Howcha Magowcha, the second album by Turkish Delight, originally released in 1988 (and which follows IHeartNoise’s cassette rerelease of their 1996 debut last year), isn’t quite as weird as all that, but it’s hardy accessible or mainstream. In the main, it’s a high-octane, helium-filled punky thrashabout, and really rather fun. And while punk-pop has very clear connotations in contemporary terms, aspects of Howcha Magowcha belong to the time when indie bands like Voodoo Queens and Rosa Mota and Huggy Bear were cranking up the amps and revelling in the juxtaposition of ramshackle punky noise delivered with a pop sensibility. And Howcha Magowcha is bursting with tunes – all delivered with a spiky, angular energy.
2 years ago we celebrated the reissue of Tommy Bell, 1996 debut from Boston’s Turkish Delight, with a series of mixes entitled Tommy Bell and His Minions. The idea behind mixes was that we would take one track by TD and build a mix out of songs we think might be spiritually related to it.
Two years later we’re kicking off another series of mixes – this one dedicated to Howcha Magowcha, reissue of a second/final TD album that originally came out in 1998 on The Archenemy Record Company. But first lets take a look at what happened to the band and its members between our reissues:
Dec. 2017 – TD bassist Carl Thien’s band Gull Boy releases Goblin Song / F.I.R. EP
Feb. 2018 – TD guitarist Darryl Blood releases soundtrack to J. Horton movie The Campus
July 2018 – TD plays a reunion show at The Middle East (Cambridge, MA)
And that brings us to the current moment! We’re long sold out of Tommy Bell, but we still have about 30 copies of HM tape left out of the original 100-copy run, so tell all your friends, spread the word and, most importantly, listen to the first mix in the series – one dedicated to the track Go Baby!
Archenemy Record Company, 1998
Any band that cites influences as sonically diverse as Brian Eno, the Residents, Fred Frith, the Ex, Cecil Taylor, Contortions, Polvo, Dog Faced Hermans, Pharaoh Saunders, Eno, Sonic Youth, Zeena Parkins, and Peter Brötzmann (for starters) is bound to be difficult to pin down, but what’s so surprising — and refreshing — about TD is how adeptly they spun those influences into something uniquely their own.
Priority Records, 1994
Prior to this, bizarrely, major label debut album, Bakamono was a noise rock band known for one split 7″ with another little noise rock band called Oiler that Theologian Records released. How that side of a 7″ parlayed into a major label contract, with Priority Records no less (home of NWA, Eazy E, Ice Cube, Scarface, Dr Dre, Geto Boys, EPMD, Mack 10, Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, and Gary Glitter [wait, what?] among others), is anybodies guess. Blame it on Nirvana I suppose. Can you even imagine what an insane package tour they could have jumped on?!
No Trend Records, 2018
Every once in a while, a band comes along that is riveting, that is curious, that is playful, that sounds so damn good and puts on such a great show that they make all of the auditory dead-ends and wasted hours swimming up endless Bandcamp and Soundcloud streams worth it. On an unseasonably chilly night last August at a DIY venue on Chicago’s South Side, that band for me was Ganser.
They reminded me of Joy Division, Mission of Burma, The Birthday Party, Savages, Priests, and plenty of other post-punk RIYLs (but definitely NOT Sonic Youth). While there’s no shortage of bands with similar influences, Ganser manages to craft a sound familiar and refreshing at the same time, each member adding their own twisted bend to their songs where needed.
Self Released, 2019
Amherst-based OroborO’s debut album, Laughing Death, is a furiously upbeat apocalyptic vision of doom metal, hardcore punk, math rock, and jazzy psychedelia with a wry dark sense of humor that’s like going for a quaint and pleasant stroll while sirens wail and mushroom cloud explosions dot the horizon.
Trouble in Mind, 2018
Musically, Case, Leger and van Herik head in a similar direction as their previous collaboration together but their approach towards the stark, downright menacing post-punk goes finds them taking up much more abstract, rhythms.
Veronica Black Morpheus Nipple
Varicose Brand, 1997
1998 ish? They played the entire Candy trilogy which I had never heard. I’d seen them a ton before and after, but this show was sublime.
Self Released, 2018
Darryl Blood may be my spirit animal. Every time I listen to one of his songs, I think to myself, “that sounds like something I’d do!” Nah, I’m giving myself far too much credit. Still, there are so many little touches in his arrangements that hit my sweet spots and cause me to do silent fist pumps.
Self Released, 2019
Drawing influences from Experimental rock giants The Mars Volta, as well as the sounds of psychedelic space rock from early Pink Floyd, Yomi Ship present a new form of Experimental Art rock filled with unorthodox structures and rhythms, anchoring bass and reverb drenched guitar.
The jeering that St. Johnny endured in its brief years in Hartford — from bar owners, patrons and even the metal bands that shared rehearsal halls — made the band’s almost-instant success in New York even more astonishing. Decried in its hometown, St. Johnny became the first Hartford rock band to land a major-label record deal.
Touch & Go, 2000 / 2014
Blonde Redhead released their self-titled debut album in 1995, and since then they’ve produced almost 20 years worth of music. Their sound spans a variety of genres and is still evolving, but the thing that seems to remain constant is their dedication to experimentation and abstraction. They’re never going to rest on their laurels or remain stagnant.
Touch & Go / Merge Records, 1993
Polvo have always maintained a great sense for melody at the dynamite heart of their exploding ideas, which is what elevated them head and shoulders above the mathematical masses to become critical favorites in the first place.
Pylon Reenactment Society
Chunklet Industries, 2018
In 1979, there was no surer way to warp a Southern country kid’s head than to take them to a show by a band called Pylon in Athens, Georgia. They sure warped mine. And they did it repeatedly until they broke up in 1983, just as I was leaving Athens behind. In the 35 years since, Pylon’s reputation among music nerds has become almost mythic; their angular rhythms, crazy beats, and shrieking lyrics sounded like no other band at the time — and no band since.
Swiss Dark Nights / Manic Depression, 2018
Dear Deer was formed in 2015, by Federico Iovino (Popoï Sdioh) and Sabatel (Cold War, Cheshire Cat). The pair have an infectious groove that resembles that of the Virgin Prunes if they were more pop, and Guggi was more of a woman than he appears.
Firehouse 12 Records, 2018
Mary Halvorson’s inner rockist isn’t ever too far from the surface. On her new album, Code Girl, the guitarist includes vocalist Amirtha Kidambi in an ensemble that’s been gigging sporadically for a little more than a year. The contrast between the quieter moments on the album that foreground Kidambi’s contributions with Halvorson’s most muscular musical proclamations creates a new context for the bandleader to unloose her compositional aptitude.
D-Tox, 1992 / 1995
Geezer Lake were practically insane, with some heavy riffage– much like Kepone, though a bit more freewheeling and melodic– alongside drawn-out atmospheric parts, and some crazy Herb Alpert horns mixed in. Or, as MRR weirdly depicted them, “one part Jesus Lizard, one part Alice Donut, one part Black Sabbath, one part Charles Mingus, one part Black Flag, one part Butthole Surfers.” I was able to see Geezer Lake once, in 1996 at Tuxedo Junction in Danbury, and if I’m remembering the proper show, also on the bill that night were Polvo (who I didn’t like) and Babe the Blue Ox (one of the most unbearable bands I’ve ever seen). Geezer Lake were awesome, though; their horn player had flaked out on them, or something, so they had to play everything stripped-down as a basic rock outfit, and it was pretty much a big rock shewww.
Self Released, 2018 (Free Download)
Rock’n’roll band out of Boston led by our writer Nick Panagakos!
Cellular Chaos have let loose a very Dirty Girl, a rather remarkable slice of music (that already was a rather remarkable piece of music), Dirty Girl is preceded by a pointy spiky now wave new wave fresh wave called Gaslight, a thing that in term thrashes, twists, jitters, twitches, points and goes off and things is so many beautifully vital ways.
Chapel of Crimes, 2017 / Stucco, 2018
After a slew of tape releases and years of playing shows around the Pacific Northwest here is the vinyl-release of collected Acknolewlegements from Table Sugar, a band that could only be described by our team of underpaid writers as ‘very good’. Post-Punk/Genre Karaoke in the vein of other contemporaneous style-scramblers and re-thinkers such as LITHICS, HOUSEHOLD or perhaps even GEN POP (shared members??) A ditty about friendship and collective/subjective experience in the current Olympia moment—a city where simultaneously everything and nothing goes on. Think maybe of the music of TWELVE CUBIC FEET or the ethos of a band like MORBID OPERA or DELTA 5, or really just think whatever you want. The new wave of the O-Town sound.
Pete International Airport
Eggs in Aspic, 2017
The “Pete” here is singer/guitarist/bassist Peter Holmstrom, co-founder of the Dandy Warhols who takes his nom-de-disque from an old Dandy’s track (on their ’96 album The Dandy Warhols Come Down) and it appears on the A Recordings label out of Berlin run by Brian Jonestown Massacre’s enormously prolific Anton Newcombe. Like some of Newcombe’s work in recent years, much of this errs towards dreamy psychedelic pop (without as many of Newcombe’s world music influences) and comes with a roll-call of guests from bands like the Shins, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club‘s Robert Levon Been (on the tripped-out groove of the delicious Flowers of Evil etc).
A Place Both Wonderful and Strange
Self Released, 2018
Sorry For Your Loss, the debut album of the ‘occult electronic dance music’ duo A Place Both Wonderful And Strange, is like an eerie journey into a dark forest; it’s terrifying, yet beautiful, and you can only arrowope you’ll make it out alive. This duality in Niabi Aquena and Russ Marshalek’s music perfectly fits the duo’s Twin Peaks references. “Pedestal” prominently features longing vocals and mysterious whispers provided by Niabi, while the sounds of wind and static surround her. The song’s theme is echoed in the last track, “blue is like drowning and drowning is like this.” “DONT,” however, shrugs off beauty and is straightforwardly creepy, with a taunting, sinister voice and an accompanying music video that shows religious fervor in a darker light.