten you, or otherwise as to the abysmal shitness of this total crud that passed for entertainment).
Now we watch reruns of these shows on Challenge TV, and entertain ourselves by playing spot the Nonce ; in some shows like Celebrity Squares you can actually play Nonce Noughts and Crosses, often scoring a diagonal line,like Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall and Freddie Star in a winning line.Then we are entertained by Gary Glitter.
Terrible musical entertainment was always included that even managed to take these shows lower on the taste scale.
This is represented here by the shaky version of 'My Kind Of Town (Chicago Is)'and 'Volare',as sung by our compere. Then we have the guest performers, represented by the Free improv of The Captains of Industry, and the Lonely Astronauts. Theres always a novelty act of course, so we get the 'Concerto For Active Frogs', an Avant Cabaret classic if ever there was such a genre.
Alfred Jarry would have been proud of this fine album.

(for all saddo's out there, this is on that bloody Nurse With Wound List by the way!)


A1 Introduction
A2 My Kind Of Town (Chicago Is)
A3 Monolgue
A4 Concerto For Active Frogs
A5 The Captains Of Industy
B1 The Lonely Astronauts
B2 The Shemp Howard Story
B3 The Chief Divisions Of The Peoples Of Gaul
B4 Monologue
B5 Volare

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Various ‎Artists – "L.A. Mantra" (Trance Port Tapes ‎– Trance 1) 1983

Another classic Californian compilation is the “L.A. Matrixc-60 compilation from 1983.
The fact that it features one of the best band names of all time,(Fat and Fucked Up) is recommendation enough; but it has everything you could wish for from an underground comp from the post punk period.
We got Motorik style krautrock revival from Still Life, minimal electronic primitivism from If-Then-Else, dark ambient, Post Punk, Avant Rock, you name it, it is probably in here somewhere.
Not quite up there with 'Darker Skratcher' or 'Live at target', but its pretty close.And there are tenuous LAFMS connections,and an appearance by Brad Laner on the Debt of Nature track
A1 If-Then-Else Hey Big Oil
A2 Stil life Rubrica
A3 Afterimage Afterimage
A4 Rand Kennedy* Enorma Jones
A5 Debt Of Nature L.A. Weekly Is God
A6 Rich Evac A Scanner Darkly
A7 Tunneltones Last Line For Love
A8 Mark Bucholtz Winds From Nowhere
A9 A Produce Erosion
B1 An Bene - Pierre Lambow Robot Jungle
B2 Savage Republic Attempted Coup: Madagascar
B3 If-Then-Else The Wedge
B4 Fat & Fucked Up Fugue B
B5 Chas Smith October '68
B6 Rand Kennedy* Smith's Room
B7 Afterimage Idol
B8 Michael Le Donne-Bhennet Vaporous Architecture #3

DOWNLOAD a mantra from L.A. HERE!

Tuesday 24 June 2014

The Screamers - "Demo's 1977-78"

The second Synth Punk group,after Suicide of course,were The Screamers,from L.A., but i don't think they had any bona fide synthesisers in the line up. It was all distorted thrift store organs, and real drums; but Synth-punk this is.
What made them extra great is the fact that they didn't release any records, and relied on building their legend by performing Live, theatrical shows, and making video's. Some would say that this was ahead of their time, and they'd be right.
By spurning rock cliché, rejecting guitars, and not playing the record company game, this is pure no sell-out punk rock, and a definite influence on bands like Nervous Gender.

Track Listing:

1. The Beat Goes On
2. Thru the Flames (She Frightens)
3. Sex Boy
4. (If I Can't Have What I Want) I Don't Want Anything
5. She's the Girl (The Girl In The Car With The Glasses And The Gun)
6. I Wanna Hurt
7. 122 Hours Of Fear (1)
8. 122 Hours Of Fear (2)
9. Punish Or Be Damned
10. Government Love Affair (Don't Pay The Whore)
11. Peer Pressure
12. In A Better World
13. Vertigo
14. Magazine Love
15. It's A Violent World

All tracks recorded "live" in one session in Summer 1978.
Produced By Geza X, recorded on a 4-track.

DOWNLOAD this screamer HERE!

Various Artists - "Live at Target" (Subterranean Records SUB 03) 1980

This is sort of a "Live at the Roxy"(1977) for the San Francisco punk scene.
Featuring the obnoxious synth punk racket of Nervous Gender, more offensive synth punk from Uns(featuring a young Z'ev) and Factrix (both soon to sell out to Industrial music), and the peerless sludge punk legends Flipper. Kinda makes you wish you were there, rather like that "Roxy" album did. So can pay no higher compliment than that.


Side A:
1. Subterfuge
2. A Night To Forget
Nervous Gender:
3. Miscarriage
4. Scandinavian Dilemna
5. Poets And Confession
Side B:
1. UNS 1
2. UNS 2
3. Low Rider
4. Falling

Recorded live at Target Studios, 2-24-1980
LP, Subterranean Records, 8-1980

DOWNLOAD directly from the Target HERE! 

Nervous Gender - "Music from Hell" (Subterranean Records SUB21) 1981

To get back to the californian/los Angeles Free Music Society thread, after the inexplicable reposting of two Symboter Albums; we have Brad Laners(Steaming Coils/Prostate Gland Massagers/LAFMS) early appearance as part of the infamous Nervous Gender.

The first time I posted this album I got a DCMA take down notice,then a member of the band e-mailed me telling me that it had nothing to do with any member of Nervous Gender!
So here it is in its reposted form......ladies and gentlefolk, I bring you Music from Hell:

Near perfect, unhinged minimal synth punk from the minimal synth punk capital of the world, San Francisco. This group had a ten year old drummer, a pre-requisite for greatness in any musical sphere. Then you got the sublimely named Dinah Cancer guesting on one of the tracks.
I suspect a severe Screamers influence was endemic in the formation of this nasty little collective, which is understandable; the Screamers being one of thee perfect Punk groups ever.
All this, coupled with the recorded live straight to cassette quality and you have a definitive Synth Punk Classic.

(Tracks B1 to B5 performed live in Traetion Gallerie May 30 1981.
The entire contents of this album were recorded on a Toshiba RT-8200a portable cassette recorder and a Sankyo STD-1700 cassette deck. Our most outrageous thanks to Mr Mike Fox for his fidelity recouperation tactics. This album was recorded and mixed in a span of 36 hours, mistakes and all).

The band's web site helpfully points out that Beelzebub Youth is often mistakenly identified as a separate band, but was really only the name of the tracks on the second side


Martyr Complex

Nothing To Hide

Cardinal Newman

Fat Cow

Alien Point Of View

People Like You

Regress For You

Beelzebub Youth 
Christian Lovers


Bathroom Sluts

Pie On A Ledge

Push, Push, Push

Alice's Song

DOWNLOAD some music from hell HERE!