Saturday, June 19, 2010

I think he likes it: TAR - Jackson (lossless revisit)

Tap tap. Is this thing on?

Apologies again for the (relatively) lengthy delay in new postings. With the onset of summer comes additional projects to tackle in and around the homefront, taking more and more of my tiny slice of available time to devote to the blog.

So it is at the risk of repeating myself that we revisit Tar (as we've done before).

Now last year I posted most of this Chicago proto-grunge noiserock band's Amphetamine Reptile catalog, as MP3. Tar's whole AmRep catalog is now out-of-print, and only selectively available via your usual download-only retailers. This includes one of my favorite records of all time, their 1991 LP Jackson.

If heavy duty factory machinery had a soundtrack to their day, it would be Tar. Dual guitars relentlessly threshing and grinding away, propelled by propulsive bass and drumming, gloriously captured by Steve Albini (in "beautiful downtown Chicago in July, 1991" at Chicago Recording Company). Vocalist John Mohr doesn't need to "sing" to this soundtrack, so he doesn't. There is no singing at the factory. I don't understand how the hands of progress could be so cold, indeed ("Trauma").

So rather than burying this wonderful record amongst a Tar mega-pack, here be it freed as lossless FLAC. Please enjoy responsibly, keep your hands out of the equipment, wear hard hats at all times, etc. Slight remastering from an original 1991 CD issue (as if there are any others, considering this record probably sold less than 10,000 units)...

But first - a video! This is exactly how I imagined a Tar video would look, when I only heard there was one for this song. Now thanks to the magic Internets you can enjoy it too! Also this is perhaps close to the most melodic Tar song in existence, at least chording-wise.


So enjoy. And a slight warning: the second side of the LP (starting with "Dark Mark") is slightly better than the first - bar "Short Trades", one of the best tracks by any band ever.

- - - - -

1991 Amphetamine Reptile Records

01 Short Trades
02 Cross Offer
03 Walking The King
04 On A Transfer
05 Trauma
06 Dark Mark
07 Goethe
08 Tellerman
09 Land Luck
10 Viaduct Removal

Get it here.

And, if the interest is there, I recently acquired 1990's Roundhouse/Handsome CD (also out-of-print) and would be happy to FLAC it here.


  1. I vote for the Roundhouse FLAC rip!

  2. Recently became a huge Tar fan (largely thanks to you!), but I just realized that theres a 'Clincher EP' that I'm missing.
    Any good?

    Much love!,

  3. Jonathan, Clincher is definitely a must. It has a song on it called "Deep Throw" Which is a live version(original appears on SUB POP single of the month and costs bux to get, I think I have one. Anyway it was always part of their amazing live show during the 91-93 period. They were really cool guys to me when I was in High School. I video taped them and interviewed them at McGreggors in Elmhurst, and at Reckless on Broadway in Chicago. There are some non-essential songs on this ep, but it's a good idea, and I think you'll like it. I remember how excited me and my friends were that clincher had some songs that we loved in the live show were finally on disc.