NEWS: Ups and Downs Release New EP Another Country

The EP, featuring covers of iconic songs by Wire, XTC, The Comsat Angels, The Korgis and The Passions is out now via Basketcase Records/Redeye Worldwide

Australia’s favourite jangly guitar/paisley popsters Ups and Downs return with this five track EP of covers of much-loved new wave and post punk tunes from the ’80s!

They say the past is ‘another country’, and it is well worth revisiting as Ups and Downs lovingly reclaim alternative classics by XTC, Wire, The Passions and The Comsat Angels.

One of the EP highlights is the band’s gorgeous take on The Korgis hit ‘Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime’ (written by James Warren). They perfectly capture the swoon and melancholic sway of the song, treating it with a gentle strum and shimmer. The icing on the cake comes in the form of legendary Australian-expat Rick Springfield who contributes a beautiful and yearning psychedelic guitar solo that adds a classic Beatles-esque feel to the recording.

Elsewhere the group convey the melodic rush of Wire’s infectious classic ‘Outdoor Miner’ with spirited headiness, they make XTC’s ‘Are You Receiving Me’ one of their own, find a tough-edged drive to The Comsat Angels’ ‘Independence Day’ and apply a darker and warmer moodiness to The Passions’ ‘I’m In Love With A German Film Star’, with sublime results.

The EP cover artwork has a fascinating back-story, as Darren Atkinson explains, “The girls on the cover were fans of Ups and Downs back in the late ‘80s and used to follow us around to gigs and send us presents. On one occasion they sent us a package that had photos of them dressed up as us, taking the piss out of various official promo shots,” he laughs.

TRACK LISTING

(1) Are You Receiving Me – (XTC, 1978)
XTC have influenced all of us over the years. Are You Receiving Me is a classic exploration of isolation and breakdown in communication. We kind of slowed it down and twisted it around a bit.” – Alex

(2) Independence Day – (The Comsat Angels, 1983)
It’s one of those touchstone songs that helped the band define its sound in the early days. It’s been part of our repertoire since just about day one. Its dark and angular nature continues to cast its shadow over what we do.” – John

(3) Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime – (The Korgis, 1980)
“It’s a beautifully sad song that continues to haunt me to this day. We’ve even iced the cake by getting a bona fide rock star, Rick Springfield, to play lead guitar on it. Rumour has it that Ups and Downs are Rick’s second favourite band after The Church and I’m OK with that.” – Greg

(4) I’m In Love With A German Film Star –  (The Passions, 1981)
We were early Passions fans and used to play this song live regularly in the 80s. We even used a photo of their album cover in our psychedelic live slide show. It’s a song that still moves me nearly 40 years after first hearing it.“- Peter

(5) Outdoor Miner – (Wire, 1978)
We started playing Outdoor Miner live in the late ’80s. I have no idea what the lyrics are about, yet the song is almost heartbreakingly melancholic. Wire have always been able to find beauty among the noise and chaos.” – Darren

ALBUM REVIEW: Danzig – Skeletons

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Rating6Covers albums can be hit or miss affairs, sometimes insightful and revelatory, often indulgent and derivative. Glenn Danzig’s selections and interpretations sit somewhere in the middle. He has certainly applied the demonic, grandiose metal Danzig sound to these songs, though often they sound like poorly recorded demos. In particular Elvis’ Let Yourself Go works well, as does his Ramones ramalama take on The Troggs’ With A Girl Like You but surprisingly for such an influential song, he takes Black Sabbath’s N.I.B into metal karaoke territory. The real winner is closer Crying In The Rain which best showcases Danzig’s anguished bellow and howl.

Chris Familton

NEW MUSIC: Anna Calvi & David Byrne | Strange Weather

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Anna Calvi and David Byrne get all mysterious and moody in this new duet covering Keren Ann’s song ‘Strange Weather’. The song appears on Calvi’s new cover EP of the the same name due out on Domino 14.07.14.

David Byrne said the following on working with Anna:

‘I’m a big fan of Anna’s two records… and I caught her tour after her first record at Bowery Ballroom here in NY. ‘Epic’ I think is the word that is often used. So when Thomas Bartlett said he was going to be in the studio producing an EP of Anna doing covers I immediately agreed to join in. I was invited to suggest songs and I loved the last Keren Ann record and I thought Strange Weather had a haunting quality that might suit Anna…. so we did that, and Anna then suggested I join in on the Connan Mockasin track she’d done too.’

Strange Weather Tracklisting

  • 01. Papi Pacify (FKA twigs)
  • 02. 2. I’m The Man, That Will Find You (Connan Mockasin) – featuring David Byrne
  • 03. Ghost Rider (Suicide)
  • 04. 4. Strange Weather (Keren Ann) – featuring David Byrne
  • 05. Lady Grinning Soul (David Bowie)

PREORDER