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80s Garage Rock Revival Radio Show Playlist: February 17, 2017

For those of you new to FensePost, or even those of you who followed the site in its heyday from a few years ago, you may be unaware that the blog originally stemmed from a college radio show.

After receiving my Masters in Business Administration in 2006, my tenure at WSU station KZUU came to an end and my sole music discovery channel dried up. Within a month, FensePost was born out of the desire to continue discovering new music and sharing it with the world.

Today, as you may have read in my “FensePost is Back” post from earlier this month, the direction has shifted and broadened away from just covering new music to covering music of any era I deem worthy to discuss. This includes a variety of goodness from as far back as 60 years ago to as recent as three months from now.

Well, about five years ago, I was contacted by the local community college radio station, KSVR, to host a Friday evening show…and I accepted! That show, the unoriginally titled Indie Music Show, continues today.

That, too, has shifted away from new music and on to that which I deem worthy of playing on a Friday night. The format for the past year has followed that which FensePost is heading, and it’s all 100% chalk full of vinyl.

Of late, my go-to has been the garage rock resurgence of the 1980s. Last night was no exception. Here’s a rundown (with some excellent videos) of Friday’s playlist:

Playlist Set #1: Miracle Workers

“Love Has No Time” by Miracle Workers off Inside Out
“Promised Land” by The Broken Jug off William
“Stay Away” by Lyres off Stay Away
“Heart of Stone” by The Stomachmouths off In Orbit

Miracle Workers Inside Out Album Cover

My standout track in the first playlist is one that set me on a path to obsession with the 80s garage rock revival movement: “Love Has No Time” by the Miracle Workers. The band released Inside Out in 1985 on Voxx Records, a label that pumped out countless great garage bands in that decade.

While Miracle Workers’ later era releases transitioned into heavier rock or even hinted at early to mid-era grunge, their early work was steeped in revivalist garage rock. That’s clear on “Love Has No Time” and throughout that LP, which was their third:

Playlist Set #2: The Things

“I’ll Make You Pay” by The Shady Daze off I’ll Make You Pay
“Why Am I Waiting” by The Things off Coloured Heaven
“Will It Ever End” by The Stepford Husbands off New Ways of Seeing
“From Above” by Mystic Eyes off My Time to Leave

The Things Coloured Heaven

In this set, I’m pulling out “Why Am I Waiting” by The Things off their Voxx LP Coloured Heaven to feature. This album screams Paisley Underground, boasting both garage rock and psychedelic rock influence. Like many Paisley bands, you can hear reference to The Byrds, Love, The Yardbirds and many more.

Unless you’re a music fanatic from across the ages, it’s likely that you’ve never heard of the Paisley Underground. Artists like The Things were at their core, though they also embodied more recognizable names. Mazzy Star, for example, was burn out of the ashes of Paisley band Opal. It has also been said that Prince was heavily influenced by the sub-genre on his album Around the World in a Day.

Playlist Set #3: The Steppes

“Strange Little Girl” by The Miracle Workers off Strange Little Girl
“Invisible People” by The Overcoat off Three Chords…And a Cloud of Dust!
“Sunday Time” by Les Thugs off Chess And Crimes
“Master James” by The Steppes off Enquire Within

I’m not entirely sure how The Steppes landed on my radar, but it was around the same time as The Miracle Workers. The song that immediately jumped out at me was “Master James” off their 1989 LP Enquire Within. I’ve since picked up a few of their LPs, including Enquire Within.

The Steppes take their name from a geographic region in Russia known for its grasslands. The band released around half a dozen albums between the mid-80s and mid-80s.

Playlist Set #4: The Stomachmouths

“Don’t Mess With My Mind” by The Stomachmouths off Wild Trip
“Won’t Need Yours” by The Tell-Tale Hearts off The Tell-Tale Hearts
“Flight Thirteen” by The Dearly Beloved off History of Garage Band Music, Vol. 8
“I’ll Be Gone” by The Untold Fables off Every Mother’s Nightmare

I really enjoyed this set. In particular, “Don’t Mess With My Mind” by The Stomachmouths. This Swedish garage rock band has been a go-to this week. I love the vocals, which sound like a mash-up of The Seeds’ Sky Saxon and South Park’s Cartman. More on this band in a future post…

Playlist Set #5: Head and the Hares

“Painted Air” by Head and the Hares off Painted Air
“A Dark Corner” by The Chesterfield Kings A Dark Corner
“Sexmaniac” by Shiny Gnomes off Sexmaniac
“Joy Bang!” by Cudgels off Joy Bang!

Really digging the psychedelic-influence within Italian garage rock band Head and the Hares. Painted Air was one of two singles and two LPs the band released in the 90s. Giving the lead single a listen, it’s hard to see how this band wasn’t bigger on the international scene. Although it was a different time, and they were likely just enough between the revival periods to make a big dent. More than worthy of both psych and garage collections.

Playlist Set #6: Crawling Walls

“Father Darklight” by The Not Quite off …Or The Beginning
“She’s So Wild” by Crawling Walls of Inner Limits
“Crawling Back to Me” by The Tell-Tale Hearts off The Tell-Tale Hearts

Crawling Walls was another surprise. That’s one thing I love about the 80s period of garage rock. Upon first glance, the cover art of many albums from this era often deceiving. It may initially look terrible, but within will be something truly golden. Tracks like “She’s So Wild” are perfect examples of this phenomenon:

Playlist Set #7

“Original Love” by The Feelies off Crazy Rhythms
“I Live in the City” by The Humans off IRS Greatest Hits Vol 2 & 3
“Damaged Goods” by Gang of Four off Entertainment
“Action Time Vision” by Alternative TV off IRS Greatest Hits Vol 2 & 3
“Elevation” by Television off Marquee Moon

Gang of Four Entertainment Cover

It’s funny. I had just been thinking about Gang of Four and how there was an absence of their music in my physical collection. Their first two LPs had been added to my Discogs want list just a few weeks prior. Then, I stumbled into Lost in the Groove in Downtown Mount Vernon, as I often do; there, waiting to be put on the shelf, was a copy of their debut LP, Entertainment. Snapped up the original press for a mere $10; easiest decision of my life.

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