Saturday, 22 April 2017

Bogshed - "Demo's and Rareties 1985-87" (a Die or DIY? Compilation)

Then we had the crop of groups who should have been on Ron Johnson Records instead of The Sewer Zombies and The Ex.
The most shining example being Bogshed.
Cheeky northern monkeys who were incorrectly portrayed primarily as a comedy turn in some quarters.Originally called "The Amazing Roy North Penis Band" upon their inception in 1984, one could easily see why they flirted with the 'Novelty Act' category.
Their shambling, bass led sub-discordant modern music hall tunes, were certainly catchy,and could even induce an urge to sing-a-long-a-bogshed.
So here's a collection of demo's, compilation tracks,rare singles and unreleased stuff to prove their part in the 'Death To Trad Rock' story.
Unfortunately on the subject of death, Bogshed Singer and excellent lyricist, Paul Hartley, died over ten years ago, so the prospect of any nostalgic reformation of Bogshed is a sad non-starter; especially as drummer, Tristan King followed him to peel band valhalla a few years later.Don't it make you feel so incredibly mortal?


01 Hand Me Down Father ('Raging Sun' Compilation)
02 Runner On A Blunder(imminent comp)
03 The Amazing Roy North Penis Band (Cherry Red Comp)
04 Gathering Change(Aborted Cherry red Compilation)
05 Hold Up Your Hands, I'm Coming To The Market (cherry red Comp)
06 Lodger Problem(Aborted Cherry red Comp
07 Porridge In The Clothes(Aborted Cherry Red Comp)
08 Too Many Personalities(Aborted Cherry Red Comp)
09 You Are This(Aborted Cherry red Compilation)
10 Hand Me Down Father (Demo 1985).
11 Packed Lunch to School(Demo 1985).
12 US Bands (Demo 1985).
13 Slave Girls(Demo 1985).
14 Panties Please(Demo 1985).
15 City Girls(Demo 1985).
16 Fat Lad exam Failure (Demo 1985).
17 Spencer Travis(Demo 1985).
18 The Amazing Roy North Penis Band (Demo 1985)
19 Stop Revolving (Unissued Single 1987)
20 Your Science, My Sound (Unissued Single B-Side 1987)
21 Excellent girl (Final Single Release 1987)

DOWNLOAD from the toilet bog to your own private shed HERE! 

Friday, 21 April 2017

Boredoms ‎– "Boretronix 1" (? Ltd. ‎– ?001) 1988

I said I didn't have "Boretronix 1", but now I do, thanks to the lovely Bleak Bliss blog, who seems to always have everything I don't music terms at least.
Happily, this is the best of the Boretronix series, and is a bit more listenable than the later two cassettes. Primordial Boredom at its very zenith.


A1 Hard Core Nunk 3:04
A2 Boil Out UFO 2:48
A3 Meat Bag 2:17
A4 Chago-Hosh-Moop 1:54
A5 Human Bad 2:46
A6 Hipless Peer Group 2:40
A7 Now 2:47
A8 Club Gom 5:51
B1 Rising Vegas Gas-Moskeet 1:53
B2 Blah Men 2:35
B3 Mega Coke Mix 1:10
B4 Hatefull 88' 1:42
B5 Auck Off 1:44
B6 Euck You Earhole 4:32
B7 Web Wig 3:25
B8 Eyehole Turfers 2:34
B9 Hook Around 2:55
B10 Frying Buttcave 1:07

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Scorn ‎– "Vae Solis" (Earache ‎– MOSH 54) 1992

We are getting in really dodgy territory now, 1992. A truly terrible year for music. Awful sampling abuse, Dire drum machine conformity, Really shite Effects units. DJ's in their forties treated like some kind of messiah. We even started to accept and even enjoy our conformity.A Huxley-esque concept made fact, if ever there was one; and its even worse today.
A resident of the 'Chill Out' area, I managed to escape the vast majority of the atrocities being committed in these dance concentration camps, and lost myself in the bizarre world of Easy Listening, which was one interesting bi-product of club culture.
However, Metal ,as the only mainstream alternative to clubbing culture, was mutating into the only partly subversive counter culture activity.This was the start of the couple of hundred sub-genres of 'Metal' that exist today.
Earache was largely responsible for quite a few of those, one being Industrial Metal, as purveyed by Godflesh (featuring yet another ex-Napalm Death member Justin Broadrick) in the late eighties, from a recipe originally concocted by the rather good Killing Joke.
More Ex-Napalm Death members Mick Harris and Nic Bullen, joined in the fun with their 'Scorn' Project, which was a brutally effective unit for the first album or so,before the irresistible influence of club culture watered down the racket into some kind of over programmed trip hop nonsense.


1 Spasm 2:49
2 Suck And Eat You 3:48
3 Hit 7:36
4 Walls Of My Heart 7:02
5 Lick Forever Dog 6:29
6 Thoughts Of Escape 5:18
7 Deep In - Eaten Over And Over 8:28
8 On Ice 8:00
9 Heavy Blood 5:41
10 Scum After Death (Dub) 5:54
11 Fleshpile (Edit) 5:15
12 Orgy Of Holiness 4:48
13 Still Life 4:13

Monday, 17 April 2017

Boredoms ‎– "Boretronix 3" (? Ltd. ‎– ?004) 1990

If it wasn't for japan, i don't think there would have been anything worthwhile to listen to in 1990. All the UK was too interested in was being 24 hour party that's real 'boredom'.
The USA had just 'invented' Punk Rock.....again......except without any style, sporting long hair and lumberjack shirts. As for the rest of the planet, as usual, forget about it.
There was one exception...Japan.It seemed everyone in Japan were like The Boredoms, and a torrent of Noise Rock escaped like radioactive gas  from some secure institution near Fukashima.
Either that or it took 45 years for the real mutations from the atom bomb blasts to bear fruit.
This cassette is a field recording from that very same fictitious radioactive institution the night when everyone refused their medication.

Track Listing:

Side A - Untitled (23.56)
Side B - Untitled (24.00)

DOWNLOAD more boredom HERE!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Boredoms ‎– "Boretronix 2" (? Ltd. ‎– ?002) 1989

Yamatsuka Eye, another of the guests on John Zorn's various Grindcore projects, notably Naked City, was in the Boredoms of course. So as they are popular chaps, i've dug out an obscure cassette release from early in their reign.
Its a churning and nutritious soup of the Boredoms in rehearsal, jamming, and just generally mucking about. Often sounding like the tape's being chewed up by the cassette deck. No need for the pencil remedy, actually is supposed to sound like this.

Track Listing:

Side A : Untitled (25.20)
Side B : Untitled (25.26)

DOWNLOAD to alleviate the boredoms HERE! 

Azag-Thoth ‎– "Shredded Flesh" (Self released Cassette) 1987

A highly regarded self-released tape from a prototype Unseen Terror line-up, including Shane Emburey (Although he denies all knowledge of it!), and Pete Giles, who was in War Hammer with Shane,and Unseen Terror.
It seems like straight forward Death Metal to me,and only the slightest hint of the mutation that was to come for the UK metal/hardcore crossover scene.Calling this proto-grindcore is stretching it a bit.

A1 Circle Of Maniacs 0:50
A2 Shredded Flesh 2:51
A3 Life After Death 2:11
A4 Social Suicide 0:45
A5 Blood Sucking Freaks 2:11

Friday, 14 April 2017

Unseen Terror ‎– "The Peel Sessions" (Strange Fruit ‎– SFPS069) 1988

Here's the legendary Peel Session by Unseen Terror, with guest vocalist Mick Harris on lead growling.
This benefits from having real drums as miked up by a real drummer/ producer, Dale Griffin.This was a lost art in 1988, forgotten in favour of samples and drum boxes.
Unseen Terror were more or less a studio band, and only played live once as far i can remember; so this is where they were at their very speedy best.
A classic.


Incompatible / Burned Beyond Recognition 2:25
Oblivion Descends / Divisions 3:45
Voice Your Opinion 3:10
Strong Enough To Change / Odie's Revenge / It's My Life 3:55

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Unseen Terror ‎– "Human Error" (Earache ‎– MOSH 4) 1987

The opposite end of the scale for snobbery and pretentiousness are a large majority of Metal categories, especially Grindcore and Speed Metal. Who would you sooner go and have a beer with? John Zorn or Unseen Terror?
I have been privileged to have a pint with Shane Emburey(drummer for Unseen Terror) and the rest of Napalm Death back in the day, and what a bunch of thoroughly decent and unpretentious chaps they were. Not had a similar experience with Zorn, but was briefly in his geekness's presence at the Knitting Factory's 10th birthday party for Shimmy Disc.....i was drunk, he was aloof.
'Human Error'was one of those early Earache Classics that appeared from apparently nowhere.Its relentless high velocity metal, and under-produced fuzz were certainly more interesting than the other so-called speed metal groups of the era. The drums were either played on one of those horrible Simmons kits, or sample triggers; and sound slightly unusual to say the least; but they were easier to record i guess. A real kit,thankfully,makes its appearance in the bonus tracks (Tracks 21 and 22 are from the "Diminished Responsibility" Compilation. Tracks 23 to 26 are Unreleased Rehearsal tracks.)
They were to get better, and as usual it was up to the BBC to capture them at their best in the Peel session that they recorded in 1988, with Mick Harris on vocals.


1 Unseen Terror 3:34
2 Oblivion Descends 2:20
3 Divisions 1:51
4 Death Sentence (Of The Innocent) 2:18
5 Nermal 0:11
6 Ignorant Scene 1:38
7 Uninformed 2:02
8 Expulsion Of Wrath 1:45
9 Garfield For President 0:43
10 Burned Beyond Recognition 1:19
11 Winds Of Pestilence 1:28
12 Hysteria 1:41
13 In A Shallow Grave 0:58
14 Odie's Revenge 0:16
15 Deliverance 2:19
16 The End Product 2:20
17 To Live And Learn 1:34
18 Charred Remains 1:18
19 Beyond Eternity 1:37
20 Garfield Strikes Again 2:18

Bonus Tracks:
21 Expulsion Of Wrath 3:13
22 Beyond Eternity 1:37
23 Scarred 0:49
24 Walls 0:42
25 Human Error 2:11
26 Within Without 1:24

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Naked City ‎– "Torture Garden" (Earache ‎– mosh 28) 1991

Jazzers, in general,aren't the most open minded of musicians, and do tend towards some rather unpleasant displays of intellectual we all do in different levels; I myself have been guilty of this Darwinian concept.......I do however reserve the right to call stuff like most Hip Hop, modern R &B,Boy Band Pop, and U2, Shit, both intellectually and morally.
John Zorn seems to be from the open end of the Jazz spectrum, along with Joey Baron(drums),and Bill Frisell (gtr),who seem to dispel the myth that Jazzers can't play metal.
(That said, Zorn was witnessed patronising an audience in my home town of Leicester on the Naked City Tour, by suggesting that such a provincial audience would prefer it if he played some Be-Bop; which he promptly did, and followed it up with some sneering comment afterwards.....prick!..i'll have him know that Napalm Death,the group he copied, also came from such provincial places as this, in fact just 20 miles down the road near Coventry...nobodies perfect i suppose?)
The jazz trendies are joined by proper people, Fred Frith,late of 'Henry Cow'on bass, and Yamatsuka Eye from the Boredoms, to provide some very daft vocals.
Whatever the Intellectual genius that John Zorn thinks he is, this style of music was shamelessly ripped off from brummy grindcore legends Napalm Death, with added alto sax, and musicianly polish.
The lower Manhattan art set are probably blissfully unaware of this, and would no doubt be heavily traumatised to discover such an unpleasant fact.
This album collects together all the wildest Naked City moments onto one twelve incher, and is an utterly superb avalanche of sustained short spurts of machine gun fire.


Sado Side
A1 Blood Is Thin 1:00
A2 Demon Sanctuary 0:38
A3 Thrash Jazz Assassin 0:45
A4 Dead Spot 0:31
A5 Bonehead 0:51
A6 Speedball 0:37
A7 Blood Duster 0:13
A8 Pile Driver 0:33
A9 Shangkuan Ling-Feng 1:14
A10 Numbskull 0:29
A11 Perfume Of A Critic's Burning Flesh 0:24
A12 Jazz Snob Eat Shit 0:24
A13 The Prestidigitator 0:43
A14 No Reason To Believe 0:26
A15 Hellraiser 0:39
A16 Torture Garden 0:35
A17 Slan 0:23
A18 Hammerhead 0:08
A19 The Ways Of Pain 0:31
A20 The Noose 0:10
A21 Sack Of Shit 0:43

Maso Side
B1 Blunt Instrument 0:53
B2 Osaka Bondage 1:14
B3 Igneous Ejaculation 0:20
B4 Shallow Grave 0:40
B5 Ujaku 0:27
B6 Kaoru 0:50
B7 Dead Dread 0:45
B8 Billy Liar 0:10
B9 Victims Of Torture 0:22
B10 Speedfreaks 0:29
B11 New Jersey Scum Swamp 0:41
B12 S & M Sniper 0:14
B13 Pigfucker 0:23
B14 Cairo Chop Shop 0:22
B15 Fuck The Facts 0:11
B16 Obeah Man 0:17
B17 Facelifter 0:34
B18 N.Y. Flat Top Box 0:43
B19 Whiplash 0:19
B20 The Blade 0:36
B21 Gob Of Spit 0:18

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

PainKiller ‎– "Buried Secrets" (Earache ‎– MOSH 62) 1992

A Godflesh/Napalm Death/Last Exit supergroup with special guest star, John Zorn on Sax abuse.

You won't find any other Godflesh or Napalm Death record on the coffee table's of any self-respecting Jazz Snob.Sneaking in by the back door as PainKiller, most of this record would be skipped over by most pseudo-intellectual Jazz fakes, and then scramble for cover under the nearest John Coltrane double bootleg.
Anything with a saxophone in it gets labelled 'Jazz',like any punk band with a sax was immediately rubber stamped as 'Jazz Punk' (eg The Cravats).
So PainKiller is ,obviously, 'Jazzcore'.
A more correct epithet is improvised noise; there's as much rock,and Dub in there as there is jazz, but it is definitely improvised.
It has its musical moments, but mostly its like filling your ears with sonic caustic a good way.


Tortured Souls 1:54
One Eyed Pessary 1:51
Trailmarker 0:08
Blackhole Dub 3:29
Buried Secrets 6:13
The Ladder 0:22
Executioner 2:48
Black Chamber 2:29
Skinned 0:54
The Toll 7:26

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Pain Killer ‎– "Guts Of A Virgin" (Earache ‎– MOSH 45) 1991

The gore-fest continues with this unlikely combination of Grindcore and Avant Garde Jazz, that gave birth to the sub-genre of,yes, 'Jazzcore'!?
Excellent paint stripping stuff it is too.
Lower Manhattan jazz-bo trendies, John Zorn and Bill Laswell heard Napalm Death, and like envious children wanted to have a go themselves. So the best place to start was to poach Napalm Deaths drummer and lead screamer, Mick Harris, and release it on Earache Records.
A bludgeoning napalm attack on the senses if ever there was one.Zorn's treated sax caterwauling is nothing short of being on the receiving end of a flame thrower whilst cornered in a concrete bunker.
Could be the best release on Earache by a country mile?
It also contravened the laughable 'Obscene Publications Act' for the cover, and was subsequently banned, and replaced with an edited facial shot of the sliced up female in question.
No such censorship is allowed on here however.


1 Scud Attack 3:07
2 Deadly Obstacle Collage 0:21
3 Damage To The Mask 2:43
4 Guts Of A Virgin 1:19
5 Handjob 0:10
6 Portent 4:00
7 Hostage 2:24
8 Lathe Of God 0:56
9 Dr. Phibes 3:00
10 Purgatory Of Fiery Vulvas 0:26
11 Warhead 1:12
12 Devil's Eye 4:37

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Carcass ‎– "Reek Of Putrefaction" (Earache ‎– MOSH 6) 1988

I haven't listened to, or rather endured, this  for about 25 years! It certainly stuck out in the album racks at the record shop. Mainly due to the crass collage of post-mortem photo's that adorn this charming recording.
Certainly a classic of the early Earache releases, and featuring Napalm Death's own Bill Steer, exorcising his obvious need for gore.......Grindgore anyone?
Its all very low end mushed up grindcore doom,recorded under a mudslide; most likely a mudslide that engulfed a school full of children.
These are the kind of kids you'd find in the sixth form common room huddled in the corner swapping Dostoevsky and Yukio Mishima novels.
The Earache sticker on the cover kind of sums it all up......all for £4.99!


Faecal Disarticulation Side:
A1 Genital Grinder 1:28
A2 Regurgitation Of Giblets 1:18
A3 Maggot Colony 1:32
A4 Pyosisified (Rotten To The Gore) 2:47
A5 Carbonized Eye-Sockets 1:06
A6 Frenzied Detruncation 0:54
A7 Vomited Anal-Tract 1:38
A8 Festerday 0:19
A9 Fermenting Innards 2:29
A10 Excreted Alive 1:17
A11 Suppuration 2:14

Anal Disgorgement Side:
B1 Foeticide 2:38
B2 Microwaved Uterogestation 1:22
B3 Feast On Dismembered Carnage 1:23
B4 Splattered Cavities 1:49
B5 Psychopathologist 1:15
B6 Burnt To A Crisp 2:37
B7 Pungent Excruciation 2:26
B8 Manifestation Of Verrucose Urethra 0:58
B9 Oxidised Razor Masticator 3:06
B10 Mucopurulence Excretor 1:05
B11 Malignant Defecation 2:10

Friday, 7 April 2017

Napalm Death ‎– "Hatred Surge" (Self Released) ‎– TDD3 1985

Before the Grind took hold, our buddies in Napalm Death were carbon copy Anarcho-Punks; they were even featured on Crass Records' "Bullshit Detector Vol.3".
However,the band information on this post is in fact wrong! The line up on this tape (also left to right in the picture on the tape cover) was future GodFlesh,Jesu and Head Of David supremo Justin Broadrick on Guitar, Nick Bullen Vocals and bass and Mick Harris on Drums. The line up listed was the original line up before Mick joined and became the "Grindcore" legends we know today.It even says so on the cover flap..."The Line Up has Changed And So has Their Musical Style". Although one song, "Instinct Of Survival" did survive by instinct, to appear on "Scum" and in the "Peel Sessions",as a revamped and shorter beast altogether.
So, in fact, Napalm Death hold the record for the longest time a band has existed without any original members, 1985 to present day.I think that even beats Fairport Convention(?), and Dr Feelgood? 
I do like the idea that No-one is bigger than the band,a bit like football clubs, but without the transfer fees.


A1 What Man Can Do 2:48
A2 Instinct Of Survival 2:47
A3 Abbatoir 3:45
A4 Control 2:35
A5 Sacrificed 1:37
A6 So Sad 4:33
A7 Caught In A Dream 2:14
A8 Private Death 2:08
A9 Cheswick Green (Live) 2:01

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Napalm Death ‎– "The Peel Sessions" (Strange Fruit ‎– SFPDCD049) 1987/88

Twenty Five 'songs' in 20 minutes?!Now, that's either value for money or a total rip off!
In my humble opinion it's excellent value for money, and the only Napalm Death/Grindcore record you would ever need.This genre can't get any better than this? A bit like Hip-Hop never got better than Public Enemy's "It Takes a Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back". After these two records, they, and their shameless imitators should have just called it a day.These two, seemingly polar opposite groups are black and white versions of the same thing I guess?


Session 1 - 13/09/1987:

1 The Kill / Prison Without Walls / Dead Pt.1 0:55
2 Deceiver / Lucid Fairytale / In Extremis 1:45
3 Blind To The Truth / Negative Approach / Common Enemy 1:05
4 Obstinate Direction / Life / You Suffer Pt.2 1:55

Session 2 - 08/03/1988:
5 Multi-National Corporations / Instinct Of Survival / Stigmatised / Parasites 4:10
6 Moral Crusade / Worlds Apart / M.A.D. 3:35
7 Divine Death / C.S. / Control 3:20
8 Walls / Raging In Hell / Conform Or Die / S.O.B. 3:15

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Napalm Death ‎– "Scum" (Earache ‎– MOSH 3) 1987

Comparing this monolithic jaw-dropping moment in music history to the Sewer Zombies album, (belated released by Ron Johnson to try and jump on the Grindcore bandwagon), Is like comparing being rammed by an icebreaker to being hit in the face by a soggy marshmallow.
Hearing this album for the first time was one of those rare, and getting rarer, "What the Fuck was that!?" moments.
Where did this come from? A mutated form of hardcore, doom metal (before doom ever existed),mixed up at different extreme tempo's, breakneck speed, to a soul crushing crawl. This was the first time I heard that growling vocal style, that is sooooo boring thirty years afterwards.Its an incredibly bizarre record, that borders on the Avant Garde, more than punk'n'metal; which was picked upon by Avant-jazzer ,John Zorn for his 'Naked City' project.....and later for the fantastic 'Painkiller' which included Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris.
This stuff was the only alternative to that bloody Acid House/rave nonsense that dominated for the next few decades.
Napalm Death were never the same after this, as line up changes, and repeating themselves endlessly dulled the effect.There should only have been one album, which would explain why several members left after its release.
However, the Peel sessions are in fact far superior to the official recordings...(coming up next of course).


A1 Multinational Corporations
A2 Instinct Of Survival
A3 The Kill
A4 Scum
A5 Caught....In A Dream
A6 Polluted Minds
A7 Sacrificed
A8 Siege Of Power
A9 Control
A10 Born On Your Knees
A11 Human Garbage
A12 You Suffer
B1 Life?
B2 Prison Without Walls
B3 Point Of No Return
B4 Negative Approach
B5 Success?
B6 Deceiver
B7 C.S.
B8 Parasites
B9 Pseudo Youth
B10 Divine Death
B11 As The Machine Rolls On
B12 Common Enemy
B13 Moral Crusade
B14 Stigmatized
B15 M.A.D.
B16 Dragnet

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Sewer Zombies ‎– "Reach Out And... ("Ron Johnson Records ‎– ZRON 32) 1988

It became clear that all was not well at Ron Johnson records when, in desperation, this pile of crud was licenced and released, to try and compete with local rival label Earache; who had cornered the new wave of abstract hardcore , with Napalm Death and a plethora of similar metal/punk hybrids. Earache, from near-by Nottingham, were not only the fastest growing independent label, they were raking the money in.Every release stormed the Independent charts with careless abandon; whereas Ron Johnson were running out of steam. The Sewer Zombies' flatulent fuzzy US Hardcore,was, along with the hugely disappointing Great Leap Forward (bIG fLAME offshoot), were the final nails in the coffin of RJ records.Comfortably the worst record on this hallowed label.


Sewer A:

A1 Search
A2 Too Many Police
A3 Executive Execution
A4 They Died With Their Willie Nelson T-Shirts On
A5 Never
A6 Reach Out

Sewer B:

B1 Zheeta
B2 Piss
B3 I Got Something To Say
B4 They Had No Right
B5 Message To The Christian Church
B6 From Below

Bonus Track:

Hcruhc Naitsirhc Eht Ot Egassem

John Walters on Room 101, BBC Radio 5, 4th September 1992.

Ron Johnson Records were based in Long Eaton, in the East Midlands of England, (Where your author comes from), between Nottingham and Derby.
Funnily enough, this is also the hometown of the late lamented producer of the John Peel Show,the great John Walters. The man who recommended The Fall to Peel, because...'they were even worse than Siouxsie and the Banshees'.
So as Ron Johnson Records were almost exclusively ,only played on the Peel Show, and Walters came from the same town as Dave Parsons. Here is John's appearance on BBC Radio 5's Room 101; choosing his most hated songs, people, and things, to disappear forever into the infamous room from which there is no return.
He didn't choose any Ron Johnson recordings, but he did choose 'The East Midlands', including Long Eaton......and presumably my home town of Leicester.....can't disagree.
He was a great bloke, hilarious, and one of those people you'd want at your dinner party; much missed.

DOWNLOAD from room 101 HERE!

Monday, 3 April 2017

Splat! ‎– "2 Splat! EP's" (Ron Johnson Records ‎– RON 1/RON 2) 1983/84

Splat! ‎– "Splat! EP" (RON 1) 1983 :


A1 Yeah The Dum Dum
A2 Bookface
B1 Biggles Bloodbath

Splat! ‎– "Splat!" (12" EP RON 2) 1984


A1 Taxi
A2 Bloom
B1 A Foolish Crawl
B2 Morbius 4

Long Eaton based (which is near Nottingham, for our non-UK subscribers), Ron Johnson Records' founder, Dave Parsons,was in a proto-Ron Johnson type group called "Splat!".
They sound like most of the other groups that appeared later on this label.A kind of a mixture between A Witness and Bogshed; which is a high recommendation indeed.
Much has been said about the inept business acumen of Dave, which led him into bankruptcy; all for the 'love of music'.
I don't think he was alone in struggling to break even with a business model such as this.He was as unlikely to find an indie "Tubular Bells" as anyone else in this trade; but aren't we glad he did it?
Here's an enlightening explanation from the man himself:

"In my defence as the useless money man - I was 21 when I started Ron Johnson and knew nothing about making records or running a business - I just loved music. [censored] of [censored] rough-rided me into agreeing to pay about £6000 out on [censored] - we paid out about £500 on Loudhailer Songs! I was naive and [censored] (nice person though he is) was deluded and the financial morass began there. Their records never sold well. The Ex double-single was a fiasco of Rough Trade's making - they sold it at a price that was lower than the manufacturing cost and because it was reviewed as such amazing product for such amazing price felt that they couldn't put the price up - it sold 15000 copies and RJ lost £15000! Fantastic. The only band who ever made a profit in RJ were A Witness and they have a right to feel slightly aggrieved. I gave 24 hours of my life for 7 years to RJ, lost my house, never made a penny and was eventually bankrupted because I loved the music. Cheers, Dave Parsons".

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The Ex ‎– "Too Many Cowboys" (Ron Johnson Records ‎– ZRON 25) 1987

Dunno about Too Many Cowboys for a title? How about Too Many Tracks?
Nothing particularly ground breaking, music wise on this long collection of live and studio cuts, from Ex Van Crass. It sounds like The Ex gave a pretty highly charged Live performance,which is probably where they are the most relevant; otherwise its just standard,and very dated ,mid-eighties protest punk. Time hasn't been as kind to this sort of soapbox punk,but it stubbornly refuses to go away, unlike most of the other groups on the Ron Johnson roster, who nearly without exception broke up in or around 1988. But the music of the quirkier side of the labels output seems far fresher and relevant than The Ex's contributions;and it's The Ex who are still around today.No doubt sounding exactly the same, despite the members pushing sixty years of age.
This is no bad thing?


1 Red & Black 5:47
2 White Shirts 3:53
3 Adversity 0:30
4 People Again 4:12
5 Knock 2:46
6 Hands Up, You're Free 3:06
7 Ignorance 2:54
8 Butter Or Bombs 4:11
9 Dumbo 3:18
10 How Can One Sell The Air 5:46
11 Business As Usual 5:56
12 Olympigs 4:19
13 Choice 2:58
14 A Job / Stupid 2:40
15 Oops 6:32
16 No Fear 5:04
17 Vivisection 1:19
18 A Piece Of Paper 6:37
19 They Shall Not Pass 3:28

Sunday, 26 March 2017

The Ex ‎– "1936, The Spanish Revolution" (Ron Johnson Records ‎– ZRON 11) 1986

Apparently, this was one of the great loss makers for Ron Johnson Records......I quote Dave Parsons (Mr Ron Johnson)....."The Ex double-single was a fiasco of Rough Trade's making - they sold it at a price that was lower than the manufacturing cost and because it was reviewed as such amazing product for such amazing price felt that they couldn't put the price up - it sold 15000 copies and RJ lost £15000! Fantastic."

The Ex were a Dutch Crass basically, but had a little more imagination with their limited musical ability.
The soapbox nature of their political ideology, if it can be called an ideology, gets a tad tiresome, as does the endless bleating of Crass.
Personally if you follow any political dogma, and constantly bang on about it, you're as much an enemy as those pricks who feel a need to control other peoples lives.
For me Anarchy should be as politicianless, as much as leaderless; but as always there's always someone, some Human, who wants to be the leader, unopposed if necessary, to crush our collective spirit in a different, but the same, way.
The Ex, in my opinion, were not a Ron Johnson band,and like the Sewer Zombies later on,I cannot explain their appeal!?


A1 They Shall Not Pass 3:47
A2 El Tren Blindado 3:06
B1 People Again 4:30
B2 Ay Carmela 3:13

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Stump - " The Complete Peel Sessions 1986-88" (a Die or DIY? Compilation)

Stump were exactly the kind of group that Peel would love. Quirky, over-clever, slightly irritating,and popular on the campus, primarily with the geekier end of the university chess club.
For some reason I can't remember Peel playing 'The Cardiacs' at all?....they tick all the Peel Band boxes twice over!?
Naturally, Stump did four sessions before they were drowned in infancy by the moozik biz......and here they are......:

Track Listing:

01 Kitchen Table [26-01-86]
02 Orgasm Way [26-01-86]
03 Grab Hands [26-01-86]
04 Buffalo [26-01-86]
05 Tupperware Stripper [24-06-86]
06 Big End [24-06-86]
07 Satisfaction [24-06-86]
08 Bit-Part Actor [24-06-86]
09 Living it Down [13-01-87]
10 Eager Bereaver [13-01-87]
11 Alcohol [13-01-87]
12 Bone [13-01-87]
13 The Song's Remains [13-09-88]
14 Thelma [13-09-88]
15 Seven Sisters [13-09-88]
16 Straight And Narrow [13-09-88]

DOWNLOAD the remains of a once noble tree HERE!

Friday, 24 March 2017

Stump ‎– "Quirk Out" (Stuff Records ‎– STUF/U2) 1986

Then Stump mysteriously appeared in a high gloss sleeved mini-album on some unknown label called 'Stuff Records'. Obviously to anyone with half a brain cell, this label was a crass attempt by major label wankers Ensign to try and resemble an Independent set up so as not to alienate Stump's fan base......which it did. They even had it distributed by The Cartel, so a stealthy,but doomed, effort was indeed made.
The catalogue number was good anyway....Stuff U2!
The tunes are the usual tremolo heavy, herky jerky, slidey quirk out's that the group were synonymous with. The intensely irritating 'Buffalo' is included, along with a decent tune that could have been written by a person skilled in the art of classic songcraft, "Our Fathers".If there was a Beefheart equivalent to this tune, it would be from fan base losing "Blue Jeans and Moon Beams" rather than fan base rebuilding "Doc at the Radar Station"; and benefits greatly from a total lack of.... 'Quirk Out'! 


A1 Tupperware Stripper
A2 Our Fathers
A3 Kitchen Table
B1 Buffalo
B2 Everything In Its Place
B3 Bit Part Actor

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Stump ‎– "Mud On A Colon EP" (Ron Johnson Records ‎– ZRON 6) 1986

Peculiar London Based Anglo-Irish combo who sounded like Captain Beefheart's Magic Band fronted by Jimmy Cricket. Slightly annoying and 'clever clever'; these show-offs nearly made it as a chart band!?....They signed to a 'proper' record label and consequently were never heard of again.....the same old story. The fact that they were snapped up by one of the shitter 'proper' record labels (Ensign?!) couldn't have helped their prospects for lucrative longevity.
The original singer was none other than that irritating bloke from The Shrubs, Nick Hobbs, who was sacked for being 'too serious'!? Then he got replaced by the slightly less irritating Mick Lynch (who died earlier this year, RIP).
An EP is about all i can take in one sitting, so luckily Ron Johnson didn't inflict a full album on us...leave that to Ensign.
It didn't help that they used a fretless bass! One of thee most awful instruments ever devised, alongside the soprano sax, and the Yamaha DX-7.
Stump, as a whole, were a kind of hip novelty band, who one struggled to take seriously, even though they weren't at all funny(?)....maybe Nick Hobbs should have stayed on? 


A1 Orgasm Way
A2 Ice The Levant
B1 Grab Hands
B2 55-0-55

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Twang! ‎– "Sharp" (Ron Johnson Records ‎– ZRON14) 1986

Here's another version of 'Sharp' by the very sharp and funky post punk disco combo Twang! One of their very few official releases from a very short career......other groups should learn by their example and split up, especially any group, or relations of, from 1990 onwards(except a few very rare exceptions of course).


A Sharp
B Eight At A Time

Bonus track:
"Whats the Rub?" -from some free flexi disc what came with a magazine or something in 1986.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Twang! ‎– "Kick And Complain" (Ron Johnson Records ‎– ZRON22) 1987

Twang!'s razor sharp post punk funk gets the Ron Johnson treatment as it falls off the cliff into near total obscurity.
The choppy lead/rhythm guitars sit in the foreground of the mix, and slash through that absurdly massive gated snare drum nonsense that dominates the midfield, like a bacon slicer attacking a rabid  mousse aux chocolat!
The eighties fashion for creating drum sounds that suggest a Norwegian Icebreaker being dropped onto a Nazi submarine pen ruined a  lot of records dynamics; but this one manages to negate the claustrophobia by keeping the lead instruments sharp and free of those horrible early digital effects units.


A1 Cut Candidate
A2 Cold Tongue Bulletin
B1 Sharp
B2 Every Home Should Have One

Monday, 20 March 2017

Twang! - "Peel Sessions 1986" (a Die or DIY? compilation)

Twang! were a mixture of Josef K, The Pop Group,and the kind of stuff that could get in the charts in the eighties, like Haircut 100 and Living In A Box.A kind of spiky post-punk speed funk, in the mould of Postcard Records,but with lashings of aggression.
Like The MacKenzies, they were rather under-represented on vinyl, releasing a single, an EP, and a twelve inch dance remix piece of desperate rubbish.
Again they were best represented by their two peel sessions from 1986.But with a spectacular lack of success they split up around the time of the Acid House every other good band did.

Track Listing:

01 Eight at a Time(12-2-86)
02 Cold Tongue Bulletin(12-2-86)
03 Big Dry Out(12-2-86)
04 Law Suit Man(12-2-86)
05 What's The Rap_(29-12-86)
06 Every Home Should Have One(29-12-86)
07 This Is Intrusion(29-12-86)
08 Here's Lukewarm(29-12-86)

DOWNLOAD what every home should have HERE!

Mackenzies ‎– "A Sensual Assault 12" EP" (Ron Johnson Records ‎– ZRON15) 1986

When one purchases a MacKenzies record, one doesn't intend to purchase an Art Of Noise/Trevor Horn remix atrocity.......but thats what you get with this EP. Massive and extremely dated digital drum machine sounds, and stereo panned gated reverb nonsense. Almost the worst release on Ron Johnson, only bettered, or worsened, by The Sewer Zombies LP.
They weren't the only group on this label to fall into the eighties 'remix' trap. A Witness and Twang! bid it too......but not quite to this extent of awfulness.


A1 Mealy Mouths
A2 Trouble
B1 Mealy Mouths (Radio Edit)
B2 Jim Jam

Saturday, 18 March 2017

MacKenzies ‎– "New Breed (Ron Johnson Records ‎– ZRON 9) 1986

Incredibly this is the only official release of the original MacKenzies style, before they lost interest and chased some disco cred with the follow up.The fact that they failed to see that they already made very danceable  tunes is nothing short of unbelievable and tragic.
The Indie/Dance crossover tracks they did after this solitary single, were far less danceable in my opinion,and incredibly dated and boring.
Ironically this single is far less dated and the very opposite of boring.....a classic.


1 New Breed
2 Dogs Breakfast
3 bonus track from c-86 compilation - "Big Jim(There's No Pubs In Heaven)

Friday, 17 March 2017

The MacKenzies - "The Legendary Peel Sessions of 1986" (a Die or DIY? Compilation)

Whereas I was complaining that The Shrubs put too much on one record, The MacKenzies didn't put enough stuff on any recorded music format....until now!
Their entire vinyl output was an excellent 7" single, and a not so excellent 12" EP of naff  eighties dance remixes of 'Mealy Mouths'.
They did, however,record two Peel sessions before they broke up; the first of which was so admired by the venerable DJ that he repeated it a record seven times!?
A tragically under-recorded and long forgotten, late flowering of the Postcard sound was The MacKenzies. Fast choppy indie-funk, that made those pale young men just wanna dance,even without the aid of a fistful of disco biscuits.
The MacKenzies would fall victim of the ensuing 'dance' revolution,but not before releasing, a fine single,and one of the very rare 'shit' records on Ron Johnson. The Peel Sessions are the only place where this fine group's well-oiled machinery was ever captured in action.
The bastard offspring of the Fire Engines and Josef K,this group flickered into existence only briefly like a man made heavy element in a particle accelerator.Whose existence can only now be proved by mathematical theory as we wait for the next unstable creation to form.If they had stayed around like an inert gas,or The Fall,they would have been a cult element on the periodic table of pop. Like number 117, Ununhexium, or Uuh; which some lunatics believe is the basis of an anti-gravity system that could propel mankind deep into the cold heart of empty space,where only the most distant stars inhabit.....rather like the music star system.Its best to stay earthbound rather than reach for the stars only to find out that they harbor no life,and confirm that we are,after all, alone!
What I am saying is, that it's best to stop before one does something you're gonna be ashamed of artistically and personally.
If Dire Straits had stopped after their first single, we'd have thought that they were a pretty good group.....but no;and the rest is a tragic example of why one should bow out well before the crest of the wave starts to form.

Track Listing:

01 New Breed (10-2-86)
02 Man with No Reason (10-2-86)
03 Give Me Everything (10-2-86)
04 Gobstopper (10-2-86)
05 Milk (30-7-86)
06 Big Jim (30-7-86)
07 Mealy Mouths (30-7-86)
08 Jingle (30-7-86)

DOWNLOAD the legend HERE!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Shrubs - "Peel Sessions 1986/87" (a Die or DIY? compilation)

Surprise! Surprise! The Shrubs did some(2) Peel Sessions.
The usual complex skewed guitar interplay, rolling drums, and manic vocals; resulting in a glorious, abstract, art damaged collection of Shrubbery.
Congratulations to the BBC's Dale Griffin(RIP), who managed to blend the vocals further back in the mix to previous releases by the group.Obviously the Singer (Nick Hobbs) must normally have been in the control room asking for his vocals to be louder; as is a normal pastime for most musicians in the recording studio.
Rule number one for a producer is to never have musicians in the control room during the mixing process....they think that they're 'Artists'!?

Track Listing:

01 John Corpse [22-06-86]
02 Blackmailer[22-06-86]
03 Animal[22-06-86]
04 Assassin[22-06-86]
05 King Um [26-08-1987]
06 Papa Chaperon [26-08-1987]
07 Sullen Days Are Over [26-08-1987]
08 Bullfighter's Bones (Bonus C-86 track)

DOWNLOAD directly to your musical garden HERE!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The Shrubs ‎– "Take Me Aside For A Midnight Harangue" (Ron Johnson Records ‎– ZRON 23) 1987

What did I say about not allowing The Shrubs to do an LP?....this would have made three great EP's.
The Beefheart Influence looms large, leaning towards an amphetamine fueled Magic Band 'Shiny Beast" era. Morris-Teper rather than Horn Rollo; but whereas the good Captain took a break from the manic-ness  with the occasional poem,field recording, or calm instrumental. The Shrubs are in top gear for nigh on the full 13 Tracks, only ending with a calming Peon-esque instrumental.
However, the music is fantastic; the guitar interplay is worthy of The Magic Band itself, filtered through a very English psyche! There can be no higher compliment than that.


A1 Mysterious Places 2:58
A2 Luke 2:20
A3 Fashion Show 3:33
A4 Middle Men 3:52
A5 Claykiln Mouth 3:35
A6 Blackmailer's Heartache 3:11
A7 Rivers Of Toads Flow Forever 3:24
B1 Sinister Missions 3:06
B2 John Corpse 3:57
B3 Hail Chauffeurs 4:28
B4 Serial Revelry 2:42
B5 Farmers 4:45
B6 Edith 4:04
B7 Albert Ross 0:54

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The Shrubs ‎– "Blackmailer EP" (Ron Johnson Records ‎– ZRON 17) 1986

Its spring again and the Shrubs are in bloom, nurtured from dormant seeds sown thirty years previously.
These particular Shrubs are a variety nourished by equal quantities of Trout Mask Replica and Pere Ubu, resulting in wiry green shoots tipped with bitter tasting but, nutritionally rewarding berries.
Side A's two seeds were germinated in This Heat's Cold Storage, under the auspices of Henry Cow and The Work's Tim Hodgkinson.
Side B's were re-potted from the BBC's John Peel Show, after being cultivated by the late Dale Griffin in june 1986.
Again, I reiterate, that these Shrubs' tendrils must be pruned back to EP length, as Album length tendrils can irritate due to the annoying sound of the Nick Hobbs warbler which likes to nest among these very leaves.
Thankfully, the leaves of the 'Blackmailer' variety are perfect for these Shrubs.


A1 Blackmailer 1:59
A2 River Of Toads 2:36
B1 Assassin 2:27
B2 Animal 3:01

Sunday, 12 March 2017

The Shrubs ‎– "Full Steam Into The Brainstorm" (Ron Johnson Records ‎– ZRON 10) 1986

Now, musically, The Shrubs were fine exponents of the Captain Beefheart dueling guitars in challenging time signatures method of composition.
But, unlike the Magic Band, they didn't have a singer to match the music.Former Henry Cow manager, Nick Hobbs had the microphone, and he irritates the fuck out of me! His over enthusiastic forced warbling outstays its welcome very quickly; as does his obvious desire to sound as weird and unusual as he thinks he is, which sounds as contrived as Don Van Vliet but without the artists sense of the Abstract that the late Beefheart obviously had.
Formerly called The Kevin Staples Band(despite not having anyone called Kevin Staples in the group!), they changed their name to the forgettable Shrubs'' moniker  before they released this debut EP on Ron Johnson Records. And, the 'EP' format definitely suits them, to limit the listeners exposure to the grossly annoying Nick Hobbs, File under annoying lead singers, alongside Steve "Shirley" Solomar of The Spherical Objects, and Alan Jenkins of The Deep Freeze Mice.

A1 Carbreaker 3:38
A2 Dead Teachers 2:55
A3 Warm Sea 3:20
B1 Black Saloons 3:33
B2 The Dealer 4:42
B3 Bullfighter 3:45