RSD Q: record store daze


New sounds

Seeing OHHMS in Oxford was a shorter and more pumped gig than their Bloom and Cold EPs indicated. A Terrorizer interview explains the former – they don’t do long sets, they don’t think doom should bore the audience – and debut album The Fool, just released on Holy Roar Records, explains the latter ‘coz its six-track 60-minute offering is anything but mono-paced yawn-outs. Instead, it fires off some higher-plane Neurosis rage BUT, crucially, does it less sombrely… OHHMS got more r.o.k., more of that mid-era Pelican thickness going on, maybe even a touch of long-lost Acrimony. Much promise in these long Fool forms. Good ohhmens.

RSD 10

Record Store Day came and went, fast as a stylus slide down a run-out groove. Oxford’s Truck Store gave advance notice of a queuing system for the RSD section of the shop – monitored, controlled, keeping it fair, you get the idea. Nothing objectionable in that, no doubt there are many other shops that have to do the same on Vinyl Vulture Day, but when you actually roll up late morning, long after the whoreds, and find a queuing system in place… it sucks fat logs. IT’S HALF PAST ELEVEN ffs, no buzz out here no more. The over-excitables lining up round dawn’s crack to score some designer V have long gone, replaced by the second/third/fourth wave of music punters and/or dullard moany bastards (me, it seems) who want to buy something, RSD or not, on this day in this shop to do a timely little summat for the deeper cause – independent music retail.

And we’re queuing. To get into a shop that is, literally, half empty. Right… F-RSD for now, let’s just hit the Regular Joe section and yes, very happy to see the new OHHMS CD in the racks. Nice one #1. Nice one #2 is when the queue system dissolves, some sort of record shop normality returns  access for all  and we get to have an unscripted, unmonitored free-form browse. 

The best bit isn’t the limiteds and the special eds, though.

RSD weekend bargain

RSD bargain: very rare

It’s the unexpected box of reductions on regular records (cheers Truck) and before I could stop it, SunnO)))’s Kannon – a long-time list dweller – slow-burned my eyes with a bargain £12 tag: an Official Find, a pound per inch. THIS is what RSD needs to do more of: give every physical-format music fan a reason to visit the shop and pick something up. Right now, CD buyers get shit-jack from the whole shebang, yet probably do more than anyone to keep these shops alive.

So, it was a day of two sides. Side A – the RSD edit – was forgettable and a bit shit. Side B – the deconstruction mix – was a gem. More Bs, please. How was your day?


Iggy completed his seventh decade. Prince turned 57 and one year. Plenty of options for celebrating their lives and music, but for a radio programme with a deep purple (not that one) twist, Bobby Friction’s tribute on 6Music is a pretty good shot at it. And if, by some freak time management occurrence, you’ve only got four and a half minutes to give then give ’em to the very last track – Whole Lotta Love, live, Prince Rogers Nelson style. Six string s-excess, and no, of course it ain’t faithful.

’til next time!

amplifier wordsmith: the monthly rewind

amplifier wordsmith: the monthly rewind





In my Boris write-up the other day I made reference to the music fan’s buzz of stumbling across an unknown album – in other words, a find.

Well, this week I was reminded of a different but no less satisfying buzz that shocks us every now and again – unexpected uber-heaviness on the radio, like when (for those who were there) Harvester of Sorrow got an airing in the Top 40 and it gave you a four-day high because one of YOUR BANDS had broken into the charts for the first time ever.

This week’s radio buzz was a bit like that.

Stuart Maconie’s Freakzone on BBC 6Music is my must-listen radio programme, and which molten heaviness descends from our beloved DAB on Sunday evening?

I, the Witchfinder, by Electric Wizard.

WOAAARRRRRRR! Maconie’s only got Dopethrone – yes, bloody DOPETHRONE – as his featured album this week (soon to be last week coz there are only a few hours left to listen again on t’iplayer).

Now I’m taking this as a sign, an omen, a Dorset-sized kick up the you-know to finally get this little feature – called TAPED – off the notepad and into the blog. It might end up being unsustainable, or a fistful of cack, or both and/or worse, but we’ll get it started anyway.

TAPED. What is it?

TAPED is stuff from the radio that’s caught my ear, simple as that. In other words, the things you’d tape if you were still taping* (now is the time to check the thing of beauty splashed across the top of this page).

As I said, Freakzone is my source for getting turned on to new stuff. Not necessarily new by release date, but new to the ears. It’s not a rock show – far from it. It’s anything outside the mainstream … obscure prog, 70s fusion, avant rock, field recordings, free jazz, anything really, but it’s not Wire obscure either. The old stuff is as bold as the new so, in the spirit of discovery and general music fan-dom, why not a share a few new names and bits of music news?

That’s what TAPED will attempt. Next time we’ll get straight into the music but now, here are the Feb 2nd Freakzone highlights:

PORT SULPHUR – The Faith Healer, featuring Jock Scot. Sleazy industrial disco with guitars.

MUMPBEAK – Forlock. Track of the week! Crimson-sinister prog with Slint air of well-heavy dread. Who Mumpbeak? Dunno, but Bill Laswell and Tony Levin are among ‘em.

ALARM WILL SOUND – Cliffs. Non-electronic arrangement of Aphex’s opening drift on  Selected Ambient Works Volume II.

And of course, ELECTRIC WIZARD’S DOPETHRONE, an unusually metal choice to even get played on this show but to be elevated to the status of featured album???? No complaints here though.

*I am still taping. A bit.