Mar 28, 2012

PULLIN OUT THE SLATS: The continuing archival spew

Kawaguchi Masami’s New Rock Syndicate
Cat VS Frog LP
Palindrome 2007
Masami’s continuing riff-saga here receives the live treatment. For he of Broom Dusters and LSD-March, Side A/Cat surprisingly keeps the lid on—though this is overall a nice, bright recording. Side B/Frog is where things start to properly unchain, with some sections sounding like a private press psych wallet-$layer fed through the last gasps of an ’88 Buick. But alas, and despite Masami's heartfelt vocals, the wind-up hardly ever ends in pitch. Can’t quite place it, but there’s a real lurgy feel ‘bout this affair that makes me pine for a hot water bottle and a copy of Bless the Weather. Yeesh! Still, I’m sure there are toads scattered about just waiting to carry this home in their craws. Lay on, I say! Just don’t expect your brains to slosh about like a fortnight’s chawanmushi by last runout. Nothing doing.

Figures of Light
Smash Hits LP
Norton 2008

Cripes, I feel like a skel just trying to write about this, let alone having just gripped it. If every time you dial up the latest proto-punk reissue, it comes with a free eye-roll, this is perhaps the missing piece you’re actually missing. But, really, this is almost proto-everything. You get flakes of Devo and the Urinals, but with that wide-open early-70s sense that this approach (read: beer, pot and volume with occasional police interludes) really coulda gone anywhere. It will also remind you how many more hearty suicide endorsement songs we need (“Why Not Knock Yourself Off?”)—and that’s from the 2007 session! “It’s Lame,” and “I Jes Wanna Go to Bed,” are all-time high school dropout bangers, full of chewed fingers and stomped bedrooms. This is also a wonderful chance to remember that Norton really does an A#1 job in the reissue department, despite their predilection for archival hot rod singles.
Note to self: File in Stooges sleeves, hand out at parties.

No comments: