Chris Taylor & Matt Slocum – Better Days

Chris Taylor & Matt Slocum
Better Days
1991 (no label)
San Antonio, Texas, USA

Chris Taylor – Lyrics, singer, guitar
Matt Slocum – Guitars
Chris Dodds – Drum Samples
Teresa Lopez – Vocals on “hole”

Side 1:

  1. Like a Woman
  2. Moon
  3. Who in Hell?
  4. So Cold in Here
  5. Hole
  6. Need You to Be Free

Side 2:

  1. What’s Behind Those Eyes…
  2. Rip.
  3. Another Sunday Morning…
  4. Summer Wind
  5. Selah 140
  6. Just a Little Bit of Me
  7. Silver…

Chris Taylor seems to have a large number of cassette demos from his pre-label days, a couple of which I have heard and a couple more I have only heard of, and probably a couple more beyond that. On this one, he teams up with Lova Coma band-mate Matt Slocum (you might have also heard of him from this little band called Sixpence None the Richer). Two of these songs were later recorded by Love Coma (“What’s Behind Those Eyes” on Soul Rash and “Summer Wind” on Language of Fools). These are more stripped down formats. In fact, the whole thing is definitely alternative like Love Coma and Taylor’s solo work, just much more basic and demo-esque. But the talent still shines through. A few of the tracks made it online for your listening pleasure:

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Stephen Pietraszek – At Twilight’s Last Gleaming

Stephen Pietraszek
At Twilight’s Last Gleaming
1991 Recovery Records (RRC1-456)
Buffalo, New York, USA

Denny Bouschard – Synthesizers
Mike Caputy – Drums, bongos, cowbell, shaker
Bill Hinds – Rhythm, lead guitars
Bobby Jones – Piano, Organ
Tonio K – Chant vocals on track 1
David Kane – Synth effect on track 2
Jerry Livingstone – Bass
Bill Ludwig – Bass on track 2
David Mansfield – Rhythm guitar, violin
Tony Miranda – Congas, symbols, tubular bells, tympani, timbales
Joe Rozler – Chant vocals, background vocals, harmonies
Doug Thorton – Harmonica

  1. Our Children’s Children
  2. Every Will is Done

Interesting two track tape – a long list of players (including Tonio K) and extensive linear notes with many quotes from all kinds of thinkers and writers. All of that for two songs? Well, two very excellent songs. I am assuming that Stephen is the singer – he is credit as songwriter and also for multiple jobs on the recording side…. But not listed as doing anything. Guess it was assumed? The first song starts off with a bunch of chanting and samples, making you wonder if this will be a spoken word or experimental album, but soon the music kicks in. I would say that Tonio K is a good musical comparison as well. Not that he sounds like Tonio K, but Stephen’s music is quirky guitar-based rock that leans towards the alternative side of things more than the rock side, but is catchy enough that some people label it pop. Overall, a well put together album – but for all of the effort put into the two songs, I can’t find any information about it online.

Spike – Asphalt Invasion

Spike
Asphalt Invasion
1991 Corpqii Productions (CPCS-18)

Spike – Vocals, acoustic guitars
Joe Hudek – Lead Guitar
Mike Talanca – Bass
Greg Yochman – Keyboards on “Celebration Day”
Jim Toti – Drums, keyboards on “Newwave”
Tom Eich – Bass on “You’re in Love with the Bomb”
Pam Talanca – Harmonies on “Seeking Shelter”
Lori McCabe – Additional guitar on “Snow Mountain”
Billy (Baron) Zalot – Trumpet
Ed Spectre – Electric Daddy

Tracks 2-6 recorded in 1981
Tracks 1, 8-11 recorded in 1983
Track 12 recorded in 1987

Side 1:

  1. City Portrait (Prelude)
  2. Snow Mountain
  3. Old or New
  4. Seeking Shelter
  5. Celebration Day
  6. Newave

Side 2:

  1. Sold Out
  2. Thankx
  3. In Love with the Bomb
  4. Voices
  5. The Song That’s Never Heard
  6. City Portrait

This one was a lot different than I expected from Corpqii – early home of the experimental weirdness of Marc Plainguet and Chris Yambar. This album is an eclectic collection of styles. It starts off with an acoustic folk track and then switches to several tracks with a full band that goes from lounge to cheesy rock to new wave on side 1. Side 2 is all acoustic folk songs again, ending with the last song that is hard rock. Of course, once you look at when the tracks were recorded, you see that this strange collection of songs came from different time periods. In 1981 Spike was apparently into rock of various kinds (including new wave), in 1983 he switched to acoustic folk, and in 1987 he went hard rock. Not sure when track 7 was recorded – 1991 maybe? It sounds like it pretty much goes along with tracks 8-11, so possibly 1983. Anyways, I really liked “Newave” and   “City Portrait” (the hard rock track). The other tracks were good for their styles, just not always my thing. Cover art by Chris Yambar. Spike also has at least a few other releases: Alive and Ticking (1989), Save the Children (1991), and Three for One (1993) that I gave not heard yet. This page would seem to indicate that maybe Spike was Terry McCabe – as the tree Spike albums are there along with a McCabe album called Asphalt Invasion? Hmmmm….

Missing Information: Who is Spike? Terry McCabe?