Lou Reed Early Lou: Pre-Velvet Underground Recordings 1958-1965 LP

OK, so this LP actually came out several years ago, not long after Lou caught his last train uptown. As the title implies, it collects Reed’s earliest work, and does a pretty comprehensive job at that—the two doo wop-tinged tracks by the JADES date all the way back to the late 1950s. It’s not entirely clear how much (if any) the teenaged Reed is on that recording, but he did at least write one song and co-write the other. Most of the rest of the material is culled from early-to-mid-’60s releases, during which time Lou earned a living writing and performing knock-offs of popular music trends such as rock’n’roll and surf. My favorite here is the PRIMITIVES, an ensemble also featuring John Cale, Tony Conrad, and Walter de Maria. Don’t get too excited, though—their track “The Ostrich” is a nice palate-cleanser on other VELVETS boots, but as the standout here, it’s not quite enough to recommend this LP to anyone outside VU completists. Also featured is a rare Reed solo demo of “Heroin” from 1965.

Misfits Max’s Kansas City EP

Six fast live songs from their later period, the standouts being “Last Caress” and “All Hell Breaks Loose.” Good sound quality, nice package which includes a cool poster, make this a nice collector’s piece.

Redness Killer B’s 12″

Haha, I heard this was in my box, and was wondering what was up. I’ve got the rare-o 7″ from this mysterious, late ’70s Cleveland UBU-adjacent outfit. Artpunk with the emphasis on the art. I was hoping for some extra material, but it seems it’s a straight reissue of the six-song 7″ as a 45 RPM 12″. Presumably, the “label” (who put this out?!) couldn’t find a pressing plant willing to put, what, ten minutes on a side? A pretty incredible artifact, and there’s even a couple pure aggro punkers, albeit with electronics (and trombone!!), and plenty of disgruntled ’70s Ohio basement electronic shenanigans. Maybe I can finally get big bucks for my spare EP. This one’s a killer, definitely one of the more fucked, abrasive US DIY records.

Sex Pistols And We Don’t Care EP

The SEX PISTOLS re-emerge from the vaults on this three-tracker, which features the guitarwork of CHRIS SPEDDING. Mainly a curiosity (better demo tracks appear on their A&M sessions), this EP boasts good sound quality and some interesting instrumentals on “No Feelings.” A nice item for PISTOLS fans.

The Cramps Transylvanian Tapes LP & Tales from the Crypt LP

These are two separate “disques especiale,” as they say in the biz. They’re made up of demos from the real early days, as well as comical Chris Spedding sessions and the wild Chilton tapes. There’s live versions of the obscurities and B-sides of singles. This should satisfy you while Lux stays nailed to the parlor TV.

The Velvet Underground Loaded (Alternate Album) LP

This month’s VELVETS bootleg/cash-in: A vinyl pressing of tracks from Rhino’s “Fully Loaded” reissue of the band’s final proper album. It’s a true “alternate” in the sense that it’s a track-by-track replication of Loaded made up of demos, early versions, and a couple “alternate mixes” (plus a bonus outtake of “I’m Sticking With You” because, why not?). Aside from simply having heard the hits too many times, my main complaint with Loaded is that it’s just a bit too neat and shiny, for a VU record anyway… so this LP is a pleasant surprise. The trio of “Head Held High” to “Lonesome Cowboy Bill” to “I Found a Reason” that opens side B is especially warm and intimate, performed with a relaxed looseness that draws me in despite knowing those songs back to front. Allegedly limited to 300 copies, but I doubt it…

V/A No Banger Left Behind LP

An all-over-the-place compilation of tracks with seemingly no correlation other than the fact that they’re all culled from obscure cassette comps or demo tapes. It opens with a short interview clip with the WORST (Ohio, not New Jersey) and travels between South America and Italy for a few tracks, then on to the UK, Australia, Yugoslavia, West Germany, Scotland, and then back to the Americas. Most of the eighteen selections date between ’84-’91, and a couple as late as 2000. It plays much like a mix tape your cassette-hoarding nerd friend made, heavy on the raw Central/South American hardcore punk and UK anarcho unknowns. I don’t recognize a single band name on here. I did the Discogs investigation on each to confirm the title is half accurate; most of these bands don’t seem to have more than one or two documented comp tracks, nor any info additional info. The term “banger” is subjective, and while most of the material is pretty good I don’t know if I’d describe anything on here as such. The layout looks cool and I do think it’s an interesting project. Collectors may want to take this for a spin, but I’m not adding anything to the want list. Limited to 200.