Squandered Message – Life LP

Artist: Squandered Message
Title: Life
Source: Vinyl 12″ LP
Format: FLAC
Running time (h:m:s): 00:39:01
Size (mb): 81.3
Label: Destiny Records
Year: 1988

01. Beware-Teddybear
02. Social Worker
03. It’s a Scream
04. Big City Soldier
05. Parallel
06. Caught Up
07. Hidden Powers
08. Chainsaw Massacre

Hailing from Berlin, SM were part of the ferocious yet melodic Euro hardcore scene that was at its peak right then. Although maybe not quite as well known as bands like Jingo De Lunch, Life…But How To Live It? and Negazione, they exhibited a similar musical prowess and approach to their sound. If you like any of the bands from this era, there’s a good chance you’ll like this too.

To be honest, I never listen to this kind of stuff at home very often. I’ve always preferred this style in the flesh – watching the musicians play shit-hot licks while usually jumping around like kangaroos on speed is quality entertainment and you’ll always find me in the thick of it (although maybe not for the duration these days). But when the mood takes me, taking myself back to this time of my life in the comfort of my living room works a treat. And I still can’t help flailing about wildly when it goes mental.

OP’s opinion: Three half

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VA – You’ve Heard It All Before 2xLP

Artist: VA
Title: You’ve Heard It All Before
Source: Vinyl 12″ DLP
Bitrate: V0 VBR
Running time (h:m:s): 01:26:22
Size (mb): 167
Label: Ruptured Ambitions
Year: 1993

Disc 1
1. Blyth Power – Reality Asylum
2. Decadence Within – Mother Earth
3. The Apostles – Walls
4. Corpus Vile – Berketex Bribe
5. Urin-8 – Darling (Versus Andy T.)
6. The Obscene Females – Securicor
7. Backbone O’Reilly – What Did You Know…?
8. Influx – Shaved Women
9. Time To Think – Major General Despair
10. Useful Idiot – So What?
11. Mortified – What The Fuck?
12. Spinners – So What?
13. Roddy & The Six-Packs – Do They Owe Us A Living
14. C.D.S. – You’ve Got Big Hands

Disc 2
1. Maggot Slayer Overdrive – General Bacardi
2. Academy 23 – Demo(N)Crats
3. M.D.M. – Big A Little A
4. Wordbug – Reality Whitewash
5. Ten Naked Fish – Securicor
6. The Desired – Poison In A Pretty Pill
7. Radio Schizo – Bloody Revolutions
8. Freedom Empire Of The Umpteenth Generation – Big Man Big M.A.N.
9. P.M.T. – Hearthrob Of The Mortuary
10. Good Grief – You’re Already Dead
11. Wat Tyler – Our Wedding
12. Anxiety Society – Don’t Tell Me You Care
13. Oi Polloi – The Greatest Working Class Rip-Off

This is a right mix of stuff, from the humorous to the bizarre, and feels very much like a ‘Bullshit Detector’ comp (but generally with better production on most of the tracks). Outstanding numbers include Wat Tyler’s ‘Our Wedding’ (natch), Ten Naked Fish’s ‘Securicor’ (just for being the Wessex Massive), Blyth Power’s ‘Reality Asylum’ (typically clever and funny) and Maggot Slayer Overdrive’s ‘Major General Despair’ (great band, great noise). The weirdest / most artistically challenging award goes to Academy 23’s reworking of ‘Demo(n)crats’, which reminds me very much of a punk Aphex Twin.

You probably won’t like it all, but I reckon there’s bound to be something that tickles your fancy. 2000 were pressed in total, and it was a benefit to raise money for Rape Crisis (click to make a donation if you can).

OP’s opinion: Four

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PS: I have failed miserably at my goal of making regular monthly posts. So I’ve introduced a simple subscrition option that will send you a brief email whenever I get my lazy arse into gear and put something up here.

Carrot, Lentil and Citrus Soup (And An Apology)

Carrot & Citrus SoupFirst off, I seem to have missed a week. I thought today was the first Monday of the month. Seems I was wrong. Sorry. I haven’t been slacking, in fact I’ve been far busier than normal and am only about halfway trhough getting shit together for this month’s posts. There will be music, bugs and free plants to follow over the coming weeks and months, so be patient.

Until then, here’s a fresh yet hearty little number that is guaranteed to give you a zing. I think it’s just as good in the summer as the winter and, if you took out the lentils and added a bit more carrot, would even work chilled if you like that kind of thing.

Serves 4 as a snack or 6 as a starter.

  • 1 tbs olive / veg oil
  • 500g carrots, halved lengthways and sliced
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 2 stick celery, diced
  • 2 tbs coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 2cm cube fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 175g red lentils
  • 1.5l light (half-strength) veg stock
  • Juice of 2 oranges (approx 200ml)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Orange, lemon and lime zest, finely shredded
  • A few stalks of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a large pot on a medium-low heat and stir in the onion and celery. Fry for a couple of minutes, then stir in the carrots, cover the pot and sweat for about 10 mins, stirring occasionally.

Heat a small pan on a medium-low heat and dry-fry the spices for a couple of minutes, shaking regularly, until they darken and begin to give off a nice whiff. Remove from the heat and crush the spices in a pestle and mortar (or spice mill if you’re a lazy git).

Remove the lid from the large pot and add the spices, ginger and garlic to the veg. Add a good grind of black pepper if you fancy. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes.

Add the stock and lentils to the pot, bring to the boil, cover then simmer on a medium heat for around 20-25 minutes, until the lentils and carrots are soft. Around halfway through cooking, add the fruit juices. Don’t forget to stir the soup now and again.

Blitz the whole lot with a hand blender or similar until it’s nice and smooth. Put into bowls and garnish with a few shreds of the zest and a bit of chopped coriander.