Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Last Exit - Iron Path (1988)

OK, let's get serious again.

Last Exit was an absolute beast of a band. Sonny Sharrock, Peter Brötzmann, Bill Laswell and Ronald Shannon Jackson in an improvising free-jazz/blues/funk/thrash maelstrom. Unfortunately, I never saw them play but I have all their live albums (which are available to buy for download at the usual places) and they are terrific.

Here's a clip of them in action from the YTs.
Great googly moogly!

Here is their sole studio album. It's not quite as awe-inspiring as their live albums, and it seems a bit more arranged than their seat-of-the-pants imrov on the other records, but it does have its moments. 'Sand Dancer' is a Sonny Sharrock piece that's similar to his overdubbed solo Guitar album (another Laswell production). And I'd like to think that 'Devil's Rain' is inspired by the godawful Ernest Borgnine/William Shatner horror movie.

I think Last Exit might have actually done some reunion gigs in late 1993 in New York (or at least I once spoke to someone who claimed to have been to one - not sure whether there were any recordings) but any long-term reunion was, alas, cut short by Sonny Sharrock's early death in 1994.

A1: Prayer (4:38)
A2: Iron Path (3:28)
A3: The Black Bat (for Aki Ikuta) (4:33)
A4: Marked for Death (2:20)
A5: The Fire Drum (4:20)
B1: Detonator (3:47)
B2: Sand Dancer (1:55)
B3: Cut and Run (2:30)
B4: Eye for an Eye (4:54)
B5: Devil's Rain (4:13)

Sonny Sharrock: Guitars
Peter Brötzmann: Saxophones
Bill Laswell: Bass
Ronald Shannon Jackson: Drums

Produced by Last Exit/Bill Laswell
Engineered by Martin Bisi
Recorded and Mixed at B.C. Studio, Brooklyn, New York.
LP Mastered by Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk

Virgin, USA, 1988. Cat # 91015-1

320kbps mp3

[re-up 29/4/12] 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Thanks to the people who are linking to me:

Inconstant Sol
Music Hertz

If you (or anyone else) could tell me the name of that nifty looking gizmo you use to generate the links, I'd like to return the favour.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Scatterbrain - Here Comes Trouble (1990)

OK, let's have a bit of fun.

I put this here mostly so I could recollect the time I saw these guys back in '92 or '93 in Sydney.

They'd recently had a top-20 hit with 'Don't Call Me Dude.' You know, this song with the silly video:

Yeah, that one.

They were playing at the Marquee club in Camperdown, which was about two minutes' walk from where I lived at the time. And it was pissing down. I mean torrential rain of Biblical proportions. Just 'orrible. I think a combination of the weather and some SNAFU by the promoters meant that only about two dozen people turned up. This was in a room that could probably squeeze in a thousand people (there had recently been some ugliness when Faith No More were booked to play there before they had a hit with 'Epic,' but arrived just at the peak of their popularity, and there were a lot more people wanting to get in than could fit). Anyway, the guys in Scatterbrain came out and put on a great, hilarious show for the couple of dozen people there. They had an extended session in the middle of the set where they took requests from the audience, and did their best to play them. Somehow all the songs they played would morph into the intro to Midnight Oil's 'Beds Are Burning,' with that chugging E chord (or whatever) and the band croaking "out where the river brooooke..."

They spent the rest of the gig playing their own material and covers, dissing their promoter and making a lot of jokes at their own expense. At the end of the night they put the entire audience on the guest list for the next night's show in Parramatta (which, unfortunately, I could not attend).

Anyway, here's their debut album. I gather singer Tommy Christ and guitarist Glen Cummings had previously recorded a couple of records as Ludichrist, but they changed direction, put a bit of humour into their songs and became Scatterbrain. Aside from the jokes, these guys really can play - as you can hear in the riff-fest, 'Down With The Ship,' which I'm sure is an idea that has occurred to a million garage bands, but these guys managed to get it on MTV:

They made one more album, which stiffed, and then they disappeared. I used to see their second album a lot in cut-out bins but never got around to buying it. Their first album is a lot of fun, though.

A1: Here Comes Trouble (3:54)
A2: Earache My Eye (2:47)
A3: That's That (3:57)
A4: I'm With Stupid (5:05)
A5: Down With The Ship (Slight Return) (2:29)
A6: Sonata #3 (1:52)
B1: Mr. Johnson and the Juice Crew (1:55)
B2: Goodbye Freedom, Hello Mom (4:49)
B3: Outta Time (3:36)
B4: Don't Call Me Dude (5:16)
B5: Drunken Milkman (1:18)

Tommy Christ: vocals
Glen Cummings: guitar
Paul Nieder: guitar
Guy Brogna: bass
Mike Boyko: drums

Produced by Paul Nieder, Tom Soares & Scatterbrain
Engineerd by Tom Soares with Joe Pires & Jamie Locke.
LP mastered by Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk.

Music by Scatterbrain. Lyrics by Christ, apart from 'Earache My Eye' by Cheech & Chong with Guy De Lorne and 'Sonata #3' by W.A. Mozart

In-Effect records, USA, 1990. Cat # 88561-3012-1

320kbps mp3
[Links Fixed 21/1/12]