Cool R (1986) Let’s Talk About It (LP) Half & Half ST 62525 

Cool R

Let’s Talk About It 


Half & Half ST 62525

*** noteworthy

Obviously influenced by every master of funk in the 80s, this has a small-town charm all its own.  While this is a varied set, it grabs you from the get-go with the 8+ minute opener “Dangerous.”  The set is produced and written Nathaniel Phillips, the band’s bass player, and that’s not surprising considering the popping bassline is a huge part of the charm.

Perhaps this offering from Portland, Oregon is not worth what you’d likely end up paying for it, this is certainly worth a listen if you dig obscure funk from the 1980s.

— winch (author of

The Cramps (1986) A Date With Elvis (LP) New Rose 81

The Cramps
A Date With Elvis
New Rose 81
Produced by The Cramps
Good Shit *****

While other bands from this era were running out of steam by this time, the Cramps keep the engines pumping and pull this classic into the station.  Everybody, jump on board.

Ivy, Lux and others focus and polish the sound a bit, but keep the original fuzz and stomp intact.  Another essential set for fans, and not a bad introduction for the non-initiated.

— winch

The Surf Trio: Almost Summer (LP) 1986

The Surf Trio
Almost Summer
Voxx 200.043
Producers:  Greg Shaw & Brett Gurewitz
Rating:**** (Recommended)

Surf-rock comes to the rescue again, this time from Eugene, Oregon, this band obviously one of the best things to come out of that town.  

This set was recorded in L.A., has a nice balance of instrumentals and vocals, originals and covers, professionalism and amateurism.  Highly recommended for fans of surf.
— winch
(author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s)

Treat Her Right (1986) LP

Treat Her Right 
Treat Her Right
RCA (6884)
Major label 1988 reissue of 1986 debut 
Rating: **** (Recommended)
Mark Sandman’s pre-Morphine Boston blues band, quite different than the primitive frantic blues that the Gories were putting down in Detroit at the same time, but still similar in many ways, this band featuring an almost polished sound (w/ cool harmonica and various guitars) but keeping a rough edge and an honest feel (not like that stale museum blues by most white boys).  

This clearly comes from the Boston underground/barroom tradition, with one foot firmly planted in the Southern swamps, the band’s name obviously from the Roy Head song, solid set, especially side one, mostly originals by Sandman, Jim Fitting (harmonica) and David Champagne (guitar), covering “Everglades” (Harlan Howard) and “Where Did All the Girls Come From” (James Blood Ulmer).
 The original sleeve better fit the sound, and the sound of the original was likely a bit more raw, but even the clean sound can’t ruin this.  Good stuff.
— Winch
(author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s)