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Recent Reviews

I'll Know Better (Next Time) / Roses and Heartaches - 7
Sandi Shore
I'll Know Better (Next Time) / Roses and Heartaches - 7"

Brian Wilson once admired him and Phil Spector was allegedly scared of him, but these days no one really remembers Gary Paxton. The erstwhile svengali behind such early hits as 'Alley Oop' by the Hollywood Argyles and Bobby 'Boris' Picket's 'Monster Mash' spent much of his life on the fringes, writing and producing songs for little-known singers on his own equally obscure labels like Garpax, Paxley and Star-Burst.

In fact, Paxton's life is a veritable Hollywo...more

Couleur Dessin - Couleur Dessin
Couleur Dessin
Couleur Dessin

Name-checking is so much more fun these days, what with a half-century or more of cool musical eras and an internet chock full of obscure recordings just waiting to be unearthed. The pair of Montrealers behind Couleur Dessin, the latest addition to Fixture Records' impressive roster, boast such obtuse influences as 1960s LA pop, French new wave, the Canterbury Scene, krautrock and instrumental exotica.

So no surprise then that Couleur Dessin, the first missive from ...more

Warm Your Mind and Soul / I'm Learning - 7
The Sound Box
Warm Your Mind and Soul / I'm Learning - 7"

The Sound Box issued a couple of decent psych singles on the Regency label at the tail end of the sixties. The Montreal quintet was formed in 1968 by drummer Brian Redmond, along with guitarist Michel Dugas, singer Jim Boyce, bassist Bud Swan and keyboardist Ron Hepworth.

As Redmond recalled a few years back on the Vente de Garage blog, their early days were spent paying the usual dues on what was then a fairly crowded Montreal rock scene. "Times were very simple in Engl...more

Misty EP - Not You
Not You
Misty EP

The four women behind the band Not You bill their sound - half cheekily, one assumes - as 'slippergaze', which judging from their debut EP is a rough amalgam of nineties alt-rock and shoegaze, with a bit of grunge thrown in for good measure. The one-sheet namechecks the Wipers, Abba and "high school guilty pleasure music", whatever that may be. But I suspect that anyone looking to divine some sort of reference need look no further than the members' rather impressive East Coast pedigrees, es...more

It's Been a Long Time / Magic Island - 7
Tyme and a Half
It's Been a Long Time / Magic Island - 7"

There must have been a bit of a Netherlands connection up in Trenton, Ontario. It was in that tiny military town some two hours to the east of Toronto that Dutch-born Barry 'Buzz' Vandersel hooked up with his cousins Marinus and Peter Vandertogt way back in the mid-1960s. The three of them - the 14-year-old Vandersel on bass with Marinus on guitar and his brother Peter on drums - then added Paul Clapper on vocals, dubbing themselves Buzzy and the Belvederes and no doubt keeping the locals e...more

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