Index: Sodium Pentathol Negative

Single of the Week: Plain Wrap B/W Fashion

Two bands in their unformed early days stumble headlong into recording classic sides of timeless power pop. In 1983 Plain Wrap were freshmen in SoCal’s hardcore punk scene, opening for the Crowd, DI, TSOL, Adolescents and Social Distortion. Their first single Magnetic Shoes is a one and a half minute continuous spray of day-glo power pop silly string. (This version is off the legendary Flipside Vinyl Fanzine comp, complete with their bratty prank call to Billy Idol’s manager)

Fashion formed in 1981 in Birmingham, UK, with a lumpy mix of punk, early New Romantic synth and splashes of dub reggae. The B-Side of their third single Sodium Pentathol Negative, is a hot mess of melodramatic Bowie damaged art-rock poured into Joe Jackson’s suit and cut to trim. (It’s among the many high points on IRS Records Greatest Hits Vol 1 & 2, along with cuts from the Stranglers, John Cale, the Fall, and Buzzcocks)

Both songs sound like they were composed in front of a mirror and, frankly, sound best in front of one. They’re the kind of obscurities that make you form bands in your head just so you can imagine covering them in your encore…

Plain Wrap: Magnetic Shoes:

Fashion: Sodium Pentathol Negative: