Friday, May 18, 2007

Sample These Wares

Keeping in pace with the South By Southwest theme that has been set, even though the event itself is worth much revulsion, here is a sampler that was released by The Enclave record label in 1997. Looking at the credits, one can see that there are quite a few bands on this label (some recognizable, others more obscure) but only two of these bands actually performed during SXSW the week of the famed event- Fluffy and Sloan. The record label had one more showcase in 1998 and then went belly up, leaving many of the bands on their label to fend for themselves.

A little about the bands:

World Party: This was the first release that Karl Wallinger had released in the previous five years. A solo project that consisted of Wallinger's talented performance of every instrument on the album, resulted in the release of the Private Revolution album. The song Ship Of Fools became a big hit for Wallinger with its musical hearkening back to a Beatlesque era.

Fluffy: An all-girl outfit, Fluffy played the very first Sex Pistols reunion gig in Finsbury Park. Their first single release "Hypersonic" was celebrated in the form of a record release put together by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. Their first album Black Eye was produced by Bill Price, who recorded the Sex Pistols' Never Mind The Bollocks. Their sound is rough enough but they draw a lot of criticism for writing lyrics for simpletons. Still, they seemed like nice enough gals and didn't take banter with the audience they attracted too seriously, so they seemed on-the-level and not big-headed by any means.

Sloan: This Canadian band is still together and plays regular gigs in the great white north. Some of their tracks will remind you of pop hits from the '70s. They will grow on you the more you listen to them. They describe themselves as "Money-city maniacs who have a soft spot for sweet sugar tunes."

September 67: This duet also played in Lillith Fair the same year this sampler came out. Their album Lucky Shoe was backed by all kinds of musicians such as Bryan Harvey, Bob Rupe, David Lowery and David Immergluck. They also recorded a track with Dave Matthews backing them. If you give a fuck about crap like that, then you'll llke these tracks.

Drain S.T.H.: S.T.H. stands for Stockholm and this band is from Sweden. You can hear the obvious Alice In Chains influence in their music. Whatever. The coolest thing about these gals is that they wrote a song with Tony Iommi called Black. Although, after listening to Seventh Star a time or two, maybe that's nothing to brag about.

Belle & Sebastian: Hipsters should appreciate the inclusion of Belle & Sebastian on this compilation. Formed in Glasgow, Scotland just a year before this collection was put together, their Tigermilk album was so successful that they were signed by Jeepster Records and the album If You're Feeling Sinister was recorded just three months later. These two tracks were written for the upcoming album.

Scratching Post: Apparently, Virgin signed this Canadian group after The Enclave went bankrupt and re-produced the album. Without having heard it, it's difficult to do a comparison contrast. These two tunes are catchy enough; if you're into female vocalists with sultry voices and buzz guitars backing them, Scratching Post is for you.

Fleshpaint: Another Canadian band hailing from Ottawa. They describe themselves as "industrial pop." It's kind of dumb; kind of like what would happen if Britney Spears decided she wanted to write the lyrics and music to a Trent Reznor album and he actually recorded it. If this amuses you, then download the album just so you can hear what this vain attempt to describe their sound is trying to convey. The best thing about the band is their name. They apparently did a video called Cigarette Religion. If only their music was as cool as their titles...

Fluid Ounces: These guys seem to be good musicians but they suffer from what most musicians have when they want to make it big by getting involved with shitty events such as SXSW. However, they're from Tennessee so maybe that explains a little bit of something. Give them a listen and make up your own mind. If you're into piano rock, then have at it!

And, without further ado, here's the album!

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