Monday, March 16, 2009

Spoiler - Crashpad (1994, PCP)

Following the dissolution of legendary no-wavers Live Skull, guitarist Mark C. founded Spoiler, a band that retained some of his previous band's noisiness, yet included a newfound pop sensibility.  So while Live Skull had been an integral part of the 80's NYC no-wave scene alongside contemporaries like Sonic Youth, Swans, and Band of Susans, don't expect quite as harsh or experimental tendencies from Spoiler's 1994 debut, which was released on PCP Entertainment, and distributed by Matador Records. Spoiler featured a male/female vocal approach, with lead vocal duties being split between Mark C. and Lin Culbertson. The band at one point included bassist Scott McEwen, a former member of the band Cancer (a precursor to Flower, Versus, etc.), however bass on the record is credited to current album art designer Ben Wheelock.  Spoiler's drummer was Mike Belitsky, who has also played with more alt-country acts like Neko Case, The Sadies, and The Pernice Brothers.  Mark C. has gone on to play with the International Shades with original Sonic Youth drummer Bob Bert, while Lin Culbertson went on to co-found the free improv group White Out, who have recorded for Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label. 


Friday, March 13, 2009

Mars Accelerator - I Am The South Pole (1996, Rx Remedy)

I like to think of Mars Accelerator as the missing link between a band like The Swirlies and a band like Polvo, straddling the line between space rock and math rock.  Hailing from Seattle, I Am The South Pole was the band's debut, released in 1996 on the Sub Pop imprint label Rx. Remedy Records.  Though the band is still active, Sub Pop appears to have since dismantled the Rx. Remedy label, leaving Mars Accelerator's excellent early output unavailable (including their equally rewarding 1998 followup Frankfurt: Telephonics).  Of course, I would remove their download link if it were to be digitally re-released at some point in the future. For now, enjoy Mars Accelerator's debut in all its sonic complexities. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Trampoline - I Want One of Everybody (1996, SpinART)

Trampoline's claim to fame was being the band led by WHFS (Washington, D.C. radio station) DJ Pat Ferrise with a revolving cast of backing musicians from notable D.C. area indie bands like Edsel, Chisel, Poole, Velocity Girl, and Girls Against Boys.  This was Ferrise's second album under the Trampoline moniker, and was a slight departure from his 1994 debut, Dormer - shifting from jangly pop to more straightforward indie rock.  Though it occasionally flirts with polished alterna/radio rock tendencies, the album's cast of indie rock luminaries ultimately saves it from non-credibility.  The album was produced by Rich Costey, who at this point had worked with bands such as Swirlies and Lilys, and has since gone on to work with some of the bigger names in rock music.