Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

30 July 2022

The Chevalier is Drowning in the Musick

I was listening to the Viva Los Angeles comp the other night. Hidden amongst other LA experimental bands like Savage Republic, Bay of Pigs & 17 Pygmies is the gem "Festival of Healing" by Drowning Pool. I had forgotten this band but remembered that the great Woody Dumas of C'est la Mort Records  had once recommended them (high praise, in my opinion). He had featured their song "Black Baghdad" (at that time unreleased) as the opening track for Doctor Death's Volume III - Les Péchés De L'amant.

Woodrow states:
     "I arranged the tracks on this LP as if I were doing a radio show, & none set the tone as well as "Black Baghdad"...Although not signed to C'est la Mort, they really could be. For this is the type of timeless sound I'm looking for."

I dragged out what I had & started giving the band a serious listen. I decided that I needed to share them here. 


Drowning Pool is a quartet (mainly) from Costa Mesa, CA. Adam Elesh - guitars, Andrew Crane - vocals, keyboards, & percussion, Brett Smith - bass, & Jon Thomas - drums & percussion. They create a clean & essential sound expressed through melancholically ritualistic music. They make atmospheres of mysterious evocativeness with delicate guitar weavings, fluid vocals, & a discreet use of electronic keyboards. Their pool is dark & surreal. They have been hailed as existential psychedelia. 


After several cassette-only releases shared with friends (Uncork the Mind, Muted Streak, Toy Soldier), they began hitting the vinyl. Their first, Drowning Pool - Untitled, released on the Viva label (the Italian label responsible for Viva Los Angeles), is a great place to jump into the pool. It features the song that stated this sojourn. It is also the portrait of a band with their musickal shit together painted by an exceptional artist. 


Drowning Pool - Untitled (aka The Bloody Boy), Viva Records REVI 002, 1986.
all decryption codes in comments

Lato A -
Ritual Regeneration / Toy Soldiers
Festival of Healing    
Song to the Chumash

Lato B -
Weaving Petals
Muted Streak    
Art of Waiting    
Fired from Within

Their second self-titled LP is a much darker swim. 
Drowning Pool - Drowning Pool, Scarface Charley Records DP31187, 1987.

Face Side -
What of Singing Birds
Open Palms

Dance Side -
Broken Jawed Woman Sings (featuring Kirra Vollman)
New Tremblin Fingers
Edith, Hold Out Your Hand
P. E. 26
Paradise Found 

Once again on Viva for their third, with tributes to Native Americans (sound bites of Little Big Man, Dan George, William S. Burroughs)...Nierika..."doorway within our minds that usually remains hidden & secret until the time of death'. 

At this point, the band is at both their pinnacle & unravelling at the same time. The title track encapsulates the essence of Drowning Pool. 
NØ sez: "One of the finest songs I know." 
Drowning Pool - Nierika, Viva Records REVI 004, 1988.

This Side -
House of Dreams    

Other Side -
Master Bebra
House of Dreams (reprise) 

This drug, my friends, is highly psychedelic. Better living through Musick. 

About this time, the Pool had become engorged with water & overflowed its banks. Things kinda flowed off in different directions, as feathers or smoke or water or thoughts sometimes do.

With the departure of singer Andrew Crane, Aphonia (in medicine: loss of ability to speak through disease of or damage to the larynx or mouth) is an instrumental release from Drowning Pool (though not without wonderful voices). It is a shifting collage of sounds, meditational rhythms of nature. There are layers of music that overlap, drifting in & out of one another yet never overpowering a beautiful sense of space within the textures. The guitar work of Adam Elesh is as captivating as David Sylvain, as eccentric as Robert Fripp & occasionally as beautifully self-indulgent as Phil Manzanera.

     "Welcome back, listeners, to SEZØ -FM, to the radio program that plays all the latest hits none of the time. Woody, here at the turntable, starting off tonights soundfunfest set with the song that's been sweeping none of the dance floor anywhere,  Black Bgahdad by Drowning Pool."
Drowning Pool - Aphonia, Fundamental SAVE 72 CD, 1988.

Side 1 -
Black Baghdad    
Tap Tap    

Side 2 -
Chevalier MacGregor    
The Italian Pop Song

With or without Andrew Crane, Drowning Pool are exceptionally fine. Yet I often think of what "Din" might have sounded like with Crane on board. If you want a taste of Drowning Pool with another singer (Kelly Ray), search out Mumbles - Two Clouds. It was released on Viva with a run of 1000 so it's been hard to come by, but I think Adam Elesh re-issued a remastered version around 2006. I've heard it but don't have it, even digitally so if any dear reader has, please honor me. 
Elesh & Crane were subsequently in the band (āc'orn.) who released one album, Sustenance (Smith & Thomas from Drowning Pool are also seven of the ten tracks)...

Viva Las Pool,


  1. The Bloody Boy
    Drowning Pool

  2. Thank you to the fourth power! I discovered Drowning Pool through that C'est La Mort comp (which led me to purchase the entire CLM catalogue).

    Oh and here's Mumbles - Two Clouds:

  3. Thank you to the fifth power, for you kind & insightful words. I owe Woody Dumas & C'est la Mort for so much great music in my life The Dr. Death comp was also my first ever exposure to Drowning Pool. Now I am indebted to you for the Mumbles link. If there is ever anything I can do for you music wise, please let me know.

  4. Glad I could help! I've been a peruser / pursuer of this blog for *years* but rarely drop a note of appreciation / encouragement even though I could with every post. (something something internet anonymity something)

    Also just now discovered *KinderCrowdControl* (Adam Elesh & Brett Smith).
    "When you open one door, many many others open of their own accord" or some such.
    Speaking of other doors:

    (āc'orn.) – Sustenance (1996)
    - and an LP that I've been foisting on folks forever -
    (VA) The October Country [Nate Starkman & Sons] (1988)

    1. I was going to ask if anyone out in the interweb had (āc'orn.) since I got such a rapid response about Mumbles, but before I could ask...voila. Now I really owe you.

      Glad to know I have been able to keep your interest for *years*. Thanks for taking the time to drop a note of a / e. It has been a huge thank you to me.

      Not familiar with the VA comp but am grabbing it & will check it out ASAP.

      Eternally grateful.

  5. Doctor Death comp also introduced me to Legendary Pink Dots...for which the gratitude is eternal.
    (I have 99% of their output & associated works if you need something...)

    1. I too am an avid fan of LPD. They are one of my top ten. Have most all of their output & associated as well. Thanks for the offer.

  6. Just started listening to The October Country. Starts off with Dark Arts. They have a major Ethyl Meatplow / Geraldine Fibbers connection so I am so there. Thanks again.

  7. Thanks for this cornucopia- Some Blaine Raininger obscure 12" with a bowiesque corner.

  8. Thanks for the cornucopia. Another favourite drops by

  9. I somehow overlooked Drowning Pool even though they overlap with a lot of stuff I like. Thanks for the introduction! PS - I recently bought myself the Desolation Center documentary DVD, but haven't watched it yet.

    1. Hope you enjoy Drowning Pool. If you do, the links in several of the above comments have Mumbles & (āc'orn.) which are both good [(āc'orn.) is especially great].

      Desolation Center is a cool watch. Used to go to Mark Pauline Survival Research extravaganzas in weird warehouses & industrial parks around S.F.

    2. PS of my own. Of all the show posters for Drowning Pool That I found, I used the one when they opened for the Fall (two shows) just for you.

    3. I figured if they were cool enough to open for The Fall, they must have really had something.

  10. Thanks a lot for the drowning pool post. great discovery, getting some Abecedarians vibes. Btw.. Can anyone in here provide a rip of the Tragic Symphony - Lazy (1984) tape? That would just be round up the whole bundle.