Thursday, July 15, 2010

White Stains - White Stains EP

Deviating quite a bit from the theme of my last few posts with this obscurity. I came upon this EP in a local thrift store, wedged in between a couple gospel records that are probably still there. An old friend was mine was considering buying it, but he decided to let me since he was broke at the time. I was immediately intrigued by the artwork, so of course I snagged it for a couple bucks. Anyway, I have him to thank for this entry.

Getting it home, giving it a spin, I took in the eerie darkwave-esque tunes of San Francisco's White Stains, a five piece who apparently only put out this EP. Creepy vibes, downright strange imagery, even a few (you guessed it) pop tendencies in some spots, especially dead on in the Glockenspiel bits. The lyrics are a little reminiscent of fellow San Francisco natives Switchblade Symphony (there's a reference I never thought I'd make again), although this record is less brooding. Lots of references to God and theology. A very intriguing and enjoyable record.

I'm glad that I am blogging about this now rather than back then, because when I attempted to dig up information about this band, I believe that I got this band mixed up with a later Swedish band of the same name. This band is made up of three women and two men (which is contrary to another person's comment that this was an all-girl band), while the other darkwave band seems to revolve around two Swedish men, not to mention this particular record was recorded in San Francisco in 1983 while the latter White Stains were active beginning in 1987. Both bands, incidentally, have a similar sound, so I wouldn't be surprised if they somehow ended up being the same band... but signs point to no. Any further information about this band or release would be appreciated. It was Round Black Records #1, evidently the first and last release according to Discogs. Members, as they are credited on the back, were Contessa Kathleena D'Onofrio (guitar and vocals), Contessa Susana Volkana (vocals and tapshoes), Contessa Suzanna Ramsini (piano, Glockenspiel and vocals), Wally Sound (guitar and bass), and David P. Silva (drums). Awesome artwork on the front and back.

White Stains - White Stains EP Mediafire


montyman said...

White Stains was orchestrated largely by Susan Volkan who had recieved a cash settlement in a lawsuit and put it to this effort. I'm glad you gave this some exposure as it is a great example of the DIY San Francisco post punk music scene.Their sound held up live (in the several shows I saw)and the girls were all really cute. Volkan has gone on to establish herself as a respected performer/teacher. She is still really cute.

Gingerman said...

I know for a fact that montyman is biased and without a doubt full of shit!
I have been following White Stains around the country and far reaches ever since their ground breaking Round Black Record. The three Countesses are/is actually a three headed triplet monstrosity that reported to have eaten the male members... of the band. If you can't tell by now, I give this recording and this band my highest recommendation. Awesome!


ryan said...

i can confirm that the ladies didn't eat any male(s) of the bad, as one of them e-mailed me not too long ago!

thanks for the comments guys.

wallysound1969 said...

Yeah, That Susan V. is one spectacular piece of A! Nice boobies on that one! That Baby Cathy is no slouch either!

Anonymous said...

I have no idea who this poser wallysound1969 is but I'm the REAL Wallysound and I would never say anything like THAT - but ya gotta admit they were cute!