This is the Inspiral Carpets‘ legendary 1989 mail-order only cassette DUNG 4 on CD for the very first time ever. Originally issued on the band’s own Cow label, this tape was never issued on vinyl or CD and it contained unique songs as well as versions of tracks which were later re-recorded. It sold 8,000 cassettes and has the contents of their earlier demo EP Cow as bonus tracks.

Their debut single “Garage Full Of Flowers” is here in a totally different version, that’s fast and peppy. Their breakthrough single “Joe” is present with a spoken word intro from drummer Craig Gill that’s missing from the better known later version. There’s a version of ? And The Mysterians’ “96 Tears,” that was recorded before The Stranglers had a hit with it on their album 10. “Inside My Head” and “Seeds Of Doubt” are fast and hard-hitting songs, “Sun Don’t Shine” is a beautiful organ-led ballad that was later re-recorded for the band’s debut album Life. “Theme From Cow” is a short stab of organ-led pop that shows their garage roots. “Butterfly” is taken off the band’s second EP, Trainsurfing. as well as “Causeway.” “26” is a slower song that was written before vocalist Stephen Holt left the band. The four bonus tracks from the band’s previous Cow demo cassette capture a slightly harder Inspiral sound than you’re used to hearing. “Head For The Sun” is fast, and driven by Graham Lambert’s wild guitar playing. “Now You’re Gone” has the feel of ’60s psychedelia. “Whisky” is a fast organ based ode to drinking. The final “Love Can Never Lose Its Own” is another shot of ’60s psychedelia. The booklet has great pictures of posters and other bits of memorabilia from the era, plus comments from each band member. The sound has been improved on and sounds nice and clear, giving you the full experience of their earliest recordings.

Yes, the band became a big thing not long after this and for fans, it shows the roots of a band that just kept getting better. It stands as not a relic, but an insight to a band on the cusp of greatness.

SAVE ENDS: Warm Hearts, Cold Hands: LP

Warm Hearts, Cold Hands cover art

The Boston, MA five-piece band’s debut album has ten songs that will get in your head and grow until there is room for nothing except this album. The shared male and female vocals are such a treat on give the album nuances that are a pleasure to listen to.

This mix of pop punk and indie is a pleasure to hear from when the needle hits the vinyl right up until the last note has faded. The band plays their hearts out, and the vocals just grab you and sweep you off of your feet and take you on an exciting trip away from your troubles. This is the kind of album that when you’re listening to it, you can’t help break into a smile and feel good. This would fit perfectly into the scene of the mid ’90s, but don’t think of this as a retro album, no, it’s an album of energy and power that hits your soul and brings happiness into your day, kind of like a reminder of when things were easier or not so hectic before. The songs shimmer and they just make you want to listen to them over and over again.

This is the kind of band that I would drag everyone that I know to see live, and make them buy merch from them. This band deserves your attention and you need to do what you can to show them love.

PLACES TO HIDE: Almost Nothing: CD

Almost Nothing cover art

This is the debut album from this quartet out of Atlanta, GA that has touches of ’90s indie, but not the bad, pretentious crap that made you want to throw up, instead they conjure up some grooves that SUPERCHUNK would have killed for. The band is made up of Kyle Swick on guitar and vocals,
Deborah Hudson on guitar and vocals, Gavin Caffrey on drums. and Steve Valero on bass and the dual vocals make this a standout.

The male and female vocals give this a very cool sound, especially since they aren’t perfect and it gives it a feeling of being in a live situation listening to them instead of a sterile recording. The songs are all about youth, sex, drugs, and drinking, but not cheesy or contrived, just their experiences and thoughts that are catchy and a lot of fun to listen to. The band is creating a great noise behind the vocals with everything a little sloppy, disjointed and probably one of the better albums that I’ve heard in a long time by a new band. The band scores points for really making me want to go see them live and buy a t-shirt from them, not a lot of bands can pull that one off.

Possibly one of those albums that will get dragged out to all of my friend’s houses to make them hear what a great debut album this is. Their E.P. from last year is good, but this shows them getting even better and growing as a band.

THE PRIMITIVES: Lovely – 25th Anniversary Edition: CD

Formed in the British city of Coventry in 1985, THE PRIMITIVES garnered a following through several singles on their own Lazy Records imprint before signing to RCA for their first studio LP, Lovely. THE PRIMITIVES combined the guitar-based sensibilities of other indie acts like The Jesus & Mary Chain while adding a distinct audio / visual flair thanks to Tracy Cattell’s distinctive vocals and bottle-blonde hairstyle. They are credited with kick starting the niche indie subgenre of “blonde pop.”

The album is basically a re-recording of tracks from their earlier singles, but still manages to be a cohesive whole that retains the excitement and energy of not only the original recordings, but still sounds amazing today. This is a great clear and crisp sounding remaster that gives the band the clarity and power that stands out from the twee and boring female fronted indie bands out there nowadays. You get the entire first album, leading off with their most well-known song “Crash”, plus a second CD of bonus tracks that are a treat for fans. Compiled with the help of guitarist PJ Court, this 2-CD compilation also has an annotated booklet boasting rare photos and personal memories from the band.

A great first album that has been beautifully remastered, great bonus tracks and still stands up as one of the better albums from its time period…how could you go wrong? I’m glad that Cherry Red got this album back out to the public so that people can get a chance to hear a band at their peak having a great time.

THE PRIMITIVES: Everything’s Shining Bright, The Lazy Recordings 1985-1987: CD

Between 1985 and 1987, THE PRIMITIVES issued five singles / EPs on independent label Lazy Records before signing with RCA Records. Everything’s Shining Bright is named after their planned Lazy Records album, which was abandoned when the band left the label for RCA and seven of the ten previously unissued tracks on here stem from those sessions. Also unearthed is the band’s very first demo from 1985, consisting of three tracks including a dry-run through their eventual hit “Crash”.This 2-CD set also boasts their promo-only live album at the ICA with MORRISSEY introducing them and completes their entire Lazy Records output from that period. The compilation also features the band’s first four singles, four more demos, their gig freebie/promo single and a booklet with a great overview of their early career.

In the mid ’80s, music was a mix of cheesy pop pap, glum indie and hair metal, then along came THE PRIMITIVES with their jangly, feedback filled pop that kicked things in the arse and let in a bit of fun and decent music back into the charts. The singles were a breath of fresh air and the music papers of the time took notice and gave them some coverage and got the ball rolling to eventually move onto bigger things for them.

The songs sound even better today with the fantastic remastering job and of course with how bad the charts are now, this really sounds fresh and exciting. The demos give you a chance to hear the band raw, but yet still melodic and it’s cool to hear how the songs sounded at first. The unreleased songs from the abandoned album are a very nice addition to the collection, very well-played and tuneful, plus a live album that shows the pure energy and fun that the band put forth on stage.

You can’t go wrong with a collection as terrific and full of songs that will get stuck in your head as soon as you hear them once. The band was just hitting the heights of their power and it’s a great way to get everything that you are missing from this band all in one place.

TEASING LULU: Black Summer: CD

Debut album from Brighton, UK band that would fit in with ELASTICA in their punk rock influenced sound. Contains three catchy as all get out singles, “The Ex-Factor”, “Waste Of Time” and “Cat & Mouse” all produced by the STRANGLERS JJ Burnel.

They come tearing out of the gate with “The Ex-Factor” and start things off with energy and an explosion of exuberance. This continues into the next few songs “Waste Of Time”, and “I’m So Bored”. “Lady Luck” is a bit slower, but has great playing and will get you moving, then it’s right back to the jumping “D.I.H.” and “Loser” with its screams and great bitter lyrics. “Black Summer” is a lovely acoustic song that lets the vocals shine and the band shows that charging at you at 100 miles an hour is not all that they are capable of doing. “Cat & Mouse” starts with some thick bass, great throaty vocals and a fantastic punky and poppy groove. “You Ain’t My Baby” is another standout track that keeps you rocking out.

This is one hell of a tight and well produced album with sharp edges that are smoothed out a bit with the incredible vocals. It has grooves and melody to spare and is an album that deserves to be in your music collection and played for all of your friends.


Formed in Kentucky in 2010, this roots music oriented band has its beginnings in the various punk bands that the members used to play in. The band has gone beyond the borders of punk and found its niche in more introspective and quieter sounds that still retain the integrity and heartfelt emotion of their punk beginnings.

“Road Song” kicks things off with a very smooth sound and a plea that they will be home from the road and it all is played with emotion and a sense of yearning. The songs all have the sound of a band that has its heart on its sleeve and they are giving you their all. With the great lyrics and the tight musicianship, this is a great debut that will have you coming back for more. The songs aren’t party anthems, they are from the heart, and will get you thinking and the emotive playing will hit you hard.

With not one filler song on this album, the have started off on the right track and I can’t get enough of this album. They remind me a bit of BLUE RODEO, kind of country-tinged music that doesn’t have the twangy sound of country, but has the parts that don’t suck. A truly great album.