3 X Bleeding Gold Records

Damn fine surprise to find a box of 7"s waiting for me...Legit California label Bleeding Gold releases a lot of, what I consider, "classic" rock sounds. Not meaning LED ZEP or HENDRIX or FLOYD, but just good ol' guitars and singing bands/artists. The label also has a couple of wild cards up their sleeves as well. Lately, I can't find the time to sit down and listen to huge stacks of stuff, so I'm going to highlight three quality releases with the hope that you READER will stumble upon Bleeding Gold's other good catalog items.

The smilelove/Beachniks split is "classic" in the sense that The Vaselines or Beat Happening are pretty much "classic" at this point. Girls with guitars, singing in perhaps faux "naive" voices just sounds GOOD. smilelove are from Japan and sing in their native language. It sounds great, but I need some lyrical translations...Shonen Knife anyone? Beachniks are a quartet of 2 girls and 2 guys. Their sound is more K records than smilelove!! Yet, all of this doesn't bother me 'cause it's just a good party.

David Warren's The Knife is a spoken word/sorta humming set and wow I LOVE IT. The surreal(ish) storytelling and drone-music add up to a unique listen, pure voice & minimalism. It's like listening to 3am secret inner monologues. Plus the cover drawing is a wonderful black & white cartoon that compliments the audio contents perfectly. The "across the pond" accent also adds a bit more poetic weight to this set. I don't know how I'd feel if it was some NYC dude chatting...

Laurie Hulme is Songs for Walter and his music combines the introspective elements of loner-folkies with the arrangements of someone with bigger ambitions. His five songs on Meet Me at the Empire feel personal and inspired by the rawness of life. His pseudonym is a dedication to his grandfather Walter and the cover photo makes me think I'm listening in on family stories set to music. This is a keeper.