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OCD EPs : #1 : FATHER SCULPTOR (re-post with fixed links)

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A GUEST POSTING (AND IDEA!!) FROM DAVE GLICKMAN

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The Background…..

And then one day, you just have to have it all…

I don’t know about you, but every once in a while I come across a band where I eventually decide that I have to get my hands on everything they ever recorded. It usually starts innocently enough – one album purchased on iTunes or a couple of songs downloaded from my favorite indie music blog. Perhaps I’ll find a b-side collection on a fan site and pick out a few favorites or come across a video of a particularly stellar radio or television broadcast. And then suddenly, the obsession kicks in. What else in their catalog is still purchasable? Where can I find the best quality rips of those broadcasts? And, by god, why didn’t I download all those b-sides when I had the chance?

Maybe this sounds all too familiar to you or perhaps I’m just sharing my own personal demons. Collecting anything, after all, must be a mild form of psychological illness, albeit a rather benign one. I take solace in the fact that when bit by the bug, I tend not to be a full “completist”, limiting myself to studio tracks, outtakes, alternative versions, unreleased tracks, compilation contributions, tour disks and broadcasts. Knowing that there is a place on the internet where I can get my hands on bootlegs of every Morrissey show is good enough for me; I don’t need to have each and every one in my personal library.

With all this in mind and in the spirit of T(n)VV’s ICAs, I thought I might propose a corollary concept: OCD EP’s are short collections of the best or most interesting obscure, off the beaten track songs that only the most ardent, and dare I say obsessed, fans might be familiar with and have in their libraries. I have in mind a few of these EPs from my own collection, which is where I found the courage to title this piece as number 1 in a series (number 2 is forthcoming, but I make no promises after that). I have no expectations that others will join in as has been the case with the ICAs, but please feel free to contribute your own if so inclined. Guidelines of your own choosing of course, though these were my thoughts as I put together the first one:

• It’s an EP, not an album. So 4-6 tracks max and no hidden tracks.

• No album tracks, a-sides or anything easily purchasable at a digital music store.

• Not so sure about b-sides. I suppose if they are very obscure and hard to find they could be worthy inclusions. But, just for example, The Smith’s “These Things Take Time” would hardly qualify.

• Focus on songs that even the average fan of the band might not be familiar with – unreleased tracks and sessions, outtakes and alternate versions and otherwise obscure or difficult to access songs.

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As I’ve mentioned before, this blog has played a major role in reconnecting me with the indie music scene, filling in the gaps during the years that I was focused on other things and introducing me to new music. So, let’s start with a group that I never would have heard of were it not for JC’s promotion – Father Sculptor. One advantage of choosing a more recent band is that there is only a limited catalog of tracks to find; the counter-balancing downside being the lack of other collectors and established fan sites on which to find them. In this particular case, there isn’t likely much new to discover, as it seems that after just a couple of years, the band disappeared from the scene. I have no background or insight into what happened to them other than noticing that their website and social media presence is no more. Perhaps our host, who seems to have had some relationship with them in the past, can share some additional information?

To my knowledge, during their short lifespan, Father Sculptor released only two EPs – Vi, which collected a series of singles that had previously been made available as free downloads from their site, and Faith & Violence. Stand out tracks for me included Aristide, Frances and Swallowed in Dreams. Beyond the EPs, my library contains a radio edit of one of the Faith & Violence tracks that was posted on this blog a while back and five other songs that I found in various corners of the internet (which may or may not be by the band – more on that later). No tough decisions this time, as these five tracks, listed chronologically, comprise my Father Sculptor OCD EP:

Side One

1. Velvet Fall (2011)

On their website, Father Sculptor had artwork posted for what appeared to be their first single, Velvet Fall/Two of Swords (demo). However, it seemed that the tracks were never made available for download from the site or for purchase anywhere else. My guess is that the single was never released. Searching the web for “father sculptor velvet fall” brought up nothing relevant, however, one day a couple of years back I did find a “Velvet Fall” video on a relatively obscure site with no mention of the band name (I can’t find that video today).

Is it this Father Sculptor debut single? I can’t say for sure, but it certainly sounds like it could be. While not as good as the tracks on Vi, it is certainly listenable.

2. Two of Swords (demo) (2011)

The video for Two of Swords (demo) is quite easy to find and clearly labeled as a Father Sculptor song. In contrast to Velvet Fall, this song is excellent and ranks up there with my other favorite tracks from the band. It would have been interesting to see what would have come of it with a full work up in the studio.

Side Two

3. Faith & Violence – Coming Soon (video backing track) (2013)

Prior to the release of Faith & Violence, a promotional video was posted on the Father Sculptor website. It didn’t include any snippets from the new EP, but was instead backed with this short wordless song. Of course the music may or may not be a Father Sculptor composition, but I’m inclined to believe it is until I find out otherwise.

4. Blackshirt (2013)

Not long after the release of Faith & Violence. A video for Blackshirt was posted on the web. Perhaps this was intended to be the follow-up single to the EP or maybe an early peak at a debut LP. There was no way for me to know as only a couple of months later, traces of the band on the web began to disappear. In any case, it is a quite enjoyable song that would have fit comfortably on the preceding EP.

5. Ray (2014)

Naturally I assumed that there would be no more Father Sculptor after 2013. Yet, a year later another video appeared. Ray is an instrumental that I would have to guess was something they were working on at the time that they disappeared but had yet to add vocals to. I quite like it and fairly recently discovered that it bears some resemblance to Intro by The xx.

Dave G

JC adds…..with apologies to Dave.  I totally messed up on the links when it was originally posted.  The songs are now as they should be instead of the same bit of music bring posted three times.

COMPLEMENTARY BONUS POSTING : FATHER SCULPTOR

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Dave’s OCD EP (see two posts further up the page…above the  Cinerama effort!!!) has clearly prompted this stroll down memory lane.

It began in February 2011 when I went along to a gig at King Tut’s at the suggestion of Drew (Across The Kitchen Table); there was a huge buzz about a band called Spector and we both wanted to see what the fuss was about. To be honest, they were dull and not worth bothering about.

But we were both taken by the appearance of one of the support bands – Father Sculptor – and in the subsequent review of the gig on the old blog I raved about them. To my total surprise, an e-mail appeared in the Inbox a few days later from the band, not only thanking me for the kind words but telling me they were avid readers of The Vinyl Villain and it had meant a lot to them to get a mention.

Thus began regular exchanges of correspondence – I was usually among the first to get a listen to their new material which they would in due course post online at their website, always without fail giving it very positive mentions on the blog. The bands consited of five young men, all studying in Glasgow, although none were actually from the city. In time, they began to get a wider press with positive write-ups in the NME and The Guardian newspaper, as well as a range of web-based music outlets.

The band scrimped and saved towards their ambition of actually making a physical record instead of merely making things available as downloads and I was thrilled, delighted and honoured when they asked if I could promote a show for them in Glasgow for the launch of what would be a self-financed debut EP on 12″ vinyl.

The gig took place in Stereo on Saturday 13 April 2013. There was a more than decent turnout and the boys played a terrific set. I spent some time with them the following morning during which it hit me that they were on the verge of greatness but there were some things that could easily tear them apart – one being they weren’t a completely cohesive unit and so there were bound to be fall-outs, especially given how young and relatively inexperienced they were; secondly they would soon be facing up to a situation where they were no longer students and the pressure would be on some if not all of them to find employment which would bring its own pressures to bear.

As it turned out, their wasn’t much more after the release of the EP, with Dave’s post earlier pulling the various threads together. There’s many a band out there like Father Sculptor who, having shown great early potential and in their case getting some amazing stuff out there via the internet and on vinyl, don’t get what they fully deserve. I do miss them.

Here’s some of the stuff that came out between 2011 and 2013:-

mp3 : Father Sculptor – Artiside
mp3 : Father Sculptor – Ember
mp3 : Father Sculptor – Blue
mp3 : Father Sculptor – Rhein
mp3 : Father Sculptor – Frances
mp3 : Father Sculptor – Dysmirror
mp3 : Father Sculptor – Lowlands (radio edit)
mp3 : Father Sculptor – The Swim
mp3 : Father Sculptor – Sault

Enjoy