Chicago’s Speed Babes have released several DIY records since 2015 – two full lengths and a staggering five EPs, to be precise – very much taking the Robert Pollard inspired route of capturing the moment. Sometimes the energy of a performance can be more important than perfection.
Self confessed “manic punk” duo The Wirms hail from the Ozark region of the US. To the outsider, that might not seem like the very epicentre of punk, but back in the 90s, the Ozarks spawned it’s own underground scene. [The DIY nature of punk always allows for scenes to spring up anywhere. Aberdeen, WA is in the middle of nowhere…and just look what happened there!]
John Peel – The Fall’s biggest and outspoken fan – famously claimed they were “always different, always the same”. In many ways, Peel was right. With each new Fall album, you could never guarantee you’d like all of the material; you couldn’t even guarantee you’d remember any of the material after the album finished, but through it all, there would be Mark E. Smith, founder and only constant member, gleefully bamboozling the listener with rambling, obtuse lyrics. A lyricist and performer like no other, Smith’s work balanced precariously between the utterly mundane and bizarre, humorous and spiteful. Such a one-off proposition that even imitators could never quite match his unique style.
Smith steered his artistic vision through forty years and over sixty members. Sometimes the addition of a new band member or even Smith’s current mood could change the sound and fortunes of a new Fall record. The Fall back catalogue is one of the most daunting of any band’s, comprising of thirty two studio albums, as many live albums and over forty compilations to date. Given that Smith himself cared nothing for quality control and released material at a frighteningly prolific rate and then expected fans to work at reaping their own musical reward, finding the genuinely brilliant material within The Fall’s oeuvre can be like panning for gold, especially for newer listeners.
Here is Real Gone’s guide to The Fall essentials!
Having previously regaled the world with tales of TV Zombies, R. Stevie Moore and Pizza on their ‘Television Echo’ LP in 2015, Canada’s Outtacontroller begin 2018 on a similarly energised and fuzzed out wave with four more more songs of trashy debauchery.
Although comprised of recordings made at a brand new session, thematically speaking, there’s common ground covered on their ‘No Echo’ EP, since ‘Prime Time’ echoes their love of TV and ‘Something Wild’ hints at a band who believe firmly in the old Spinal Tap maxim “have a good time, all the time”. There may only be ten minutes’ worth of new music here, but this disc represents quality over quantity.
A yearly tradition, the Real Gone Sampler is one of the most popular things in our calendar. In previous years, we’ve given away great music by Kurt Baker, The 1957 Tail Fin Fiasco and Black Moth. Every year, the project rounds up the very best in DIY acts and aims to get great music out to a new audience.
On occasion, we’ve even been lucky enough to give you two end of year samplers. This year, the download is only one disc long, but we bring you over seventy minutes of underground sounds. We’ve got dream pop, shoegaze, roots rock, garage rock, singer songwriters and a whole bunch more. It could just be the best Real Gone freebie to date.
As always, reviews for each album can be found behind the band name links.
Sleeve art designed by Elena Barrio.