Let's Active - Cypress (1984) / Afoot (1983)

Posted By: martinius
Let's Active - Cypress (1984) / Afoot (1983)

Let's Active - Cypress (1984) / Afoot (1983)
APE + CUE -> 495 MB | MP3 CBR 320 -> 175 MB | Covers

The band's second full-length album, Big Plans For Everybody (1986), was largely a solo outing by Easter, who played most of the instruments himself and handled the mixing and production. On board for a few tracks, however, were bassist/vocalist Hunter, drummers Eric Marshall and Rob Ladd, and multi-instrumentalist Angie Carlson, who would later become Mrs. Easter.
By the time of Let's Active's third and final album, Every Dog Has His Day (1988), the band's sound had evolved into harder-edged power pop. The album was produced by John Leckie and Easter, and credited a line-up of Easter, Carlson, Marshall and new member John Heames, a bassist. Despite the credits, though, the album was largely played by Easter and Marshall, with significant contributions by Carlson. The subsequent tour featured a cohesive lineup of Easter, Carlson, Marshall, and Heames.
The band has been inactive since a final performance in early 1990 — around the same time Easter and Carlson broke up. Carlson went on to form the band Grover, who released one album with Easter producing some of the tracks. Easter, meanwhile, concentrated on his production career, and rarely performed or recorded his own music throughout the 1990s, although he did join Velvet Crush as a touring guitarist for a time in the mid-1990s. In 2000, he re-teamed with Eric Marshall and his new wife, vocalist Shalini Chaterjee, to form the trio Shalini. The three briefly played under the name The Fiendish Minstrels, which featured Easter's lead vocals, as well as a selection of Let's Active tunes in their repertoire. Easter currently records and performs under his own name. His first solo album in 18 years, Dynamico, was released in 2007. (wikipedia )

Though difficult to find (it was seemingly in print for about 15 minutes), this CD combining Let's Active's first two releases, plus a pair of rarities, is essential for all fans of the Southern pop underground of the '80s. Mitch Easter, Sarah Romweber, and Faye Hunter blended psychedelia, bubblegum, and jangly guitars in a way that sounded alternately mysteriously dark and joyously giddy. The 1983 EP is more the latter. Even the lost-love songs like "Every Word Means No" and "Make Up With Me" are too adorable to resist. Easter gets extra coolness points for deliberately mispronouncing the word "anathema" to make it fit the meter in the former song, one of the year's finest singles. All six songs are brilliantly catchy, with more ear-grabbing hooks and production tricks per song than most entire albums, and the entire EP is simply flawless, particularly the ghostly, atmospheric "Edge of the World" and "Leader of Men." Cypress, from 1984, is the darker of the two records, with a thicker and even more psychedelic haze obscuring even the handful of relatively upbeat tracks. Even the catchiest songs here, like the single "Waters Part," have a draggy, druggy feel, and a sort of dispirited ennui hangs over the album as a whole. (It's not surprising that Romweber and Hunter left the band not very long after the album's release.) Still, it's an amazingly engaging record, almost like a Southern new wave version of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures. On this disc, combined with the sunnier pop pleasures of Afoot, Cypress is that much more powerful and disquieting. This disc adds the previously unreleased "Two Yous" and "Grey Scale," previously only available on the U.K. vinyl pressing of Cypress. ~ Stewart Mason, All Music Guide

Track List:
1. Easy Does
2. Waters Part
3. Lowdown
4. Gravel Truck
5. Crows On A Phone Line
6. Ring True
7. Blue Line
8. Flags For Everything
9. Prey
10. Co-Star
11. Ornamental
12. Counting Down
13. Grey Scale - (bonus track)
14. Every Word Means No
15. Make Up With Me
16. Edge Of The World
17. Room With A View, A
18. In Between
19. Leader of Men
20. Two Yous - (bonus track)

Total playing time : 72:32

Mitch Easter - Guitar
Faye Hunter - Bass
Sara Romweber - Drums


Another good post of jangle music here

Comments are welcome!