Windian Records sent this single in a little while back, a rerelease of a single from Syracuse's own The Penetrators, who, when I was barely one living about an hour away in Rochester, Fred Records released this garage rock single to the post Nixon world. For all the bitchin my dad did about bands not being as good as classic rock and roll countdowns on the AM radio, The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean....I wish I could have told him about local bands that were tearing it up like this...but 30 years later, I'm still getting caught up picking up late '90s singles I missed out on so I can tell my kids that their music sucks and they should have been around during 'lo-fi'.
This single just proves the point I've always knew....there is good music happening in every time, and every place if you just work head enough to find it. Could you even imagine a time when there was no internet and you'd have to talk to someone in Syracuse and find out who the good local bands were, let alone score this single from The Penetrators? I guess in that way people were more 'connected'? Oh hell, it just seems crazy that's all, and you have to respect that.
I love that this A-Side "Gotta Have Her" starts right out with Jack Penetrator introducing the band with a 'Good evening Syracuse, we're called The Penetrators and we're happy to be in town tonight'...this live intro is a genius touch, thinking about them in some studio recording that loose start makes this totally classic, and sets up Jack's verse talking delivery. Spike is echo-ing Jack's chorus in a junkyard dog snarl off in the background, completely drooling into the mic 'You know I gotta have her'. Basically this girl is going to make him forget about everything, who cares about school, you name it...all slightly echo'd over this surf reverb gritty guitar with thin all treble drums...and legitimately sounds like a lot that could have just come out of Floridas Dying or Goner a month ago...even this plain sleeve. But 1976 was a long time ago, and if you say this band was the very beginning, then I'm going to believe you and that's not a bad legacy to have left behind.
The B-Side, "Baby, Dontcha Tell Me", gets real jangly and raw, more melodic and stripped down. Definitely could be a Kinks sound/riff influence, with great vocal quality here just blowing out into the red, and Jack's passionate as hell, really selling this bluesy rock. Even getting to screaming a little bit, because someone is going to tell him what to do? No way...as much as they might have a west coast surf influenced sound, they have a more underlying dangerous edge, real biker gang, working class leather here...actually makes me reminisce about upstate NY. Both of these tracks have still got it...if you've ever heard of Sing Sing or Last Laugh then you should pick this up.
I'm a little worried that it's not listed on Windian's merch page...oh god have I become one of those site's that I always hated...talking about singles that aren't even for sale anymore? NOOOOOOO!
Ok I think I found it after all....did I mention this is faithfully reprinted, down to scanning the original sleeve?