Here is a rarity from the mid 70's featuring a bunch of names who went on to do other stuff namely Bruce Joyner (The Unknowns), Don Fleming (Gumball, Sonic Youth producer) and Mark Neill (Black Keys producer). Its a fully authorized re-issue of a privately pressed album and includes downloads of demos and their only live performance.
Initially an art-punk aberration only heard by in-the-know freaks around at the time, the albums blend of Talking Heads/Roxy Music/Pere Ubu style 70's is sure to find a wider audience, the label Anthology being part of the Mexican Summer axis of labels.
Vinyl LP £14.99 ARC0041
Reissue LP on Anthology Recordings.
- Includes download code
CD £11.49 ARC0042
CD on Anthology Recordings.
Now this was met with confusion and negativity in the office but I immediately loved it! The Stroke Band's only album stems from the year of 1978 and is a ragged, shambling, spindly art-rock/eccentric folk-pop gem that could only be from the fertile CBGB's era. The legendary Don Fleming is heavily involved as is a guy who produced The Black Keys of late and also another fella called Bruce Joyner.
Rolling around giddily in the sun-dabbled grass in its own private world, this music is not quite of this world. Talking Heads and Pere Ubu have been bandied about as contemporaries but there's an organic folk-y undercurrent to some tracks that is quite at odds with the couple of lairier post-Velvets pieces.
Some crazy dippy synthesizer work drunkenly weaves it's way through many songs adding an adorable child-like quality missing from so much modern music. It's very of its time is 'Green & Yellow' but in that cherishable "unearthed gem" fashion rather than being annoyingly dated. It's certainly a fairly casual and lo-fi recording for its era with noticeable tape drop outs and subtle wow and flutter. There's bags of neo-psychedelic weirdness ala Red Crayola and Gong but being a heartily eclectic and original mess of an album these references are loose as they always should be.
If you are in thrall to the more outre aspects of American new-wave and ramshackle psychedelic pop then this delightfully casual quirk-out of a record will satisfy your restless soul. There's some truly lovely songs scattered about here, waiting eagerly to be rescued and petted like the slightly-run-over affectionate stray cats that they are.
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