Reviews

Spacecase

100 Flowers Fascist Groove Thang / FGT RMX 7″

Of course I have heard of 100 FLOWERS, the latter-day mutation of the URINALS, but I’ve never spent time with their stuff. This single—which consists solely of a HEAVEN 17 cover and remix of same—does not make me want to go back and explore their catalogue. Try as I might to respect my elders, I just cannot muster any enthusiasm for this one, which sounds like the outro music to some ’80s teen comedy. Sorry, dudes—tried, can’t.

Christopher Alan Durham Peacetime Consumer 7″

This is my kind of weirdo rock. The two songs on this 7″ are in different styles. The A-side “Gratoit Crawl” is a mad, drug-induced sounding jam. It’s all over the place, noisy and lo-fi. I want to just play it again and again. The B-side “50’s House Blues” is a more straightforward bluesy garage rocker. It repeatedly mentions potato vodka which makes me giggle and also has the great line “I’m as useless as can be.” CHRISTOPHER ALAN DURHAM is from outside of Detroit and is formerly of ROACHCLIP and the BIBS. Cool stuff.

Red Lights Red Lights 12″

For fans of the GUN CLUB and JEFFREY LEE PIERCE, this reissue is a must. RED LIGHTS, from what I can find, formed in 1978, two years before the GUN CLUB, and recorded this five-song demo that largely went unheard. Even at nineteen years old, PIERCE’s voice was just as iconic as it was anywhere in his career. The blues-heavy, cow-punk sound of the GUN CLUB was still to be reached, though, as RED LIGHTS touched on reggae in “Kitty,” and is otherwise very pop-heavy, in the vein of his Debbie Harry worship (“Debbie by the Christmas Tree”). The opener “Jungle Book” garnished the most fame, being covered by a number of bands including the LAST on their 1980 Look Again LP (featuring Vitus Mataré on keyboard, who was on this original demo). The recording shows its age in sound quality, but if PIERCE and the GUN CLUB play an integral role in this whole punk thing, then RED LIGHTS is surely a stepping stone in the history books. Copies are limited, so get yours today.

Rubber Blanket Our Album LP

Pre-listen interest piqued by the accompanying notes mentioning the involvement of members of the INTELLIGENCE and WOUNDED LION, along with a check of the credits noting TELEVISION PERSONALITIES and CAPTAIN BEEFHEART covers, proved something of a red herring. A pleasant surprise, then, to uncover a twisted collection of distorted synth un-pop. Mechanical rhythms and analog blurts (accompanied by occasional organic instrumentation, including a sax break provided by MIKAL CRONIN) are the foundation for the dejected laments and spoken word passages of an artist’s soul at odds with modern society. (The Casiotone update of the TVPs “Jackanory Stories” is a listenable enough version of an already-fantastic song.) Glitchy and unprocessed, an homage to bedroom tape experiments and the first dabblings of ’70s/’80s synthesizer pioneers, Our Album crackles with surface noise and ideas.

Walter Daniels and the Hungry Hearts Out at Dusk / Where’s the Pain Point 7″

Two tracks of dirty, bluesy garage rock punctuated with DANIELS’s distorted, drawled vocals and punchy harmonica playing. The HUNGRY HEARTS are Texacala Jones, Marco Butcher (JAM MESSENGERS), Cypress Grove (played with Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Lydia Lunch) and Luis Tissot (JESUS AND THE GROUPIES). It’s a messy, raucous affair that sounds as if it was recorded in the early morning hours before the sun rose. It would have been fun to attend this party.