Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Aztec Camera & Polyrock

Aztec Camera

Bio (From :

For most intents and purposes, Aztec Camera is Roddy Frame, a Scottish guitarist/vocalist/songwriter. Several other musicians have passed through the band over the years -- including founding members Campbell Owens (bass) and Dave Mulholland (drums) -- but the one constant has been Frame. Throughout his career, he has created a sophisticated, lush, and nearly jazzy acoustic-oriented guitar pop, relying on gentle melodies and clever wordplay inspired by Elvis Costello.

Aztec Camera released their debut album, High Land, Hard Rain, in 1983. Before its release, Owens and Mulholland had left the group, leaving Frame to assemble the record himself. Upon its release, the album won significant amounts of critical praise for its well-crafted, multi-layered pop. After releasing a stop-gap EP, Oblivious, the group's second full-length record, Knife, appeared in 1984. Produced by Mark Knopfler, the album was more polished and immediate than the debut, featuring horn arrangements and a slight R&B influence. Three years later, Roddy Frame returned with Love, which featured musical support from several studio musicians. Love was a synthesized stab at pop-R&B, resulting in his greatest commercial success -- the album launched four hit singles, including the Top Ten "Somewhere in My Heart."

Two years later, Aztec Camera returned to a more guitar-oriented sound with Stray. It wasn't as commercially successful as Love, yet it was a hit with fans who missed the chiming hooks of Frame's early work. Dreamland, released in 1993, followed the same pattern as Stray and achieved about the same amount of commercial and critical success.

Genre: Rock Style: Alternative pop.

High Land, Hard Rain (1983)

Review by Ned Raggett

Some performers never make a bigger splash than with their first record, a situation which the Ramones and De La Soul know all too well. If that's the case, though, said musicians had better make sure that debut is a doozy. Aztec Camera, or more specifically, Roddy Frame, falls squarely into this scenario, because while he has doggedly plugged away ever since with a series of what are, at times, not bad releases, High Land, Hard Rain remains the lovely touchstone of Frame's career. Very much the contemporaries of such well-scrubbed Scottish guitar-pop confectionaries as Orange Juice, but with the best gumption and star quality of them all, Aztec Camera led off the album with "Oblivious," a minimasterpiece of acoustic guitar hooks, lightly funky rhythms, and swooning backing vocals. If nothing tops that on High Land, Hard Rain, most of the remaining songs come very close, while they also carefully avoid coming across like a series of general soundalikes. Frame's wry way around words of love (as well as his slightly nasal singing) drew comparisons to Elvis Costello, but Frame sounds far less burdened by expectations and more freely fun. References from Keats to Joe Strummer crop up (not to mention an inspired steal from Iggy's "Lust for Life" on "Queen's Tattoos"), but never overwhelm Frame's ruminations on romance, which are both sweet and sour. Musically, his capable band backs him with gusto, from the solo-into-full-band showstopper "The Bugle Sounds Again" to the heartstopping guitar work on "Lost Outside the Tunnel." Whether listeners want to investigate further from here is up to them, but High Land, Hard Rain itself is a flat-out must-have.



1 Oblivious 3:12
2 The Boy Wonders 3:15
3 Walk Out to Winter 3:25
4 The Bugle Sounds Again 2:58
5 We Could Send Letters 5:49
6 Pillar to Post 4:02
7 Release 3:41
8 Lost Outside the Tunnel 3:42
9 Back on Board 4:53
10 Down the Dip 2:23
11 Haywire 3:58
12 Orchid Girl 2:35
13 Queen's Tattoos 2:10

Download Link:



The New York-based new wave/synth pop band Polyrock formed in the late '70s with a lineup including vocalist Catherine Oblasney, guitarists Billy Robertson and Tommy Robertson, drummer Joseph Yannece, and keyboard player Lenny Aaron. The group signed with RCA by 1980, and delivered their eponymous debut album that same year. Two albums followed in 1981 (Changing Hearts and Electro-Romantic), but Polyrock was broken up by 1982. ROIR released the retrospective No Love Lost in 1986.

Genre: Rock
Styles: Synth pop, new wave.

Polyrock (1980)


Polyrock could be pitched as Talking Heads under the tutelage of Philip Glass. Their music owes as much of a debt to Television and Brian Eno (specifically �Third Uncle�), but the Heads/Eno parallel seems to hold up the best. Yet by the time Polyrock arrived at the party (1980), the best hats were already taken, and somehow they got swept into the second wave of new wave artists like Suburban Lawns and Flying Lizards. Polyrock deserved better, but timing is everything in music. Led by brothers Billy and Tommy Robertson, this sextet made intelligent, agitated music that threw giddy melodies into the boiling stew of atonal angst and restless rhythms. Equally at home with instrumentals that sound like Peter Gunn on speed (�Bucket Rider�) and songs that suggest Ric Ocasek having a very bad day (�Romantic Me�), it�s still not a very big home. The eleven songs are driven by the same engine, loopy but never silly, as if in an alternate universe somewhere The B-52�s took themselves seriously. With all the name dropping I�m doing, you may be tempted to pick this up, and I sure wouldn�t stop you. Just a caveat: For me, Polyrock�s music has never come from musicians, and without a recognizable brand behind the band, this becomes principled and intelligent but ultimately faceless product. It�s not their fault, but if the band ever did any marketing (videos, radio singles, tours) it missed me, and I was paying attention to this sort of thing in 1980. Maybe it won�t trouble you this long after the fact, but I�ve always felt unsure about according them a high place in the heavens, maybe because sometimes the brightest stars aren�t the biggest, just the closest. If Philip Glass� tight organ patterns push some of your buttons, however, Polyrock might push all of them.


1 Romantic Me
2 Green for Go
3 This Song
4 Go West
5 Your Dragging Feet
6 No Love Lost
7 Body Me
8 Sound Alarm
9 Bucket Rider
10 Shut Your Face
11 #7

Produced by Philip Glass & Kurt Munkacsi

LENNY AARON -- keyboards
CURT COSENTINO -- bass machine, synthesizer
CATHERINE OBLASNEY -- vocals, percussion
BILLY ROBERTSON -- guitar, vocals
TOMMY ROBERTSON -- guitars, electronics, violin
JOSEPH YANNECE -- drums, percussion, backing vocals
Philip Glass -- piano, additional keyboards

Information taked from 'Progrography'

Download link:

Greetings for all!


Blogger anvilscepe said...

Thank you Thank You Salty Salty!

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from marcus
many many many thanks for Polyrock, it's a very rare(and good) and hard to find album!!


4:19 PM  
Blogger Koop said...

Salty, thanks for Aztec. No chance of posting "Knife"? And you won't forget the Wild & Moody from Yukihiro T??

all the best

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, thanks for posts!

On Polyrock, track #5 seems to be missing...

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Gary C. said...

Hello Salty, how you been? Even when I did not post any comments lately I always feel part of your blog community. So Thanx to you and David for this albums!

At yours,


PS Any chance for Katrina and the Waves?

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to ask this - you guys are performing a valuable service, and I'm grateful - but would it be possible to upload the missing track from Polyrock? It would be greatly appreciated.

- Philip

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from marcus
here are some share usefull links: megaupload,sendsapce,badongo.
and, yes , it's true, track n5 from polyrock album is missing...colud you pleas upload it(the track)?

4:44 PM  
Blogger Spy 1969 said...

Thx for Aztec Camera, more please..!!

Spy 1969

7:04 PM  
Blogger David Villagrán Ruz said...

Hi Philip

Im trying hard to get the missing track.

If I find it, I'll post it, dont worry.


2:17 PM  
Blogger David Villagrán Ruz said...

Here's the link for track 5:

When both expire, I'll repost the complete LP.


7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Polyrock track!

- Philip

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any chance somebody would care to upload the rest of the polyrock records as well?


3:26 AM  
Blogger anvilscepe said...

Hell0 - I've redownloaded the Polyrock album and "Romantic Me" seems to not play on itunes for some strange reason. It there any way someone can upload that song. I am having a hard time finding it. Thanks again to David for track 5 as that one too would not play. Oh and a slight request, anyone have Pylon's Gyrate. I have it on album and would love a nice digital copy. Cheers again David.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone...please if you're feeling generous....upload track 5 for us imbeciles who always miss the boat

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for Polyrock,but please please give me one more chance,someone please repost Track 01 & 05,please


4:19 AM  
Blogger mdsgcg said...

hi...any chance of reupping the missing polyrock track ? open comment to anyone not just salty...would be real grateful to anyone at all able to do this and post a link?

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Someone reup POLYROCK #05,please!


11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi ,here is track 05 (dragging your feet),enjoy and thanks for reup track 01!


7:17 AM  
Anonymous Deiter said...

I was an early fan of Polyrock. (I have the first LP on vinyl.) They weren't quite to everyone's taste; Critics usually derided them for sounding a bit too robotic (even though they didn't use sequencers) despite the guitars. They appeared on television show Fridays--if anybody remembers, it was a Saturday Night Live rip-off. I also saw them live at the Whiskey Au Go Go. I was at the 11 o'clock show. At the prior 8 o'clock show the brothers got into a fight with the lead guitarist brother storming off stage not to return. (They played without him at 11. I was also saw X the night Exene's sister died in a car accident. What luck, huh?) I think that evening was the end for Polyrock (or soon after).

Great to hear these albums again. Thanks for loading!

1:52 AM  
Blogger Nikki said...

Hey..your blog is very amazing, I love to visit everyday..
Don't forget to visit my blog too
Thank you :)

10:55 PM  

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