Thursday, April 19, 2007

I Love The Stockholm Monsters and So Should You!


The Stockholm Monsters, circa sometime ago.

I don't claim to be any kind of an expert on The Stockholm Monsters, but I love them a lot and for a few minutes I'm going to try to sound like an expert in hopes of making you love them, too. The Stockholm Monsters were birthed around the Summer of 1980 in Manchester, England (Not Stockholm). The original line-up consisted of main-dude and lead vocalist Tony France, bassist Jed Duffy and drummer Shan Hira. Tony made up the band's name, which is basically just a combination of David Bowie's Scary Monsters record and the capital of Sweden... yeah.

So the story goes on, they played a few gigs (still in their teens, mind you), and on the night of one such gig and certain Peter Hook was in the audience and thought they'd be a nice fit over at Factory Records. After getting them in the door at Factory, their first single, the outstanding "Fairy Tales" (Factory 41) was released in 1982. Peter also ended up producing a large majority of the band's material from then on out under the production alias "Be Music". The Monsters released several more singles on Factory and sister label Factory Benelux and one album, Alma Mater (Factory 80), in 1984. NME Hated it, but Sounds and Melody maker praised it, saying "As a debut album it stands up well, and promises good things for the future."

So very true, too, because the next year The Stockholm Monsters would release the fantastically bold "How Corrupt is Rough Trade?" (Factory Benelux 46). The A-side was a dark, haunting track featuring incoherent shouting and a bassline to die for. The single also included the B-side "Kan Kill," which along with the A-side, made it one of the best singles the band ever released. Their final single, "Partyline" (Factory 146) was released in 1987, failed to break, and was widely ignored. Why? Who knows. A few months later, the band was effectivelt split-up. Two years later Manchester exploded. Bummer.

LTM Recordings released basically everything the band ever recorded back in 2002 in the form of three records: Alma Mater Plus, All At Once (Singles 1981-1987), and The Last One Back (Archive 1980-1987). I would highly recommend every one of them, but if you're looking to give them a try I'd say All At Once is your best bet. Now, the whole point of this post... listen to them! All tracks are very highly recommended.

[MP3]: The Stockholm Monsters :: Fairy Tales
[MP3]: The Stockholm Monsters :: How Corrupt is Rough Trade? (12" Version)
[MP3]: The Stockholm Monsters :: Partyline (12" version)

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5 Comments:

Blogger Campfires and Battlefields said...

Thanks for the posting these, Matt. I picked up the "All at Once" singles collection a few years back and agree that it's pretty great. I'm particularly fond of the "Kan Kill!" 12 inch (love that highly unsettling Nat King Cole / Frankie Goes To Hollywood intro). Loved the Field Mice and Another Sunny Day posts by the way. Nice work there.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Yup, I'm with Campy, the singles collection is pretty great and much love to the Stockholm Monsters and you for reminding us that. Whee!

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Stockholm Monsters were/are f*ckin' brilliant. Shan (the drummer) is still at it, doing the outfront sound for the Chemical Brothers, The Streets - blah di blah. I just wished they would reform to do some gigs and to show the world that they were an ace band.And possibly sell a few more re-issues. Ahead of their time alright.

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