Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Semmy-Compleet Smelly Feet (1981-82)

Brent Hayward -- a stabler Syd Barrett, a glib Pip Proud, a scatter-brained Bill Direen, a slipshod Crispin Glover -- the hands and mind behind Shoes This High, Smelly Feet, The Kiwi Animal, Fats White (and so on). Earnest weirdness and unsmiling silliness which swings from intimate revelation to dispassionate observation track by track. Andrew Schmidt's got a full write-up on Brent Hayward's post-Shoes This High story on AudioCulture

This post is 'semmy-compleet' as the third 7-inch can be found at the excellent Forgotten New Zealand 45s blog.

Smelly Feet - As Seen On TV (1981)

The ideal initiation into the Smelly Feet scheme, from the the seasick and slinky 'North Of Anywhere' to the sweet ennui of 'A Song For The World', then on to the miniature municipal metaphor 'Vegetable Market' before merrily surrendering to the apocalypse with 'E.O.T.W.I.T.'. 

A scan of the complete fold-out 7-inch sleeve is included. A wee bit of distortion on this rip. 

Smelly Feet - OHMS (1981)

The punkest of the three releases presented here -- 'OHMS' is shouty and strident, repetitive like Kiwi Animal's 'Woman And Man Have Balance', intercut with lyrical nihilist declaimings. Then there's the grotty-vibed 'My Festured Toe' [sic], and the chastising 'Comparisons'. Detuned, clatter-stringed guitar. 

No cover. Quite a crackly rip, sorry. 

Smelly Feet - Left Odours (1982)

Snippets, quite a few complete songs, and euphonious streams-of-consciousness -- 22 total tracks recorded at home and gigs, on four-track and portable tape recorders. The good stuff here is like first-take Kiwi Animal, Hayward's (admittedly idiosyncratic) songcraft and playing both edging toward that Brent and Julie apogee. Not at all a 'for the real fans only!!!!' Dead Letter Office, rather a rare find -- like a faded denim jacket in your size at the op shop which is both impeccably zirconia-bedazzled and prog-metal patched. 

The first three pieces on the a-side are furiously lofi -- like, no-fi -- and I worried that the tape was degraded, but by ‘Kenny’ they are much clearer, so hang in there. It's promptly obvious from the varying track quality that the indiscriminate fidelity is intentional. I've stereo compensated as it was heavily left-leaning, and boosted the volume of the ultra-lofi bits. 


  1. Nice! The 4th track on As Seen On TV appears to be missing from the download though.

    1. Hey, thanks! I've uploaded a new zip with the complete 7-inch, including the 4th track 'E.O.T.W.I.T.' Enjoy!