C86 originals The Wolfhounds were more gritty and intense than the fey, shambling reputation the influential cassette has now, as evidenced on their 1987 debut LP ‘Unseen Ripples From A Pebble’. Reissued and remastered featuring 15 bonus tracks and all of their recorded output for the Pink Label, this album has not been available on CD until now. Also included is a 7” version of single ‘Me’ that was originally released on Idea Records.
Double LP £21.99 OPT4-012LP
Remastered 2LP on Optic Nerve inc. ORIGINAL ALBUM & 15 BONUS TRACKS FROM THE ERA!!.
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CD £12.99 OPT4-012
Remastered CD on Optic Nerve.
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It's nice that after a morning of writing about music purely for contractual reasons (and to receive a much needed wage), I have stumbled across a record that I’d go out and buy. I’ve long been a fan of this gruff barky C86 outfit and I’m ashamed but excited to learn that I’ve never heard this, their debut record, which has now been re-issued on double vinyl with a bonus album of 15 songs.
It’s very typical of its era with spindly, jangly guitars and toytown drums, but singer Dave Callaghan was always more than some bowl-cutted wimpy kid. His voice, particularly in his later Moonshake phase, has all the subtlety of an angry commuter barking at fellow passengers on a late night tube train -- it's an odd combination, when matched with the jingle jangle music. It did, however, prevent the band from becoming lost in the sea of tweeness that swept the underground music scene in the mid '80s. Songs like ‘Rain Stopped Play’ will appeal to fans of anyone from McCarthy to The Bodines to Feverfew to... almost anyone from that era. The melody wanders this way and that, never really going where you might expect it to.
It might be nostalgia breaking through my tough facade, but I find this music absolutely perfect. Not everything’s great for sure (‘Sandy’ for example hasn’t dated well) and this is the band in its infancy. Later albums ‘Bright and Guilty’ and the Sonic Youth-y ‘Attitude’ had better songs and a tougher demeanour, but this is a fabulous time capsule of bright, shiny and slightly askew indie pop. In fact, the real magic happens on the bonus stuff especially when they start to get weird on 'Another Hazy Day on the Lazy "A"' which is where C86 finally met Beefheart. Brilliant.
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