Here we are on another Monday, about halfway through the musical calendar, and while I should probably be working on one of those magically meaningless “Midway Best Of,” I feel like I’d be letting down our friends if we didn’t do our wrap-up of the goods from last week. Honestly, and I won’t throw out names, but there are some jams that would certainly make my best of the year list…one in particular. Can you guess it? Also, some of the new stuff by Love, Burns and Normil Hawaiians isn’t streaming, so I linked you to some of their other work you might enjoy. Mostly, it’s Monday, and I like to make this playlist for my friend Marc, so he doesn’t have to read anything and just gets music. Happy Monday folks!
One of our favorite labels Upset the Rhythm has been working diligently to make sure that the world doesn’t forget the work of Normil Hawaiians; today they announce Dark World. In this collection you’ll get to hear the band in the years 1979-1981, working at breakneck pace trying to find their sound; you’ll get two 7″ worth of tunes , the Gala Failed EP, and a few Peel Sessions to flesh out the collection. The title track for the collection, “Dark World,” seems to encompass the whole of the band’s period here, opening up sharp and jagged, drums pacing back and forth with a stomp, all the while you’ve got Guy screaming and bellowing, anxious at times, satiated at others. Such a productive period, and now we get to reap the rewards. Dark World is out on September 24th; Grab it HERE.
One of the great things about the wealth of information at our fingertips, to me, has to be the discovery of acts long ago forgotten. And Upset the Rhythm, having already reissued More Wealth Than Money have opted to follow up that album by re-issuing What’s Going On, the 1984 album from Normil Hawaiians. This track, like the album, is just this sonic exploration pulled off in post punk fashion. It begins with what almost sounds like looped tapes, something we’re all familiar with by now…just before the guitar begins to ring through your speakers in that angular stomp. Vocalist Guy Smith enters the frame, wailing on the high (and is that a whistle?); it’s working in complete contrast with the propulsive rhythm section, yet it’s all tied tightly together. Later bits of the song get these little stabbing riffs cutting through the vibe, and then bam, we’re done. This is an intoxicating introduction to a group I knew little about.