The pleasure and the pain of this entire music blogging concept is the sheer volume of archival sites that map out the entire 77-81 era, painstakingly mapping out all it's one-shots, jag-offs and dead-ends.
As many readers may already know the prime sites to peruse for such vinyl obscurica are ISKP, ASM, Punk Friction, Killed By Death, Short Sharp Kick in the Teeth (to name the most focused ones) who put up double-sided obscurities almost every day. (45 Revolutions and Worthless Trash provide wonderfully obsessive histories but be warned of the tease factor: they usually only post one side of the single). The sheer volume of obscurity threatens to overwhelm me, yet I click download again again and again - Rapidshare, SendSpace, Zshare, Boxnet, Megaupload, Sharebee - aaarrrggghhhh!
My musicoholism grows more wretched and debilitating by the second!
While I cannot compete with the excellent sites already mentioned, I will post some of my own findings just to crank the volume up to 11.
Yorkshire's Excel (discography) with Stephen Smith (bass, lead vocal) Stephen Gawtry (drums), Allan Walsh (guitar) and Richard Taylor (guitar, keyboards) began with the D.I.Y. four-track EP titled "If It Rains" in 1979. Herein you'll find some muddily-produced madness - including the power-pop almost-classic "Rock Show" plus the Dolls-ish "One of the Boys"and the pub-rockin' throwback "Rolling Home".
Download If It Rains
Excel returned to the bins in 1980 with a major label (Polydor) budget upgrade for their final single. Lead-off track "What Went Wrong" combines a mod beat, power-pop vocals, a bit of pub-rock piano and some almost NWOBHM lead guitar. B-side "Junita" shuffles a similar stylistic deck.
Download What Went Wrong
Between singles, Excel recorded a demo, referred to as The Lost Album, some tracks of which best their officially released work. "Bad News" is ripping pop track, "Glossy Sgt Major" is roughed-up glam rock, "Another Silly Day" is bubblegum but with more of that almost NWOBHM guitar work and "Dream My Life Away" sounds like it's being built to compete with Fleetwood Mac. The genre-hopping herein is further proof that punk was not so much a cultural Year Zero, as the rawest elements of thirty years of pop being cobbled-together as an attack upon the greater, stagnated culture.
Download The Lost Album
Thanks to Bored Teenagers, the Mod Punk Archives for the images.