FUNBOY FIVE / MILKSHAKE MELON - Landmarks, Ruins And Memories LP (NEW) (P)

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In January of 1980, a relatively unknown post-punk quartet from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, UK (a town just 24 miles northwest of Greater London) called Funboy Five released their debut – and only – 7”, “Life After Death” b/w “Compulsive Eater.” The group disbanded only a year later, allowing the single to become a rabidly sought-after collector’s item, perhaps due to their October 1979 John Peel session. Now that single joins forces with demo recordings and frontman/guitarist Mick Sinclair’s concurrent oddball solo project, Milkshake Melon, for a comprehensive vinyl collection.

Beginning with Funboy Five’s early demos, Landmarks, Ruins and Memories portrays a band that probably would have succeeded had they been from Manchester. The tinny guitar and abrasive keyboards recall Blue Orchids with a touch of early Fall, though marked by a pop sensibility reminiscent of Buzzcocks. A less dour Stranglers with a strong resemblance to the later recordings of early LA punks The Eyes, they helped lay the groundwork for modern bands like Cosines. Milkshake Melon, on the other hand, represents Mick Sinclair’s quirky English humor through acoustic punk songs augmented by distorted electric guitar leads. Lewis Carroll, spy TV themes and the ever-present H-bomb all serve as inspiration to his musings, which sound a bit like Love’s Forever Changes on happy pills. It’s an enjoyable collection all around, sure to please those interested early punk’s unheard voices.

In the grander scheme of things, Funboy Five barely blipped the radar, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t any good. Sometimes the stars simply do not align properly. Fortunately, this record exists to remind us they were there.

FEATURES

A1

–Funboy Five

Life After Death (Demo)

 

A2

–Funboy Five

Haircut Bob Dylan 66

 

A3

–Funboy Five

Angela Rippon

 

A4

–Funboy Five

Compulsive Eater

 

A5

–Funboy Five

All This And More

 

A6

–Funboy Five

Bleached Roots Of Surf

 

B1

–Funboy Five

Life After Death (Single)

 

B2

–Funboy Five

Compulsive Eater (Single)

 

B3

–Milkshake Melon         

Danger Melon

 

B4

–Milkshake Melon

Off With His Head!

 

B5

–Milkshake Melon

Have You Ever Seen A Whale?

 

B6

–Milkshake Melon

What Did You Do With The Body?

 

B7

–Milkshake Melon

Walk Oates Walk!

 

B8

–Milkshake Melon

21CHB

 

B9

–Milkshake Melon

Theme De Melon

 
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