Crude P.A. Vol. 1
Distortions 1001 USA 1990
Says the Llama:
"Title says it all really, as this Pennsylvania comp on the classy Distortions label is dominated by tunes primitive to the point of being offensive. No local hits or Battle Of The Bands victors here, these groups sound like they come from some sewer below the garage. A few excellent cuts and some garbage. Bonus points for the insert."
Yup, this isn't for the squeamish. A lot of primitive stuff here. Some tracks sounds like they fell down a well, stayed there for a good two years, got fished up by some farmer who cleaned it with chlorine and then asked his cousin (who has a tape recorder) to record the 45's he found down a dirty well and his cousin says "ok but i don't have time to get over to your place" and the farmer says "ok that's cool, you can record it over the telephone" and then he proceeds to play the singles over a crackly line on his phonograph. (Check Soul Generation's I Can't See You for reference.)
But other tracks sounds great and wild! Some I've even used myself. I wasn't planning to revamp this but changed my mind.
A good third of this comps is absolute awesome garage.
Conductors' She Said So, Changing Tymes' You Make It Hard, Snaps' Polka Dotted Eyes, Facts Of Life's I've Seen Darker Nights, Iron Gate's FLAWLESS Feelin' Bad and the GREATER THAN ALL GODS COMBINED Captain Dueseldorph by the Starfyres are all mandatory listening if you want to excel as a punk fiend and rise in the complicated hierarchy that is the garage society.
Nah that was an exaggeration. All I say is that if you don't listen to 'em - you're missing out.
Not only that, you choose to miss out. Now that's an active choice.
But you are forgiven. Just say three Hey Eriqs and do one Crusher and be on your way.
Crude PA is a much more satisfying package, with more photos and an insert with informative liner notes. Not everything on the compilation is a certified winner (and there's a few outright losers), but there's plenty of great sounds represented from the state of Pennsylvania.
Worthy of mention are the Nomads (oh no, not another Nomads!) with their hard-hitting jangler, "Point Five" (an unreleased demo), and the Sands Of Time, whose "Come Back Little Girl" is a magnificently clumsy energizer.
There's also memorable cuts by the Snaps, Pat Farrell & the Believers and the Conductors, but my personal pick comes from the Facts Of Life. Their "I've Seen Darker Nights" has real class, a strong, melodic haunter with galvanizing organ and guitar breaks and great drumming - a must hear.
- Mike Stax (Originally published in Ugly Things #11, 1992)