Messthetics VINYL! (Just another petroleum-based life-form):

Steve Treatment 'All Dressed For Tomorrow' LP
ST LP
(Messthetics #1201/Munster 352): the LONG-overdue first LP from Steve Treatment: 16 tracks, all completely re-mastered. Glorious "raw, unkempt, experimental glam rock magic", featuring his three singles/EPs from 1978-79, three additional studio tracks from 1979 recorded for his abandoned LP, plus a previously unheard 1977 take on the theme from 'Fireball XL5'.

Steve Treatment and Nikki Sudden met in 1976 and spent the greater part of 1977-78 hanging around together at Marc Bolan's headquarters in New Bond Street, seeing bands, and dressing up and busking with 'Christeen' Isherwood at the Gloucester Road tube station, Leicester Square, Covent Garden, and the Park Lane Hilton, before Steve recorded his first EP, backed by the Swell Maps - on their Rather label.

ST insertThe LP insert comes with liner notes (9000+ words) drawn from Steve's diaries, fresh recollections from Christine Isherwood and Nick Welsh [later Selecter, Bad Manners], gleanings from Nikki's memoirs, plus dozens of never-before-seen color photos, photo-booth strips, and other artifacts to accompany Steve's colorful interactions with Marc Bolan, the 'Maps, the Moors Murderers, Derek Jarman, Captain Sensible, assorted Blitz Kids, and many others. Essential DIY. "All my songs are 'A' sides." -S.T.

Steve's LP (and the Psykik Volts 45) kick off Messthetics' long-planned partnership with Munster Records, with muchmuch more vinyl to come!

 

ST-LP+insertPsykik Volts - Totally Useless / Horror Stories #5 single:
(Messthetics #703/Munster 7263): beautiful 7" reproduction of the Psykik Volts' 1979 D.I.Y./horrorglam classic - their only release, originally pressed on the Ellie Jay label-of-convenience. Comes with the original sleeve-art and cleaner (though still original) sound.

(Damaged Goods reissued the 'Volts on picture disk and CD a few years back, but remixed it from the original Psykik Volts tapes: boosting the drums, adding some guitar, compressing the sound for CD audio, etc., etc. Only Munster+Messthetics gives you the full original scuzz - minus a little pressing-noise and tape-hiss.)

 

Selfish Works 7inBing Selfish - Selfish Works 5-song 7" EP:
(Messthetics #702): Limited edition of 465 reissue of the original 12" from 1983: 11+ minutes of further DIY/artpop adventures from the post-Homosexuals / This Heat / Rock in Opposition squats (on holiday in Spain).

Sometime in 1982 Bing Selfish, Amos a/k/a Jim Whelton, Chris Gray, Rob 'Murphy' Storey, Joe Torres (a/k/a Victor Lounge of Milk From Cheltenham), Rodrigo Lodwick (who'd played in Rob and Bing's original 1977/78 "punk" group, The Good For Nothings), Rita Chuli (who married Lepke Buchwalter and had a cassette on her own), Gabriel (MfC sax), and Enric Villalba (better known as Victor Nubla of Micromassa) gathered in Barcelona to record an Amos LP for Jim's It's War Boys label, but the only release to emerge from those sessions turned out to be "Selfish Works" - five Bing Selfish-led tracks.

The original 12" came out in 1983 but was barely distributed, and - even worse - made no mention at all of the all-star cast. Nobody knew. So here it is again, on Messthetics 7", with lovingly-restored audio, liner-notes, sleeves featuring five of Bing's drawings (in a dozen or more colors), all in a numbered edition of 465.

YouTube videos for 'The Crush' and 'Rekjavic' show original 12 artwork and representative samples of the many 7" variations.
*125 disks from the original 1982 pressing remained (ludicrously!!) unsold until 2011, when Messthetics silk-screened jackets from the original design[s] and added proper personnel listings: (on sale here).

Hot Club 7in12 Minutes At The Hot Club Murphy 6-song 7" EP:
(Messthetics #701) Limited reissue of a Rosetta Stone rarity from 1982: adventurous, subtly-hued pop art from an all-star line-up of post-Homosexuals / This Heat / Rock in Opposition squat savants, but the full story is far richer - and more complicated - than even that might suggest!

Rob Storey is the one constant in 30-plus years of Murphy variations: Federation Murphy, Orchestre Murphy, The Murphy Love Experience, Murphy Patrol, Murphy Working Stiffs, Laboratoires Murphy, etc. Here is his (brief) account [the musicians performing on this EP appear in boldface] "We had made a start as the Good For Nothings in about '77/78 and played sort of punk rock music with a line-up of Catherine O'Sullivan, Bing Selfish, Rodrigo Lodwick, Seamus Luttman-Johnson, and Robert Storey. We soon got tired of the straitjacket of the 'punk' sound and started trying other things, 'fake jazz', more theatrical elements, improvisation and performance deconstruction - which resulted in some extremely antagonistic audience reactions...

"Bing was a semi-detached member of the Murphies anyway; there was Chris Gray, Jim Whelton, and Ted Barrow, who had all been associated with the Homosexuals; Lepke Buchwalter, David Doyle and Joe Torres (who were Milk from Cheltenham); Janey Haggar (a/k/a Nancy Sesay), and Mick Hobbs (The Work)... It was a loose arrangement of players by the time we made 12 minutes at the Hot Club Murphy."

ST-LP+insertRob Storey's Noise Method label had at least six cassette releases in addition to the Murphy Federation single [NM1], the Hot Club Murphy 12" [NM6, 1982] and Selfish Works [NM8, though it's officially on El Frenzy], and there'd also been several junkets to Barcelona that resulted in the Domestic Sampler - UMYU compilation [1981] and Bing's "Selfish Works". In addition to the Hot Club tracks that Chris Gray recorded at Surrey Sound, others were taped at This Heat's legendary Cold Storage studio in Brixton with Pete Bullen. Mick Hobbs left The Work (to be replaced by Jim Welton/Amos) and went on to Officer!; Catherine O'Sullivan went on to Sally Patience (who were named for a Murphies song). Much of the Hot Club Murphy's long obscurity can be blamed on the absence of any personnel credits on the original 12"s.

2012: Messthetics and Stewart Anderson's [Boyracer+++] Milk and Alcohol label reissued 12 Minutes at the Hot Club Murphy in its entirety as a 7" EP, fully re-mastered. The silkscreened sleeve uses the original front artwork, although the originals themselves had many variations with different inks, cover stocks, and design-variations, as the original screens and LetraSetting for the 12" wore out and were patched or replaced "on the fly".

YouTube videos are online for 'Hiding in the Forest' and 'The Encampment show various original 12"s and representative Messthetics artwork in assorted colors of ink/paint and paper. Now in a numbered second edition of 300.


Messthetics CDs - (some now available as 320KBps downloads):

Messthetics #108 (South Coast vol.1) Bournemouth-to-Brighton, 1978-1981
Throughout the age of Punk and postpunk the English music press, the major labels, and the established indies ignored the South Coast with surpassing thoroughness. Their neglect blurred lines between potential chart acts, Rough Trade prospects, and deliberate D.I.Y., so that the South Coast scenes (though still insular) remained highly varied, while "D.I.Y." became less a choice than a necessity. Except for a handful of Mods, hardly anyone put out records on their own, so the best documents of South Coast postpunk were a handful of excellent local compilations - and a raft of barely-circulated tapes - that account for a majority of the tracks here. Messthetics purists may note with alarm that almost every band on #108 had a proper drum-kit (sacrilege!) and also performed regularly in public. Still, there are Messthetics sounds of all species on #108 - our most generous selection yet:
24 songs on the CD plus 10 bonus MP3s and a video: 110 minutes of music;
28-page booklet, extensively documented with histories, photos and artifacts.

Tracks from vinyl by The Chimes, Bloated Toads, Objeks, Greeting no. 4, Renaldo and The Loaf, Vitamins, Thought Police, Indifferent Dance Centre, Attic, Almost Cruelty, The Legendary Tenfoots, Pink Flamingos, and Mike Malignant and the Parasites. Unreleased and demo material from The Chefs, Poison Girls, Again Again, Lillettes, April & the Fools, Joe Dash, Relatives, Right Profile, 3D, Forward Edge, Intestines, Catholic Girls, The Passengers, Chimes, Butcher, and Venus in Furs - and an inspired D.I.Y. video from Attic.

Listen now!
The Chimes - 'Through To You'
Again Again - 'Wrong Again' [unreleased]
Lillettes - 'Air Conditioning'
Indifferent Dance Centre - 'Flight + Pursuit'
Objeks - 'Negative Conversation'
Poison Girls - 'Cat's Eye''
3D - 'Emotion'

Messthetics #107 (London volume 3)1978-1981
Messthetics returns to London - mostly to a handful of Tube-stops along the Central and Northern Lines, including a special 7-band, 6-page feature on the legendary Dining Out label [Kentish Town stop on the Northern Line]. The usual quota of rough-edged new wave wonders, scrappy D.I.Y.-punk, ear-boggling home experiments, and accidental pop from fifth-form teens, art-school grads and committed hippies. Some things got recorded in actual studios, others on stand-alone cassette-decks placed just so on the squat- or church-hall floor.
Bands feature ex-members of the Spitfire Boys, Tax Exiles and Flying Lizards; others went on to Weekend, Alien Sex Fiend, A Certain Ratio, 400 Blows, Alabama 3, Celestial, Afro Celt Sound System, Fraff, Late Night Poker, and ...and the Native Hipsters. Plus 5 bands that got their start at Raynes Park High School for Boys, Morden.

Messthetics #107 features obscure vinyl sides from Disco Zombies, Demon Preacher, Jelly Babies, Six Minute War, Stepping Talk, Occult Chemistry, The Patterns, 49 Americans, Avocados, Methodishca Tune, Jangletties, Stolen Power, Flags, The Steppes, The Insex, The Milkmen, Design for Living, Twilight Zoners, and Club Tango. Unreleased material from Disco Zombies, Buddy Hernia & the Rickets, Twilight Zoners, Milkmen, and the White Brothers.

23 songs on the CD plus 7 bonus MP3 tracks: 90+ minutes of music.
24-page booklet, extensively documented with histories, photos and artifacts...buy it at the store or download 320K .mp3 or iTunes .m4a

Listen now:
Stepping Talk-'Common Problems'
Avocados-'I Never Knew'
Disco Zombies-'Greenland' [unreleased]
Occult Chemistry-'Water'
Jangletties-'Happy All the TIme'
Jelly Babies-'Roller Skate'
The Insex-'Inner Sanction'

Gods Gift- Pathology CD (Messthetics #218)
Manchester/Salford studio sessions 1979-84

Between 1979 and 1984 other bands on the Manchester scene played larger roles, but sooner or later almost everyone who was there mentions Gods Gift - in tones of awe, horror, or amazement. "Pathology" is where the rest of the world finally finds out what all the racket was about.

The Manchester scene was anchored by The Fall, Joy Division, a few straight-ahead punks, and the more idiosyncratic denizens of the Manchester Musicians Collective. And Gods Gift out-did them all - in diffidence, darkness, pure feral energy and gleeful musical anarchy. Their successes were epic, but their failures, too, left indelible impressions. Guitarist Steve Murphy put it simply: "If things were going wrong, we'd make them go more wrong." Singer Steven Edwards once shouted out to a baffled London crowd, "Wotcha dancing for? - it's tuneless, you pillock!"

This was no pose. As much as can be said of any band in rock history, Gods Gift were the product of their day jobs: Murphy, Edwards, and at least five others who played in GG all worked "inside" at Prestwich Asylum - then the largest psychiatric hospital in the U.K. The hospital's grayness, hopelessness, and constant menace permeated not just GG's tunes and lyrics, but their very stage-presence - Edwards in work-clothes, and Murphy playing (always!) with his back turned to some of the U.K.'s least cuddly audiences. GG recorded a fight onstage and used it in place of lyrics for their self-released first 45, "People".

Gods Gift found a champion in New Hormones' owner, Richard Boon, who booked the band and put out the 12" Gods Gift EP and their landmark "Discipline" single, but unfortunately, as New Hormones' finances crumbled, Boon's favorite track, "Clamour Club", remained unreleased. Messthetics' 17-song CD, "Pathology", spans GG's career from 1979 to 1984, drawing material from their records, a Manchester Musicians Collective compilation, several demos and two full-length cassette albums.

Dusted calls it "harsh, droning, feedback-drenched, prone to chaos and, at least some of the time, claustrophobically brilliant...Fantastically intense, idiosyncratic stuff..."

12-page booklet with photos and extensive bio; 75 minutes of pounding, insistent, magnificent noise... buy it at the store or download 320K .mp3 or iTunes .m4a

Listen now:
'Anaesthetic'
'Clamour Club'
'Then Calm Again'
'Jacqueline's Admission'
'Nico'
(live: this is utterly wicked...)
'Deicide'

Listen first!

The store now features over 100 new MP3 samples for the Messthetics #100 series and all our CDs by individual bands: check them out!

Also at the store: 30+ "new" '77-82 reissues from our archivist friends at Overground and Detour Records ('77 punk and anarcho / UK Mod and 'power pop', respectively...)
Plus Throbbing Lobster label vinyl stock (1984-88) for sale - and "Throb Story", the whole sorry tale of H2D's first attempt at world domination...

Messthetics Greatest HISS
(#110) An introduction to the D.I.Y. cassette scene 1979-84

The U.K.'s original cassette-scene hosted some of the most inept shambling in the history of recorded sound, but moments of musical (and lyrical) genius were far from uncommon. D.I.Y.'s "cassette culture" produced sounds of incredible freshness, directness, and even occasional sophistication... From hundreds of bedrooms filled with found- and improvised percussion, Woolworths guitars, home-made electronics (and soldering fumes!) came over a thousand tapes, chiefly circulated through the mail for free or at cost, usually in editions of 100 or fewer. The 'Greatest Hiss' series samples the cassette-scene's more, er, melodic material (sorry, there's no 'ambient' or 'industrial' - and everything's under 4 minutes!). This is D.I.Y. at its most liberated... The [London] Sunday Times called this offering from "the mighty Messthetics imprint" "compellingly authentic"...

25 tracks on the CD plus five bonus MP3s: 86 minutes of music.
24-page booklet, crammed with histories, photos, artifacts and an essay from Mick Sinclair, who wrote the original 'Cassette Pets' column for Sounds.
Messthetics Greatest HISS features the superstars of cassette culture...and plenty of others: The Jelly Babies, Danny & the Dressmakers, Storm Bugs, Colin Potter, Event Group, The Get, Instant Automatons, Missing Persons, Gravity Craze, Farming Jim & his Hepcat Groovstas, 391, The Chromosomes, Mike Jones, The Living Dead no. 5, Digital Dinosaurs, The Twizlers, Aconite, Casual Labourers [Bendle and other DIY heavies], Midnight Circus, Milkshake Melon, Funhouse, Cultural Amnesia, Stripey Zebras, Chimp Eats Bananas [pre-Chumbawamba!] and Dean Johnson... Buy it now

Messthetics #106
The Manchester Musicians Collective 1977-82

Messthetics’ first visit to Manchester surveys the the most successful and innovative of Britain's postpunk-era musicians collectives. The MMC’s most famous spawn were obviously The Fall (who first played at a MMC meeting) and Joy Division (who loaned their P.A.), but the MMC's emphasis on public performance and its egalitarian ethic of shared gear, expertise, and (frequently) band-members affected and inspired them all - future stars and faintest sparks alike - to create a range and a richness of truly "alternative" sounds that remains without parallel...

21 songs on the CD plus 7 bonus MP3 tracks: 90 minutes of music.
24-page booklet, extensively documented with histories, photos and artifacts.
Messthetics #106 features songs by the Mud Hutters, Gods Gift, Dislocation Dance, Elti-Fits, Diagram Brothers, The Liggers, The Passage, Bee Vamp, Spherical Objects, Grow-Up, Contact, Slight Seconds, Armed Force, the Manchester Mekon, The Spurtz, and never-released material by The Hamsters, The Elite, Spherical Objects, Spurtz, Manchester Mekon, Bee Vamp, & Property Of...
(Messthetics fans will also note an unusual concentration of women-in-charge, unorthodox effects, provocative lyrics, wildly varied electronics, and general non-punk stylings...)
Buy it now

Dry Rib - Whose last trickle CD
(Messthetics #213)

D.I.Y. with a guitar-genius/nonsense poet only begins to explain Dry Rib and the projects that followed... And things only got cooler, odder, and more idiosyncratic as Rob Vasey's audio insurgency progressed...

Ed Ball of O Level (and later the Times and Teenage Film Stars) saw Dry Rib first in late 1978 and promptly signed them to his new Clockwork label. He writes, "Dry Rib were a late '70s three piece group of some indefinable power - not Powerful in the obvious sense, as in everyone slugging out the same riff... More the power of musical and lyrical imagination...

"Rob Vasey's guitar style of blurred chord stylings coupled with continuous tremolo arm pre-empted My Bloody Valentine (or anyone else) by the best part of a decade. [He] wasn't like Eric Clapton or Paul Weller in way/shape/form... Which could only be a good thing because, he superseded these fellows for sheer guitar innovation and songscapes that neither could even conceive of... Rob was ably supported by two equally intelligent musicians - Andrew Goodwin (one of the best two drummers I've ever played with - and that includes the so-called shit-hot session guys) and Mike Mullholland (who could make a Fender Precision sound like Entwistle, Matlock or a distressed horsefly!)"
Dry Rib's EP received heavy airplay from John Peel, who featured all three tracks: 'Quail Seed', 'Cruelty of the Victim' and their epic 'Alaska' [the latter and a demo of 'Quail Seed' appear on Messthetics #102] - and briskly sold through a thousand-odd copies at the beginning of D.I.Y.'s golden age. They made several further trips to the studio, with no loss of intensity or inventiveness. Rob's career next took a more fluid and improvisational turn in a series of collaborations with various members of the Times' extended family, mostly under the flag of 'as, hem syrup' (the name taken from a nonsense prose piece of Rob's), and the lyrics grew even more fanciful. As with Dry Rib, there's no mistaking any of the material for anyone else's.

There's much more of Ed Ball's account in his liner notes (including diary entries from the time) - along with every surviving Dry Rib photo, lyrics, the usual daunting ephemera - and 20 songs and 75 minutes of music on the CD. Buy it now
More on Dry Rib at drummer/professor Andrew Goodwin's website...

Performing Ferrets - no one told us CD (Messthetics #216)
28 songs from one of D.I.Y.'s iconic bands, including most of their astonishingly scarce LP, which music-historian / journo / D.I.Y.-enthusiast Johan Kugelberg described as "the most seminal LP to come out of DIY... Fantastic over-enthusiastic juvenilia of an almost supernatural beauty."
Whether or not the name was ironic, The Performing Ferrets were very much a performing band - whose songs clearly grew out of the way they interacted. A curious rhythm, an engaging riff, an arresting lyrical snippet, and frequently a Melodica tumble and writhe, ferretlike, into song / groove / experiments that stood unique on the indie post-punk scene.
The Ferrets started out in Maidstone, Kent, in 1978 but they parlayed academic careers in Manchester, Portsmouth, Nottingham and Preston into appearances all over the U.K.: John Peel once lamented that every gig he did there seemed to be a Ferret there "clutching a demo tape in its sweaty paw".

There's a touch of The Fall and the TV Personalities, a little garage and Beat, hints of the rhythm-propelled sounds of the Monochromes, Feelies, Beefheart, Gang of 4/Delta 5 or Diagram Brothers, and a dry wit that had more to do with the Ferrets' favorite authors and comedians than anyone from the class of '77, but the Ferrets' response to D.I.Y. was all their own. In "Mandolin" (performed on a detuned mandolin that sounds like a toy piano) they complain, "The independent market / Is just a bring-and-buy sale...God help those who do it small scale / You've got to watch those pennies...You're bound to lose pounds / We just can't make money (oh no, oh no!)" Their conclusion? They'd just as soon give their records away for free (though the planned free flexi never happened).
"No one told us" collects 28 tracks from 1980-82, although only three rather inscrutable tunes saw wide distribution back in the day on their lone Peel-championed 45. They also released two cassettes (perhaps 200 each) and 300-odd copies of their self-titled LP. After two years in Manchester the Ferrets wound down when two of them ended up in Miaow with Cath Carroll, another took over the editorship of Manchester's legendary City Fun, and a fourth got a doctorate in immunology. The complete saga's in the 12-page booklet, along with photos, artifacts, and almost 80 minutes of the Ferrets' finest on the CD.
Buy it at the store
Films, photos and further Ferretmania at performingferrets.co.uk

Messthetics #104-105:
"These labours of love are nothing short of essential for anyone remotely interested in the area of sonic anarchy of any kind." -Kris Needs, Record Collector.

Messthetics #104 enhanced CD: 'D.I.Y.' and indie postpunk from the South Wales and the Z-Block scene: 1977-81 (part 1)
By the end of 1977 years of music-industry neglect (and the abrupt departure for London of the few feckless punks that had landed '77 record-deals) had left South Wales fertile ground for D.I.Y. The most basic instrumentation, one-take recordings and black-and-white graphics ruled the day, so it's no surprise that not one of the records on #104 sold more than 1200 copies. Mindful of these feeble sales, a dozen alumni of Cardiff's Z-Block label (and various mates) gave up releasing records altogether, and busied themselves in a frenzy of increasingly-sophisticated home recording. (We've included just the tip of that iceberg...) 23 songs on the CD plus six bonus MP3 tracks. 24-page booklet, lovingly documented with histories and photos galore, PLUS a ‘reunion' appearance of the legendary Great Pop Things rock-history comic. Buy it.
Messthetics #104 had a half-hour feature on BBC Radio 6 (their podcast is available - but only inside the UK), and reviewed in Detailed Twang, the Sunday Times (who called the series 'hugely worthwhile'), Stuart Schraeder's splendid (if unprintably apropos) shit-fi.com, The Wire, Record Collector, and elsewhere...

Messthetics #105 enhanced CD: 'D.I.Y.' and indie postpunk from Scotland: 1977-81 (part 1)

Messthetics' first Scottish installment focuses on a brief, intense scene of ardently independent bands who got started rubbing shoulders with 1977 punk then paid no attention at all to London after that. (London returned the favor.) The sound was based on guitars of all sorts, ingeniously skewed melodies and unashamed local accents. Naturally, it all fell apart as soon as "The Sound of Young Scotland" became a marketable commodity, but they left behind a rich cache of lost 'alternative' hits. Plenty of 'traditional' D.I.Y., too...
24 songs on the CD plus nine bonus MP3 tracks. 90 minutes of music. 24-page booklet, with band-histories & photos galore.

Messthetics #105 was the "album of the week" review in Scotland on Sunday (17 Feb. 08) and a four-bullet review in issue #599 of The List, with airplay all over BBC 6, Radio Glasgow and XM Radio Scotland (who did an interview as well) ...
Buy it at the store.

track-listings for ALL of the Messthetics compilations are finally online here

He's Dead Jim - Colour Climax/ Monochrome World: Aberdeen D.I.Y.-punk 1981-83 (Messthetics #215 CD-R)

Messthetics proudly presents the should-have-been greatest hits of He's Dead Jim - from the first half of their four-year Aberdonian "rammy" of trash culture and lo-fi melodic punk. HDJ were one of D.I.Y.'s most obscure (and least likely) prodigies. Despite the evidence of their (charmingly aberrant) songs on Messthetics #105, He's Dead Jim were a complete pop band, and they were also prodigious songwriters, from their first lo-fi garage recordings to their very last ...lo-fi garage recordings. They released eight full-length cassettes locally - each of them elaborately decorated and bursting with hummable tunes - but they never darkened the door of a proper studio. (If they had, they'd be all over Bored Teenagers or This is Mod, but they weren't mods at all, so maybe that's just as well.) The name derives from the immortal (and oft-repeated) words of Star Trek's Dr. McCoy (although Scottie was the one who came from Aberdeen), and HDJ pay regular homage to all the usual school-band pop-culture icons from Fireball XL5 to The Prisoner. Pure [trash] punk, a lot of Mark E. Smith and maybe some Billy Childish, as well, mixing it up with peeved-teen quips like "...got no dry ice / to hide the fact that we're quite nice... / We want groupies (give us a break!)" ...Etc.

Colour Climax/Monochrome World includes over an hour of music, a complete band history, photos, extensive artwork, and Messthetics' first 'reversible' cover. Buy some here.

Messthetics #103: D.I.Y. and (very) indie post-punk from the Midlands, '77-81
The Messthetics #100-series hits the metal-weary Midlands, where it encounters a sparse but energetic rabble of (mostly) teens -happily raising their own musical racket, completely outside the mainstream music business. Faster, louder, and less arty than their "D.I.Y." counterparts elsewhere in the U.K., the young denizens of #103 include forbears of Felt, Pigbag, and the Nightingales as well as early incarnations of Swell Maps, Spizz, and others...
22 songs on the CD plus four bonus MP3 tracks. Lavishly-illustrated and documented 24-page booklet, with histories, photos and ephemera.

Messthetics #103 collects rare tracks from the Versatile Newts [pre-Felt], Swell Maps, Prefects [pre-Nightingales], the Accused, Profile, Hardware [pre-Pigbag], Famous Explorers, School Meals, The Shapes, the Buzz, Domestic Bliss, Cracked Actors, Lester and the Brew, Human Cabbages, 021, and Cult Figures. Also selections from the first releases from Digital Dinosaurs, Spizzoil, Cravats, and Dangerous Girls.

Check out a full hour of Midlands D.I.Y. on Resonance Radio with Alex Ogg (No More Heroes), Paul Panic from the Accused and Simon from Domestic Bliss and the [hopefully] immortal TrakMARX.com.

And don't miss Everett True's extensive survey/appreciation of D.I.Y. and Messthetics in Plan B #20. Interviews with Messthetics bands, loads of photos and commentary...

 

Messthetics #101 & #102
D.I.Y. and (very) indie post-punk from London and the Home Counties, 1977-81
The Messthetics #100-series launches its grand tour of the U.K. with two full CDs of London-area D.I.Y. -from some of the most famous, most obscure, and most idiosyncratic members of an extraordinary scene.
Between 1977 and '83 hundreds of U.K. bands put out their own records and tapes - usually on the cheap and utterly without apology. With "D.I.Y"., Punk and everything that came before it collided gloriously with D.I.Y.'s fresh aesthetic of making and sharing recordings outside of the established music business -with only the slightest regard for an audience. There's no common style: instead these songs are united by wit, enthusiasm, musical risk-taking (especially these London bands)...and a conspicuous lack of pose.

The Wire review (February 2007): "Simply brilliant."
Plan B #18 review (February 2007): "unmatchable"
Mojo review (April 2007): "A mind-boggling array of mavericks, weirdos and experimentalists... More entries in the series are eagerly awaited.
" (four stars)

Messthetics #101: Rare tracks from the Scissor Fits, The Rich & Famous, Exhibit A, Different I's, Acid Drops, Grinder, Take It, the Jimmy Nipper 5, Funboy Five, Twelve Cubic Feet, Tiny Town, Existence, Collective Horizontal, Karel Fialka, and The Door and the Window... Never-released material from the Homosexuals, Blue Screaming, Rejects (the final original from their 1977 demo, pre-Homosexuals), Different Eyes, Milkshake Melon, George Harassment, Grinder, TDATW. 16-page book, pix, 22 songs (27 if you count 5 ripping MP3s of related stuff that wouldn't fit).
Special focus on the Hornsey/North London D.I.Y. scene (Take It, Blue Screaming, The Door & the Window, Collective Horizontal, Exhibit A, 12 Cubic Feet all shared members at one time or another), and unreleased treasures from the Homosexuals (their earliest-yet recording, plus Rejects [before] and Anton Hayman/George Harassment [after])

Messthetics #102: Rarities from Steve Treatment, The Tea Set, The Lines, Vacants, Walking Floors, Metrophase, Nigel Simpkins, Astronauts, London PX, Restricted Hours, Auntie Pus, Frank Details, and The Dad. Never-before-heard treasures from the Lines, Dry Rib, M.L.R., Innerpropriates, Walking Floors, The Syrups, and London PX. 16pp book / 4500-word liners / cool photos / 23 tracks.
Messthetics #102 pays special attention to some of D.I.Y.'s earliest practitioners and most effective evangelists: many were friends of the late Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks (and devotees of Marc Bolan): Steve Treatment, Metrophase, Tea Set... There are Damned connections (ST, Tea Set, Auntie Pus), Times connections (Dry Rib/Syrups), school connections, some general West London incest - and a handful of folks who simply stopped paying attention to anyone else and struck out on their own.
#102 is volume two from the London area. Next come full CDs from the Midlands (#103), Wales, Scotland, Manchester/Liverpool/Lancashire, the West Country, South Coast, and East Anglia/Northeast. Somewhere around #112 we'll start over again with a couple more London CDs, Midlands II, etc...

Praise for Messthetics Greatest Hits:
"Fully annotated and programmed beautifully, this CD should be part of everyone's collection...Some of the greatest music that never was." - Byron Coley, The Wire [full review]
"The sound of the underground, the hiss of the tape, the amateur pressing, the sloppiness and sheer sense of glee..." - Bob Stanley, The Guardian.
[complete article]
"An exemplary collection of home-brewed D.I.Y."
(4-star review) - Uncut

3:AM made it their 2006 Album of the Year.
Dusted loved it too...

Messthetics Greatest Hits:
The Sounds of UK D.I.Y. 1977-80

(Messthetics #100)

As Nuggets and Pebbles were to 60's garage-bands, as Chocolate Soup for Diabetics and Rubble were to freakbeat, and as Killed by Death and Bloodstains were to indie punk, the Messthetics series documents the essential bands of the DIY and the [very] indie postpunk generation of the British Isles. "Greatest Hits" showcases a dozen examples from Johan's worldwide "Top 100 D.I.Y. singles" (from Ugly Things #19) and ten more that are quite possibly even better (including two never-before heard tracks by the legendary Rejects, Bruno Wizard's 1977 band before he formed the Homosexuals). With O Level (pre-Times), Reptile Ranch (pre-Weekend), Six Minute War (pre-400 Blows), Mud Hutters (pre-Spaceheads), Danny & the Dressmakers (Graham Massey pre-808 State, Bjork++) plus Puritan Guitars, Dum Dum Dum, Scrotum Poles, Anorexia, Tronics, Royston, Reacta, Instant Automatons, Exhibit A, Slight Seconds, Steve Treatment, Take It, Thin Yoghurts, Walking Floors, and the Digital Dinosaurs.

Next up are our first cassette-bands sampler Messthetics Greatest HISS, and more regional collections from the South Coast, Manchester, Manchester II/Lancs./Liverpool, the West Country, many more Londoners and a Yorkshire/North-by-Northeast set...

The SHIVVERS (lost hits from Milwaukee's first family of powerpop, 1979-82) enhanced CD (Teenline #201a).

"They could very well be the best power pop band you never heard in your life...If [this] had been released at the time, the Shivvers album would almost definitely have been one of the classics of the genre along with the Dwight Twilley Band's Sincerely and the Shoes' Black Vinyl Shoes." -Dusted

"Many power pop bands of the time had one or two tunes up their sleeves and that was it, but the Shivvers had a basketload...Essential listening." -John Borack, Amplifier

Simply put, the Shivvers may be the best female-fronted powerpop band the world will ever see. It's just that the world wasn't looking their way back in 1980. They had chops, talent, originality, looks... And if they'd been based in New York or L.A. the Shivvers would either have changed the course of music in the 1980s ...or they'd have gloriously crashed and burned in a world-class blaze of hype.

A guaranteed treat for fans of 60's Spector/Brill-Building girl-groups -and the New Wave-era girl-groups as well, except louder, harder, catchier. Features H2D's powerpop theme-song "Teen Line" and 11 other studio tracks, a glorious too-early-for-MTV music video, plus 8 live songs from a radio-broadcast (and another 4 live on TV video). Double-gatefold insert with extensive notes and never-before seen photos. 20 audio tracks plus 5 bonus videos: 80 minutes of 100% Teenline-caliber pop!
buy it at the store

Breck & Scott - Dream You Away CDR (Teenline #205)

When the Shivvers split up in 1982 Jill and Breck retired, Jim and Mike went to Boston, and Scott went to L.A. But Scott Krueger ("KREEger", btw) wandered back to Milwaukee and began a five-year weekends-only collaboration with Breck Burns on Breck's 4-track Portastudio ...that resulted in a dozen heart-breakingly perfect guitar-pop songs that no one has EVER heard -until now. Complex pop with a rare, poignant edge that only seems to come to people after they've made a determined run with a total pop machine (that would be the Shivvers in this case). And for some reason this quality of melancholy is peculiar to collaborations. Fans of the Beau Brummels' astonishing "Triangle" and "Bradley's Barn" LPs will know the feeling I'm talking about, but other examples might include the Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane LP, or Goffin and King's group The City, Richard & Linda Thompson --or even "Runt" (though that belongs to a more troubled pop arena where schizophrenia replaces/mimics collaboration, a la Barrett/Drake/Buckley/etc.)... Anyway....this is a REALLY pretty bunch of songs.

This CD also includes six songs by Breck and Scott's stellar 1980-81 powerpop band The Orbits (that were formerly available on the CD-R version of the Shivvers). buy it at the store

Animals & Men -Revel in the Static enhanced CD (Messthetics #201B)
demos and singles 1979-1983
Terrific D.I.Y./ postpunk from the West Country (Somerset). Well over an hour of demos and tracks from their singles, plus a live 1981 video of "Evil Going On." 12-page booklet with extensive notes, photos and A+M ephemera...

"Beautifully unmannered female vocal[s] and suitably clattering, skitterish drums" -Everett True, Plan B

"A surefire fix for fans of Kleenex and Delta 5..." -J. Edward Keyes, Magnet

"A witch's brew of The Vaselines, surf and 60's garage.The Fuzzbox-esque half sweet, half swaggering 'It's Hip' and surfy 'The Man with the Spiked-Toed Shoes' could have been one of Rough Trade's finest hours." -Rock Bottom

"The fact that the leading couple met at a Wire/Adam & the Ants show totally makes sense...Their other major influences were American '60s punk and the blues...Everything here seems to point in the right direction." -Ugly Things

"Great material from a band you've probably never heard of, and if they didn't move in sync with rock's historic flow, that's just another reason to find them fascinating." -Jennifer Kelly, Dusted full review

"Credit where it's due...I would never have paid such attention without [the] wonderful Animals & Men compilation first" -Everett True, Plan B (for April 2007 cover-article on Messthetics).

Reviews from 1980: "They deserve to be HUGE" -Mick Mercer, Zig Zag

"'Shell Shock'...is hypnotic, dark and intense. Nearest comparison (intended as a rough guide, not to define/confine) might be Velvet Underground." -NME....

buy it at the store

Instant Automatons
Another Wasted Sunday Afternoon CD
(Messthetics #210)

The best of their immense catalog of cassettes, vinyl and never-released material 1979-1983. The Instant Automatons were not the most prolific of D.I.Y.'s cassette-culture crowd, but they were arguably the most influential - and they were the first to start swapping cassettes (instead of selling them).
The instrumentation is sparse - bass, guitar, and home-built electronics - and Mark Automaton contributes some of the finest lyrics in all of D.I.Y...
at the H2D web-store now.

There's a nice bit about the 'Automatons in Bob Stanley's Guardian article, too (3/31/06).

Homework #104 & 105 (the last of the American 100-series re-reissues...everything from here on is all-new!) $9.00 each at the web-store

Homework #104 CD (H2D #48B): American "D.I.Y.", indie punkwave, post-punk & experimental from the letters A & B, 1978-83. Featuring Bob, Ballistics, Babylon Dance Band, B Team, B.P.A., All Night Movies, Bunnydrums, Buddha Collection, A-Moms [The Algebra Mothers], B People, Amps, Broncs, Attack Under Attack, August Sons, Anne Marie & The Pistons, Amazement Company, Ambient Noise, Boom, Adaptors, Budguzzlers, Blue Collar, Buns, Alcoholics, and Bump Cars... 26 tracks

Homework #105 CD (H2D #58B): American "D.I.Y.", post-punk, artwave, No Wave & experimental from the letter "C", 1978-83 (...including a whole buncha bands from the heyday of NYC's newwave/no wave/noise scenes...lotsa girls on both these volumes, too...) Chumps, Come On, Cyclones, Comateens, Crash Course In Science, Chemicals Made From Dirt, China Shop, CCCP-TV, Christmas, Scott Campbell, Cats For Dinner, Chi-Pig, Crap Detectors, Chronics, CIs, Clap, Capital Punishment, Cult Heroes, Clocks, Carsickness, Click, and Cigarettes... 23 tracks


DIGITAL DINOSAURS -"Huh?" CDR (Messthetics #209):
a D.I.Y. / postpunk / postthatcher saga...from Coventry, 1980.

Presenting the Digital Dinosaurs' masterpiece... "Huh?" features some of the finest tunes to come out of the entire DIY/cassette-swapping free-for-all of the late 70s/early 80s:
"The concept of 'Huh?' was a loose one - people living in an Orwellian future 1984 world controlled by goverment and conglomerates where people are pacified by television. (It's our world isn't it?)"-Christopher Sidwell

The Dinosaurs spent almost a year on "Huh?" (though they did 9 other cassette releases), but they barely made 100 copies of the C-60 once it was done. Also included on the CD is the "ThreeE.P." that never made it to vinyl, plus one track never before released. Here's some photos and artwork for all the Digital Dinosaurs cassettes, plus more bio/info and links. Buy "Huh" $9.00 at the web-store.


TEENLINE
volumes #101...107: The greatest American powerpop compilations ever, anywhere! The discs for U-to-Z and A, B & C are at last available --with better sound, more detailed notes, fresh links...and a handful of new-to-H2D and never-before-released tracks. (Enjoy the re-mastered/newandimproved volumes #101-103, too! [R, S & T])

TEENLINE #105: American powerpop & pop-rock: U-to-Z (Hyped to Death #34B): X Davis, Windbreakers, Gary Valentine, Upstarts, Yankees, Wayfarers, The Wind, Wild Giraffes, Wishniaks, Jimmy Vigtone, Wednesday Week, Zamp & the Suspects, Van Dykes, Zodio Doze, The Young Idea, Z-Rocks, U.S. Mods... includes a just-added Vertebrats song (the original, non-CD version of "Anyday"). 22 tracks.

TEENLINE #106: American powerpop & pop-rock: A & B (Hyped to Death #44B): Arlis, Artists, Boyfriends, Stiv Bators, Boys Life, Action, Abstracts, Bandables, Astrobeats, Berrys, Ambulance, Craig Bevan, Agents, Beex, Bas Clas, Blue Shoes, Beat Rodeo, Boy Trouble, Blitz, B-Minors... 22 tracks.

TEENLINE #107: North American powerpop & pop-rock: B & C (Hyped to Death #54B): Cheese, Boys, Boyz, Cheepskates, Comateens, Colors, Crash Kills Five, The Cold, David Branyan, David Burdick, Clicks, Breathers, Buzzarians, J.D. Buhl & the Believers, Cheeters, Gary Charlson, Conditionz, Breakers, Cucumbers... 23 tracks.

Hyped to Death is back!


Hyped to Death volumes #1-6: North American independent punk: 1975-85. H2D's flagship series of (very) indie punk bashing and ranting is back in print. 6-plus hours from the letters R-to-Z and A-to-C:

H2D #1: Realtors, Reruns, Reactors (TX), Joy Ryder & Avis Davis, Ronnie and the Rayguns, Reds, Rubber City Rebels, Roach Motel, RPA, Rhythm Pigs, Raunchettes, Really Red, Regular Guys, Mike Rep & the Quotas, Red Squares, Red Tide, Remedials, Rave, Rise, R.A.F...
H2D #2: Shock, Social Unrest, Schematix, Saucers, Sillies, Scream, Sinatras, Sadonation, Sins, Saigon, Skinnies, Silly Killers, Skunks, Slugs, Scraps, 63 Mönröe, Sorex, Schematix, Scientific Americans, Shirkers, Sector Four, Soreheads, Scooter and the Worms.
H2D #3: Stains, Stiphnoyds, Swingers Resort, Suicide Commandos, Stains, Stevie Stiletto & The Switchblades, Splatcats, Toxin III, Tru Fax & the Insaniax, Truth, Tot Rocket and the Twins, Tracks, Tools, The 27, Trend, Marc Thor, Justin Trouble, Teenage Depression, Tools, Tyrants, Tyros, Telefones...
H2D #4: Vores, Voodoo Idols, Vast Majority, VKTMS, U.S. Chaos, Victims, Wayward Youth, Visitors, U-Boats, Vex, Vamps, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Wussies, Whiteboys, Victims of Society, Walter Wolff, Wreck'n Crew, Zamp & the Suspects, Ugly, Wages, Visigoths, Vinny.
H2D #5: Beex, Amps, Alcoholics, Black Market Baby, Breakouts, Willie Alexander, Jim Basnight, Absentees, Abuse, Active Dog, Ben Wah Torpedos, Ambulance, Burning Bibles, Bob Blackburn, Blisters, Antiseen, Adrenalin OD, Bum Kon, Broken Talent, Ambient Noise, Benedict Arnold & the Traitors, Backstabbers, Boize, Abbreviated Ceiling, Arthur's Dilemma...
H2D #6: Cartoons, Cinecyde, Coldcock, Capital Punishment, Cheetah Chrome, Candy Apple, Corpse Grinders, Commandos [Worcester], Commandos [Minneapolis], Contenders, Carsickness, Crap Detectors, Crash Kills Five, Cold Sweat, Chainsaw, Crewd, Cannibal, Convicted, Chronic Sick, Chronic Disorder, Customs, Crazy Jack & the Automatics...

The ZOOMERS -Mike's Apartment CD (Homework #205)
Zoomer kept gobbling drugs and writing songs and driving along levees at 100 mph, but before he moved to L.A. and things really blew up, he found his trademark sound. Fans of huge hooks and grubby recording techniques will find fuzzed-out mosquito-infested nirvana throughout this sampling of Zoom's 1984-1989 output, patiently preserved by his pal and #1 fan Mike while Zoomer was off in search of an even deeper deep end... ("Exist" enthusiasts will be happy to know there's at least 4 more songs in exactly that same vein along with the more-evolved/more-hummable tracks)...Check out Zoomer's ever-expanding audio empire at at www.zoomermusic.net
and artwork, too...

The HOMOSEXUALS -Astral Glamour triple CD (Messthetics #204) available from the H2D WEB-STORE and at finer shops everywhere.

A comprehensive 81-song re-release of the entire Homosexuals catalog to date: their two singles (or three, depending on how you count), The Homosexuals EP, the Venceremos cassette, the LP, and all the stuff they put out under pseudonyms on the Black Noise label (Sir Alick, George Harrassment/Masai Sleepwalking, and the six "bands" on the Ici la bas EP). Plus "lost" vocal parts to 7 songs hitherto known only as instrumentals ...and some mindwarping never-released material. With tons of artwork, photos, brilliant sound...and at least the first half of the Homosexuals amazing bio...Here's more hype and the Complete Homosexuals Discography...

 

The Midnight Circus -Richard, Roger, Rodney, Rastus, Raoul, Roderick, Randy, Rupert CD (Messthetics #208)
Our second "regular"/glass-mastered release. Midnight Circus are known to a handful of fanatics from the rare Angst in my Pants compilation EP, but they put most of their energy into the cassette-only wing of the DIY movement. Nevertheless, they churned out vinyl-worthy DIY-punk tunes by the score, and unlike most bands that did make it to vinyl -who typically spent most of their money on pressing and printing-- the 'Circus were free to blow it all on recording. Here's 21 of their favorite tracks from 1980-1983, but there was much, much more, and it's ALL great. 10-page insert/bio/photos...

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Direct links to the our entire catalog:

Animals & Men * Chemicals Made From Dirt * Digital Dinosaurs * Homosexuals * Keepers * Midnight Circus * Nurses * Regular Guys * Screaming Urge * Shivvers * Sidewalks * Toxin III * Steve Treatment * Vast Majority * Zoomers-Exist * Zoomers -Mike's Apartment

Homework 100-series * Homework #9 * Homework #10 * Teenline 100-series * Teenline #8 * The Messthetics series (UK DIY compilations) * Hyped to Death (US punk compilations) *


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