Angry Angles-Singles

October 30, 2008

Angry Angles

Singles x 3 (Various labels)

http://www.mediafire.com/?1yvwwzymtm9

Although Jay Reatard’s recent singles for Matador are about as enticing as a pickle injected with mayonnaise, I really loved much of Blood Visions as well as his work with the Reatards and Lost Sounds. At his best, he has a knack for penning punk anthems ala Killed by Death and the Adverts while adding his own oddball touches to the proceedings. His music is catchy, well-played, aggressive and epitomizes all that is wonderful about a three minute burst of anger and alienation. A lesser known offshoot of Mr. Reatard’s creativity is the Angry Angles, but their first three singles are just as addictive as his best work. It doesn’t stray far from the sound of Blood Visions, but its artsy-fartsy view of punk owes more to the Urinals and Screamers than the Adverts. There isn’t a need to pontificate upon its merits because it is just a simple, but enjoyably spastic listen that sticks in your craw. However, their cover of Wire’s “The 15th” is one of the best Wire covers ever recorded as it captures the cold worldview and resignation to cruel fate of the original.


Adventures in Stereo

Blue Album (Creeping Bent 1997)

http://www.mediafire.com/?ywtmzvcw3ey

Primal Scream was always Bobby Gillespie’s outlet for whatever genre’s corpse he felt like fucking at that particular moment. I’m not going to act like I didn’t believe Screamadelica and XTRMNTR were bold statements at the time of their release, but hindsight is a cruel mistress. Almost their entire catalogue sounds so dated and opportunistic these days, but I guess that is the nature of their game. However, I still love their debut album, Sonic Flower Groove, since it is more fey than a Little Lord Fauntleroy costume. Their early singles for Creation are even better statements of their twee purpose as the band succeeds in crafting perfect pop tunes with the heft of an empty garbage bag, This is no insult because I still hum along to “Velocity Girl” each time I hear it because it is one of the most concise and perfect sides of pop perfection.

Jim Beattie was a founding member of Primal Scream, but left before that pasty-faced Scot believed he was a hallucinogenic prophet, then Mick Jagger’s uglier kin, then a cyberpunk, trip-hopping danger to no one. He left to focus his efforts on Spirea X, a band that recorded an amazing single for 4AD before following it with an underwhelming album. The single got me all worked up over his continuation of the Creation era of Primal Scream, but his songwriting grew thin over the course of a full-length. I wrote the fellow off until I encountered the two cds released under the moniker of Adventures in Stereo. One was Blue, the other yellow, but both seemed to be semi-official releases due to the uncleared samples that formed the foundation for Beattie’s second stab at twee.

Beattie and vocalist Judith Boyle pay homage to Phil Spector’s work with 60s girl groups, but keep things somewhat fresh by incorporating tape loops and samples as the bedrock for their upate of 60s AM radio. To be honest, most of this wouldn’t sound out of place on K, Creation, Sarah or Slumberland, but the songwriting places it a step above most of their contemporaries. The Blue Album is just a stellar collection of moody, introspective indie-pop that reminds me of Tracey Thorn’s solo album or her work with the Marine Girls. It’s a dated formula, but it works wonders here.

It’s a shame that the Yellow and Blue albums were released in such limited quantities because the band shit the bed on its subsequent releases. What was once a charming patchwork quilt of AM Gold and twee was abandoned in favor of more beats and a slicker sheen. What was once rough is now sanded smooth and their music suffered because of it. Therefore, they now populate budget bins and no one cares to investigate the origins of what made them special.