Thursday, March 23, 2006


Gang Of Four, ESG, James Chance and The Contortions, Liquid Liquid, Wire, PiL. Look at the typical indie rock DJ's record bag (or CD case) and you'll find it stocked with at least a few key tracks from these bands. After twenty years, '80s post-punk in all it's variations made a huge comeback, and music fans were scouring used bins (and P2P directories) to track down the latest cool old shit.

While there aren't many stones left unturned, AYF? has a couple old tricks you might not have caught onto yet.


Smiling to myself at the Love Is All show last night, it struck me that there were some real similarities between what they're doing now, and what Pylon did back in 1980. Coming off like a mix of ESG and Gang Of Four, Pylon bring the quirky guitar hooks and the pop bass-lines. Add predominantly throw-away lyrical interjections ("2-4-6-8 why do we Gyrate!?") and the solid kick/snare(open hi-hat) drum patterns, and you have a nice mix for the dancefloor, with just enough left over to keep them interesting in your bedroom.

R.E.M. are often mentioned as being heavily influenced by Pylon.

Pylon - Gyrate
Pylon - Gravity
Pylon - Working Is No Problem


The Woodentops almost didn't make today's post because - for the most part - they produced some marginal music and they're definitely not seminal. Worse than their original tracks in some cases, were the myriad (Balearic) remixes which began to crop up towards the end of their career. Sure, they were championed by the legendary DJ Kid Batchelor, but time has not been kind to songs like "Tainted World" and "Why Why Why." At their best, however, they have a unique and up-beat pop demeanor, exploring plenty of obscure instrumentation, and benefiting from excellent production values.

This is one of those bands who were big in Japan. Unfortunately, that didn't pay the bills.

The Woodentops - Get It On
The Woodentops - Special Friend


Julian Cope was the primary creative behind The Teardrop Explodes. Of his work, The Teardrop's Kilimanjaro stands above all else as a pop masterpiece (and it's one of my top albums of all time). From "Ha Ha I'm Drowning" on, there is not a sour note -- and indeed, the band managed to crack the UK top 10 with this one ("Reward" being a popular favorite). To me, the standout is "Treason," a majestic, hook-driven tune that hasn't lost a thing over the years.

Stories of Cope chasing band members across the English countryside with a shotgun only make the whole thing that much more interesting.

The Teardrop Explodes - Ha Ha I'm Drowning
The Teardrop Explodes - Treason
The Teardrop Explodes - Reward


The AYF? update this weekend will include new exclusive tracks from The Weather.