By Shawn Obnoxious
Suran Song in Stag - Cowboys and Indians (double cd)
This CD totally caught me by surprise...much like the way Crimson Sweet did when their first 7" arrived. Suran Song in Stag, or SSiS as I am going to refer to them in this review, hit me the same way the Sweet did too... Neoteric, THEY find me with a lot more ease than I find them nowadays...
This CD is an offshoot of the Gang of Four disc Entertainment. The color scheme and artwork are of the same ethics, and I am just fine with that. Finally, it appears from my sources that Joy Division are FINALLY getting some recognition as the GREAT band they were by all you "punk rockers" or "Rockers of Punk" or whatever the kids are calling it these days. At last, its Gang of Fours turn.
Rediscover Regenerate With me, against me, for them WITH them.
So the first disc is titled "Karaoke Cowboy Dance Disc" and features nine tracks, mostly covers but VERY good renditions of original songs. Some I readily recognize like "Tattooed Love Boys" written by Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, two Gang of Four songs "Naturals Not in It" and "Essence is Rare", plus more names behind songs I dont readily know but songs that are ragers as done by SsiS, "Open Your Eyes" (Bator/James - Lords of the New Church? I need help on this one), "My Mother the War" (which I GUESS is a 10,000 Maniacs song because of the attached names - Lombardo/Merchant/Walsh), but really, their originals are what really catches my eye. Only two of these initial nine are their own compositions, much is why I think the disc has something to do with karaoke, but "Overman" adds something to their Patti Smith meets Mazzy Star meets Art-punk ala Au Pairs and Pylon; "Overman" adds a Heart reference... Vicious guitar, like the opening riff to "Baracuda." It gets noisy in the end but I dont call them neoteric for NOTHING. I do it for something!!!!
The second disc, "Small Change Indian Trance Disc", features nine more songs with the majority, seven tracks, being originals. This disc is more somber and mellow... I suppose I should have expected such as from the disc title...more Mazzy Star-ish. It does have its moments though, like one of their own tracks called "Made In Philipines" which, I swear to god, could be right off of Patti Smiths Horses. "Hate My Way", which gives K. Hersh original credit (who?); Its a pretty jumpy song. Finally, another original called "Brainwash Soda/Guerrilla Pop" got caught in my eye-eye-eye as a sort of lounge/jazz song that is too catchy to not mention.
Doing things that defy words. Explorers, SSiS came my way via a friend, JT.... JT knows how to call them. SSiS come my way. THEY have found me. Now you must find them!