Friday, January 30, 2015
The Exit reissue on Permanent Records
There are basically two results from all of the internet about The Exit, a four piece out of Chicago from 1979; a photo of the original sleeve from Collector scum (of course) and this post from Todd Killings at the Victim of Time blog. Seeing that pic from Henry's Collector scum really drives home just how DIY things had to have been back then. The crazy story is that no one remembers much about this band who was around in the punk scene in the late seventies in Chicago and this was the band's only release. One of the members of the band walked into Permanent and got to talking with those guys there who's first question must have been "Can we repress the Exit EP?"
A-Side's "You Lose" is clean, perfectly measured guitar winding a cranky, dirty riff, circling around with no sense of what decade it is yet. Michael Massey on vocal has that great snotty, snearing vocal spiting words out over this Stooges inspired riff that has something to do with a twisted high tempo blues with more rounded out and gated production. There's space between these notes, like shitty jeans just barely held together with more in common with the post punk of The Clean or is it the other way around? "Unsatisfied Man" has that guitar perfection again that's the centerpiece of these tracks, you wouldn't have been able to ignore this power mixed in your face crisp distortion, for my money this has everything that makes these reissues indispensable. The impossible to reproduce late seventies guitar sound, the concise snapshot of the age - the way the vocals are pushed to the back, forcing this pissed off strain - isn't something you'd want to do these days. This stutter muted stutter chords from Geo Wagner in both songs are coming off completely different than the usual fast and loud chords all...the ...same...tempo. Massive style to his playing and completely unique.
B-Side's "Who asked you" has Geo blasting in one of those big strut strums and then what!? heading for subtle folk fingerpicking that starts to pick up speed and crap from the road blowing into the main riff of this one, this guy is fantastic. Michael goes right for a popular target of this era of punk, the TV, even mentioning giving Ronald Reagan a try, darker and it even sounds more like Iggy with a lower tough punch in the face style instead of the over the pond Pistols sneer. Weird split solo separated in both speakers...are they getting all psych in this last part? For "Night" they were smart to push this guitar on you, somehow Geo manages this bluesy bendy style while leaning into the big power chords, balancing that whole thing. He's even excited to add a layer over this verse giving him room to solo again, tastefully of course making every second count on these two minute tracks. It's weird that "Out in the street" isn't a part of this but then this is it's own completely new thing, never released tracks and a gatefold sleeve give it the recognition it deserves.
Think this is sold out from Permanent, but they have it as ones and zeros embedded into a shiny plastic disc about four inches across. Weird. try the discogs or an auction.