Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Snatch-"Stanley"/"IRT" 7-inch 45 rpm (Lightning UK)

One thing out of many that I do pride myself on is having been what one would call an unrepentant/unreconstructed Velvet Underground aficionado for the past thirty or so years. Well, at least I've been a faithful follower of the form to the point where I can easily tell a good Velvets-inspiration (Figures of Light, Real Kids, a few hundred local groups ca. 1969-1980) from a bad one (X-tal) which is more than your standard local-paper rockcrit has been able to do ever since the Velvets crept up from their dank subterranean environs to chic hipster acceptance. Yes, my infatuation is definitely obsessive and to a point compulsive, and although this deeply-held mania of mine would definitely be considered tres gauche by some of the more, er, mature musical mavens to be found out there in blogland I find such a devotion, "skewered" as it is, totally copasetic regarding my own musical "scope" re. rock as a hot suburban/low budget form of ranch house expression. If that puts me in the same category as those rural guys I used to see during my childhood who were obsessed with old steam-engine tractors and trains not to mention thirties radio programs so be it...I'd rather be like one of those supposedly "square" geeks into old-timey living and an appreciation of technical doody past than I would decadent rock kultur pseudo-intellectual people who seems to love mankind, but only on horse-blindered, neo-Marxist terms that translates into pure hatred as far as every one else is concerned!

But as far as them thar late-seventies VU applications (and believe-you-me there were many!) go, I gotta admit that Snatch did a pretty good job of emulation with some imitation thrown right in. Inspired by the discovery of co-Snatch and solo star in her own right Judy Nylon's myspace page, I decided to purchase this sorta/kinda rarity in order to see if it would fill the bill w/regards to sating any serious Velvetisms that I continue to hold near and dear. And true those Velvetisms abound (and not in that sickeningly sweet way that they have ever since the eighties) on these bedroom-level recordings done while the two were slumming in London, and even with the cheap guitar crank and primitive nature these two songs do satisfy just like those summer '65 VU demos did in their sparse yet intensity-packed drone riffing way.

I assume that's Nylon shreiking on the a-side in a tuff Bronx gnarl, and "Stanley" does "work" as some sorta post "Piss Factory" poesy even if this sounds like something that I probably would loathe if it only came out a good decade later during the glut of self-produced elitist angst-riddled recordings covering pretty much the same territory. I kinda like the flipster better where the twosome's homesick pangs are put to vinyl in an ode to the En Why See subway system, complete with detailed descriptions of all of the pervos who you see riding the trains in the middle of the night that I'm sure would even would've made Johnny Thunders blush. Sound and attitude is highly Velvetized here proving that with two cheap electric guitars even the lowliest but true-blooded of rockers can create a holy drone equal to the Velvets' full band swing. Low budget and satisfying compact excitement that definitely goes to show you that Snatch are a group that needs to be given the full meal deal reissue status especially this long after the jig was up.

(BTW, if you're curious about the Snatch followup single done with Eno where the Talking Heads "tribute" "King's Lead Hat" is coupled with a number entitled "RAF"...well, I've yet to hear Snatch tackle the a-side but the flip is more or less Eno during his late-seventies arty-funko phase which has little if anything to do with his more rock-oriented early work and therefore quite outside of this blog's "scope". I'd safely say that this one should be obtained and digested only by the more serious students of the form lest it turn you off totally from the cheap majesticism of their debut wonder.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It’s years since I heard it but I’m pretty sure there’s zero Snatch involvement with King’s Lead Hat so I wouldn’t waste your time!

There were 2 more Snatch singles plus an LP which collected everything (plus a few extras besides) – Shopping For Clothes (the 3rd single) is OK but the second one (All I Want) is fantastic! Like the Shangri-Las gone punk or something. Amazingly snazzy picture sleeve for those days too. Check it out etc etc.