Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Hypnolovewheel

The Long Island band Hypnolovewheel is remembered, if at all, by the members of Yo La Tengo and a few folks on I Love Music (or for their cover of “Antmusic” ). They made a few great albums, combining power pop smarts with post-punk guitars and a sense of humor that was missing from most of their contemporaries. Hypnolovewheel is one of the few bands worthy of comparison to the Embarrassment, as Byron Coley noted in the Trouser Press Record Guide. Here's how he described their songs: “When Hypnolovewheel come up with something that's potentially too catchy, they bury it under a small load of six-string noise.”

The band’s later discs on the Alias label litter the bargain bins. I highly recommend 1991's Space Mountain and 1992's Angel Food, but would caution you to avoid their final record, Altered States, where the band seems to have lost track of the qualities that distinguished them from REM and their jangle-pop ilk. If anyone can hook me up with the band’s earliest LP’s on the label Fabian Aural Products (or the "Sybil" double single), I would be deeply indebted to you. Hypnolovewheel members Dan Cuddy and Peter Walsh now play in a Hoboken supergroup (?) called the Special Pillow.

The first two tracks here are from Space Mountain. “Pleasant Valley” is a song that belongs in an episode of “Pete and Pete”. I love the twin guitar lines, one descending and the other ascending. The other track, “Bronze Bug”, shows off the band’s sense of humor, with minimal/absurdist lyrics and deliberately off-key guitar leads. “Black Hole of Love” is a beautiful song from Angel Food. "Of all the fish in the sea, you're the one for me."

Hypnolovewheel: Pleasant Valley


Hypnolovewheel: Bronze Bug


Hypnolovewheel: Black Hole of Love

10 Comments:

At 2/08/2006 1:12 PM , Anonymous Paula said...

Wow--I remember this band but always thought they were part of the "baggy pants/rave" scene, based on that psychedelic name. I love these songs, thanks for postin' 'em.

 
At 2/08/2006 2:12 PM , Blogger jon manyjars said...

Yeah, when you google "hypnolovewheel" you find that they are on several people's lists of dumb band names. I don't dislike the name, but it probably was misleading. Glad you like the songs! They have another one called "Peat Rows" that I always meant to put on a mixtape for you, because the title was a pun (phonetically) on the disgraced baseball player's name, and the chorus contains a further pun: "Pete rose, pete fell". So clever it made my head hurt.

 
At 2/08/2006 6:13 PM , Anonymous chris said...

Jon
Thanks for the links. These are great songs. I love the Peat rows pun. When I was a kid we went to Ireland, where people at the time still burned Peat in the fireplaces (I guess they still do), which gives of a pretty distinctive odor. I told my mother; They should call him Pete Rose, they should call him Pete Smell. Clearly not in the clever league with Hynolovewheel.

 
At 4/18/2006 3:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doh! After searching for Pleasant Valley for YEARS, I finally find it and the upload links are DEAD!!
Oh, the humanity...

 
At 4/18/2006 6:13 PM , Blogger jon manyjars said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/22/2006 5:53 AM , Anonymous Aetern Forsythe said...

I've been a fan of Hypnolovewheel since the early 90s.. for the longest time all I had was Angel Food, but that's all it took. a few years ago I got a copy of Altered States, which also makes me happy. Tonight, I found this, that you and I both may be very interested in getting ahold of when it comes out.

 
At 7/22/2006 10:24 AM , Blogger jon manyjars said...

Yeah! I got a nice email recently from Stephen Hunking telling me that he and Dave Ramirez (both Hypnolovewheel guitarists) each have solo CD's on that label, and that they are planning a retrospective CD of rare stuff. No track list yet, but I love the cover image. I was going to mention that good news in a post I'm writing about reissues. Dug your Myspace, and noticed that you listen to both Hypno and Special Pillow, plus lots of other diverse stuff! Thanks for your comment!

 
At 7/22/2006 10:27 AM , Blogger jon manyjars said...

Forgot to add: DEFINITELY get a copy of Hypnolovewheel's Space Mountain CD. It is my favorite, and you can find it on Amazon or djangos.com for a couple bucks.

 
At 2/11/2007 1:56 AM , Anonymous Aetern Forsythe said...

There are two Hypnolovewheel videos on youtube.

 
At 2/11/2007 8:50 AM , Blogger jon manyjars said...

Hello again, my fellow Hypno fan! Thanks for the Youtube tip! I emailed Stephen Hunking about a month ago, and he said that he and Dave Ramirez are still working on the retrospective. I finally picked up the first two LP's (Turn Turn Burn and Candy Mantra) and the Peace of Mind EP (which has some Angel Food b-sides). Now I want the 7" singles and their tribute album tracks ("Antmusic" and a Donovan cover) to complete my Hypnolovewheel discography.

 

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