screamin' mee-mees Clutching Hand Monster Mitt (CD, £12.50)label: Gulcher
REISSUED! “Released on vinyl in 1992 by the SCREAMIN’ MEE-MEES on their own Dog Face Records, this was the public follow-up to their debut EP unleashed fifteen years earlier in 1977! BRUCE COLE and JON ASHLINE (R.I.P.) made probably the best ‘worst’ record of the 1970s American punk era; the Live From The Basement EP is right down there with the Germs' ‘Forming’ and O. Rex's 1976 maxi-single. And then came Clutching Hand Monster Mitt! They're still in the basement, but with better equipment; technique that's still primitive, but more sure and much more experimental; a style that's equal parts ACID and STOOPID. Like, there's a song called ‘Mudflap,’ but it's instrumental and has a vibe somewhere 'twixt The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and the Godz on ESP. ‘Riotous Crowd’ sets the tone for the whole thing with a kinda cranky paranoid narrative voice describing a world both surreal and mundane (like the Mee-Mees themselves). It goes on for a good while. The whole record's loaded with similar wah-wah guitar spasms, sloppy perfect drums, and oddball vocals. Dig ‘Visions Of The Dark Pumpkin’—Midwestern psycho-somethin'-delic with a shimmering dash of English acid-rock circa '67. And then comes the gruntspeak of ‘Visual Harm,’ staggering along like some very twisted Midwestern garage-rock-mutant locked away in a cellar for twenty years with nothing but Krautrock records and cheap beer. Urp. Like the Mee-Mees.”—Eddie Flowers. Remastered from the original tapes. Not for the faint hearted, this is the other American Primitive….
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