Cathode Rays Are On Overload
(A-1 Records) LP $22.50 (Out-of-stock)
Nice reissue of a 1979 treasure so mysterious and elusive that it’s one of the few things blowhards, Kerouac wannabes, compulsive name-droppers, and self-hating collectors all agree on. Beneath the unholy fervor, the album has a nearly Killing Capitalism With Kindness sense of song-writing — anxious, short vignettes strung together to paint a picture of mouths and neon green-gray blood-pumping hearts from a universe filled with busy, rambling minds. “Fuzz explosions” and “ego psych” are nifty phrases (just keep telling yourself that, you’re a real bloodhound for genius), but this is more like seeing a play by a Todd Rundgren-obsessed loner on Halloween with nothing but mannequin heads as the audience. A claustrophobic maze, to be sure, but full of outerworldy treasures and intimate, inexplicable wonders.