051219-cdrepair

So the reason why the last weeks CD would not rip was not because of the CD. It is because the CD player in my machine is broken. It won’t even open now. I really think that shoving as many paper clips into as I could to stop ‘Spaceman’ by Babylon Zoo being played ever again – wasn’t a good idea.

So I am parking the Box thing, at least until I can get a portable CD drive – there are still 25 or so CDs in that box and no one wants to miss out on some more obscure indie acts from the mid 90s. Although this morning I picked out the genuinely fantastic ‘Revolution on Ice’ by seminal American indie rock band Gumball – and it’s a shame that I can’t post some of that. Honestly download ‘With a Little Rain’ from it – marvellous track.

A few weeks back JC started the Cult Classics series, of which I posted the tremendous Whipping Boy song ‘We Don’t Need Nobody Else’ – as part of that I went through my entire Ipod collection and set aside 30 or so songs which I consider a cult classic, a lost classic, or just a record that should have done better than it did (to be honest the list started with 284 and I whittled it down). So until the CD player is replaced I’ll go through these perhaps three at a time.

Firstly, I’d like to bring your attention (although I think you will already know and love it) to ‘The Rat’ by The Walkmen. If you Google (or use any other less evil search engine) The Walkmen you will almost certainly be met with the ‘The Rat’. It is by far their best and most well-known song, everyone loves it, yet for some reason it sold about twelve copies in the UK. For those in the dark about The Walkmen – they formed from the ashes of Jonathan Fire*Eater and the slightly less well-known band The Recoys in 2000. ‘The Rat’ featured on the second album ‘Bows + Arrows’and it peaked at Number 45 in the UK Singles Chart. That there were 44 records that sold more copies that week amazes me. There has not even been 44 better records made than this single. Everyone should own this.

mp3 : The Walkmen – The Rat

Sadly In 2013 the band announced that they were going on an ‘Extreme Hiatus’, their last two albums ‘Lisbon’ and ‘Heaven’ come highly recommended especially ‘Lisbon’.

OK next up – A few years back if you asked any hack or ne’er do well charmless indie Londonite what was the most seminal gig that ‘they have ever been to’ (read, didn’t really attend, but read about) they would have said Oasis at the Water Rats in 1993. Fast forward a few years, and ask the same question and they will give you this answer ‘The Cooper Temple Clause at the Purple Turtle, Reading 2000’.

In 2001 The Cooper Temple Clause released what for many should have been their breakthrough song ‘Let’s Kill Music’. It came with a slick brilliant video (the same theme/actors running across all of the videos for their debut album), it had radio play, it had press backing, yet it stalled at Number 41. It is an incredible song, it’s as infectious as bird flu, and even now playing makes me want to throw myself around the lounge. I saw the CTC at The Cavern Club, Exeter (capacity 200, in attendance roughly 65 people). I couldn’t hear for three days after, one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to.

mp3 : The Cooper Temple Clause – Let’s Kill Music

Finally, we come to a band that I to this day, wonder how they never become as big as some of their contemporaries, like, say Elbow, for instance. Ladies and Gents (gents mainly I think, but moving on…) I give you Puressence. A band for whom the phrase ‘Why aren’t you massive’ was invented for.

People – Puressence had something. Something very special. They had a sound that so stunning that at times it felt like nothing on earth. In their singer James Mudriczki they had a truly incredible voice that made you stop and wait until they hairs on the back of your neck had settled down again. Their eponymous debut album released in 1996 sounded like nothing else around at the time. It is truly a lost classic, buy it, download it illegally if you have to, just listen to it. You certainly won’t regret it. I listened to it yesterday on the way to work, and fell for this band all over again.

mp3 : Puressence – I Suppose

The lead single ‘I Suppose’ peaked at Number 190. I’ll repeat that Number 190. Criminally neglected. Puressence struggled on for a few more albums, and eventually split for ever last year and yet Mumford and Sons are still allowed to walk the streets without being pelted with rotting fruit.

Until next time

S-WC