Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|The Memphis Goons|
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
With a sound that pre-dated grunge by some two decades and, in turn, ignored the local influence of neighbors like Elvis, Stax/Volt, Sun and Al Green, the Memphis Goons were a unique growth of crabgrass in America s riches... more »
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With a sound that pre-dated grunge by some two decades and, in turn, ignored the local influence of neighbors like Elvis, Stax/Volt, Sun and Al Green, the Memphis Goons were a unique growth of crabgrass in America s richest musical soil. This band, which came of age literally in the shadows of Graceland, did not sound Southern in any way. In fact, this band barely sounded human. Nothing like them was ever heard before, and it was thought that their entire recorded output had been destroyed by an embarrassed family member. This act of rage made it appear as if the Memphis Goons tapestry of aural madness was forever lost to posterity. But now, thanks to the recent discovery of the band s tapes in an attic, the cultural and musical legacy of this legendary trio can now be heard. Teenage BBQ (Shangri-la Projects 022: release date October 28, 1996) is the first full-length cd from a treasure trove of material soon to be unleashed onto an unsuspecting public. With a clear sense of purpose and an astounding vision, the Memphis Goons are undeniably the missing link between the Summer of Love and the Sex Pistols. Recording between 1970 and 1973, the Goons were somehow able to ingest all that went down in the 60 s and subsequently infuse it with the nervous propensity of a youth culture run amuck. Influenced by great garage bands such as The Sonics and The Seeds, band members Xavier Tarpit, Jackass Thompson, and Wally Moth piled the rawness of pre-punk on top of replicas from Trout Mask to achieve a synthesis unlike anything in popular music--or any music, for that matter. Indeed, while Nirvana may have never actually heard the Memphis Goons, it is frighteningly obvious that the spirit of the Goons remarkable cacophony is inherently present in the collective sound of these modern torchbearers. How did this happen? Could Kurt Cobain have been the illegitimate son of Xavier Tarpit? No one knows, but today s alienated and disaffected noise has nothing on the glorious caterwauling created by three middle-class white post-adolescents from the Memphis suburb of Whitehaven. The 20 plus cuts on Teenage BBQ tend to run together, achieving something akin to the sound of a trainwreck on acid. This music is edgy and very unsettling, and it ultimately provides the feeling that what we had here was a bunch of kids who were on the outside looking in, and damn proud of it. Out-of-tune guitars drone, voices weave in and out, basses rumble, and every now & then, a stray piano tinkles in the background. San Antonio Desert careens with an unprecedented intensity and a clear-eyed innocence that indicates that the only desert these malcontents had seen up to that point was on a map; meanwhile, the title cut rambles like a voodoo chant for some mondo Z-movie. Influences abound--everything from Black Sabbath to Velvet Underground--but, nevertheless, the Memphis Goons retain their own distinctive primitive soul. Little is known about the individual members of Goons other than names and hometown. What happened to them is unclear although part of their story can be read in Whump #1 and Rolling Stone s Alternative History of Rock. There are also faint whispers of a reunion, but like the Beatles, the Memphis Goons did it once, did it right, & got out. A reunion is pointless. What we have here, then, is Memphis mojo with a dedicated garage sensibility. In this age of never ending tedium and drudgery, the Memphis Goons offer us joy, pleasure, and inspired dissonance!
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Member CD Reviews
Robert R. (bobrjr29) from TRUCKEE, CA
Reviewed on 2/21/2011...
fun and fantastic its raw rock n roll at its finest...get it now
Hidden gems, hoaxes, and a righteous revenge of the nerds
kitty_cat_pirate | Ann Arbor, MI United States | 05/03/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the book "Alt-Rock-a-Rama", critic Robot Hull described the Memphis Goons to maximum effect as nerdy, unknown losers recording bawdy, lowest-fi rock and weirdo noise in their parents' living rooms in the early '70s. They, according to legend, only performed live once: they played to a bunch of neighborhood kids, who proceeded to pelt them with rocks! In the article (and elsewhere in the book) the late, much-canonized rock critic Lester Bangs is noted as being a fan of this band's (then-unreleased) series of reel-to-reel tapes.
It's a great story, but the part Hull left out in the book is that HE himself was one of the nerds in the band. That said, this dirty little self-promotional secret makes this CD only slightly less interesting... or maybe more interesting. If Robot pulled the wool over the public's eyes with his "Alt-Rock-a-Rama" article (which served to intrigue a significant amount of people to dig into the Goons' mystery, myself included), who's to say that this album, supposedly a collection of the band's most accessible home recordings, isn't a hoax as well? Certainly, at times it seems like it would have to be: the Memphis Goons seem too weird and good to be true.
...but what does it SOUND like? At times, the songs on this album prefigure traits of Pavement and "No Wave" by several years, as well as give a nod to folks like the Fugs and Beefheart, all in untrained southern drawls. If this is their most accessible stuff, I'd love to hear some of their esoteric music. The reason for four stars instead of five? Some of the songs just meander too much... but when the band gets to the point, they're wonderfully raw, out-there twang/noise/garage (yeah, I know it sounds like a weird combo, but it's true). Even if it's a hoax, it sounds like fun to me."