Friday, November 27, 2009

FDF Vol 2 Issue 165: Guadalcanal Diary - Flip Flop

By: March

Album - Flip Flop
Artist - Guadalcanal Diary
Key Players - John Poe - bing bang, sing-sang and ping pong (drums). Rhett Crowe - mamagama bam-boom, yee-haws (bass). Jeff Walls - jamalama, flophouse 88's, chin music (guitar). Murray Attaway - sing song, jing-jang, ding dong (guitar and lead vocals).
Produced By - Don Dixon

Release Date - 1989

What caused me to blow off the dust?
- I use a web site called where you can list, and trade cds with others. I listed this cd, and someone out there wants it, and every time I see it on the list that someone wants I think "I need to listen to that cd again".

Overview - Marietta Georgia "jangle poppers" Guadalcanal Diary formed in the early 1980's and would release and ep, a live record and four full length records in between. Flip Flop would be the bands final album as a band and on a major label. The band would be well known for having upbeat rhythms, strong vocals and bright guitars. Sadly, they'd never get the larger recognition they should have.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The band is often compared to R.E.M and its evident right at the outset as "Look Up!" opens with a flurry of bass, drums and guitar before clicking down into a strong beat. Attaway has a fantastic tenor voice and the jangle pop starts right away and the guitars chime, and the drums are tight. There is even some cymbal crashes on those cymbals that go "spooosh" when they are struck. The tempo of the song is perfect and the band even changes tempo at the mid point before Walls does his guitar solo. The band breaks down as the drums get pushed in the mix and Poe shows his rhythmic chops. The song repeats the instrumental break down with a second solo on guitar. Two guitars bounce off a few single bass notes and "Always Saturday" begins. This was the song that got me in to the band, with a video that was show on 120 Minutes on MTV. As the chorus draws closer Poe hits the drums to get the band in line and then there is a nice series of harmonies with Attaway and the band. The band really shines on this track with musical interludes, powerful pop hooks and great vocals. A real gem of a track. "The Likes of You" has a fuzzier guitar intro before the second guitar comes in. The intro section feels like a Smithereens (FDF looks at "11" here) tune with those powerful guitar riffs. The band is tight, but not flashy so it adds to the punch. Attaway is a little held back vocally, but still powerful. Come the second verse he gets a lot more urgent and really shines once more. Another really strong rock pop tune. "Barometer" changes a little direction with a more laid back feel, but no instrument is left unplayed. The band falls into an easy swing groove with Attaway crooning over the top. The band keeps a tight ship on this track, but it doesn't way from its set course. Acoustic guitars open "Happy Home" and Attaway comes in quick on the vocals. It is the bands first swing towards a ballad (or at least mid tempo track). "Whiskey Talk" comes back with a much more aggressive guitar. The drum line from Poe is given with machine gun rapid fire snare drum snaps. The guitars circle one another in this 4/4 marching tempo track. The bass is sort of buried in the mix since the guitars get the focus. Walls gets a real good run on a guitar solo about 2 minutes in before they suddenly slow it down. Crowe is brought up on bass and Poe rolls across the floor toms. The song ends with bottles clanking for an added mental picture. "Pretty Is As Pretty Does" blends nice with the prior track as the same buzzy guitar abounds and the drums are hit hard, but keep a strong back beat. Another quick track is "Everything But Good Luck" that follows suit of the prior two. The band sounds great, but its nothing that really stands out from anything else on the record. They mellow out some on "Ten Laws". The vocals are much more laid back and it is a lone guitar with the drums slowly rolling under before there is more urgency come the second verse. The album closes with "...Vista" a track that slowly builds with swirling buzzy guitars and deep drum hits. The track locks in to a tight groove and has a false ending, but what leads to it is a strong closer. There is a hidden track a fun run through, but the liner notes don't match he back cover. On list "Fade Out" and another lists "Vista" as the final track. In reading it looks like it should go "Fade out-->..Vista"

Where are they now? - The band broke up in 1989 but would reform in 1997 to tour (without any new material on record) and then call it a day again in 2000. Jeff Walls continues to play guitar and has worked in Southern Culture on the Skids and Man or Astro-Man?. He is currently a member of "The Woggles". Attaway recorded a solo record that was released in 1993, and then worked with Poe on a second solo record, but it has never been released. The band claims to be on "hiatus" and has not ruled out working with one anther in the future.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I never saw the band live.

FDF Overall Take
- I will honestly say I have no other experience with this band but I realized when I dug this out again it was everything I had hoped for. I love REM and their sound and this is similar. The guitar sound on this record is crazy good and everyone adds to one collective unit. It is time for me to go see if I can track down their other releases. Let the quest BEGIN!


Neither the official site or the myspace page seem to have been updated in a fair amount of time.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

The mp3's have been removed...
Always Saturday
The Likes of You
Everything but Good Luck

Tracks are from "Flip Flop". The record is out of print, and even used might set you back a pretty penny, but give it a shot starting here.

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, November 13, 2009

FDF Vol 2 Issue 164: Motorhead - No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith

By: March

Album - No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith
Artist - Motorhead
Key Players - "Fast" Eddie Clarke - guitar, backing vocals. Phil "Philthy Anima" Taylor -drums. Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister - bass and lead vocals.
Produced By - Vic Maile

Release Date - June 27, 1981

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Rolling Stong just did a spectacular article on Lemmy and I realized it had been some times since I listened to any Motorhead. I am surprised to report that I own more of their "recent" stuff than the older stuff, which is odd.

Overview - This was the first live album from the band was recorded on various nights during a short tour (none of which was actually the Hammersmith). This would be bands lone #1 record (in the UK). The band would fracture from this incarnation within a few years and many purists fine this the best line up. Lemmy has kept Motorhead alive since.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The collection opens up with the bands trademark tune "Ace of Spades" with Lemmys bass punching over the top before the band explodes around him. Taylor and Clarke lay the ground work right at the outset with cutting guitar lines and hammered drum lines. The lyrics are at breakneck speed and Lemmy sings with his whisky soaked howl. Taylor smacks the kit as "Stay Clean" opens. Lemmy gets some help from Clarke on the vocals and the band locks into that tight metal infused groove. Lemmy introduces "Metropolis" and Taylor rides over his cymbals before the Clarke comes in. Lemmy has a simple few bass notes and then the tune clicks off. Its a little more "melodic" than the prior two cuts. The guitar has more of a chime to it and the bass, although punchy, has more of a flow to it. Lemmy give the "thank you very much" and he intros "The Hammer" before Clarkes buzzy riff opens and we are slammed back down into the tune. Lemmy sings this one as fast as the albums opener and the band is really in punk rock mode. "Iron Horse" is a punchy more melodic song and towards the end the band almost works on odd time signatures, but it never strays from the deep rooted rock feel. We switch right back into the rock mode on "No Class". Taylor works the drums and the band follows suit keeping the odd time change in the middle. They feel straight forward, but they do what they can to change up the feel. Clarke rolls out a quick solo that is not too flashy. The album is full of trademark Motorhead tunes and "Overkill" is no exception. It is a punk speed metal song from the get go. The audience roars in approval but the band buries them with sound. Clarke scorches another solo and Lemmy howls at the moon per the norm. Taylor tries to click "(We are) The Road Crew" off, but Lemmy wants to dedicate it to the road crew and then they launch in to it. How Lemmy can hold up the growl in his voice is just stunning. The band locks in to a groove and Lemmy delivers the lyrics in rapid machine gun like precision. Lemmy talks up "Capricorn" before it begins and the bass gets the good punch we are used to from Lemmy. Clarke chimes over with some chords, but the bass and drums lock in to the groove. When the chorus comes it is much more basic musically. The band shows how tight they are in "Bomber" and everyone is really set on overdrive as this song just blasts forward with Clarke taking the lead over the band before it all crashes down in the end. The collection ends with the track "Motorhead" which has almost a rockabilly feel to it, but the power of the bass, drums and guitar wash that out of your head, but come the chorus you really can hear it. It is a fun, toe tapping hard rockin tune that wraps up the collection nicely.

Where are they now? - Motorhead are still active both as a studio unit and live act, but some things have changed. Clarke left the band in 1982 and worked in the band "Fastway" and then worked on other projects. He fell ill, but has since recovered and is rumored to be working on some additional Fastway material. Phil Taylor left the band in 1984 but came back in 1987. According to the wiki article on him, he was warned to straighten up his act and was later fired for a poor performance on a record. He is now a member of the band "Overkill". Lemmy still writes and tours as Motorhead and is a sought after guest on records. He is the subject of a documentary that was set to be out in 2009, but looks like we have to wait to 2010. (See links). The bands most recent studio record was called "Motorizer" and it came out in August of 2008.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - The lone time was part of Ozzfest 98. July 9, 1998 and it was only a "second stage" performance and probably just a tad over 30 minutes, but I think the capacity crowd did everything they could to squeeze into the tiny wooded area where the second stage was. They blew the leaves off the trees, I swear its true.

FDF Overall Take - Seriously, watch the the movie trailer below. I need to give these guys way more respect and more of my time. Its been far too long.

Links -
Official site here and myspace.

The movie trailer, here is something that needs to come out..NOW.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

the mp3's have been removed.

No Class
The Hammer

Tracks taken from "No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith" which you can buy here .

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, November 06, 2009

FDF Volume 2: Issue 163 - God Lives Underwater - Empty

By: March

Album - Empty
Artist - God Lives Underwater
Key Players - Adam Kary - drums. Andrew McGee - guitar. David Reilly - lead vocals. Jeff Turzo - keyboards/synth.
Produced By - GLU and Gary Richards (Exec. Producer Rick Rubin)

Release Date - September 12, 1995

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I bought the cd for a dollar, replacing a pretty dusty cassette version. It has been a very long time indeed. I think I need to dust more.

Overview - This was the major label debut, and first full length record from Pennsylvania based God Lives Underwater. The band started in 1993, released an ep in 1995 and then later released this record. With the backing of Rick Rubin the band would blend styles and sounds of David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails and other "electronica" styled bands they'd storm commercial rock radio and a few of the tracks were used on movie sound tracks. The band would go on to release a few more records and ep's before disbanding in 2005.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - "Still" opens the record with a loopy, yet playful sounding keyboard part before the drums and guitar comes in. The guitar is distorted and the drums keep a basic back beat. Reilly sings in a sort of nasal whine, but its effective for the style of music. He sings a little monotone as well, but will pound out the vocals at later times. One of the albums radio singles comes in "All Wrong". The keyboard intro phases over the guitars and drums. The band has a few instrumental breaks and then they come chugging back in. Reilly has a little more flash in his voice and pushes it some. The band lays into the keyboard loop with the guitar riffs washing over it all. "Fool" has a buzzier guitar and more of a hard driving drum line at the intro. Some keyboards wash over before the vocals begin. Reilly is more gruff on this and the keyboard switches to a more playful mode, before the guitars come in and restore order of the track. The title track "Empty" follows, utilizing a familiar keyboard tone and a buzzy guitar once more. The band hasn't spread its wings too much to this point, but come the chorus they do try out a little different direction with a more full sung chorus but it could use more of a backing vocal section to fill it out some. The music though feels like it was locked in a looped segment. "Don't Know How To Be" returns to the sound of the first couple of tracks, with more a focus on the buzzy guitar. When I worked as an intern at WBCN the jock I worked most for used the intro (actually the ending loop is the same) to "No More Love" as a music bed. It presses rewind on my life button every time I hear it. It was good times. This is a perfect example of the band in its strongest form. Focused, punchy and rocking. Great stuff. "23" follows and is a darker, more mellow track that the prior tracks. It is the first foray into a mellow sound on the record for the band. "We Were Wrong" returns to the vibe of the earlier tracks on the record. The guitars and drums return with a fury and the band sounds to be pushing one another. "Weaken" is one of the longer tracks on the record and slowly starts off with a looping keyboard part under the vocals before the guitars come in. They are big power chords, but it doesn't push the song to be any quicker. The band finds a heavier groove as it progresses. By this point in the record you begin to realize there has been no guitar solos, and no one member is show cased above each other. It might not be technically challenging, but the band knows its place and each player sticks with their role. "Tortoise" opens with keyboards over the electric back beat before it slips in to a solid groove. Another strong representation of the bands overall sound. The album closes with "Scared" is an acoustic lead track. The electronics are gone and the band is stripped down. A unique choice to close off the record.

Where are they now?
- The band broke up in 2005 and moved on to other projects. Turzo continues to write and perform under the moniker "Wired All Wrong" and when they performed live McGee would perform with them. David Reilly died in his sleep in October of 2005 from complications of a coma brought on by bleeding, as a result of a tooth infection. He was only 34.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - Saw the band on two occasions. The first was February 23, 1996 in an support slot for Spacehog (FDF Looks at Resident Alien). Also on the bill that night was Mr.Mirainga. My buddy Jason and I went and were impressed with all the bands. The other time was part of the WBCN River Rave at the Tweeter Center/Great Woods/Comcast Center in Mansfield on May 31, 1998. The band was on the festival bill with the likes of Green Day, Offspring, Soul Coughing, and Semisonic.

FDF Overall Take - At the time, this was a genre of music that seemed to be getting pushed to the public conscious. It was a hybrid of pop/rock with some industrial flair. It lasted not too long, and few bands were left standing in the end. It is not a terrible collection by any means and has a few decent radio singles.

Fan site here and myspace

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

The MP3's have been removed.

All Wrong
No More Love

Tracks taken from "Empty" which you can buy here.

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.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

some albums from my inlaws basement part 2...

here is part 2...

(oh in case you missed it..part 1 is here.
1) This is another record that came home with me. I gave it to my cubemate at work for her birthday. Amazing how big this group was.

2) This is one bad ass...
3) This is great..signed even..thanks Scott Read!
4) I know its a take off of the day the earth stood still, but does Ringo realize nobody really cares about his solo stuff? Peace and love..peace and love indeed.
5) The record was missing from this one..but what studio gave this the green light?
6) Just a great cover..they can't all be bad right?

7) Who doesn't love "Organ Favorites?"...There is One Hour of them after all.... 8) The record was missing on this one...but was this a series in the 70's much like "Now that's what I call Music?"
9) Misty Blue and the wicker chair....I love this one.

10a) This is the back cover for....

10b) This record...freaking record was missing on this one as well. Holy cow I bet this was fantastic.

11) Lots of play on words here. I know Ronstadt was huge, and a sexy icon of the era.
12) We now return you to the matching suit folk band....

This one here was the grand prize winner. No record on the inside...I wonder what fixes a hangover..the secret was on this record...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Some album covers from my inlaws basement..

Back in August the family and I headed back to my wife's hometown for her mothers wedding. One day, I was sent to the basement and told to look through the albums in the basement and take what I wanted. I finally own a "smart" phone and the timing couldn't have been better. Some are better than others, and there are a slew of "bad album cover" sites out there, but it was something to do.

There are a fair number of them so here is part 1.

1) I swear I have seen this one. The cover itself is pretty cheesy....but

1a) Chceck out the back cover. The dude in the back, second from the word my good man. Bandana. We might make fun of Bret Micheals, but they are on to something.

2) Its just Kenny. That beard can soak up a spill better than a shamwow.
3) Another sort of harmless cover, but John Denver, the silouttes...this was wolf shirt before wolf shirt.
4) Who knows it might be good..but this is records I stumbled upon the most, folky looking collections with matching outfits.
5) I actually liked this cover..there are a few I dug, this one sorta hit me with its colors.

6) Wow, I wonder if they toured with Riot.
7) "Other Voices" means "No Jim" so probably "No Thanks"
8) This cover is just awesome. Blonde woman, on shag carpet..sorta cool laid back dude on the couch. Some of these I swear I wish I could have listened to right then and there.
9) There was no record in this one....i think the cover says it all.
10) Back to the folk groups in matching outfits.
11) will keep us together. Hey Capt...get the dogs we got an album cover shoot.
12) Okay...rinse lather repeat.
13) This is one record that actually came home with me. I mean come on..the freaking Baja Marimba Band??!
14) At the time I am sure this cover, and these outfits were bad ass...

part 2 coming tomorrow...