After three years of brilliant pop frivolity, 1987 has a huge contrast in mood with albums and singles that seem far more thoughtful and downbeat. U2 turned in a career best with ‘The Joshua Tree’; Pink Floyd made a huge comeback with the moody ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ and from a more alternative perspective, Sisters of Mercy and The Jesus & Mary Chain made huge waves with epic goth sounds.
Another release in the series of Music For Gloves digital EPs raising money for Spanish hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic, Banana & Louie Records present four unreleased tracks from two cult singer songwriters, Kelley Stoltz and Carwyn Ellis.
With debut albums from Crowded House and The Housemartins standing alongside massive hits from Madonna, a-ha and Red Box, 1986 would already have a strong enough grounding to challenge 1984 as one of the decade’s finest years for music. With Huey Lewis’s ‘Fore!’ challenging 1983’s as his masterpiece, a strong AOR debut from Robert Tepper and Jackson Browne’s ‘Lives In The Balance’ channelling a very commercial sound, it was also very much a year for great Transatlantic AOR and sounds that now seem so entrenched within that decade, you can’t help but love them.
Purveyors of a whole world of pop punk and power pop music, Spanish Label Ghost Highway Recordings will be best known for distributing records by The Dahlmanns, Bullet Proof Lovers and Electric Frankenstein. Their contribution to a series of charity releases ‘Music For Gloves’ not only gives a quick insight into the label’s wares, but offers fans a few previously unavailable gems for a good cause.
Bringing together ex-members of Strike Offensive and Victorian Whore Dogs, UK crust punk/hardcore band Negative Thought Process are an angry bunch. ‘Hell Is…Much Better Than This’ finds the trio absolutely raging through a half dozen tracks in under ten minutes, but also stretching out musically a little further than you’d expect from a band so heavily influenced by grind/crust sounds. It’s all relative, of course, as its difficult to stretch too far when you’ve set boundaries that dictate that nothing should exceed two minutes, but NTP often sound so much more interesting than a lot of similar bands.