Tuesday, August 04, 2020


In the late 70's and early 80's it seemed as if Brit post-punk and related errata like Pere Ubu's DUB HOUSING along with releases by Debris and MX-80 Sound were going to zoom us all into new constellations of sonic adventure. Little did we know that by the mid-80's that adventure would prove to be about as exciting as a grade school field trip to a cardboard factory.

The Pop Group were pushing and pulling in multiple directions, and inevitably the center wouldn't hold. Their reach sometimes exceeded their grasp, but their charged hybrid of punk, funk, jazz and noise was a breathtaking force on their early 45's ("She is Beyond Good and Evil" and its flipside are included in the set in 12" 45 form for maximum intensity).

This deluxe reissue (a hunnert clams but containing a wealth of bonus material, including the very same poster I had on my bedroom wall forty years ago!) includes a live in-concert LP, the original release and an alternate version of the LP compiled from various song takes and mixes. It's an interesting listen that actually improves the original LP in spots.

Reggae producer Dennis Bovell was an inspired choice to helm the board. Injecting dub textures and a general sense of chaotic abandon. His absence would be felt on the thin sounding and rushed followup FOR HOW LONG DO WE TOLERATE MASS MURDER? though the band was disintegrating at that point anyway.

Songs like "We Are Time" still sound as fresh and genre busting in the here and now as they did then, landing with the force of a megaton bomb. Too bad the future was cheap hype and Homestead label bands that had the force of a squirt gun.


Puddinhead said...

Poor Homestead, does anybody have a good word to say about 'em?

Christopher Stigliano said...

It wasn't the label as much as the wheels behind it.