Shocking Early Works, Vol. 1
(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS47) 7-inch $10.00
Three raw living room and live recordings from 1985, documenting the first three months of the group’s existence, imbued with decadence and vitriol. Repetitive profanity, spartan adornment, outward-looking disgust and contempt take centerstage on “Swelling Admiration,” a tune with less dance groove than a riderless bike getting hit by a car. Honest, a skipping Suicide album sounds like “Bohemian Rhapsody” in comparison. The oblivion-embracing ode to defeatism “The Only Way Is Down” conveys, with flourishes such as impatient sighs, blasé moans and flickering drum machine, distaste for the ubiquitous, neon-colored optimism of mid-’80s fratboy / sorority girl airheads. Overdriven and sloppy in places, its pulse is insistent yet dire. Flipper’s signature tune “Sex Bomb” is stripped of all its properties, pretty much, thanks in no small part to the hand-held condenser mic recording; most of what remains is the noise of the audience in the room and the only thing potent enough to slice though it — singer Patricia Rowland’s psychotic screaming. Deep-end bonkers. Includes vintage liner notes by Lindy Lettuce.