Friday, December 5, 2014
Killer Bees on Windian Records
It takes an awful lot of effort to rerelease a single from decades ago. An illuminating post on the termbo message boards from a few guys who have tried to put long lost gems like this out made it sound like there's a million deserving singles like this and very few ever get this far because of the people involved or relicensing. The band wants to get paid and the very tiny reissue label just wants it to be heard by the next generation. The Killer Bees were around D.C. in the late seventies and were another band that got their shit together just enough to put a single out with these two tracks that feel like a perfect shapshot of the time period. Little did they know Reagan, nukes and computers would be just around the corner.
A-Side's "TV Violence" opens with the thud of pillow dampened kicks and real gritty guitar distortion that has the edges of this track peaking out past the grooves. Joe Schmidt on vocals has a rough gritty slightly reverb growl to his lyric about public enemy #1; the TV. I guess it was a crazy time to have this piece of technology that seemed like it ruled everything. It's an obvious target of cultural stupidity and extra punk to reject everything it stood for. Kids today. An almost glam sounding track with big winding solo's and a vocal quality like they mic'd that PA in the room. I want to believe they put this together in the same space while Joe completely let's loose as this thing fades out sounding a lot bigger than these four dudes on the back of the sleeve.
B-Side's "Rock and Roll Hangover" has that buzzy distortion coming back and Joe is sweaty sounding a little more bluesy on this one. Nice breakdown dropping out to a spazzy country stomp beat while yelling about chicks and jukeboxes. He's got to have it. (A rock and roll hangover?) I like songs that are as raw and snotty as this about rock and roll itself, making it, living it. I was barely alive when this came out but every day we get further from this stuff I'm glad there's labels like Windian taking a look back to the origins of punk wherever it reared it's mutated head.
Joseph Neff covers the history and time period of release extensively at The Vinyl District.
Pick this up direct from Windian Records.