The Fossil Records
Now almost entirely forgotten, Rote Kapelle were part of the Edinburgh indie scene of the mid 1980s, and shared members with several other bands, including the rather wonderful jangle-pop groups Jesse Garon and the Desperados, The Shop Assistants, and The Fizzbombs. Although some of Rote Kapelle's later recordings would have similarly twee leanings, the four tracks on their debut, The Big Smell Dinosaur E.P, are much harder and noisier, more post-punk than indie-pop. I quite like it.
The band took their name from the name given by the Gestapo to an anti-Nazi resistance movement (Die Rote Kapelle - the Red Orchestra) operating in Berlin during WW2. In their short career, the band released three EPs, two 7" singles, and a single album. Their first effort, The Big Smell Dinosaur E.P, was self-released (on 'Big Smell Dinosaur Records' according to the cover) and limited to 500 copies. The band designed and printed the sleeves themselves. The six band members then hand coloured all of them, with each sleeve being unique as a result.
The cover is graced by two Brontosaurus, feeding on horsetails, with an erupting volcano on the horizon, and some sauropod footprints in the foreground. A tiny Stegosaurus on the rear cover reminds us that, although it is a 7", the record should be played at 33 rpm. Although one of the tracks is titled Evolution, I must admit that the link between the music and dinosaurs isn't particularly clear to me.
The artist is not credited, and I assume that the sauropods are redrawings of some 1970s or early 1980s palaeo-art, but I can't identify them. If anyone has an idea of where they are from, please let me know in the comments.
All of the songs on this E.P., King Mob, Evolution, Fergus! The Sheep! and A Gasfire, are available on YouTube, and the original vinyl is available via Discogs.