Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Similarly Requested CDs
vonbontee | Mississauga, ON Canada | 03/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This band was HATED! Hated by fellow Hoosier "Johnny Cougar" whose debut EP was ridiculed in the local newspaper by Rich Stim, MX-80 singer/saxman & all-around wordsmith extraordinaire. Hated by Chris Blackwell later on, because they were signed to his Island label (by a lesser exec, without his knowledge) and didn't play reggae. Hated, finally, by the little fascists in the Bay Area punk scene because Bruce Anderson, the most sonically RIVETING guitar player on any planet, had the audacity to play guitar SOLOS. (Horrors!) Well, as is obviously my opinion, these guys were AMAZING & in no way deserving of hatred! As you know by now, this is a 2-on-1 reissue of 1980's immortal "Out Of the Tunnel & '81's not-as-great-but-so-what "Crowd Control." I actually prefer their debut HARD ATTACK, mostly because it featured their earlier 2-drummer lineup (later reduced) which made for a more off-centre rhythmic approach. (In fact, HARD ATTACK's my alltime favourite LP & is so great I don't even dare write a review for it!) But a lack of polyrhythms is easily ignored when replaced by a more single-minded primal drum attack like you'll find here, & here is also where you'll find probably the band's best-ever (by near consensus) song, "Someday You'll Be King." Pure exhilaration! Not to mention hypnotic, gripping basslines, reckless electronically-distorted sax squawking, and THAT guitar, man, I swear...think of the sophistication of jazz-rockers like McLaughlin, Ulmer & Sharrock added to the gleeful pure-rock dumbness (a compliment) of, I dunno, Ted Nugent or somebody...sheesh"
Dave Lang | Coburg, VIC Australia | 06/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"And it's about time, too! Back in the dawn of the '80s, people just didn't know what to make of these records. At the time, MX-80 Sound (as they were known back then; they've since dropped the last bit in their name) were considered some sort of weird art-rock anomoly from the mid-west (Bloomington, Indiana, to be exact) that pre-dated the punk movement in existence. In fact, the story of MX-80 is a weird one in itself... they'd been around since the early '70s as an instrumental group heavily influenced by Beefheart, Zappa and free jazz, released an EP of their own back in '76 ("Big Hits"), then strangely enough released their debut LP "Hard Attack" on the British wing of Island records. Dropped like a hot potato after that effort, and hooking up with the Residents on the west coast, they hightailed it to San Fran in the late '70s and released these two amazing LPs in '80 and '81, respectively. Gone were the Dada-ist, art-rock antics of their debut, only to be replaced by some serious hard-riffing ROCK ACTION. What were the New Wave geeks to make of it? Were they punk? Were they art-weirdos a la the Residents? (these being on Ralph Records at the time)... or, gulp, were they heavy metal? NO ONE wanted to admit it (especially those who loved the records, since HM was considered the nada amongst the rock cognescenti), but at its core, these were heavy metal records, no doubt about it. Occassionally sludgy, sometimes almost proto-speedmetal in their brutal riffage, both "Out of the Tunnel" and "Crowd Control" were records out of their time, and 20 years later they sound all the better for it. No matter what you may care to call them - "art-metal", "prog/jazz/punk" - the combination here of deadpan, existentialist lyrics, Dada rock, free jazz, punk and 70s metal is astonishing. Imagine, if you will, a weird mix of the Stooges, MC5, Blue Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath, Beefheart, Pere Ubu, Zappa, Ornette Coleman and Sonny Sharrock, and it's something almost approximating this. Shunned at the time by almost everyone, MX-80 have now found a healthy cult following amongst those smart enough to dig their flagrantly non-trendy, individualist stylings. You should do the same."
Out of the tunnel and out of control
William Scalzo | Niagara Falls, NY | 04/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Back in the late 70's, music mags like Circus, Creem and Hit Parader would all have those enticing little ads tucked away in the back pages: "Be a music critic and receive hundreds of free records in return for your opinion." Of course those proved tempting to a 12 year old with no money but an insatiable appetitite for rock and roll.
Some things I learned during my brief pubescent career as a "music critic":
1. The "hundreds" of free records was usually two or three per ad, never more than half a dozen.
2. These records were usually promo singles, sometimes accompanied by an 8x10 glossy, which were usually heavily edited so that even if you happened to actually like it you still had to buy the real record.
3. At least half of the bands in the 70's had either Vinnie or Carmine Appice in them.
A very few of these mailings might occasionally contain some stuff that sounded strange to a kid who worshipped Rush, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. But none sounded stranger than these weird little "Buy or Die" samplers from something called Ralph Records. These contained music by people I'd never heard of, with cool, exotic names like Tuxedomoon and Snakefinger. I credit those Ralph Records samplers as being my first introduction to anything experimental or alternative. But the band whose sound haunted me the most over the years was MX-80 Sound (later just MX-80.) These guys played a loud blend of metal, punk, new wave, free jazz and garage that was completely unique. It was truly a sound that could never be confused with anyone else, with Bruce Anderson's immediately identifiable guitar tone and singer Rich Stim's detached vocals and skronking sax. Dale Sophiea and Dave Mahoney contributed to the glorious din that stayed with me all those years.
So it was with great anticipation that I picked up this jam-packed single disc compilation of the band's two albums for Ralph. What's immediately apparent is the influence MX-80 had on the entire spectrum of noise rock to follow, from the Jesus and Mary Chain to My Bloody Valentine to Sonic Youth. Thurston Moore is a big fan and I read that he had some influence on getting this released. If true, further proof of his all around coolness. Something like the unbelievably hooky "Someday You'll Be King" even reminds one of early Guided By Voices as your ears dig through the murky production to get to the melodic center. "Obsessive Devotion" shows how good MX-80 could be when they occasionally slowed the tempo and cut the volume, while the stomping "More Than Good" makes us glad they usually didn't. And all over most of these tracks, Anderson plays with a brilliant combination of control and abandon equalled only by J Mascis and Neil Young.
An excellent compilation that brought back fond memories and helped create new ones."