Tuesday, December 20, 2011
LUST, 'BLITZKRIEG' b/w 'M.I.A.' (Criminal Records, 1978)
If the verdict was ever in doubt as to the nature of this blog being akin to a Midwestern kangaroo Court Of Star Chamber, then hopefully this post can be the one that finally sends the peacekeepers packing.
Routinely dismissed as hick fly-over pastureland by its detractors or – perhaps nauseatingly worse – lauded as beer city maaaaaaan, Wisconsin in general and Milwaukee in particular is one of my favorite places on Earth. Being Southern by birth and Southern Baptist by the sense of humor of God, I fully understand what it’s like to be regarded as backwards, benighted and perhaps even more than a little barbaric. The same way Faulkner took all the awfulness of Mississippi and didn’t shy from it, instead making it a center-piece or point of pride with his writing, is the same style of thing I saw go-on with the gob of mutants I ran with in my few years spent in the good land. And I loved it even though my living situation was personally very miserable.
And I’ve said all that merely to say this:
MITTELWESTEN UBER ALLES - THE MIDWEST OVER THE REST!
And now I can finally stop talking in hyperbole and start talkin’ bout LUST!
METAL FROM WISCONSIN!
METAL FROM STEVEN’S POINT , WISCONSIN!
…which, as a city, is about as metal as Oshkosh (the clothing line or the town).
Who Lust were – if they were natives or just recorded there – is a mystery best left unto the younger scion of the Haupt clan. What we do know about Lust is that both sides of their lone single S M O K E with likely accidental NWOBHM speed und froth. ‘Blitzkrieg’ gets my vote likely due to my own preoccupying occupation, but the punk-y lyrics of ‘M.I.A.’ also have much to recommend themselves.
Enjoy now a deep double-draught of Lust: the band that made Steven’s Point famous!
Sunday, December 4, 2011
THE LAST OF THE UNKNOWNS, 'SHE'S GONE' b/w '1,2 Many X'S' (Thundermen Records, 1989)
Having seen this single go for a fair amount of cheddar a couple of times in the last few months, I thought time would now be opportune to post up both sides of it as well as to reveal the startlingly non-biker psych hard rock lineage of some of its players (the clue is in the label name and the proof lies in the cheese fries).
The Last Of The Unknowns from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, bafflingly trace their roots all the way back to a mid-60s instro outfit known as the Thundermen (name likely inspired by cross-state neighbors, the Fendermen, who hit pay-dirt with their tuff rendition of ‘Mule Skinner Blues’) with a clutch of singles to their credit. If The Last Of The Unknowns constituted some last-gasp incarnation of the group or merely came out on their label imprint is unclear, however, the internet copyright database does list the songwriting credits with surnames shared by some of the thunderous T-men. Oh, and a year.
So…go ahead and divorce yourself from the notion that this record had anything to do with the likes of Raven, Circuit Rider or Strychnine, as the band’s ambitions likely lied much closer to the fret-wanking formations of Joe Satriani or Yngwie Malsteem. That said, both sides remain remarkable – especially given the locale and year of release – with fuzz thick enough to rival Terry Brooks and Strange and budget production moves that give the impression of a garage band flash-frozen in 1968 thawing out thirty years later under the gated-reverb lights.
Also, attention must be lent to the bizarre field-hand/lover-man vocal breakdown in ‘She’s Gone’ that sounds like a bowling alley bar band of balding divorcees pouring their fifty-cent-pitcher hearts out(the harmonized refrain to the chorus’ question – ‘we don’t know where’ – is beyond boned-out). While ‘1,2 Many X’s’ lite croonerisms don’t exactly stand up to its top layer (what could?), the song’s title and lyrics do lend credence to the theory that a prerequisite for membership within The Last Of The Unknowns might be female trouble instead of exact musical aptitude.
The Last Of The Unknowns: self-help book psych for weekend hog riders. Enjoy their pain and pass the cheese curds.
"1, 2 MANY X'S"