My New Fascination: Kissing the Pink – Naked

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Kissing the Pink is one of the most unique bands I’ve had the pleasure to listen to. They’ve got a simultaneously appreciation both for new-wave and synth-pop together and with those two genres, you can only create wonders. At least if your name is just that. The band consisted of the members George Stewart (Keyboards/Vocals), Jon Kingsley Hall (Keyboards/Synthesizer/Vocals), Josephine Wells (Saxophone/Vocals), Nicholas Whitecross (Guitar/Vocals),  Peter Barnett (Bass/Violin/Vocals) and Stevie Cusack (Drums/Percussion/Vocals). Even though Simon Aldridge also was in the band, he wasn’t involved with their first release, which is the one I’m covering. Their first release, “Naked“, was released in 1983 by Magnet Records and was mostly a synth-pop record. It had some features that could be pinpointed to new-wave and a range of different songs on the album, including different styles. Others whom were involved in the creation of their first record, when it comes to different aspect, where amongst others the producers Colin Thurston, David King, Neil Richmond, Peter Walsh and Kissing the Pink themselves. The cover was made by the now legendary UK design company Shoot That Tiger!. Do also remember that not all of them were producers in the sense, some of them were the engineers and mixers of the album, too. But they’re currently not attributed for it on Discogs. Find out more about this journey into their first album, down below.

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My New Fascination: Vibø – One To Many

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So, we’re at it again, making these My New Fascinations a blast for every reader. Since we try to keep the material interesting, we’ve been sifting through the half-empty boxes and found a release that will be suitable for you all. A band you must know about, whom we thought were danish after reading their name. Just kidding, but I think you’re going to find this pretty intriguing. I don’t know much about this band since they’ve only released one album, but it’s pretty frantic and dim when you go at it. The melancholic intent, the swift passages and the combination with synthesizer mayhem just lures the best of us.

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My New Fascination (Special Ed. 2): Null And Void – Possibilities (Discoverable Thoughts)

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This is a special-edition of My New Fascination which is directed at the wonderful guy who owns Bunkerpop. It will contain one of two reviews, one of the re-issued version of Coïtus Int. first release “Dead Excitement E.P.” but also of Null And Void and their brand new release of material recorded in between 1981-1982 titled “Possibilities (Discoverable Thoughts)“, which will be featured in Special Ed. 2. In this edition, I’ll go through the Null And Void release. You should support Bunkerpop by venturing over to his website and ordering these two gems, which will aid the label-owner in his quest of seeking out and preserving old gems.

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My New Fascination (Special Ed. 1): Coïtus Int. – Dead Excitement E.P. (Re-Issue)

This is a special-edition of My New Fascination which is directed at the wonderful guy who owns Bunkerpop. It will contain one of two reviews, one of the re-issued version of Coïtus Int. first release “Dead Excitement E.P.” but also of Null And Void and their brand new release of material recorded in between 1981-1982 titled “Possibilities (Discoverable Thoughts)“, which will be featured in Special Ed. 2. In this edition, I’ll go through the Coïtus Int. re-issue. You should support Bunkerpop by venturing over to his website and ordering these two gems, which will aid the label-owner in his quest of seeking out and preserving old gems.

Coïtus Int. – Dead Excitement E.P. (Re-Issue)

Ever wanted to hear the first phase of Coïtus? With their own unimaginably quirky, but dark version of punk. This was way before they ever got into the more alternative-sounding new-wave kitsch. I must say that I’m impressed about the sound, it’s been improved a lot. There are still some questionable noise, but that’s how they were originally. A gradual improvement from the original 7¨, it’s just that our postal service don’t handle these gems that well, so that might be why. However, the first song “Run To The Station” is a piece of interesting punk. Totally different from the later Coïtus Int., packing much more of a punch and an attitude of apathy. Pretty much sounds like some of our old school punk from Sweden, they’ve got some of that scandi-sound. But I think they’ve adopted the general punk-attitude from the regions of the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the likes of it. They had a sharper and more odd edge to their sound than anyone else, especially when it comes to punk.

Not so comparable to the UK, Sweden or the US for that matter. But I like the sharp blend of different attitudes from different countries, when it comes to sound and the darker edge delivered in this song. A pretty straight-forward one at that, too. I believe that the second track “I Shouldn’t Go” is a predecessor to their later post-punk sound, here you can hear the blend of both punk attitude and the more baseline driven post-punk that came with their first release. There’s also some kind of new-wave edge to it in the background at least, but they’ve kept the darker punk sound throughout. It’s got a much tighter sound, since there’s a high prevalence of both these genres in this song. Also, it might not be as straight-forward as the first song, but it surely sounds perfectly fitting on the same side. I feel like there’s a huge slab of timelessness attached to this song, it’s better than the counterpart on this side, which is the first song. It’s because I think it delivers that notion of what’s to come, but still keeps the playfulness. The first song is more of a basic, straight-forward blend of different punk-sounds. But the great thing about this song is that it keeps the punk-edge going later on, as it embargoes on a rock-oriented trip through punk as it would’ve been played at the start of the 80’s, still very much influenced by the 77′-punk sound.

The other side of the coin, namely the B-Side, continues in what I think is a morphed version of post-punk. With more straight-forward and apathetic punk-influences. First song “Trap Questions” really sounds like something that could’ve easily been a classic in the UK. As it speeds up to the tempo of punk, it releases an avalanche of hurt, but with the same instrumentation throughout. The catchy rhythms and melodies is what keeps this beast afloat and ensures what could be a classic endeavor of the early UK-punk sound. But there’s a noticeable difference to it, since they’ve had their own touch on it. I think the accent is charming, even more charming than a regular UK-sounding punk record. It brings a whole other dimension to the track, it also feels like it should be bordering to a whole other genre. Quickly reminding me of all the great cold wave classics out there, which surely have been the case with Coïtus later on but is developed through this phase of their lifetime.

Next up the track “Dry Up Soon” keeps up the tempo and ravages every sound-canal available, as the noisiness of the vocalist is portrayed throughout the sound-scape in an utmost menacing way. There is still a long way to go, but it seems like they’ve been more concentrated on the structure of the songs rather than a basic punk-template of fast and furious. Even though there might not be much variation, there’s a sense of things ending the further in to it you get, as can be felt with the last track “On The Escalator” which turns up the tempo a little bit and puts away the slowly developing post-punk pastiche and puts on the punk-overall and just starts shouting at the wall. A perfect ending for an almost perfect E.P., which I hoped of hearing sometime. I have been stuck with their first release on vinyl, which didn’t really have much of the earlier punk-vibe to it. But now that I’ve heard this release, I can feel how this have influenced their first self-titled record. There are remnants of the old Coïtus smeared on the wall, but no matter how you picture it, they’re still as great as a punk-outfit.

You can and should buy this record over at Bunkerpop, you’ll find the link over here.

My New Fascination: 45 Grave – Sleep In Safety

45 Grave – Sleep In Safety (Re-Issue)

This album is one of my all-time favorites, so I had to feature it in here. Headed by the influential Dinah Cancer, making a name for themselves once again with the newly released album “Pick Your Poison” which was released in August, this year. So they’re pretty much alive, once again. But I’m not here to talk about their latest album, I’m here to talk about one of my favorite albums. Namely their first album “Sleep In Safety” from 1983, but I’ve picked the re-mastered version from 1993 since it’s the one I’ve got in my hands right now. I like this album because it introduced me to the death-rock genre as a whole and they’ve had a huge influence on many bands that came out of L.A. at that time. Therefore, I have them to thank for making me discover other bands in the same genre. One of the significant differences between this band and other bands, is that they withheld the general rock-oriented sound and slowly but surely introduced the purveyor of the death-rock sound as it could sound back then and very much sound like in these days.

First song on the album “Insurance From God” is really intriguing with the organ-playing and the overall nocturnal goth sound that its got embellished on itself. I like how Dinah Cancers vocals sound like something in between a punk record, but still keeps the kind of high-pitch blended with low-pitch trademark that was and probably still is 45 Grave. The sound-scape of this song quickly shifts from a full frontal attack, to a more slow-paced and rock-oriented song focusing on solos and eager riffing, quickly jumping back to the wagon and introducing the fast-paced baseline groove, with a stickier sound of extremely nice drums and guitar-riffs. So, if this isn’t the epitome, I know what is.

The song “Evil” is really a tongue-in-cheek, almost sloppy song that attaches itself by force to my brain and ears. And it’s not sloppy in the way that anything is done completely without feeling, it’s just that its got that wonderful blase-sound. As if they don’t care anymore, they’ve had this evilness for too long. I also like how the music is a blend of horror-themed songs you could encounter in movies about vampires and other horror-flicks from way back. Third song “Party Time” reminds me very much of a death-rock version of the Joan Jett and The Blackhearts song “I Love Rock’n’Roll“, because it’s got everything that rock sounded like but it’s got an unconventional approach to it, blending both the classic rock sound and their own sound into a fabulous mix of the darkest things imaginable. Maybe I’m wrong about it, because they’re two separate songs, but I believe they’ve got the same spirit when it comes to rock and how it sounds. Now I must say that the fourth song on the album “Violent World” has an abysmal intro that frightens me in one sense and fascinates me in another. Unleashed is a punk beast with a cheeky synth waltzing with it, into a whirlwind of bats and brazen punk attitude. Another song that is very good on this album is the song “Phantoms“, which I believe is the epitome of the 45 Grave sound.

Here is where they sounded best, and this album is a great mark of their success when it comes to the musical aspect of it. Such a unique but overlooked band. Even though I like rock, I must say that I’m moved by the sound of death-rock at its earliest stage. I’m also thinking of checking out their latest album and reviewing it for everyone of you readers, so you know what you’re getting. You should get this album in any way you can, if possible, because it’s one hell of an album.

My New Fascination: He Said – Take Care

He Said – Take Care

One of the most wonderful pieces of music in the collection I’ve built up throughout the years. The second album from the man behind the name He Said, titled “Take Care” released in 1989. A monumentally underrated act, from the purveying label Mute Records. Which takes me into a vast landscape of decay, questions, love and everything in between. Much like the stance John Foxx took in his song “Underpass“, which was influenced by the author J B Ballards dystopian view of the future, as concrete landscapes, towering up behind, in front and everywhere. When I listen to this record, it feels like I’m fighting against time together with Graham Lewis. Which is the sole part of He Said, but also was a member of the rather popular English rock/punk-band Wire. There’s some kind of nostalgia in each song, reminding you of the place you live in and the thoughts you’ve had before. A kind of bittersweet memory of those times, which you can recollect when living in a decaying society, filled with concrete and depression. He’s a perfect reminder of how it is, even though this was released in the 80’s. The songs are borderline IDM and very experimental, utilizing the wonders of snappy rhythms and nice melodies which are danceable to say the least. Some songs are more emotional than others, whilst some are more industrial than anything else. At least when I tune into them, there’s some kind of seriousness behind some of the songs.

There’s only one song that have a vague sense of humor attached to itself, at least lyrically, which can be sensed in the song “A.B.C. Dicks Love“. The other songs are more cynical, emotional and melancholic at heart. Maybe not when it comes to the melody or rhythms at times, but a general perforation into those subjects can be heard. I also like how it doesn’t employ the weird styles of IDM in any other fashion than to wrap it around something interesting, there’s always something going on and it’s pretty easy to listen to. Even though it sounds very underground and probably still is. One of the more powerful songs on this album, that really touched me emotionally was the song “Get Out Of That Rain“, which is totally instrumental. But the synths in that song are extremely gallant and take me on a trip through the sky, holding me up on its musical wings. It very much feels like an interlude to the next song, which is “Hole In The Sky“, a thrashing song that just spikes up the subject a notch and brings you into a chaotic environment.

I like the whole album a lot, but these are some honorable mentions. You should get the album if you can and store it in your vinyl-collection, because it’s an essential piece that you need to get. Twelve great songs all-in-all and wonderful music for your ears to listen to. This is for those of you that prefer to keep it a little bit underground.

My New Fascination: Pauline Murray And The Invisible Girls – Untitled

Pauline Murray And The Invisible Girls – Untitled

This is, in my opinion, one of the best leftfield albums of all time. Even though it contains some post-punk and synth-pop too. All the rhythms and melodies fall in place and the vocalist Pauline Murray makes it one of the most powerful things I’ve heard recently. One of the most captivating songs on this 80’s album is “European Eyes“, where the moody and lingering baseline throws itself in the way for everything else. It has such a variety of songs that range within all those genres, but this song is certainly the most powerful one. When Pauline starts to wail in the chorus of the song, it makes me want to groove with it. It has such an alternative swing to it, despite being in one of the less alternative genres. A rough edge which smears the rest of the album and shatters glass on its way. But there are some songs that are worthy of contending that one, and I’ll tell you which songs.

The songDrummer Boy“, is like an abstract ballad. With a lot of interesting percussion and no-wave feeling to it. Accompanied by some repetitiveness, yet some balanced melody. It feels like it’s going to burst in any moment. Her vocals are spreading over the whole sound-scape and making themselves noticeable, even though the song is very modest at heart. Also, the song “When Will We Learn” reminds me of the high-school sweetheart. There’s something naive to it, and it recants the younger years. At least for me, since I get very nostalgic when I hear that song. With a high-pitched singing and I would say that this song is the ultimate contrast to “European Eyes“. The emotional melodies and everything is synchronized to make the best out of it. Whilst the song “Animal Crazy” drives you nuts with the awesome synth-pop melodies. A minimalistic piece of excellence, with arpeggio synths and carefully set baselines making it a mystical song to say the least. It’s also one of those songs that goes after a systematical pattern, and tries to make you dance at every beat it pulls off.

It’s one of those “must-have” records that you need to place in your vinyl-collection. Pauline Murray And The Invisible Girls pull this debutalbum off completely and it’s insane to think otherwise. Getting all you need, all the grooves and all the rhythms you’ve been longing for. Also, Pauline is a great vocalist with loads of potential and she’s made more than this. You should also check out her solo-album titled “Storm Clouds“, which is from 1989. It’s amazing that this particular album is from 1980. So listen through it and try to find a physical copy of it online.