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SUPERIOR VIADUCT

The Avengers

The American In Me

    Few first wave California punk bands burned as brightly as The Avengers. Formed in San Francisco during 1977’s Summer of Hate, they swiftly ascended to the top of the West Coast scene and earned the coveted support slot for The Sex Pistols’ final concert in January 1978. The Avengers’ frenetic performance at Winterland made quite an impression on Pistols guitarist Steve Jones who offered to record the group. From the Jones produced sessions, “The American In Me” remains an unmistakable anthem. Embodying the punk zeitgeist, singer Penelope Houston fiercely declares, “Ask not what you can do for your country, what’s your country been doing to you.” The original White Noise EP version of “The American In Me” is paired with “Uh-Oh,” featuring Jones on piano and bravely demonstrating Me Too sentiments four decades earlier. Comp-only track “Cheap Tragedies” closes this reimagined lost-single set. The American In Me perfectly captures The Avengers’ dynamic power —frustration, style and passion forged into some of the most pivotal sounds of punk’s formative era. 

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    7" Info: Limited edition translucent red vinyl. Produced by Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones. First time available on vinyl in four decades.

    Crime

    Murder By Guitar

      San Francisco's first and only rock n' roll band, CRIME loomed over the entire Mabuhay Gardens scene with their blistering 1976 single "Hot Wire My Heart." CRIME's loose, damaged rock n' roll was as immediate as it was controversial. They were Punk by any definition, yet shunned the label with a guttersnipe sneer. Their meticulously cultivated aesthetic of S&M graphics and police uniforms produced some of the era's most indelible imagery. One of their finest moves was playing in the San Quentin prison yard. Formed by guitarists/vocalists Johnny Strike and Frankie Fix, CRIME enlisted bassist Ron The Ripper and drummers Ricky "Tractor" Williams (later of The Sleepers), Brittley Black, and Hank Rank. Joey D'Kaye later joined on keyboards and bass duties. For the first time, this LP release collects the sick energy of CRIME's three singles along with nine previously unreleased studio recordings from 1976 to 1980. The visceral churn and unwieldy leads on tracks like “Frustration" and “Piss On Your Dog" make Murder By Guitar the definitive statement from this prescient American underground band.

      William Hooker

      ...is Eternal Life

      Drummer, composer and poet William Hooker has been a tireless force in free improvised music for over 40 years. He emerged from New York’s loft jazz scene in the mid-’70s, part of a generation of artists fueled by the social, political and cultural frustrations of their era. This second wave of American free jazz would push relentlessly into new territories, collaborating in a variety of non-traditional settings, establishing their own labels, venues, etc.; all in an effort at creative self-determination. While William Hooker’s output extends past 70 albums as leader, it all began with the double LP "... Is Eternal Life". Recorded in 1975-1976 and released privately on the artist’s own Reality Unit Concepts imprint, "... Is Eternal Life" is nothing short of visionary. Filled with tension, intricacy and raw fury, these extended compositions feature the playing of David Murray, Mark Miller, David S. Ware, Hasaan Dawkins and Les Goodson. 

      First time reissued on vinyl!

      The Fall

      Hex Enduction Hour

        Hex Enduction Hour was originally conceptualized as the death knell for The Fall. Beleaguered by career uncertainty and guided by vague premonitions of collapse, Mark E. Smith declared that one full hour was needed to thoroughly and perhaps finally state his case with The Fall. This framework resulted in a true classic of the post-punk era and an album that gave The Fall their first taste of album chart success, thankfully removing surrender from the equation.

        Recorded in haste in both Iceland and England in late 1981, the performances on Hex Enduction Hour are among the band's most urgent and distinctive. The album begins with the severe provocation of "The Classical" and the terse punk of "Jawbone And The Air-Rifle," but it's "Hip Priest" that stands out as Smith's calling-card theme, a song that would become inextricable from his character (or perception thereof) in the years that followed. The elongated "And This Day" fittingly positions the band as spell-casters, closing the hour by filling every conceivable bit of space with wild, primitive percussion and whimsical electric piano.

        The Fall

        Room To Live

          On Room To Live, The Fall take the hurried, all-or-nothing approach of their preceding Kamera Records releases to extreme ends. Forged via Mark E. Smith's continual disassembling of players and focus on previously unrehearsed material, the album collects The Fall's most experimental and improvisational recordings. As proclaimed on the album cover, "Undilutable Slang Truth!" would be revealed throughout Room To Live.

          With the album's comparatively lo-fi production and always-teetering performances, the title track comes closest to a stab at pop (by The Fall's standards), built on fantastically bent saloon swaying under one of Smith's by-now characteristic dressing-downs of square life. "Detective Instinct" is an unshakeable creeper, as languid and ominous as the band would get during the Marc Riley years. "Marquis Cha Cha" is a post-punk rhumba, beginning with fury and then easing into something only The Fall could conjure.

          The Fall

          Live At The Witch Trials

            The first full-length album of The Fall, Live At The Witch Trials, is not actually a live album. Emerging out of a two-day studio session at Camden Sound in North West London during a sickly December of 1978, Witch Trials amounts to the sinister foundation of the band's diverse sound. Every song explores drastically different styles and wild terrain, leaving much to decipher over its eleven tracks.

            "Frightened" has magnetic attraction / repulsion that shifts between Martin Bramah's skeletal guitar, Yvonne Pawlett's plastic keyboards and the lurching rhythm section of Marc Riley and Karl Burns. Mark E. Smith's mesmerizing bark and eerie lyrics warp the cosmic context with each repeated non-chorus. "Rebellious Jukebox" takes yet another turn and showcases the band's more melodic leanings.

            One gets the sense that The Fall are in a time-travel hallucination (from 19th century witch trials to a scathing critique of the late-70s punk scene) where the band's snot-nosed scrabble afflicts the shape of pop to come. As Smith dictates, "We are The Fall, northern white crap that talks back."


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Matt says: Another from the recent slew of much welcome Fall reissues. A personal favourite, which contains the Piccadilly Records anthem "No X From John Quays" which was written about one of our most dearist customers. It's a brittle, spiky and angst-ridden occassion and finds Mark in typically aggressive and confrontational mood. Plenty more to come from this pivotal band.

            The Fall

            Slates

              If The Fall truly is a cult band, then Slates both benefits from and reinforces such shrouded obsessions. In presenting these six particular songs as a 10-inch EP, the inherent and attractive difficulty of The Fall's sound is made physical, framing the urgency of their singles from this period (notably How I Wrote 'Elastic Man' and Lie Dream of a Casino Soul) alongside lengthy rumblings normally restricted to long players.

              The tumbling and phased "Middle Mass" begins on an incredible high note, segueing into the snake-charm hypnotism of "An Older Lover Etc." "Slates, Slags, Etc." is built on stretched VU-inspired riffing, complete with ace feedback bleed that doubtlessly went on long after fade-out. Ultimately, it's the piercing chimes of guitar and marching drum grind of "Prole Art Threat" that elevates Slates beyond oddity. Truly one of Mark E. Smith's finest, busiest and most enigmatic performances, equally matched by a band at the peak of their powers.

              The Fall

              Grotesque (After The Gramme)

                Bursting into the 1980s on a new label (the then-upstart, now-legendary Rough Trade) and with an augmented, audibly panicked lineup, The Fall's Grotesque is the true pure-bred Fall release from the Marc Riley era. Released in the immediate wake of The Fall's most beloved single (Totally Wired), the album carries over that righteously famed teeth-chattering, bolstered in no small part by the drumming of new addition Paul Hanley, brother of bassist Steve Hanley and aged only 15 at the time of recording.

                "Pay Your Rates" negates the notion of easing into things, opening the album with pure jitter, guided by hornet-buzz guitars and Mark E. Smith's commanding shout, allowing for breath only during the brief, lumbering waltzes that appear at unexpected intervals. "New Face In Hell" is an entirely alien take on dancehall post-punk – a kazoo-driven rave-up that holds an unshakable position in the band's canon.

                Many significant firsts surround Grotesque, including The Fall's inaugural production partnership with Mayo Thompson and the debut of Suzanne Smith's wonderful artwork, both of which would play key roles in the band's following phase.

                Hopeton Brown, better known as Scientist, has been a pioneering figure in the world of dub for 40 years. His early love of electronics proved fruitful when (still a teenager) he was hired at King Tubby’s studio in Kingston. Brown quickly ascended the ranks and became heir to Tubby’s throne, producing imaginative and technically impressive mixes that solidified his forward-looking nickname.

                Originally released in 1981, "In The Kingdom Of Dub" remains one of the best early LPs in Scientist’s long career. Produced by Roy Cousins at Channel One and featuring Sly & Robbie along with members of The Revolutionaries, The Aggrovators and The Soul Syndicate, the album offers a wide range of arresting rhythms, bold effect drops and exquisitely melodic bass. From “18 Drumalie Avenue Dub” (a reference to King Tubby’s address) to “Burning Sun Dub,” Scientist lays down a veritable roadmap of dub - filled with disintegrating echoes of satiny organ and textural guitar - firmly cementing his place as one of the true innovators in Jamaican popular music.

                The Fall

                The Rough Trade Singles

                  The Rough Trade Singles collects The Fall's four singles recorded for this influential label in 1980 and 1983 – How I Wrote 'Elastic Man' / City Hobgoblins, Totally Wired / Putta Block, The Man Whose Head Expanded / Ludd Gang and Kicker Conspiracy – none of which appeared on any of the band's studio LPs. With 7-inches being the era's vehicle for buzzing communiqués, The Fall would use the format for short-form, standalone works rather than as mere promotional devices for forthcoming albums.

                  "Totally Wired" is often cited (and rightfully so) as The Fall's most infectious tune – an amphetamine-fueled anthem with stuttering nods to forebears, yet too incisive to have been made by anyone else. "How I Wrote 'Elastic Man'" is another mad hoedown, one reimagined for the post-punk age. While the playful rhythm machine on "The Man Whose Head Expanded" almost suggests danceability, Mark E. Smith's idiosyncratic shriek on "Kicker Conspiracy" pierces through the twin drumming of Paul Hanley and Karl Burns and the group's unpredictable / unmistakable racket. Together these songs remain some of the absolute best material The Fall would ever release.

                  Liner notes by Brian Turner.

                  John Bender

                  Pop Surgery

                    Following the release of lo-fi electronic masterpiece I Don’t Remember Now / I Don’t Want To Talk About It and his brilliant follow-up Plaster Falling , Cincinnati-based artist John Bender began assembling his third and last album, Pop Surgery, in late 1982. While all of Bender’s work draws from intimate home recordings—featuring the artist alone with various keyboards, analogue sequencers and tape delays—Pop Surgery remains the one that perhaps best distills his arrant deconstruction of the “pop” concept. These twelve frenetic tracks, meticulously stitched together with dubbed-out vocals and disjointed drum machines, stretch the boundaries of bedroom electronics.

                    Bender would forgo the handmade LP sleeves typical of his Record Sluts imprint. The cover depicts an imposing scrapyard crane, ready to pick up discarded objects with its bright red electromagnet, while the center labels détourn Columbia’s classic ’70s style. “I pressed a single run of 500 copies,” Bender recounts. “The only review I remember railed at the poor production quality. The DIY era had clearly come to an end.” This first-time standalone reissue is recommended for fans of Suicide, TG’s 20 Jazz Funk Greats and early Cabaret Voltaire. Liner notes by John Bender.

                    The Pin Group

                    Ambivalence

                      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2017 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                      New Zealand’s Pin Group emerged out of the early ‘80s Christchurch scene and, with just two stunning singles and one brilliant five-song EP, have become an archetype for nearly all indie bands ever since. Ambivalence was not only The Pin Group’s hypnotic debut, but also the very first release on Flying Nun. While guitarist Roy Montgomery, bassist Ross Humphries and drummer Peter Stapleton build off each other’s jittery riffs, Montgomery’s uncanny baritone pierces the torrential clangor. Conjuring both Wire’s Chairs Missing and VU’s White Light/White Heat, the band captures a truly unique sound – evocative, yet austere. Wasting little time, The Pin Group released Coat in November 1981, merely two months after their first single. On the title track, Humphries’ distant vocals call out as tense rhythms gradually push listeners over the edge. B-side track “Jim” could easily have been recorded in Manchester circa 1979, but remains a master class in NZ post-punk atmospherics, menacing from start to finish. The Pin Group went back into the studio in January 1982 to record their third and final classic release. Featuring an expanded five-piece lineup with Mary Heney on guitar/ vocals and Peter Fryer on viola, Go To Town is a work of taut perfection. Showcasing the band’s dramatic chiaroscuro textures and arresting lyrics, “Long Night” and “When I Tell You” make staggeringly clear how much sonic ground The Pin Group covered in their unfortunately short tenure. These first-time standalone reissues, featuring Ronnie van Hout’s original sleeve designs, are pressed on limited edition color vinyl. 

                      The Pin Group

                      Coat

                        THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2017 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                        New Zealand’s Pin Group emerged out of the early ‘80s Christchurch scene and, with just two stunning singles and one brilliant five-song EP, have become an archetype for nearly all indie bands ever since. Ambivalence was not only The Pin Group’s hypnotic debut, but also the very first release on Flying Nun. While guitarist Roy Montgomery, bassist Ross Humphries and drummer Peter Stapleton build off each other’s jittery riffs, Montgomery’s uncanny baritone pierces the torrential clangor. Conjuring both Wire’s Chairs Missing and VU’s White Light/White Heat, the band captures a truly unique sound – evocative, yet austere. Wasting little time, The Pin Group released Coat in November 1981, merely two months after their first single. On the title track, Humphries’ distant vocals call out as tense rhythms gradually push listeners over the edge. B-side track “Jim” could easily have been recorded in Manchester circa 1979, but remains a master class in NZ post-punk atmospherics, menacing from start to finish. The Pin Group went back into the studio in January 1982 to record their third and final classic release. Featuring an expanded five-piece lineup with Mary Heney on guitar/ vocals and Peter Fryer on viola, Go To Town is a work of taut perfection. Showcasing the band’s dramatic chiaroscuro textures and arresting lyrics, “Long Night” and “When I Tell You” make staggeringly clear how much sonic ground The Pin Group covered in their unfortunately short tenure. These first-time standalone reissues, featuring Ronnie van Hout’s original sleeve designs, are pressed on limited edition color vinyl. 

                        Suicide

                        Cheree

                          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2016 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                          Classic NYC duo composed of Alan Vega and Martin Rev. Their first single, originally released in UK in 1978, features a remix of the band’s very first song (“Cheree”) and the brilliant non-album track “I Remember.” This first-time vinyl reissue and first-time domestic release comes with original sleeve design. Limited edition red vinyl.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          David says: Until Suicide's debut album was released none of their predecessors had used keyboards in such an aggressive 'punk' way. They pretty much single handedly invented Industrial and have had a massive influence on everyone from Aphex Twin to Depeche Mode.

                          Ellen Fullman

                          The Long String Instrument

                            Ellen Fullman began developing her installation The Long String Instrument in 1981, in search of tonalities that could not be achieved with traditional instruments. This largescale work consists of 70-foot-long metallic wires, anchored by a wooden resonator, across which the performer moves backwards and forwards with rosin-covered fingers. The overall effect has been rightfully compared to the experience of standing inside an enormous grand piano.

                            Recorded during Fullman’s 1985 residency at Het Apollohuis in Eindhoven, Holland, The Long String Instrument album is the first document of her acoustic explorations. “Woven Processional,” which features Fullman alongside artist Arnold Dreyblatt, conjures an enchanting drone from the elongated strings and dissolves into organ-like overtones and otherworldly textures. Several tracks bring to life another Fullman invention, The Water Drip Drum, constructed from water dripping into an amplified aluminum pan and manipulated by foot pedal.

                            Thirty years since its initial release, Ellen Fullman’s debut LP remains a major contribution to the histories of sound sculpture and minimalist composition. This firsttime reissue is mastered from the original analog tapes and recommended for fans of Pauline Oliveros, Charlemagne Palestine and Harry Bertoia.

                            Heldon

                            Allez-Teia

                              Allez-Téia, the second album by French guitarist Richard Pinhas under the Heldon moniker, was originally released in 1975 on the artist’s own Disjuncta imprint. Far from the band’s prog-tinged trio lineup, Allez-Téia features a menagerie of guitars, Mellotron and analog synthesizers. While opening track “In the Wake of King Fripp” pays homage to King Crimson in its title, the album’s heady textures and rhythmic meditations are more reminiscent of the German Kosmiche movement (Cluster, Harmonia, et al.) and post-rock experimentalists, such as Jim O’Rourke and Gastr del Sol. Acoustic guitar even makes a rare appearance - on the beautiful and melancholy “Aphanisis.” With front cover artwork depicting the events of May ’68 in Paris (by renowned photojournalist Gilles Caron), these dark ambient sounds make Allez-Téia perhaps the most revolutionary release in Heldon’s influential catalogue, foreshadowing Pinhas’s incredible solo work for decades to come.


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