Sunday, July 5, 2015

Soft Tension: A Quick Review Of The Fabulous New Album From EZTV

There's just something spectacularly retro and simultaneously forward-looking in the tunes on this new album from EZTV. Calling Out, out in a matter of days from Captured Tracks, is a set of glittering gems of pop-craft. If "Pretty Torn Up" sounds like Tim Finn leading Split Enz through a cover of The Byrds, that's not an indication of musical schizophrenia but a sign of tuneful artistry.

EZTV is the brain-child of Ezra Tenenbaum who's joined in his pursuit of pop bliss by drummer Michael Stasiak of Widowspeak along with engineer-turned-bassist Shane O'Connell. The 3-piece have mastered a sort of careful cultivation of the right influences. And, like very few acts can successfully do, they've managed to make this stuff sound fresh again. "Hard to Believe" marries a hint of The Nerves with a brief nod in the direction of The Soft Boys. But, you know what? That's just a lazy writer's way of trying to pin down why this song -- like most of what's on Calling Out -- works so spectacularly well.

"Blue Buzz" adds a dash of Big Star to things even if the vocals made me think of those magical Syd Barrett solo albums. While most of the cuts on this record are what you would want to call power pop, this one is a bit more like alt-country, or something. I highlight that small shift in style to highlight the strengths of this band.

"Trampoline" recalls the early stuff from The Posies before they turned the amps up. At moments like this on this record, the band also sounds like The Bongos in spots. They certainly have a similar sense of how to make pop music even if they are, clearly, not exactly the same in terms of their sound.

By the time we get to "There Goes My Girl" one can hear a trace of both Davies brothers in the gloriously weary melody -- think "Death of a Clown" but with a stronger hook. It's an odd comparison but EZTV are making music that bears favorable comparison to acts like the legendary Kinks. "Long Way to Go" makes me miss the glory days of stuff like Wire Train or The Plimsouls. EZTV are expanding on the classic pop of those earlier bands who got labelled new wave acts.

Calling Out is expertly performed and produced but it never once seems forced or stiff. One wonders how these guys didn't get more attention before now? What kind of world are we living in when music like this is released without much more fanfare? There's not a single dud on this record. Pluck out any tune from EZTV's Calling Out and put it in the middle of a mix and you'll see how great each individual cut is.

Calling Out from EZTV is out next week via Captured Tracks. Follow the band on their official website.

[Photo credits: Daniel Topete, top, and Pamela Garavano, bottom.]

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Heads Up About The New Reissue Of Superchunk's Come Pick Me Up From Merge Records

I will freely admit that in the summer of 1999 I thought that Tearror Twilight and Come Pick Me Up were fairly big disappointments. Hindsight has proven me wrong, especially about the Superchunk. While I don't go back to that final Pavement record beyond a few singles, I had been dipping heavily into that Superchunk record even before Merge Records announced their upcoming remastered reissue of the record.

One of the benefits of having such a long commute in Hong Kong was that I was loading up my iPod with stuff I had sort of neglected for a few years. And while "Hellow Hawk" and "You Can Always Count On Me (In The Worst Way)" were always on my device and in heavy rotation, stuff like "June Showers" was not. It, like so many of the mid-tempo tunes here, is a fantastic piece of songwriting. Riding a sort of bass-hook for a spell, it suddenly erupts into one of Mac McCaughan's most hopeful, big choruses. When he sings "Don't give up" near the coda, I get a little tingle up my spine and remember why I love this band so much.

This remastered reissue of Come Pick Me Up, out next week via Merge Records, does indeed sound fantastic. There seems to be much, much clearer separation between the vocals and individual instruments now. And while I'm no audiophile genius, the record does indeed have a sharper sound in this edition. That's no slight on co-producer Jim O'Rourke but, rather, an acknowledgement that the record has now been matched with the latest technological advances since the year that The Phantom Menace came out.

O'Rourke's touch can be heard so clearly on stuff like "Pulled Muscle" which now positively rings with a sort of faux-soul veneer even as the guitars and bass wrestle underneath the smooth vocals.

"Cursed Mirror" chimes like The La's in spots while the glorious busyness of "1000 Pounds" is still apparent. "Good Dreams" offers a nod in the direction of early Superchunk offerings while "Low Branches" uses its lopsided time signature to wonderful effect. Laura Ballance's bass is highlighted in this new mix, most obviously on "Pink Clouds" while the guitars sound somehow more plaintive on "Honey Bee" than they might have 16 years ago.

And what of my 2 favorite songs on Come Pick Me Up? I can say that I still rate "You Can Always Count On Me (In The Worst Way)" highly. In fact, I'm pretty sure that a 10-track Best of Superchunk would, if compiled by me, include that closing cut. It's a subtle and inspiring song still. There's real complexity here in the way that eventual release in the song arrives. I still dig it tremendously.

As for "Hello Hawk" I can say that it's like hearing the song all over again for the first time as the remastering is that good. An odd choice for a single, the song still rocks and charms.

This reissue of Come Pick Me Up is rounded off with 3 acoustic versions of songs on this album, plus 5 demos. Of the demos, the highlight is a demo of "White Noise" from the 1,000 Pounds EP.

Grab this reissue of what I would now consider to be one of the best Superchunk albums. I was a critical jerk in 1999. Come Pick Me Up is loaded with songs I somehow didn't fully appreciate back then.

Come Pick Me Up is out next week via Merge Records.

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Look At The Remastered Edition Of The Lover Speaks From Cherry Red Records

I'm thrilled to report that Cherry Red Records have reissued The Lover Speaks, the 1986 self-titled release from the band. Expanded and remastered in an impressive fashion, the album sounds better than it ever has. You can order it here.

Of course, I can't but help think of 2 things when approaching this album. One is that in early 1996, I think, I was one of many fans of The Lover Speaks yelling at the TV as Annie Lennox won a Grammy for her cover of "No More 'I Love You's'". It's not that I begrudged her success but, rather, that I resented the fact that 99% of the people clapping had probably never heard the original version of the song by The Lover Speaks, and certainly not when it was a new single.

And the other thing is that I'm reminded when I play this record now of a time in 1986 when I made the switch from listening to so much U2 and stuff like that to more artsy offerings on 4AD. I think the only reason I picked up The Lover Speaks record was that the cover art reminded me of the cover of the first This Mortal Coil. I knew nothing about this band and was thinking that I had stumbled upon another outfit like that Ivo-organized super-group.

I hadn't but what I took a chance with back then in 1986 was a great pop record. It remains so and it's certainly never sounded better than on this expanded reissue from Cherry Red.

What David E.D. Freeman calls in the track annotations, an "exercise in camp with a bouffant hairdo", the album is, instead, a sort of masterclass in how to maximize a studio in the service of creating literate pop. Looked at nearly 30 years later, The Lover Speaks seems now closer to stuff like Prefab Sprout and Scritti Politti than it did in 1986. It's an album of its era, certainly, but it's not entirely dated. There is -- as anyone who's heard any version of it can attest -- something quite literate about "No More 'I Love You's'" and the rest of the record still holds up in similar fashion betraying a great deal more care in pop-craft than I perhaps gave it credit for in 1986 when I was simply looking for another 4AD-style cassette.

"Every Lover's Sign" still seems like a classic pop song while "Never to Forget You" soars and remains a neglected gem from this record. What one takes away from The Lover Speaks now in 2015 -- and what's made even clearer when one reads the track-by-track notes from David E.D. Freeman and Joseph Hughes -- is that this is the sound of 2 guys pulling out all the stops in the studio. While The Lover Speaks were a real band, in 1986 one wasn't quite sure. And that was okay. A fan of the pop single, I could sense, even then, that they were pushing things in the direction of bombast at certain points but it was with a real sense of affection for this sort of thing. Hughes and Freeman certainly understood how to construct a single, for example. Listened to now, I can hear strains of Marc Almond here, or even George Michael, back then about to go solo. The bridge between mainstream pop and alternative was built in spectacular fashion on this record.

And that was probably the problem. The record straddled two worlds that in 1986 were pretty sharply defined; Smiths fans might have been put off by the production on The Lover Speaks, while fans of Madonna, might not have wanted to put on an album inspired by a Roland Barthes book.

This edition of The Lover Speaks is expanded by 8 bonus cuts, including the band's breathtaking version of "I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten" by Dusty Springfield. Heard now, the song places the band closer to contemporaries and tour-mates Eurythmics. There's certainly more overt soul here than I expected to find but it's also that "camp" that Freeman mentions in the notes.

But, I think, that's what made The Lover Speaks such a unique proposition in 1986 and now. These were smart guys who'd assembled an amazing cast of players -- Springsteen's man Roy Bittan, one-time Mo-Dette June Miles-Kingston, and so on -- in support of crafting something that remains wholly self-contained and of its kind. I mean, I defy you to name one record that is entirely similar to The Lover Speaks. You can pin down certain things here that place the band's sound next to the sound of their peers in 1986 -- and The Lover Speaks holds up better now than the Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis-produced Human League record from the same year -- but you can't quite narrow this one down even now. What works so splendidly with The Lover Speaks is that it is of a piece and one doesn't entirely care if there's a real band behind this thing, or if the band were great live, or whatever. It is, perhaps as the makers intended, a sort of Phil Spector exercise in commanding a studio and creating pop music of the very highest order.

The Lover Speaks is now out again via Cherry Red. You can order it here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Quick Review Of The New Loop EP

In every decent documentary about UK punk rock, there's invariably a mention of the Sex Pistols' gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester in 1976. Everyone who was anyone was there...or claims they were there.

I suppose the closest I've ever come to having something like that in my past is the badge of honor I wear inside on my psyche for having survived the bludgeoning volume of the legendary Loop/Nirvana gig at the (old) 9:30 Club in Spring 1990. I've written about that night before so I'll not bore you with the details again suffice it to say that 1) everyone I knew who was cool, from a cool record store, or about to join or form an awesome band (like those kids starting up Slumberland Records in College Park, Maryland around that time), was at that gig; Years later, Archie from Velocity Girl told me that Kurt from Lilys relayed to him how it was at that show that Dave Grohl was recruited to join Nirvana, and 2) Loop were unbelievably loud.

I mean, shake your bones-loud. I had a few beers and stood in the middle of the crowd and felt the music in my joints and the heat from the strobe lights on my face when I swayed with eyes closed. I nearly fainted. If I had been one to drop acid, I bet that would have been a great show to do it at.

Well, Robert Hampson has brought the noise 'cause through some miracle of rawk Loop are back. Following on from the fanfare accorded those splendid reissues from a few years ago, the band is creating new tunes. The first release, Array 1, is out now via ATP Recordings.

Things kick off with the White Zombie-like stomping riff of "Precession" (and I offer that comparison as a compliment). "Aphelion" works another killer hook to death as the drums come in louder and louder towards the end. The effect is, unsurprisingly, hypnotic. "Coma" serves up a modern take on the Fripp/Eno No Pussyfooting-formula but with a great deal more brevity and directness.

Array 1 closes with the 17-minute epic of "Radial" which devotes a third of its running time to a dramatic build-up only to erupt in a nasty bit of tunefulness that somehow links up the sound of The Jesus and Mary Chain more closely with the music of Loop than was quite possible before so many decades ago. In that moment of fuzzy glory, one realizes that Hampson is every bit the pioneer of sound that either Reid brother ever was.

Loop do a few things magnificently. If you love their sound, you'll dig Array 1, the first in an apparent series of upcoming releases.

Follow Loop via the ATP Recordings page or the band's official Facebook page.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Spin Delightful Tune From The Foetals (Temple Songs/Pink Teens) Here!

I guess we're in that building a buzz-stage with The Foetals right now.

The band, led by Jolan Lewis of Temple Songs and The Pink Teens, creates off-kilter pop music that is remarkably catchy and infectious. There's something wickedly awesome about everything this cat touches and his indie is as instantly recognizable as anything that Robert Pollard produces here in the U.S.A. and, like Bob, Lewis has both a sense of how to push boundaries and a good grasp of writing a killer hook.

Until there's a full-length album, follow The Foetals on their official Facebook page.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Here's My Review Of Brain Cream, The Rocking New One From Jaill

Look, let's get to the heart of this review. Brain Cream by Jaill, out Tuesday on Burger Records, is a set of 13 tunes, all ace, and very nearly one of the catchiest damn things to be released so far in 2015.

"Getaway" coasts in on a near-surf wave of hooks like Vampire Weekend covering a Pavement tune and it instantly bores itself into your brain.

See what I mean?

Well, look, it's all like that here on Brain Cream. These cats are not rewriting the pop playbook but in a sense they are. With the nearest point of comparison being Twin Peaks, the band and not the show, the lads in Jaill are making a damn good case for the current rise of American indie, and I say that as a dude who always looks to England for the latest kicks. And only a few short years ago a term like American indie would have indicated an entirely different sort of music -- something dour, maybe? -- but now it means peppy pop like this and for that I heartily approve.

"Got an F" drops in a near-hint of something like a Sonic Youth-y attitude even if the tune rocks like early Feelies and late Pixies all spinning together in a blender.

There's a wonderful effect (keyboard or guitar pedal?) in "Slides and Slips" that varies the band's sound a bit, while "Symptoms" harkens back to a day when bands like The Rubinoos ruled imaginary playlists for all the power pop girls and boys.

By album's mid-point we've got the ska skank of "Change Reaction" which, even with its shuffle, is more Arctic Monkeys than Specials. "Little Messages" uses a layered keyboard to simultaneously channel both Gary Numan and Split Enz, while "Chocolate Poison Time" seems like the only real misstep on the album. Despite it's pleasant melody, it's overlong, frankly.

Still, things are back on track with "Look at You" and its No Wave NYC herky-jerky rhythms. If the keyboards sound like Modern English, the guitar lick and vocals echo Richard Hell. It's a helluva mix but it works.

Brain Cream is damn near a great record. It feels petty to even criticize it in any way when it's so loaded with hooks. There is something infectious here that I want to celebrate. And, let's just get this out there: this is largely happy music that makes me happy when I'm cranking it in the car. That doesn't make this Mahler but it makes it the sort of music that I hold on a pretty high pedestal.

Brain Cream by Jaill is out now via Burger Records.

Follow Jaill on their official website.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Few Kind Words About Rise Of The Super Furry Animals By Ric Rawlins

I'm here to raise a glass to author Ric Rawlins for writing the definitive Super Furry Animals bio that the world never knew it needed. Rise of the Super Furry Animals is a concise, eminently readable, and always fun crash-course in the genius of these Welsh geniuses. It distills what makes them tick, or what made them tick so well for so long, with such ease that I was almost sorry to finish the book.

The title, out now via The Friday Project, breezes through the life of this group in a style that is sure to please fans of this band as well as those who haven't been listening to them for 20 years.

Opening with a hysterical account of the band inside their runaway tank as it careens towards a folk festival, Rise of The Super Furry Animals then shifts to the formation of the group along with a little bit of background on each member of the band.

As the book gains momentum, the narrative becomes the actual joyous account of the band's success promised in the title. Without getting bogged down in the old Britpop story, the book manages to hit on a few truths about that era without trying too hard to do it. One key quote, from the section on the making of 1997's fantastic Radiator, leapt out at me:

"The Furries had noticed a recent trend for bleak-sounding indie bands complaining about their rock-star existences, and they wanted no part of it. Here were five close friends, signed to a great label, recording an album at a time of unprecedented popularity for independent bands; to moan about it would have seemed outrageous."

And that seems to get at why I so love this band and why this quote from this book so expertly captures their appeal. It's not that I don't like Radiohead -- and Rawlins is probably referring a bit to the band in that passage, especially as it coincides with the OK Computer record -- but there doesn't have to be so much work in making music that pushes the form forward.

Rise of The Super Furry Animals takes that angle and opens a window on how these records were made without being boring about it. Never once descending into muso worship of these rock gods, Rawlins instead offers peaks at the practical aspects of making a record the SFA-way.

My first trip to the U.K. was designed around a series of concerts in April 1999, the last of which was Super Furry Animals and Clinic in Wolverhampton. My best friend and I stayed at an oddly shaped, and decrepit, hotel in the heart of the city. It was drab and dire but we were only in town to see the Furries again, having seen them in D.C. already the year or so before. The concert was spectacular as the band were trotting out songs from the upcoming Guerrilla. I think I had grabbed a promo of "Northern Lites" from some shop in Camden already so it was a blast seeing the band on the cusp of further Furry greatness.

What's so remarkable even now is how great that concert sounded. As we stumbled out of the venue to get kebabs on the street from some vendor, my friend kept babbling about the sound system in the gig. Maybe it was the beers talking, as they say, but in his ravings there was some truth about what the band were doing. And now, having read in Rise of The Super Furry Animals about the band's experiments with sound systems via keyboardist Cian Ciaran, it makes more sense to me in retrospect how great that show sounded. It wasn't a fluke of the hall; it was the result of some tinkering on the part of these Welsh wizards.

It is those sorts of details on the recording process of this act, along with all the fun bits, that make Rise of The Super Furry Animals such a joy to read. The book manages to cover a lot of territory and those of us who became fans of this band in 1996 to 1998 will be rewarded when reading these pages. They serve to offer up some gentle nostalgia of the era while simultaneously making the strong case that this band was far, far better than any of their peers in that era; there's a reason that Rawlins rarely mentions any other contemporaries of SFA from those days.

I owe another enormous "Thank you!" to Cicely Aspinall at the The Friday Project for getting me a copy of this book. The last time I was thanking her it was in relation to the new book/CD endeavor from another of my favorite bands.

Rise of The Super Furry Animals by Ric Rawlins is out now. The book is a pleasure to read and an example of exactly how to write about a bunch of pop geniuses. While I may disagree with a few choices on Rawlins' "SFA Mixtape" in the back of the book, I can say that I have played "Demons" and "The Turning Tide" more this week than I have in months. Even though the Furries are busy with individual projects -- click those tags at the edge of this post -- this weekend's concert activities in the U.K. and the events described in this book make a strong case for them being at their best when they are together.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

This New Cairo Gang Album Is A Fabulous Masterpiece

I got sent this album today by one of my reliable promo contacts and saw that Emmet Kelly of The Cairo Gang had worked with Bonnie "Prince" Billy.

"Hmm," I thought. "I'll listen to that later then."

But something -- the fact that it's on Ty Segall's God? Records imprint (via Drag City)? -- got me curious.

So I sat down and spun Goes Missing and was blown away. This is wonderfully melodic music that manages to cover a lot of territory. While "Be What You Are" sounds like Phil Keaggy when he's doing a McCartney impression, "She Don't Want You" mixes in a touch of American AM Gold staples with the crunchy riffs.

Emmett Kelly has an ear for a hook and somehow makes this sort of genre-hopping sound sincere. The closest comparison I could make would be to Young Guv's instant classic Ripe 4 Luv. Like that record, Goes Missing crosses a sort of indie sensibility with a real sense of pop craft.

The wonderfully titled "Gangsters Holding Hands" weaves in a New Order-style bass throb with a vocal line like an old Death Cab for Cutie cut. The combination of those elements, along with a spirited guitar figure, makes this one of the standout tracks on Goes Missing.

For all the references to the worthy power pop precursors, there's also the neo-retro strut of the Hooded Fang-esque "A Heart Like Yours" and the gentle folk of "Some Other Time" in all its Nick Drake-recalling beauty.

What I haven't mentioned yet is that Emmett Kelly's voice makes him sound a bit like Steve Kilbey of The Church on some of these tunes but nowhere more obviously than on the chiming "Ice Fishing" with its Byrds-chords and layered vocals.

Somehow Goes Missing, an album that sounds in spots a bit like the polished record Sebadoh could have made had they wanted to, is the surest throwback to an era of earlier power pop blockbusters as much as it's a lo-fi masterpiece. It's that bridging of so many styles that makes what The Cairo Gang and Emmett Kelly have done here so remarkable. Never once sounding forced, or arched, or too self-aware, the 11 tracks on this LP are all self-contained gems. Big swaths of gloriously catchy choruses rub up against polished bits of studio wizardry and the overall effect is as if Todd Rundgren had somehow fronted classic era Let's Active for a spell.

I'm out of ways to describe this sort of thing so I urge you to get on board with The Cairo Gang as soon as you can.

Goes Missing by The Cairo Gang is out now on God? Records via Drag City.

Follow The Cairo Gang on their official Facebook page.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Heads Up About The Sublime Charms Of The New Album From Last Days Of April

There was something sad for me about the wonderful new album from Sweden's Last Days of April. The aura of sadness was the realization that I hadn't heard of this band until very recently. Which means that in addition to Sea of Clouds, out now, there's a whole lot of other stuff to dive into.

You see, Sea of Clouds is so damn good that I feel the need to hear everything this band has done but first let's talk about the new record.

Opener "The Artist" unfurls like the best stuff from Teenage Fanclub as they delved further into the back-pages of Neil Young and The Byrds while "Oh Well" uses an understated melody and a slide guitar to quietly affect a listener.

"The Thunder and the Storm" recalls the best songs from the Pernice Brothers while the title cut on Sea of Clouds is positively one of the most beautiful things I've heard in ages. One thinks of disparate influences like Harry Nilsson and Nick Drake here even as Karl Larsson personalizes those sort of inspirations into something wholly his own.

By the time we get to the end of the record, we've got "Someone for Everyone" with its bright, upbeat melody and the quiet closer of "Get You" with its mandolin and spirited tunefulness.

Sea of Clouds by Last Days of April is one of the gems of this season of music. Charming, understated, wildly catchy, and expertly written and played, this record is as good as the best albums from Teenage Fanclub and the Pernice Brothers. Fans of both of those acts will love this one as much as I did.

You can order Sea of Clouds and read more about Last Days of April on the band's official website. You can also order the record via Tapete Records.

Little Hearts: A Look At This Wonderful Reissue Of The First Able Tasmans Album

It's hard to explain to people now just how radically wonderful the Flying Nun bands sounded in 1987 or so. I mean, here was indie music -- then called "alternative" -- that didn't fit into any clean definition of genre and which was being made with a certain degree of brainy wit. And yet these bands never became too arch or self-aware. And there were dozens of these bands, all operating at their respective peaks for a few years. A glorious time soundtracked by glorious music.

One listen now to "Little Hearts" from the reissue of the debut album from Able Tasmans should convince you of how special this scene was. The cut, the second track on A Cuppa Tea and a Lie Down (1987), sounds like early Talking Heads covering The Monkees and then it morphs into something with a decided chamber pop bent. The enormously catchy ditty segues into the piano miniature of "And Relax" which itself goes into the guitar-rock of "Rainbow", a longer, more expansive jam.

It's that battle between the out there moments on noisier tracks and the reflective moments on others that makes A Cuppa Tea and a Lie Down such an important record. As "And We Swam The Magic Bay" spools out via a lovely piano figure, with violins joining, in you may be surprised again if you haven't heard this record in some time just how special the Able Tasmans were. Poised somewhere between the intellectual/emotional pop of The Chills and the chamber rock that The Verlaines would eventually master, these tunes are sublime constructions full of subtle touches -- the flute in "Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa" -- that make this memorable music.

Speaking of The Chills, Graeme Humphreys of the Able Tasmans seems to have taken some inspiration from Martin Phillipps and his crew on "Sour Queen" as the organ becomes such an integral part of this band's sound on this cut at least. The tune, one of the highlights on A Cuppa Tie and a Lie Down (1987), is a soaring and simultaneously understated gem and the very sort of thing that only Flying Nun bands could do in that era.

If I draw too much attention to the diversity of styles here on this debut I may make it sound as if the band were not quite sure of what style to stick with but that's really not the case at all. Rather, what the Able Tasmans are doing here is refining the Dunedin Sound to suit themselves. Building on the work of the first wave of Flying Nun bands, Able Tasmans were creating something fresh and still familiar here.

And if this reissue wasn't special enough, we get the tracks from 1985's The Tired Sun EP to round things out. Lead cut "Patrick's Mother" nearly snarls in a blast of organ-driven angst. The brief "Rain in Tulsa" shows a certain bit of wit and inventiveness in just 2 minutes.

The swirling organ figures that open "Snow White Chook" give way to the piano bits that sound like classic Squeeze cuts. The tune, supremely catchy, is a sort of crash-course on the appeal of the Able Tasmans. There's more inventiveness here than in just about any other non-Flying Nun band from this era and it makes me regret that I didn't listen to even more of this stuff back in the late 1980s.

This reissue of A Cuppa Tie and a Lie Down is an essential purchase for anyone interested in this scene. I think that one could make a great case that the Able Tasmans never got the attention they deserved on these shores which is sad 'cause there is so much to love here. Fans of Brave Words and Bird Dog are going to find themselves instant fans of this band's stuff too. Released in the same year as those records by The Chills and The Verlaines, A Cuppa Tea and a Lie Down is, in many ways, their equal. Effortlessly blending wildly melodic pop with detours into more straightforward rock numbers, the Able Tasmans mastered what made the music on this label so magical and perfect.

A Cuppa Tie and a Lie Down from Able Tasmans is out now via Flying Nun. You can order the album and get full details on this reissue here.