Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter track smackdown: Round eleven - Das Psycho Rangers

There's a tussle at the top as YouTube, Amazon and iTunes struggle for supremacy in our Easter weekend battle to determine who's best at finding the random list of tracks we scribbled down in the late hours of Maundy Thursday. But now comes a big ask: who can give us a song by an act who are - despite having been on ZTT alongside Propaganda and Frankie - so obscure, they don't merit a Wikipedia page.

The Das Psycho Rangers (or, sometimes, Das Psych-oh Rangers) exist mainly in my mind as a haunting, 4ADesque Janice Long session. The standout track from that session was Homage. Do any of you digital stores hold the studio version?

Now, however much pity you might feel for Spotify, you're not going to expect us to give them marks for bringing up Power Rangers soundtrack songs in response to this search, are you? Zero, again.

Last FM:
The CBS team aren't bemused by the two names - in fact, they've never heard of the Psych-Oh spelling. But there aren't even any suggestions for tracks from the band, so zero.

Please, pleads iTunes, Powersearch. I'm sure my power search will turn up something.

But, no. Not a thing. Zero.

Again, nothing. Last FM is starting to look a lot cooler, because at least it's heard of them, even if it has to make that noise you do when asked for an opinion on a band whose existence you have registered without having ever heard their music.

The comments on the band's one appearance on YouTube, with Love Terminator, suggests they were trying to rip off Zodiac Mindwarp - and from here, you can see where that charge might have come from:

But why would you try to steal ideas from Zodiac Mindwarp, which was essentially Motorheadinjury?

A two point bonus to YouTube for having something, although it does piss a bit over the memory of the Janice Long session iteration of the band. Which, to be fair, is something Zodiac Mindwarp might have done.

When Amazon flops, it flops badly. "Hey - how about picking up this Kelly Clarkson song instead?" Zero.

An almost empty results page tries to interest me in a Psycho ringtone. I walk away, backwards, slowly, smiling... no fast movements, no fast movements... - zero

Roy Rogers? Are you joking? Zero.

There's a salutary lesson here, if you wish to hear it: ZTT were indie, but not, by any means, an insignificant force in the 1980s music scene. That no legal service offers anything approaching their complete catalogue shows how far we are from having everything online. We're not even near everything you'd expect yet.

With that thought, let's take a look at the latest standings:

Amazon 47
YouTube 41
iTunes 37
Imeem 33
eMusic 19
we7 14
Spotify 09

Finally: a fanzine favourite's heart-break classic to round us off.


Mike said...

The killer effort by them (not on YouTube) is the jaw-dropping Tube performance of 'Homage to the Blessed' and 'The Essential Art of Communication' - far superior to anything they recorded. At school, I was alone in this thought and the studio audience at Tyne Tees were similarly nonplussed.

Thanks for your amusing post.

Anonymous said...

I have the Essential Art of Communication EP and an old demo tape. Will see if I can digitally convert and post them somewhere, sometime soon.

Unknown said...

I remember being impressed by that tube performance!

Mike said...

I concur with the above contributors re their Tube performance - absolutely gobsmacking - I was an instant convert. Seemingly nothing they recorded came even close to this. I can verify that the Tyne Tees audience were completely underwhelmned by the performance as I am lucky enough to have it on VHS. As soon as I can find it again you can rest assured it will be on YouTube for your delectation.

Anonymous said...

ITS ON YOUTUBE! Been waiting to see this again for years. I have the 12" on vinyl and have digitised "Homage" and "Essential" if you'd like them.

Steve Honest said...

i have every note they ever recorded, i was an original member and owned a recording studio at the time , and was involved in all the writing sessions up until the last year of the band

steve honest

Anonymous said...

Steve are you able to upload Essential and any other material? many thanks - big fan and that Tube performance was legendary

selena gomez said...

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