Various Artists: Fast N Bulbous


Imaginary Records 1988.  ILLUSION 002


Covering Beefheart tracks is rarely a good idea; they really are best left to the man himself.  However I was young back then and knew no better, I was tempted by the strong line-up and the novelty (then) of the concept.

The album is of course quite a mixed bag.  There are tracks which grate (The Dog Faced Hermans for example) and some which are close copies of the original (XTC – impressive but why bother?).  It works when the material is taken somewhere new – I like  The King Of Luxembourg for being bonkers and the Screaming Dizbusters just play some great noisy rock n roll.

Really though, if you haven’t already done so, get some Beefheart rather than listen to this stuff.  Trout Mask Replica for his weird masterpiece, Safe As Milk for early blues based stuff, and Clear Spot for, well, my favourite.

Scientists: You Only Live Twice


Karbon Records 1985.  KAR007


This is a request, but I can’t remember where from….

I don’t know much about The Scientists, other than their influence.  They were constantly being referred to by grunge outfits in the late 80s and early 90s – wikipedia specifically mentions Mudhoney but I remember there being others.  Curiosity roused, I bought this 7″ single (which it turns out is very rare) and the Blood Red River LP which I’ll get around to posting at some point.

This is a cover of the well known Nancy Sinatra Bond theme.  I’ve long grown tired of punk acts covering inappropriate songs; it was funny when I was 15, but not any more.  However this single really works – a cacophany of distorted guitars with Cramps style vocals which fits the song better than you’d expect.