Yeah I know. I said I wasn't gonna get it. But a feller can change his mind, right? And I have every right to change my mind about buying something as I have regarding liking then hating (or vice versa) records, groups, people or entire nations if I so desire. And although I did say that I didn't think I was gonna cozy up to an entire long-playing Cee-Dee by this (as they say) "outsider" nutjob (the Australian Syd Barrett they call him) I decided that maybe that $20 I had in my pocket would be put to better use buying this than, say, the latest big slapdash to come out on the Lexicon Devil imprimatur and who in their right mind could argue with that?
The Barrett comparisons hold up only a tad, especially when you realize that Pip's debut spinner predated THE MADCAP LAUGHS and that you probably could easily enough draw adequate enough parallels to Donovan or even Charles Manson just as much as you can ol' Syd. One toon, I believe "They Took Us All So Kindly", even comes off like Mahogany Brain the way the two guitars seem to be playing completely different melodies. And don't forget "Purple Gang Boy" (from whence the single was taken), which had quite a few discombobulated ears crying Velvet Underground.
Frankly I can find more in common with the early-eighties English cassette culture/underground musings that could be heard on that one MESSTHETICS collection of bedroom ditties done up by extremely introverted royal subjects. And compared to the timid and lonesome musings of Proud many of those feeble-soul'd strummers even come off like Ted Nugent!
I'd find it hard to believe that Proud graduated to the COWBOY BOB BOOK OF GUITAR PLAYING VOLUME TWO the way he cranks out the basic chords and sings along mostly if suitably out of tune. He reminds me of Granny on THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES playing her autoharp with a quill. Of course that adds to the charm and, considering the mental anguish Proud must have been going through throughout his life, gives the entire proceedings an added dimension---of exactly what dimension that would be I do not know, but it sure is fun trying to figure the man's mental makeup out!
Can't find a duff moment or sour track here even if the notes can go south more'n a few times asifyoucared. But it all ends up going through your nervous system so smoothly, even more than it did with Daniel Johnston and the rest of those recent loner types who found some sort of niche now that people claim to have ears a whole lot more open then they were back when Proud was first starting up his illustrious career. Can't find a single fault with it (unless you want me to get into some extreme nitpicks, which of course I would never do), and as somebody or someone else said quite awhile back, "highly recommended".
For being a posthumous platter that came ouy a good twenny-three years after Dolphy kicked the bucket because he wasn't a junkie, these are some pretty tasty leftovers dontchathink? Captures the more particularly creepy aspects of the early-sixties jazz avant garde that didn't always translate well to record, with a drive and sublime nerve-shattering drive that would have fit in well on the early ESP-disk roster. (Thanks to the presence of a pre-cocktail schmooze Bob James on track #1 no doubt.) Not only that, but the early usage of Indian raga sounds were laid down just around the same time Sandy Bull was doing his "Blend"-ing of east 'n west and, as they did there, the twains do meet. Wonder why it took so long for this masterpiece to make its way not only to the record racks, but to my dear ears ) other'n my own ignorance natch!)?
If you think I "censored" the cover shown onna left you are correct! In no way do I want to inflict on this already over-inflicted world any sorta art that might be considered explicitly s-xual or homoerotic, so I did what I felt should be done and adapted the cover artwork to appeal to the more "worker friendly" types amongst us. And besides, sometimes us piccolo players kinda get inhibited looking at the bassoon section, and anyone who spent a weekend in a nudist colony with Iggy Pop would know.
But keeping the homophobia (or is it homophilia?) on the right side of your brain you'll wanna get this 'un no matter how sickoid the cover art may be, for this is (finally!) a collection of recordings made by John Morton's infamous post-Electric Eels grouping Ex-Blank-Ex aka X-blank-X aka X-----X or even "Ex-Mommy-X" and like the old ESP-disk record ad usedta say "you never heard such sounds in your life" and boy will you be glad you cared!
With a late-seventies anger and no wave fury that permeate these tracks that have about as much to do with Chris Burden as they do the Velvet Underground, Morton and band (even including Electric Eels warbler Dave E on one track) screech their way through the familiar single sides (at least three of 'em), live tuneage and rehearsal try outs reconstructing old faves as well as new numbers you undoubtedly ain't ever heard before. Heck, "Agitated" even comes in for a deconstruction (I guess) and it's all performed right in step with that '77 attitude and feel to the point where you can just hear Anastasia Pantsios groaning over the fact that these guys are warranting a recent release and the Balzer Brothers most certainly ain't!
Biggest surprise is the group's rendition of the Johnny and the Dicks classic "I'm So Fucked Up" which ain't the Laughner-penned Mr. Charlie showstopper nor the sometimes-rumored lost song from the early Velvets days, but one that definitely ranks in the canon of Cle crazed consciousness. A real inspiring toe-tapper if I do say so myself.
Dunno much about the actual release, whether it's been released or is still in gestation (late note-this has been out for a few months already, on vinyl only), but you might wanna know that there are only 500 of these things pressed, 350 on black vinyl and, keeping with the late-seventies groove of it all, 150 on red. Since I got this 'un in my possession I won't be needing any actual plastic to keep me happy, so that's one more that's gonna be available for you music-starved unrepentant punk types out there.
I have the feeling that Paul McGarry sent this 'un to be thinking I wuz gonna piss all over the thing! Well guess what Paul---you're WRONG again boyo! Not that I find a good portion of these nuevo blooze played by white Englishmen quite...uh...white sounding 'n custom made for a buncha lowlives who still wear their leather jackets 'n smoke Kools down to the nubs, but I will give decent musicianship and the ability to not make me wanna slit my throat credit when it is due.
Of course listening to this makes me wanna go to some late-night bar on a Sunday and listen to the local whiteguy variant before leaving at 2:30 AM only to get shot to death in the parking lot, but if I hadda listen to something before being robbed of my fifty-seven cents in spare change I'd rather it be this than Robert Cray.
Haw, I actually fell for it, then I saw the name Greg Turkington onna cover and knew what a crafty slice of comic surrealism that I was being subjected to! Yez, the ambient sounds of your favorite fast food hangouts and their subtle if remarkable differences presented for you as if you were right there listening to the doof himself ordering up a chocolate milkshake at a friendly local Burger King. Typically nice, hygienic and wholesome behavior and sounds ooze their way into the sanctity of your fart-encrusted bedroom which only proves one thing---none of these recordings were made in any Italian neighborhood joints that's for sure!
For a group that was led by a guy who made his way through a whole slew of nineties groups I could care less about, Reigning Sound are a pretty hot current day act that reminds me of a whole load of seventies high spots (w/o the slick feeling that permeated music since the early-eighties). Think Elliot Murphy and Big Star channeling electric Dylan and slapping it onto a small label album destined for the flea market circuit within a few short years. Only this was released this very year and you'll have to wait a pretty long time before it hits the VFW Grange Hall sale near you! Between stuff like this and the Mirrors reunion (ain't gonna see 'em live but thank goodniz for youtube which is such a boon for this shut in!) maybe its better that I withdraw my name from that volunteer euthanasia list and like pronto!