The Upshot: Three-man icon summit of “crazy voodoo ghost music” from ’94, reissued.
BY TIM HINELY
Somehow, someway these three ended up in a recording studio (Dessau Studios) in NYC on 12/6/94 (and the day after) and recorded this record. Suicide’s Vega on vocals while Chilton and Vaughn on instruments (Alex on guitar, bass , piano and even drums on a few tunes while Vaughn is mostly on guitar but also plays bass and keys and ends up on the drums on a few tunes as well).
What does it all sound like? I’ve read “crazy voodoo ghost music” and that sounds pretty accurate to these ears. First off, you can tell Vega’s vocals a mile away (at least I can). I always loved what he did vocally with Suicide and he sounds just as strong (and out there) here while Chilton and Vaughn drop musical nuggets left and right. At times it reminds me of an old smoky jazz record, but there’s also elements of bent blues. Right now I’m listening, again, to “Too Late” and Alex is on synth and Ben on guitar and keys and it sounds completely otherworldly and on “Do Not Do Not” Vega seems to channel his inner Jeffrey Lee Pierce (on a lot of these songs actually) while the band lays down a funky beat. Backing up, on the opener, ‘Fat City” and the next cut, “Fly Away” both use repetition to their advantage while the band is locked in some sort of weird, hypnotic groove. Also, don’t miss spooky chargers like “Candyman’ and “Sister” and it all ends with a reworking of “Dream Baby Revisited” that soaks it up and spits it out.
Hey, regarding the record, it happened, it got recorded and it got released and you folks really need to hear it (also comes with a download card of a live gig in France that is even eerier). Believe.
DOWNLOAD: “Fat City,” “Fly Away, “Dream Baby Revisited,” “Candyman”