Tuesday, June 19, 2018

RECORD REVIEW BY BRAD KOHLER! THE NUNS - 1977 CBS DEMOS LP (MABUHAY RECORDS)

Crime gets the hosannas when it comes to early S.F. punk (two jumbo articles in UGLY THINGS cementing their legend) and believe you me, if I'm at your pad and you're spinning their records its not like I'm gonna lift the tone arm on them. Yet  it seems to me part of Crime's appeal is their shtick, what with the classic fliers, cop get up, massive egos, and stunts like playing San Quentin prison.

But I wasn't at that gig and neither were you, so besides some pretty cool photo evidence, the legacy boils down to the music, and I'm here to tell you that these live in the studio demos from contemporaries the Nuns goes toe the toe with Crime and it's up to you to figure out which one of these heavyweights gets to wear the champeenship belt!

I've heard later Nuns releases aren't quite up to snuff, being that they dialed back the aggro, but these songs come snarling at you like a pitbull that hasn't had a square meal in weeks. Lovely Jennifer Miro only sings on two tracks, but her electro-piano is omnipresent and adds a Scott Thurston dimension to the basic guitars bass drums lineup.

How CBS ever though any of this was going to replace the Doobies on the charts (sample lyric from "Suicide Child" : "You stole my junk/You fuckin' punk/You slit your wrists/You goddam bitch") is beyond me. But for a few months during the gestation of punk record execs seemed willing to hedge their bets lest they lose out on the new Beatles.

The tape has a bit of flutter in places and sounds a generation down the line, but is plenty crisp enough considering it probably ended up being used as a door stop in the CBS vaults.

Perhaps the fact that three of the five people in the band at the time this was laid down have shuffled off this planet is part of the reason the Nuns haven't gotten their due. By all means track this down (my copy came from Germany, ironic, what with the song "Decadent Jew" leading off side two) and thrill to San Francisco punk improper before it degenerated into San Francisco punk proper and front women didn't shave their armpits!

1 comment:

J. D. King said...

SHEESH! What's next, the "nuns on a bus" chatting with Bill Moyers?