Friday, July 27, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 63 : Buffalo Tom - Big Red Letter Day

Album - Big Red Letter Day
Artist - Buffalo Tom
Key Players - Tom Maginnis - drums/percussion, Chris Colbourn - bass guitar/occasional lead vocals, Bill Janovitz - guitars/lead vocals/piano
Produced By - The Robb Brothers, Buffalo Tom

Release Date - September 21, 1993

What caused me to blow off the dust?
- The band has released a new album and it was just time to go back and give some things a re-listen.

Overview - Buffalo Tom formed in Boston in the 1980's and have been quietly (at least in the USA) been releasing albums at their own comfortable pace. The core of the group has been constant for their tenure and this was the bands fourth full length album. In the Boston area the band has a rabid fan based but even that pales in comparison with the overseas fans, as the band would perform the main stages of many large European Festivals.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - Rich and full guitar open up "Sodajerk", which could be one of the most recognized Buffalo Tom songs. The track appeared on the sound track to the TV show "My So Called Life" and garnered a few fans that way. For a trio the band has a very full sound. The harmonies from Colbourn are terrific. The guitar has that 60's sound and the drums kept it all intact. The raspy solo Bill opens up "I'm Allowed", just he and guitar. Upon the second verse the rest of the band comes in. By the chorus the harmonies return and the band locks in to a more solid groove. Probably the most simple guitar line this side of a Ramones track is laid down on "Tree House" but this is one freaking hell of a Buffalo Tom track. Check it out in the down load. Simple chords, urgent vocals and a shit stomping back beat. Listen and prove me wrong. The comment box awaits your rebuttal. The band slows it down some with an acoustic lead "Would Not Be Denied". We are not quiet for long as "Latest Monkey" picks the rock right back up. There are some odd vocal effects on Colbourns vocals but it adds a unique touch. Speaking of, Chris takes the lead vocals on "My Responsibility". His voice is less gruff than Billys (not that billy has this major growl) but there is a little more range it seems in Chris. The band is really clicking on this track, and you can tell the years of playing together have paid of, they know what each is about to do. Even in a studio setting you feel like something changes direction, for the good, at a moments notice. "Dry Land", shows how good Buffalo Tom are in their element. The track is a genuine foot stomper, sing along type track. The music is not overly complex but its "full". Opening with a solo acoustic guitar "Torch Singer" follows and bounces happily along. The band is never over does it musically, they each realize the importance of their parts and how the sum of the parts make the whole. This track is a great example of the bands uniformity. Chris sings "Late at Night" as well. For the first time we hear some piano/organ work as well. "Suppose" is a genuine toe-tappin' track. The music is fun to listen to on this particular track, in so much as once it is done you will probably scan back to the start of the tune all over again. The album closes out with "Anything That Way". There is a great textured guitar and also, what sounds like lap-steel but there are no credits or indication in the liner notes one was played.

Where are they now? - Buffalo Tom is still active today. In early July 2007 they released "Three Easy Pieces" which is their 7th full length as well as first in nine years. During the down time the band members are involved in various side projects and Bill Janovitz is a real estate agent in the suburbs of Boston.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - Being a "local" band can be taken for granted. Case in point is the first, and only time I saw the band live was May 2, 1996 at Avalon. My friend Jason was (and is) a super fan of the band and told me it was time to go see them live. We nested to the front "row/rail" and had our faces melted off. It was a great night. We were also introduced that night to a band called Superdrag and we became immediate fans of them as well.

FDF Overall Take - Casual fans may get the most satisfaction for the "A-Sides" collection that was released a few years back, but for a full studio album of work, front to back this is a terrific representation of the pop, power, and perfection of this criminally underrated Boston trio.

The bands official web site.
The band on myspace.
Decent fan site here.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

***Mp3's have been removed Sept 27, 2007 1:30 ET****

Tree House
My Responsibility

Both tracks taken from "Big Red Letter Day" which if you like, you can and should buy a copy of from here

Super special download offering..

***Mp3's have been removed Sept 27, 2007 1:30 ET****
Buffalo Tom
October 15, 1995
Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver B.C.

aka - Springfloor

Mp3s have been removed....

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Friday, July 20, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 62 : The Wonder Stuff - Construction for the Modern Idiot

Album - Construction for the Modern Idiot
Artist - The Wonder Stuff
Key Players - Martin Gilks -drums/percussion, Paul Clifford - bass, Martin Bell - fiddle/accordion/mandolin/sitar/guitar/keyboards, Malcom (Malc) Treece -guitar/vocals, Miles Hunt - lead vocals/guitar
Produced By - Pat Collier

Release Date - October 1993

What caused me to blow off the dust?
- Just been meaning to do one on the band, and this just so happened to be the week.

Overview - This was the fourth studio album from the band and the final before their initial break up. The band had grown over the years and the fan base was getting larger and larger. Internal issues had the band break up right after a show they had done in front of 60,000 people.

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
- With a delayed wah wah guitar intro "Change Every Light Bulb" locks down with two slaps on the bass guitar. As the song grows a church sermon is delviered underneath. The song then comes together with the sound that fans of the band have grown to expect, and be acustomed to. The sound is full and the lead, as well as backing vocals, are strong. If there is one thing that can be said, the Wonder Stuff were never much of a political band, at least you'd think. The next track "I Wish Them All Dead" is a direct response to an organization of grown men that are involved with child sex abuse. (I won't even mention the name or anything as I don't need the hits to this page that badly thanks you freaks). The lyrics are delivered quickly and there is a lot of emotion towards the abusers. The song is pretty quick throughout and after a quick guitar solo Hunt sings "Go find relief in your graves, your are not lives I would save...." The less heavy "Cabin Fever" follows with a little more of a keyboard/piano lead. The band has a strong groove and most songs you can easily clap along to (if that is your thing). "Hot Love Now!" opens with some fiddle and differnet backbeat than the listener is used to. The guitars are just a light layer while the drums and bass hold things down. As the chorus arrives its a far more bouncy and happy track. The bass guitar bounce openes "Full Of Life (Happy Now)" which, according to the liner notes, is about a friend of the band that was drunk and sitting in the back of the bar. The guitar is higher up in the mix, and the blend of the acoustic and electric offer a nice balance. "Storm Drain" opens with heavier bass, drums and harmonica. The track is a little slower than what we have heard up to this point but it gets very "full" as it progresses. A swoopong bass and single keyboard note open "On The Ropes" . Strings come over the top before Hunt sings the first verse. Its a pretty subdued track, until right before the chorus when the drums hammer down. The full band comes in and chorus gets the full treatment of a very aggresive progression. "Your Big Assed Mother" is pretty close to on the ropes (barring a pretty funny title). Fading up with a single distorted guitar "Swell", does just that. It swells up and then takes off. The music is quick and the lyrics are given quickly as well. This is one of the stand out tracks on the album in my eyes. A single guitar intros "A Great Drinker" and then by the time the lyrics come there is a single bass part going along with it. There are 2 verses given like this then the band jumps on it. The guitar, drums and bass all crash down for a verse and its bookended with keyboard and organ riffs. A rousing chorus along with horns close out the track. What starts off, honestly, kinda "ehh" ends on a high note. The liner notes also mention this as a tribute to Charles Bukowski. "Hush" has a great sound in the intro. Nice guitar over bass and simple drum parts. Of all the tracks this seems to show off the vocal abilities of Hunt. He is able to go soft/loud to hushed to rushed. This is also the first and only track I can hear Bells sitar work on. "Sing The Absurd" is listed as the first song penned for this record. In listening again, this really should be an mp3 this week, but you'll have to track it down to behold its awesomeness. 12 string guitar and keyboards layer over the top. During some vocal parts is easy to invision rabid fans singing along. Its not rocking tune, but its not a mellow song either. If you dissect the lyrics is appears to be about drug addiction and growing up and getting out of it all. "Something For Sammy" closes out the record. Its not listed on early pressings of the cd in either the liner notes or back cover. Its employs some strings and bass guitar for the first few minutes. there is a quick vocal flurry then it ends.

Where are they now? - This kind of goes all over the map. The band orginally disbanded after a lot of internal turmoil in 1994. Miles Hunt released a few solo albums and toured as the Wonder Stuff for a bit as the only orginal member (the band was not too pleased). After what was supposed to be a one off show (that turned in to 5 sold out nights) things were looking good for a bit but in December 2003 Martin Bell and Martin Gilks left the band for musical and business reasons. In April of 2006 Gilkes was killed in a motorcycle accident.

The band are currently working on a new album with hopes of an early 2008 release.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - Was able to catch the band two times live. The first was September 21, 1991 at the now closed Club Babyhead in Providence. It was a sold out, sweat box of a show. I went with some mates that were not yet of age, but we shared Fosters "Oil Cans" and met some cute co-eds and just had a rockin and rolling time. The second was at the Paradise in Boston on February 23, 1994. What stands out the most for that night was the blizzard that almost cancelled the show. Still we made it in to the city and were rocked to the core, there were not a lot of people and we kept it locked to the radio to make sure the show was still on. A local station was doing interviews and the band said "we are here, we hope people can get her safely and we will play". It was terrific.

FDF Overall Take - The band disbanded at their peak it would appear, only to re-form and with that see all their records get the big 're-issue' treatment. Most alternative music listeners of the early 90's would recognize some of the bands tunes. They maybe were not groundbreaking but they could write some pretty darn catchy songs, and at the end of the day that is what gets you to come back. Personally I find the earlier albums a little stronger and more fun, but this is still pretty good.

Official Site
A supurb fan site
Miles Hunt on myspace

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

****mp3's have been removed as of Sept 6, 2007 3pm ET*****

Change Every Light bulb
Full of Life (Happy Now)
On the Ropes

The three tracks are taken from "Constuction for the Modern Idiot" which you can buy

Also check out this cover of
Closer to Fine Yep its the Indigo Girls tune.

And even more stuff.

The Wonder Stuff
Live in Manchester

This live show has been removed..

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Friday, July 13, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 61 : The Trash Can Sinatras - Cake

Album - Cake
Artist - The Trash Can Sinatras
Key Players - John Douglas - rhythm guitar and vocals. Stephen Douglas - drums and vocals. Paul Livingston - lead guitar
George McDaid - bass. Frank Read - lead vocals (now he goes by Francis Reader)
Produced By - John Leckie, Roger Bechrian and the Trash Can Sinatras

Release Date - June 25, 1990

What caused me to blow off the dust? - the other day a few co-workers and I were talking about decent bands with odd names....there you go. Lame..but it is the truth.

Overview - Scottish band The Trash Can Sinatras (now more collectively know as Trashcan Sinatras) released this record in 1990. Fans and critics quickly embraced the complex music that still maintained many pop song sensibilities. The group continues to write and perform as a collective unit. Mainstream success has eluded the band in America but the band has a ravenous following.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - Opening with a very brisk acoustic guitar its easy to see why "Obscurity Knocks" would chart in the top 10 of the US Modern Rock charts. The acoustic is prominent on the track but the electric guitars sprawl out underneath. By the chorus the drums click to a marching band beat and the band surrounds the vocals. There are a "lot" of words it seems but the delivery from Reader is wonderful. Musically this song could be bottled up and put in a time capsule and opened in 100 years as an example of "jangly UK pop". Its de-freaking-licious. "Maybe I Should Drive" is just another example of the pure pop perfection that you will find through out this record. A lot of times you hear people say "nobody sings anymore". I give you this. (check the download).
"Thrupenny Tears" starts much slower and subdued than the previous tracks its a somewhat, dark and slow track overall. Not what we have gotten used to that is for sure. "Even The Odd" also begins with an acoustic guitar before the band comes in. Further in to the track the drums kicks down more and the band livens the pace some, only to slow it all back down again. Giving the listener the feel they are in the studio the listener hears a "wait wait wait..." before "Best Man's Fall" opens. Again, opening with an acoustic guitars it has a very full sound for 2 guitars and vocals. The song keeps somewhat of a subdued feel through out. This keeps the listener really primed and ready for what comes next. If any song off the album could be called the defining moment it would be "Circling The Circumference". Swooping bass lines and lyrics given at a quick pace over that oh so delicious guitar sound the band delivers. Check the download to see what I am talking about.
The track "Funny" follows. Again, we slow it down but it is a pretty song. A set up again for "Only Tongue Can Tell" ? This the second song to track on the US Modern Rock charts. It actually did not crack the top 10 but the song has a very bouncy and happy feel to it. The guitars chime over a solid back beat. Francis swoons over the top doing some vocal pitch shifting which is wonderful. The band does a call and response leading to the the second chorus. How this track has eluded a TV or movie soundtrack is beyond me. Still being lead by acoustic guitar, but filled out more with some piano "You Made Me Feel" is another pretty song. It never really gets uptempo but is got a lot going on musically. The album closes on "January's Little Joke". Using the similar formula of guitars and subtle drums its a decent album closer.

Where are they now? - As of April/May 2007 the band is working on material for a new album. George McDaid left the band after this album to return to school to be a teacher.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- I have not seen the band perform live.

FDF Overall Take - One point for a cool unique band name. Another for "Trash Can Sinatra" being a euphemism for vomiting. That being said if you are looking for a terrific "moment in time" of the great music that came from the UK in late 80's early 90's really look no further. This is a safe, fun and well performed record. Rush out and buy it..or dust off your copy and tell me I am wrong. The comment box awaits your response.

Official Site
Great fans site

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

****mp3's have been removed Sept 6, 3pm ET******

Circling the Circumfrence
Maybe I Should Drive
Obscurity Knocks
Only Tongue Can Tell

All the tracks taken from the album "Cake" which you can buy
the version listened to for this..has a used sticker on it for 2.99

It appears the cd is only available as an import if you want to go that route for a new copy.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.