Spill Challenge #whatever – Of Mice and Men

Records 2

Phew…. this was far more difficult than it had any right to be! I definitely over-thought everything and seemed to have ended up with a totally different list than I had planned.

I envisioned a cool, eclectic, hop, skip and jump through my record collection, touching down on a variety of genres from a range of eras. But when I started pulling records off the shelf, I got all distracted and sidetracked and my 11 track list turned into a 30 track one, with a heavy bias towards abrasive breakcore!
Out went the jazz, Finnish electronica and Nigerian psychedelic organ and in came the powerpop and Lebanese bozok! None of my usual roll-call of favourites made it either. No Liars. No Clinic. No Nirvana. No Anaal Nathrakh. No Not Not Fun, No…..oh you get the idea. I think it’s more of a mixtape than 11 stand alone tracks, but anyway, here’s what I ended up with…Oh…and I decided to go chronological, no one has done that yet have they?!

1. The Country (Downliners) Sect“If I Could Just Go Back” – British Rhythm & Blues lunatics the Downliners Sect changed their name to the Country Sect for their 1965 2nd album, in doing so they could have reasonably laid claim to have made (one of ) the first country rock albums if it wasn’t for the fact that it in no way resembles Country music! I love all the Downliners Sect records and the wonderful inauthenticity of these Twickenham boys singing about “growing up amid the Country scene” makes me smile every time.

2. Nick Drake – “River Man” – Only discovered Nick last year, but it feels like I’ve known his music for decades. Does that sound cheesy? I hope so!

3. Crime“Hot Wire My Heart” – ‘San Francisco’s first and only rock’n’roll band’ unleash their proto-punk noise with a sneer on their face and a swagger in their cop-uniform-and-sunglasses-indoors step.

4. Peter Tosh “Mystic Man” – A long standing favourite on the Panther turntable. I like to think of it as the original straight edge song!

5. M’n’Ms – “Knock Knock Knock” – Pretty much my definition of the perfect (power) pop song.

6. Six By Seven – “Candlelight” – Post-Britpop UK indie guitar rock at its best. From their debut album “The Things We Make” which is one of my favourite albums of the 90s.

7. Riff Randells – “Who Says Girls Can’t Rock?” – Certainly not me! Perfect garage rock and pretty much what you’d expect from a band who name themselves after the lead female character in a Ramones film.

8. Billy Mahonie – “On the Brinck” – A late substitution here in the form of some nice and restrained post-rock

9. Orcustus – “Wrathrash” – Put on your corpsepaint and twist your left hand into a weird talon shape for the camera. Here’s some Trve Norwegian Black Metal from around 2005.

10. Bobby Browser – “No Appointments” – They call it ‘hipster house’, I call it great music. I always think she’s singing “are you taking the piss?”!

11. Mutar Muhammad“Bayati” – I heard this on a DJ/Rupture podcast late one night on the bus on the final leg of my mammoth commute home and it just blew me away. It took a while to track down what it was and get a copy, when I finally did, it blew me away all over again. (Not chronologically correct, I’d guess it’s from the late 70s, but I wanted the last track to be the last thing I had bought/downloaded – and this is it!)

…there you have it, much more guitar heavy than I planned, but never mind. Just to remind you, you do have to keep at least ONE!!

38 thoughts on “Spill Challenge #whatever – Of Mice and Men

  1. much more guitar heavy than I planned

    Yay! I have a wicked busy day here today and may not get to this till tonite or tomorrow, but i can’t wait.

    First time around i think most of us probably overthought it.

  2. No Anaal Nathrakh?! What is going ON in the world? Look forward to these very much, panth, but just off out to the theatah, so they’ll will have to wait till tomorrow.

  3. 1. The Country (Downliners) Sect – “If I Could Just Go Back” – very joly. The farmer and the cowman should be friends.

    2. Nick Drake – “River Man” – I love Nick Drake. Does that sound cheesy, too?

    3. Crime – “Hot Wire My Heart” – Mick Jagger with safety pins. And why not?

    4. Peter Tosh – “Mystic Man” – PT can do no wrong, for me.

    5. M’n’Ms – “Knock Knock Knock” – Ah, now this is where you and I part company. I’m just going to start the dinner …

    6. Six By Seven – “Candlelight” – yeah, catchy,a bit Manics, maybe? I like this.

    7. Riff Randells – “Who Says Girls Can’t Rock?” – OK,sort of washed over me while I was stirring the curry.

    8. Billy Mahonie – “On the Brinck” – Not sure what post-rock is, but I like it.

    9. Orcustus – “Wrathrash” – Metallica with Viking helmets, or something. This can stay.

    10. Bobby Browser – “No Appointments” – Yep. Like this, too.

    11. Mutar Muhammad – “Bayati” – Fabulous, dahling – my favourite of the lot. In fact it has given me an idea for my playlist next week.

    OK, thanks for all the great music. But as for the M’n’Ms, I hear them knocking, but they can’t come in.

  4. been looking forward to listening to this, children now in bed so I have a chance. The first is very cheery, not moving me, unlike Nick Drake who sounds as good every time I listen to him, doesn’t seem to wear off, lovely choice, not cheesy at all.

    Bit of a change of pace for Crime reminds me of Richard Hell or the Heartbreakers, like it, Peter Tosh finds favour here too.
    M’n’M’s are cute, tricky name for the internet though.

    Ooh, now I do like Six By Seven, from Nottingham aren’t they? Ulterior who I love love love said in an interview that they saw the band live a lot when they were impressionable and rated their live performances very highly. I like the droney feel, a bit woozy like MBV, must investigate further.

    Riff Randells not really speaking to me, but Billy Mahonie who I read as Manhole when looking quickly, is very pleasant, good for chillaxing or whatever the term is.

    Orcustus woke me from my reverie rather rudely, a bit of an abrupt transition and a bit muffled for my liking, mind you I have just been listening to Storm Corrosion before your list so the sonic difference is rather pronounced. Not my favourite.

    Bobby Browser reminded me of the Orb which is good and Mutar Muhammad is quite lovely.

    Overall, thank you for reminding me that I want to listen to more Six by Seven (are their songs all about love and relationships or have I imagined that?) so they win and Riff Randells can go.

    • Yes, saw Six by Seven 3 or 4 times back in the day and they were absolutely incendiary live…used to do a great version of “Heroes”.
      The first 2 albums (“The Things We Make” and “The Closer You Get”) are really amazing and highly recommended.

  5. This is great–and Riff Randells! When my older daughter first was getting involved in music–radio show,, playing bass & guitar, writing about it–they were some of her first heroes. She sent them a ‘zine she had fashioned on an old typewriter and photocopied with cutouts and the whole bit, all very 1977, and they were so wonderful, writing her back and encouraging her and the like.

    Peter Tosh and straight edge in the same sentence, paragraph, world? ID-even-K, but the younger daughter–straight edge 4evah–would not be amused…I am. Stepping razor indeed.

    And I’m smitten by the M’n’M’s and owe you for Country Sect–who knew (oh, wait, y’all did…me late again…almost 50 years)

    Tough call, but I am perhaps not deep and meaningful enough for Billy Mahonie but I’m trying (well, sorta) or young/angry/something enough for Orcustus (though I’m find of their brethren Turbonegro and neighbors Hellacopters)…I suppose drop them?\


    • Thanks for listening Eric. Yes. Riff Randells are very DIY. I battled through a typhoon to see them in Tokyo about 5 years ago, they were really grateful that anyone had turned up at all.

      M’n’Ms were one of those perfect lightning flashes in pop history that bands used to be able to do in the early 80s. I think they released less than 10 minutes of music in their entire career, but that makes it all the sweeter!

      If you didn’t know the Downliners Sect they are well worth investigating – I like to think of them as the British Sonics, slightly less abrasive but far more eccentric.

  6. 1) Brilliant stuff. They were a strange bunch weren’t they?

    2) Liked – very atmospheric but the slight tune didn’t warrant that amount of repetition. Dare I say he sounded like Donovan at times? Best not……

    3) I think I remember this. Used to be a bit sniffy about the American punk scene (with some notable exceptions) but it does seem to have stood the test of time.

    4) Peter Tosh makes more enjoyable music – for my money – than Bob Marley. (Don’t like him as a person though – often the way) This sounds really good.

    5) M ‘n’ Ms – Not my kind of thing, these days but ok.

    6) 5 by 7 – Don’t get this really. Some “Tomorrow Never Knows” drumming which I like but I’m not sure about the rest.

    7) Oh shut up. Just kick them in the nuts if they start getting macho, but keep that bloody racket down next door. I didn’t go through 97 world wars so you could whinge about your guitar practice.

    8) Quite enjoyed this.

    9) No – don’t get it.

    10) I keep reading this as Bobby Brewster and thinking of sardine sandwiches. Pleasant in its wayl.

    11) Loved this at first but went on far too long for me. I think, reading back, I’m just in a bad mood. All the tracks are fine. It’s just me,

    I think I would jettison Orcustus or Riff Randells. Probably on balance it’d be Orcustus.

  7. Interesting list there panthersan – that Nick Drake is one of my favourites, but I didn’t know anything else here, but found something to admire in all of it. Even Orcustus – but if you ever try to make me listen to them again, I’ll be forced to retaliate with a bombardment of St Etienne.

    Mutar Muhammad was probably the one that made the biggest impression, and Billy Mahonie went down well too.

  8. Crime are ace and untouchable, so it’s nine from ten. I like the rocking stuff, especially the swarm attack of Orcustus but my fave was actually Bobby Browsers, though the Soundcloud description of them as Contemporary Adult House makes me realise that I’m old. MM goes because I wanted more CAH sounds.

    • There’s a depressing thought… What other similar genres are there?

      AOT (Adult-Oriented Techno)
      Middle-aged hardcore

      I’d quite like to live in a Contemporary Adult House.

  9. Some interesting sounds, panther. Ta.
    Easily my fave is Billy Mahonie (reminds me of Shrimp Boat), although many others delivered some charm or, if not, brevity.
    Please put Orcustus and their ilk in a sealed container several miles beneath the Earth’s crust. I simply don’t get it.

  10. Hmmm. there’s two artists here that I have an abiding and irrational loathing for. Which to choose….I think on balance Peter Tosh gets “toshed”.

  11. Well, you’ve given us a strange mix here my lad……..
    1) Not a lover of this type of “Country” music.
    2) Always loved this guys way of ‘feeling’ his songs. A great loss to music.
    3) No.
    4) Never anything to knock in his music.
    5) Hmmm. Thought it could be Claire Grogan from the old days.
    6) Yes, would like to hear more. One to track down.
    7) Could that have been the Bangles on another day ?
    8) Yes, another like keepy.
    9) No.
    10) I’m all for a bit of chillout. Love this.
    11) Over the top. A bit like the Spanish guitarists that play all the notes simply because they can.

    The one to keep – other than the ones I didn’t know – would be Six by Seven.

  12. 1. The Country (Downliners) Sect – Oh no…

    2. Nick Drake – Yeah, I really should listen listen to more of him. Loved nearly everything i’ve heard and this is no exception. Lovely, and no going anywhere.

    3. Crime – Oh yes! Just great. Big keeper.

    4. Peter Tosh – Meh.

    5. M’n’Ms – Fun!

    6. Six By Seven – Whoa, this was so awesome! If you gave me a thought, you must have known i would love this. Psych rock heaven. Groovy as fuck.

    7. Riff Randells – Fun too! Thaough at first look at the list it was Free Energy – Girls Want Rock which almost made my second list.

    8. Billy Mahonie – This was lovely. Reminds me a bit of the Album Leaf, which nearly made my first Spillgame list.

    9. Orcustus – Candidate for the toss, think i’ll take Anaal Nathrakh hands down.

    10. Bobby Browser – Not normally my sort of thing. But i liked this very much.

    11. Mutar Muhammad – Nice.

    So i still think i’ll toss The Country Downliners Sect, followed by Orcustus, but i’m not letting go of 6×7, Crime, or Nick Drake.

    Thanks, Panth!

  13. Panth (and Fuel, and anyone else) –

    What i forgot to tell you on Arsebook yesterday –

    For anyone who wants to use the new player –

    1) Upload your files as usual.

    2) To the left in the media section, there’s a sidebar. Click on the “Playlist Editor” link.

    3) A list of song files uploaded will come up. (Unfortunately, it now shows the files from all posts, not just your own). Check off the songs you want in the player. Then scroll all the way to the bottom. Click on the link that says “Insert Into Post. (Be sure that first you have the cursor where you want it in the original post).

    4) Bob’s your uncle. Almost, anyway. The player should look something like this – [playlist tracks="40173,40174,40177,40175,40176,40178"] (that’s the playlist from my Garage post).

    Now, when you preview the post, you might see file names and stuff. You can change these to the song title, or title / artist, or number (like i did for my Ear Candy list) or whatever by going back to the media upload part, clicking on each file, and changing the title in the sidebar to the right. (Or you could do it at the beginning after uploading, which would be a lot easier).

    Now, you may find that the songs are not in the order that you want them. You have to fiddle with the numbers in the playerby rearranging them the way you want them.

  14. Right, here we are. (I feel like I start that way every week – sorry!)

    The Country (Downliners) Sect: Jolly. Not totally my bag, but toe-tappin’, rootin’-tootin’ fun. Keep – probably.

    Nick Drake: Doesn’t move me as much as, say, “Northern Sky”, but I do find him very calming to listen to. Lovely stuff. Keep.

    Crime: Strikes me that rather a lot of records sounded like this in the 70s, but that’s the way things go. Not everyone can be an innovator. Catchy. Again, probably keep.

    Peter Tosh: Oh this is brilliant! Favourite so far. 100% keep. (Although it is a bit long and rambling.)

    M’n’Ms: Fun. And certainly didn’t outstay its welcome! I’m tempted to listen again. Keep.

    Six By Seven: 42! Eh, what? Sounds like a cross between U2 and Jesus Jones to me. Perhaps with a bit of “Reverence” era Mary Chain thrown in there. I was expecting something a little less generic, I have to admit. I remember them being quite touted, but I can’t quite see why based on this. Maybe keep as not in any way offensive to the ear.

    Riff Randells: Ooh, new favourite so far. This is irresistible. You tell ’em, girls! Love it. Keep.

    Billy Mahonie: Yeah, s’alright. My attention is wandering a bit but that’s cos I’m a pleb and need a vocal to hook me in.

    Orcustus: Oh puh-leaze! You knew before I started that this was getting my heave-ho, didn’t you?

    Bobby Browser: Hipster house, eh? Yeah, this is alright. I got a bit caught up looking at the pics from the Brits there. (Mitch Winehouse’s waistcoat!!! MINE EYES!!!!) Yeah, I quite like this. Keep.

    Mutar Muhammad: This is gonna be a long one, isn’t it? But I think it may justify that length. I’m quite excited by it so far. Yep, this is pretty thrilling. I’d like him to sing/wail in a qawwali style (or something), but I’m guessing it’s gonna remain an instrumental. Hey ho.

    Thanks panth – it is of course Orcustus to go (as the only one I didn’t make it to the end of). A fabulously eclectic list!

    • I knew it would be Orcustus, of course!

      I feel I should stand up for Crime though. I’ve been meaning to do a Spill post about them for about 3 years! They were pretty innovative, doing the punky noise thing just that bit earlier than most others…they are often attributed to releasing the first West coast punk single (yes, I know, quite an accolade!), but what made them special was their absolute refusal to play the game. They were too punky and nasty for the rock crowd, but refused to be part of the punk scene and ended up pissing off everybody. They are labelled as style over substance posers too, which is undoubtedly true, but when they were that stylish – who cares?! I’ll get round to doing the Spill post one day…

  15. Updated schedule –

    Feb 26 – Ali
    March 5 – DsD
    March 12 – Punky
    March 19 – Fintan
    March 26 – Beltway
    April 2 – SHA
    April 9 – Tfd
    April 16 –
    April 23 –
    April 30 –

    • Have realised I am probably on Holiday March 26th – know I can write in advance and just hit publish but would like to be here when it goes out – would anyone either side of me (Punky/Fintan/SHA) care for a swap of dates?

      • BB – I’m also on vacation the week of the 26th, I am happy to switch with AIP or SHA if that’s what it takes to get it done.

  16. thanks for all the great comments everyone – makes all the sweat and tears I put it into it worth the while (see the pile of records in the top picture as evidence!) .

    I’m really pleased that’s there’s no obvious tosser (!!) or keeper – I expected it to be Orcustus (which on balance it probably is) or possibly Mutar Muhammad for being too long. Cheers all!

  17. Ok, a fabulously enjoyable and eclectic set – here’s what I reckon:

    1)Country Downliners Sect – I quite liked this – what surprised me most was how authentically country sounding it was, which kicked me into a ponderance about why Country Music was so popular and so authentically mimicked by a lot of British Beat Groups in the 60s (even The Beatles qv Act Naturally etc) and yet is has negligible influence on pop now – was it that country was closer to its blues roots back then and hence crossed over painlessly to one of the obsessions of the time?, or was it that as a country we were still enthralled by the mysteries of the USA, spurred on by an endless glut of cheap Cowboy films? Anyway, enjoyed my musings enough to think this warrants a keep

    2) Nick Drake – Love all his stuff, this especially – he can take even a relatively minimalist framework and build the most beautiful of songs. Deffo keep.

    3) Crime – Surprisingly didn’t like this as much as I thought I would – it had lots of elements that I should like (reminded me a bit of The Stooges perhaps), but it left me a bit cold – possibly chuck

    4) Peter Tosh – Oh my, just lovely, don’t care how square he is being, it’s a faultless recording.

    5) M’nM’s – Didn’t do much for me, but saves itself by ending at 1m18s, which was precisely the point at which it ran out of things to say – brevity is a much underrated virtue in the art of the pop song.

    6) Six by Seven – this is great, sort of Charlatans-esque which makes me wonder how I missed it when it came out – absolutely a keeper.

    7) Riff Randels – Not sure, feels a little self consciously cooky/amateurish , but it is kind of fun, so think I’ll keep.

    8) Billy Mahonie – Good stuff, I like a clever instrumental that knows how to build on a simple theme and keep you interested.

    9) Orcustus – Whilst am not averse to loud thrashy music, I did hate this for the first minute or so, but I persisted and actually, it did open itself out a little more and reveals some texture and dynamic, but I wouldn’t rush back to hear again. Possible chuck.

    10) Bobby Browser – felt like a portal back to the chill out room of a mid/late 90’s mid range night-club – little surprised then to find out how recently it was made – are we already on the late 90’s retro kick? Pleasant enough to keep, but not outstanding.

    11)Mutar Muhammad – whoa, now this is special, what a performance – love it, reminds me of a lot of the 30’s/40’s rembetika recordings I have – which given the Turkish/Greek interchange in Athens at the time is not a surprise – it’s a lovely melding of Western Musical sensibilities with the flourishes and exotic scales/harmonies of Eastern Music and some of it is wild – love the spontaneous applause through it. 100% keep.

    So, for chucking it’s between Orcustus and Crime….tough one, but think I’m going to chuck out Crime – Orcustus at least held my attention through one listen, Crime just didn’t engage me at all…unless it is one of those slow burner songs that you fall in love with on the 10th listen….in which case I’ll feel silly, but no, will stick to my guns, out with Crime please….

  18. All new to me and as eclectic a list as I’ve seen here. Not sure if that was your intent Panthersan but no one can accuse you of lacking diversity in your collection. Six By Seven & Crime really suited my ears this morning with 6×7 just getting the nod. Orcustus has done nothing to cure my long standing aversion to ogre rock so that’s out on the heap.

    • I was disappointed it wasn’t eclectic enough and that whole sections of my collection didn’t get represented!!

      Thanks for listening!

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