Manufactured Recordings Announce Power Pop Reissues Available February 17, 2017. The Omnia Music Group division will reissue some rare records from the bands Manikins, The Modulators and Smart Remarks.
From the same scene that begat the Scientists and the Victims came Perth, Australia’s The Manikins. Founded by Neil Fernandes — a former member of the legendary Cheap Nasties with future Scientists member Kim Salmon — The Manikins bridged the rawness of their Aussie punk contemporaries with melodic Power Pop. From Broadway to Blazes features all the bands’ essential recordings from 1971 to 1981, including the three criminally rare and outrageously expensive self-released 7″ singles (Models for Mankind, Mankind, Premonition and Love at Second Sight), their DiY cassette and more unreleased studio recordings as well as detailed liner notes by Fernandes. Manufactured Recordings presents one of the final, untold stories of the original Australian Punk and New Wave scene.
Formed in 1980, New Jersey’s The Modulators are one of the unsung greats of the American powerpop scene. Initially the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Joe Riccardello with help from producer/ lyricist (and Vintage Vinyl Records owner) Rob Roth, Ricardello released his first single Girl Trouble in 1980 just before bringing on friends Mark Higgins (guitar) and Mark “Cakes” Westlake (drums) to join the band. As a fully-formed trio, the Modulators began playing out across New Jersey in the early 80’s and recorded tracks for two local compilations and the band’s second, enduring single She’s So Cynical in 1982. Live gigs and songwriting continued, with the band often writing and recording more material than their release schedule could keep up with.
Finally in 1984, the band released their first and only LP, Tomorrow’s Coming on Roth’s Vintage Vinyl Records. Full of timeless gems and quintessential 80’s power popanthems, the record is now regarded as a genre classic by power pop collectors.
Though the band continued to play the Tri-State area until 1986 (and every now and then since), Tomorrow’s Coming was The Modulator’s last vinyl release. Bringing together the band’s entire discography with an additional 14 unreleased songs and demo tracks and liner notes from power pop collector Steve Borchardt, Manufactured Recordings is proud to present the definitive release of this power pop classic.
Smart Remarks began in 1980 with Todd Ellis (guitar, vocals), Chris Gordon (bass), and Ant Barbalace (drums) as an original punk/power pop trio out of Bordentown, NJ. School friends and co-workers at the local Ocean Spray Cranberry factory, the band was influenced by early powerpop bands like Paul Collins’ Beat, The Records, The Knack, and especially the Staten Island, NY three-piece Dirty Looks. Smart Remarks recorded their first single” Was It Something We Said”… in 1982, which spawned the power pop classic “Mary’s Got Her Eye On Me.” Often the opening act for larger bands that came through town (The Replacements, The Ramones, Joan Jett, Haircut 100), the band became the favorite house band at Trenton, NJ’s famous City Gardens Night Club. Smart Remarks re-entered the studio in 1984 to record the five track EP Seriously Speaking with new bassist Steve DeStefano, which would become their final recording together. Collecting Smart Remarks’ entire discography and including liner notes from Randy “Now” Ellis, the famed owner of City Gardens, Foreign Fields: 1982- 1984 is a must for fans of classic, catchy US powerpop.