Tapes reviews of tapes I buy or get sent.

Send cassettes for review to: Flat 16 Raddon Tower, Dalston Square, London E8 3GN.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Paradise Vendors Inc Tapes

Instead of an individual tape review i'm going to do a little label focus on Paradise Vendors Inc. who started life in Archway, North London and has now settled in Dalston, East London to continue the search for releasing the best noisey indie punk from both sides of the pond. It doesnt't hurt that t PVI is run by Male Bonding who have risen to the top of the recent musical pile in London before hitting the next level by becoming the first band since Billy Childish/Thee Headcoats to sign to Sub Pop.

When not crammed into a van, touring the world listening to GG Allin or cycling around London Town, these three PVI boys are busilyy dubbing tapes, ink stamping 7" covers and making hand crafted sleeves for their burgeoning noise empire. The Talbot Tagora / Hand Jobs and the Temperatures / Paper Legs split tapes were the first adventures from PVI with both contained in amazing hand folded cases, one in green with a triangle cut out and the other in pink with a pentagon cut out. In both cases, these lovingly created boxes contain a tape with no discernable marking and a info slip of song titles and either a picture of GG Allin or a girl, both crying. Before the cassette has started to warp around your battered tapedeck, these are releases to keep and show that the tape medium is not a throwaway format at all, especially when a bit of thought has gone into its creation. The last of the their 3 tape releases, Cheatahs 'Magic Weapons' EP comes in a glued wraparound case like the cassingles of not so long ago which used to take up space along with cds and 7"s on the shelves of most high street music retailers. Funny how only a few year after its massmarket withdrawel, the tape release is now seen as kitsch or retro?

Anyway, back to PVI, who have not just focused on the tape format, but have also released 2 amazing 7"s, the first being a split between Male Bonding & Pens which was a continuation to the cassette that Conan from Graffiti Island released previously (reviewed below). The 2nd 7" again featured Male Bonding & Graffiti Island but this time twinned with Americas Rapid Youth & Old Blood, all playing punk music, albeit in very different ways. As with alot of the smaller labels around at the moment, PVI are spending their time documenting the current and not looking back so all these formative releases have fallen out of print with most likely no view to repress, but with one eye on the future and teaming up with their G.I partner in Italian Beach Babes records, they are releasing a who's who of who's good of British bands on a 12" compilation LP, with bands linked by friendship, record collections, drinking and darts habits,including songs by Cold Pumas, Teen Sheikhs, La La Vasquez, Fair Ohs, Male Bonding, Graffiti Island, Mazes, Not Cool, Spectrals, Human Race and Plug.

If you want to buy this 12" which i think will be pretty important in the long run, if only to the people involved, just head to the PVI online shop www.paradisevendorsinc.bigcartel.com and lay down a measly £8, the London equivalent of 2 pints.

Talbot Tagora / Hand Jobs split tape

Talbot Tagora who now reside on Sub Pop offshoot label Hardly Art start their side with a mangling noise of synthy drones and feedback akin to a 50's SciFi b-movie before ultra processed drums lead into an offbeat scraggly song lead by dischordant guitars and strained vox. Sometimes slipping into space garage riffs before spinning into orthrelm esque guitar spirals this mesh of songs is pretty addictive.
Hand Jobs on the other hand sound like they're a playing a dorm room at an arts college in Portland with yelped vocals and the ghost of KRS in their fingers. It would be lazy to mention riot grrrl as they don't ape the golden Huggy Bear/Bikini Kill era so much as nod to its inclusion in their record collections along with probably hundreds of other great punk bands.

PVI 01

A. Talbot Tagora
  • Restoring / Family Guts

B.Hand Jobs
  • Watch Out!
  • Handle with Claire
  • Tornado Twist
  • Eat Shit & Die

Temperatures / Paper Legs split tape

To be honest i don't know which band is which on this split as they both only have 1 song on each side and there is no A/B side markings, so instead one band is a instrumental band that has krautrock rhythms that keep the song propelled forwards, locked grooves! Th eother band is less structured and falls into more of a noise band category with elements drifting in and out casually and sometimes with little regard.

PVI 02

A. Temperatures
  • Allogamy
B. Paper Legs
  • Slow Answer For Quick Question

Cheatahs - Magic Weapons

Lovely Nathan from Little Deaths solo enterprise is a two headed beast. The recordings are total fuzz fests, overdriven to distortion but with a sweet harmony lurking below, making me think these songs could handle being stripped back to just vox and guitar. Although musically quite different, the recordings reminded me of the first Wavves tape with pop songs masked by dirt.

PVI 03

Cheatahs - Magic Weapons EP

  • Ripper
  • Flake
  • Some Powers
  • Frosh

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