Sunday, August 22, 2004

Digging In The Crate - Volume 3

It's time for another bunch of tunes from the crate of '80s 45's...

Paul Gardiner was the bass player in Gary Numan's band Tubeway Army. Stormtrooper In Drag was a 1981 solo single that featured Gary on vocals (as well as a co-writer credit). It's a mellow, hypnotic bass-riff driven tune with Gary's mouth-full-of-mush drone delivery helping give it that extra oomph. I've always loved this tune - my brother and I used to mock the vocals on it all the time, but I still think that it's a great "lost gem" of the new wave era.

Endgames were a Scottish four piece formed in the early '80s and featured former Simple Minds drummer Brian McGee. Their debut single was We Feel Good (Future's Looking Fine), a pop tune in the vein of what bands like ABC and Haircut 100 were doing. Featuring some nice piano and horns and a big catchy chorus, it failed to make a dent on the charts. They had a hit with the song First, Last, For Everything and went on to record 2 albums, but never achieved much success.

Way Of The West I can tell you nothing about - and neither can Google. Their debut single was Don't Say That's Just For White Boys. It's another catchy, funky new wave pop tune that has a cool sax infused ska breakdown in the middle. I thought at the time that it was worthy of chart placement, but of course it didn't make it. I bought the follow up single See You Shake but it too failed to make the charts and I never heard of them again.

Kirk Brandon is best known for his band Spear Of Destiny, with whom he still tours and records today. Before SOD he was in Theatre Of Hate, a blistering political post-punk band in the vein of Killing Joke (and featuring future Cult guitarist Billy Duffy). Propaganda was the b-side to their near hit single Do You Believe In The Westworld and features a blazing punk riff and Kirk's typically grandiose vocals. I actually prefer this song to the A side - it packs such intensity. Also of note - this recording was produced by Mick Jones from The Clash.


Anonymous said...

"Stormtrooper In Drag" is indeed a lost gem of the new wave era. But Saint Etienne's version on the Random tribute album is just a wee bit better.

Michael said...

I own that too, but for sentimental reasons I prefer the original - it's a bit more menacing than theirs!

Eric said...

I transferred the 12" of the Way of The West song from vinyl to mp3 only to find a skip in it. Now I have to do it again - all 7:22 of it - and hope it doesn't do it again - or just live with it. I may feature another track by them on my blog in the future called "Drum".

Great tracks!

Michael said...

I'd love to hear a 12" version! I've always loved that song.