Sunday, October 16, 2005

Last Sacrifice-"Acid Rain Dance"/"Suspended" 45

While preparing a post of a greatly larger than usual scale (that is, unless I edit out all the wordy flack that seems to bog down too much of my scribings), I thought I'd toss this little gem of a review regarding a long-lost and unfortunately forgotten single (and personal fave) atcha. Anyway, does anybody out there remember this killer-diller of a seven-inch 33 rpm single (with over ten minutes of music?) from the wilds of Boston which got unleashed on an already-oversaturated underground market way back in 1986? From what I can make out, these Last Sacrifice guys were early-eighties remnants of the local scene who may or may not have still been together when this bombshell was released, and as far as I can remember (from various local mentions and a review in CONFLICT!) the fact that this disc was so power-packed came as a total surprise given the band's less-than-stellar live reputation! (I may be distorting things from a 20-year-memory hindsight, so don't hit me if I'm wrong!) Anyway (at least for me) this dark horse definitely was one of the better singles to creep out of the mid-eighties underground along with Tarba's (or whatever they were called!) "Candle On The Water" which nobody else remembers either but if I were some crafty bootlegger doing a PEBBLES/KILLED BY DEATH-styled sampler collecting my fave mid-eighties self-made wonders. you can betcha bottom dollar that BOTH of these platters would be appearing on my disc front and center alongsides such other classics by Halo of Flies and a few other winners who just happen to hold up more than a lotta the comparative pus that got circulated back then.

Like "Candle," "Acid Rain Dance" was a pounder that, albeit rooted in the contemporary underground scene for all the good or bad that may imply, eschewed a lotta the growing cliches of the various movements of the day and borrowed heavily from early-seventies hard rock. Maybe the strains of early Alice Cooper could be discerned here, though (as Chuck Eddy noted in his old CREEM METAL ROCK 'N ROLL column!) I would more or less say it was WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT that had Last Sacrifice copping the most riffage which in lieu of my admonitions of just how the VU have degenerated into twee-fodder must prove that this single was perhaps the last honest appraisal of that particular elpee with regards to rock as energy before it ALL degenerated into nada! Certainly a subject matter I wish one Wayne McGuire would weigh in on given his past appraisals of the Boston underground, but until he comes out from hiding please do attempt hear it for yourself (if you can---and don't look at me...my tape deck's been broken for five years!).

However the flipside's an even better deal, a totally unexpected wowzer that adds an even deeper, totally powerful mystery to the whole shebang. Basically an electronic piece mixing elements of early Roxy Music, Suicide, The Deviants' "Nothing Man" and even then-contemporary UK sissy electronic acts without the posturing, the throbbing drone of "Suspended" still zones me out two decades later which is more than I can say about the instantly disposable mush that came out of the indie scene directly following the brief rebirth of underground credo in the mid-eighties. Amidst the tribal drums and synthetic baroque-derived strains, "Suspended" will continue to have you wondering...not only about the music itself but whether or not this song is "pro" or "anti" (God, Satan?), both, or maybe neither??? Whatever it is (and whatever conclusion you may come to), "Suspended" continues to hold interest like all good, energy-packed music does, reminding me of none-other-than Kongress at least as they would've sounded in some non-guitar lineup (shades of "Space Savior") perhaps in the early-eighties when they were playing "New Musik For The End Of The World."

And speaking of Kongress, here's a link to a great story on future Kongress vocalist Geofrey Crozier's 1967 Australian band the Magic Word complete with two songs that were taken straight from some old acetate even though you could never tell considering their clarity! (Praise be to Aaron Goldberg for the tip!) Fans of not only Kongress but 1967 psychedelic rock will certainly want to hear these tunes which sound like the typical British art-mod pop of the day only with an uncharacteristic-yet-not-unheard-of-for-the-times Velvet Underground riff/drone which makes me ponder a whole lot because in Australia the Velvets were such an unknown entity that there was even another group there using the same handle sans any knowledge of the original ones operating above the equator! I'm sure that the "influence" must have been a coincidence, or perhaps the mystical Crozier had some sorta psychic osmosis with regards to what Lou Reed and Co. were up to! Whatever, between these songs and the tracks you can pick up on Otto von Ruggins' website you'll be in for quite a listening experience that'll send you back to those thrilling days of yesteryear when high energy, no-holds-barred rock music like this was EXPECTED and not just a once-in-awhile treat!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice write up. The flip side of this single is one of my favorite tracks ever. I knew nothing about this band until reading this. Glad to have some of the mystery removed.

Francis DiMenno said...

I reviewed this for the Noise in 1986. The story the band told me was that the release was delayed because the singer was mugged on the way to the recording studio and was stabbed in the throat.--Francis DiMenno