Reviews

John Silva

The Dream Syndicate The Days of Wine and Roses LP

The first album by this Southern California band lives up to and exceeds previous expectations. The sound has been polished since their first EP, but you still won’t find a better metallic guitar attack anywhere. New favorites for old fans are “Halloween,” “Until Lately,” and the title track. A “punk” record.

Green On Red Death and Angels 12"

The third release on the Down There label is by transplanted Arizonans GREEN ON RED. Like ex-labelmates the DREAM SYNDICATE, GREEN ON RED play intense neo-psychedelic music. While the DREAM SYNDICATE use guitars to propel their madness, GREEN ON RED use keyboards and guitars together for a more textured sound, sort of like TELEVISION meets ?.

John’s Children The Legendary Orgasm Album LP

You could easily become poor purchasing all the great records being reissued these days, and this one’s no exception. One of the most sought-after ’60s LPs, Orgasm is a great collection of English psychedelic pop music. Take some good songs and dub in the screams from A Hard Day’s Night and you get one of the most intense “live” albums ever made. Included are the original studio versions of “Smashed, Blocked,” “Just What You Want, Just What You Get,” and fantastic liner notes.

Television Personalities They Could Have Been Bigger Than the Beatles LP

The third and final LP from this soon-to-become-legendary band. They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles is a collection of outtakes spanning the whole TVP’s career, a great collection of wimp pop gems, neo-psychedelic favorites you’ve never heard, and two CREATION covers, “Makin’ Time” and “Painter Man.” The price is worth the admission into Daniel Treacy’s mind. Buy and make them “bigger.”

The Times Three Cheers for the Sun / Here Come the Holidays 7"

The second release doesn’t fare much better, “Three Cheers” being another OK instrumental; the flip is a lighthearted romp about vacations.

The Times Theme from Dangerman / I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape 7"

Two new releases by this relatively unknown band. “Dangerman” is supposedly from a forthcoming LP based on the Joe Orton screenplay, but this weak instrumental is not the TIMES’ finest hour. It’s backed with the fourth version of their cult gem, “Patrick McGoohan.”

The Creation How Does It Feel to Feel? LP

A great re-release from the near legendary ’60s band. Distortion and power chords are the staple of this group’s sound, along with some great psychedelic guitar breaks. References: the early WHO, the mid-period YARDBIRDS, the MISUNDERSTOOD, etc. Includes great liner notes.

The Bangles Getting Out of Hand / Call On Me 7"

It could be the best girl group to come along since the SHANGRI-LAS. “Getting Out of Hand” is the standout cut with great vocals and sparse garage instrumentation. Sounds like everything you thought that “other” LA band was going to but didn’t.

The Dream Syndicate Sure Thing 12"

What more can be said about this record that hasn’t already been said? The power contained in this record is awesome. Guitar distortion and feedback, along with great songs make this one of the best discs of ’82. Reviewers have said it sounds like the VELVET UNDERGROUND, but your best bet is to listen for yourself. Watch for new LP soon.

Plasticland Colour Appreciation / The Mushroom Hill 7"

Third release from this Milwaukee band on their own label. “Mushroom Hill,” while not as strong as their first 45, is a good ’60s psychedelia-inspired tune with great guitar feedback. Live, it’s probably awesome. Look for it.

The Rain Parade What She’s Done to Your Mind / Kaleidoscope 7"

First release from the LA band shows Fifth Dimension BYRDS influence on both sides. “What She’s Done to Your Mind” has a great 12-string sound with good vocals, while “Kaleidoscope” is slower with a guitar-and-keyboards sound that’s mesmerizing. Tim says it’s so good you’ll flashback.

The Salvation Army The Salvation Army LP

This is the one that everyone (at least that I know) was waiting for, and it certainly wasn’t a disappointment. All the great ’60s riffs you want to see recycled, done up with enough modern sensibility to not render it dated. “Going Home” and “She Turns to Flowers” seem to be favorites, but it’s one of those records you have to experience for yourself.

Minutemen Bean Spill EP

Another great from this L.A. band. Back with five brand new tracks, the MINUTEMEN’S blend of jazz, punk and junk just can’t be beat. Best cut is “If Reagan Played Disco.” (You can’t disco in jackboots.)

V/A Life Is Ugly So Why Not Kill Yourself? LP

Another great compilation out of Los Angeles. Side one brings us the hard-edged side of some current SoCal bands, with RED CROSS and the DESCENDENTS leading the way. Side two has a lot of different styles with new tracks by the MINUTEMEN, 100 FLOWERS, SACCHARINE TRUST, PLEIBS, and an old URINALS gem dug out of the vaults, a track that makes Jumpin’ Jeff shed a tear for the old band. This is one to pick up.

The Barracudas I Can’t Pretend EP

A new release of old stuff by this English band on an American label. Two tracks are from the debut LP Drop Out with the Barracudas, but the best songs are previously unreleased trashings of the We Five’s “You Were on My Mind” and the Surfari’s “Surfer Joe.” The guitars and vocals are out of tune and the playing is sloppy. A must.