Aunt Sally Aunt Sally LP+7″ reissue
Osaka’s AUNT SALLY formed after then-teenage vocalist (and later avant-garde icon) PHEW traveled to London for a SEX PISTOLS gig in 1977 and returned to Japan inspired to start her own band, but the familiar “PISTOLS as Rosetta stone” trope is not at all evident in the deconstructed art-punk of their 1979 self-titled album (and only official release), now back on vinyl for the first time in a couple of decades. The eponymous track “Aunt Sally” and “フランクに (Frank Ni)” both trace lines parallel to ROSA YEMEN as Phew cryptically chants over spindly tom-tom tumble and scribbling guitar, while “すべて売り物 (Subete Urimono)” is Rough Trade-ready with an early FALL-ish combo of repetitive, rumbling bass and rudimentary keyboard stabs; that’s about as close as AUNT SALLY gets to anything approaching trad punk (which is to say, not very). The rest of the LP is even further untethered from capital-P punk conventions—rhythm is all but discarded for the delicate, guitar/vocal-centered “日が朽ちて (Hi Ga Kuchite)” (think Odyshape-era RAINCOATS, stripped of drums and realized three years earlier a continent away), “ローレライ (Loreley)” inverts the French nursery rhyme “Frère Jacques” into a dark and unsettled freeform psychedelic sprawl, and the slinky no wave bass groove in “Essey” is cut through with some unexpectedly bright keyboards and sing-song vocals. The initial pressing of the reissue also includes a bonus 7″ with two raw, wild live recordings from AUNT SALLY’s 1978 debut gig at Kobe College (a particularly unhinged version of “Subete Urimono,” and the non-LP synth punk stomper “Panorama-tou/Cool Cold,” completely unreal!), which makes for an essential acquisition even if the original LP wasn’t currently fetching triple-digit prices—get in while you can.