Buy it from Amazon...
In the heady year of 1980, when I was ten, Kevin Armstrong (guitar, vox), Kim Barti (drums), and Matthew Seligman (bass) recorded and released a hidden classic of British post-punk, the album Drip Dry Zone. The trio were later joined by Thomas Dolby on synths for a subsequent release called New Opium, before Dolby went solo, Armstrong decided to become a session musician rather than a front man, and Seligman continued with the Soft Boys and then also turned to session work.
I know it is a cliché to say that bands “should have gained more recognition” when all you really mean is that you like them. So, to cut to the chase, I really like this band. They have hints of XTC, the Clash, the Soft Boys, the Jam, and the Police, but with a great deal of their own charm. The bass playing is wonderful and the guitar is layered and intricate, the songs well written, the singing grainy and emotive and very English. All in all, the sound is a winner.
Local Heroes SW9 were a British post-punk band not afraid of being clever, and this may have cost them the exposure that many lesser and more derivative acts attracted. But it’s not too late. Check out these two tracks, and if you want to buy the album (really, it’s all good), click the cover to go to Amazon, or start by reading this thread at Charlie Gillett’s website. It tells the story of how the digital re-release of the two albums was inspired, and contains posts from Armstrong himself on its creation.
Mp3 link: Passenger Dreams.
Do you remember falling asleep in the back of a car, the sunlight flicking through your eyelids when the car went past trees, the radio on just above the hum of the engine, the driver silent? Best thing.
To me it seemed a good thing to write a song about, too. It’s another song built around a groovy bass riff.
This mp3 is a recent mix down of the track, which is actually about three years old – the vocals were one of the first things Lee and I did together. It is supposed to be bassy and moody, but not quite so much as this mp3 would lead you to believe, as some of the definition has gone from the instruments in the rip process.
There’s lot of weird stuff hidden in the deep background, as I wanted to give it a dreamy, subconscious feel. In particular I have inserted at various points an mp3 of a famous blooper from U.S. AM Radio stalwart Casey Kasem, in which he gets angry about being set up to give a dedication about someone’s dog dying (a little dog called Snuckles) right after having come out of a happy ‘up-tempo ‘number. Not realizing the mike is still on, Kasem totally loses his shit and berates the studio tech guys with all sorts of demands (and foul language).
It’s pretty good to hear, especially for those of us who grew up with his voice representing a kind of smug and distinctly American self-control.
Something we can all understand...
Seeing as it’s mixed so quietly in the song (it is in there, believe me…) you might want to listen to the mp3 on its own. It is here.
Keep your feet on the ground, Casey.