Saturday, May 30, 2015

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Reminds Us Of The Textones With New Reissues

Eighties female-fronted rock band The Textones was the brainchild of Carla Olsen who had a dream of combining punk attitude with pop/rock melodies without the need for electronic gadgetry. Their debut album was released in 1984 and featured contributions from Don Henley, Gene Clark and Ry Cooder. It also featured a rare unreleased song from Bob Dylan, "Clean Cut Kid."

The Textones only lasted for six years, but their albums continue to be sought after by collectors as their music made an impact on the music scene for female rockers. After long being out of print, Omnivore Recordings recently re-issued The Textones first two albums along with bonus tracks. Their debut album "Midnight Mission" shows the punk-like energy in the songs "Standing In The Line" and "Luck Don't Last Forever," while "Number One Is To Survive" has a country tone to it. The five bonus tracks that accompany the album includes three songs recorded for the soundtrack album "Sylvester," as well as two songs recorded for the live "Rock Of The 80's" album which also featured Lou Reed and Lone Justice.

The Textones were dropped from their record label after only one album, but that did not stop them from creating "Cedar Creek," which was released in 1987. The energy stays high on songs like "Not Afraid" and "Another Soul Searcher" as The Textones stuck close to their rock roots. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers' Howie Epstein lends his vocals to the gentle ballad of "Austin" and the eight-minute epic closer "We Can Laugh About It" is one of the highlights of The Textones catalog. It was also co-written by fellow founding member Kathy Valentine who went on to join The Go-Go's. The bonus tracks are taken from a live recording, often bootlegged, of The Textones at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA in 1987. The short eight-song set features a good mix of songs from their first two albums.

To find out more about these newly re-issued versions of The Textones first two albums, please visit

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