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




RSD and a royal RIP

REWIND APRIL: store bores, faith no mores and Prince

Record Store Day came and went, as it does at this time of year. Did you go?

Me too. Did you buy?

Me too. Did you buy any specials?

Nope. Had a half-hearted peep over the shoulders of the eager while quickly tuning out (you’ll see why) of a conversational pissing contest next to the RSD vinyl display (where else?) about the bassist in (wait for it) Hot Chip (told you). Do they have a bassist? Maybe it was someone else in Hot Chip. Or a different band that also has a bassist. Either way, big points were being scored in this rally of Geek Pingpong in Pseud’s Corner, but over in the Business As Motherfucking Usual section – used metal, since you ask – there were a brace of bargainous pickings from the scrap yard: Soilent Green and End of Level Boss. Top stuff, weighty. Nothing to do with the day itself but still, Truck Store had a buzz and a body count and that’s what matters.

Where do you stand on Mike Patton? Depends how annoying you think he is, I guess – windpipe? Testicular area? – but in last month’s Rewind we pointed to the Many Many Bands of Mike Patton on ye ole digital wireless. Drawling John Doran of Quietus fame was Maconie’s guide through some of Patton’s adventures and Mr Bungle, Fantomas, Dillinger Escape Plan and Faith No More themselves got their magnificent selves duly played, but the bestestweirdestexcitingest track of the show – and this is coz I’ve never heard it – was from Patton’s 1997 Pranzo Oltranzista album. With John Zorn and Marc Ribot on there, you know it’s gonna be avant, and with Patton free of band constraints, you know it’s gonna be based on Futurist Cookbook by Filippo Marinnetti. Don’t you? Er, no. Me neither.

Couldn’t help but pick up on a sniffy attitude towards Faith No More from Doran though, and it’s a sniffy that Maconie seems to share. ‘Bro-style rapping’? Records that were ‘overproduced for the day and sound terrible now’??? Surely that puts way too much weight on That Track and views the whole Patton era through an Epic filter, which is precisely how FNM fans don’t see it… well, not me anyway. Epic was always the anomaly. Get some Caffeine.

But at least Patton and co are still with us, which is more than we can now say about the sudden lonely passing of pop’s last great muso megastar, Prince. I’m not a fan, but I wish I was – and by that, I mean I never got round to cherry-picking the vast Prince vaults for the guitarfunkenrock end of his infinite jams, so I guess the discovery starts now. 3121 – the sole Prince album in the collection so far – has been a worthy replay of late; beyond the too-lightweight tracks you get multi-layered gems like 3121‘s slinky throb, Black Sweat‘s falsetto funk-industrial, and a heavy dancefloor strut n’ tease by way of Love.

While this space is not going to be an ongoing tribute to musicians who pass, we have to acknowledge that 2016 has been a shocker for rock departures. Lemmy left us last year, but only just last year, and so we sign off this month with three shades of greatness in one snap:

 lemmy bowie prince

’til next time!

BORIS / CHOUKOKU NO NIWA – More Echoes, Touching Air Landscape

One of the bestest buzzes when you’re raiding the racks of your favourite/local record shop is when you see something you didn’t know existed by one of your fave bands.

Cue More Echoes Touching Sir Landscape, spotted and then seized from the pre-loved (used) section in Oxford’s Truck Store.

Boris? THE Boris? Slug metal, psych drone, garage fuzz overlords from Japan?

Oh yeah. It’s them alright. The initial 1999 release date clues us in as to how they’re gonna reveal themselves on this split CD – I predict sloth and goo – and sure enough, Kanau Part I is 14 minutes of droning thrum that’s not so much a build up as a slow down: an adjuster. Part I slows the world so your clock runs to Boris time.

When Part II begins, it’s heavy as only Boris can be. Ludicrous. When a snaking colossus of a bass line announces the band’s arrival proper, they’ve got you – again. Coz when you’re up against such sheer fucking ENORMITY, what can you do but grin and give in?

The rest of Part II is Atsuo-dominated as his speed bash leaves all doom ‘n chug way back, pulling us fast through spacegun-zap psychedelia and classic riffage. Kanau might not be Feedbacker singular or Sun Baked Snow Cave extreme – it’s too up, too rock-out for that – but it IS Boris, breaking out of the pure-slow-heavy and well worth adding to your stash.

But while Boris are the big name draw here, Choukoku no Niwa are the big find.


Exactly. I have no idea and, tempting though it is to give in to the google god and revel in right-now certainty instead of savouring a little mystery, that’s the way it’ll stay. At least til we’re done here*.

So what do we get? 24 minutes of fluid long-form rock, that’s what. Tom toms and congas, rolling rhythms and a circular bass-riff – like Primal Scream’s Exterminator but with more sway, less menace – bring a thickened-up Can to mind while on-off guitars flow, moan and wail but never shriek. There’s no Acid Mothers frazzle or Mainliner blowout here. Groove – immersive and endless – is king.


BORIS/CHOUKOKU NO NIWA – More Echoes, Touching Air Landscape

Inoxia Records, 1999 (reissued 2006)

Choukoku no Niwa – Fukurou (24.07)

Boris – Kanau Part I and Part II (26.08)


*I looked. Briefly. But nothing useful came up …