Monday, February 4, 2008

Just who was that Masked Man?

This one was a pain in the dick to track down. I was always under the assumption that this dog was hung under the moniker of "Mask Man & the Agents", and as it turns out, I was partly right. As the sometimes super spy 'Mask Man’ and captain of the 'Cap-Tans', Harmon Bethea has put his brand on some sweet-ass soul the likes of 'One Eye Open' and 'Yaw'll', but the ultimate ode of this incognito 'Love Bandito' remains his race-conscious interpretation of the Jesters penned novelty tune 'Roaches' released on the Musicor label in 1972 and subsequently comped on Norton record’s ‘Big itch 3’.

Now, if only we could get Jerry Lot in on the action.

Roaches - Harmon Bethea

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Psycho, psycho, psycho, psycho...

Ladies & gentlemen, there is fuzz...and then there is FUZZ(w/ a capital UZZ). That's exactly what it took for a couple of Pennsylvania teens to accomplish the Herculean task of out-sonicing (Heh, I created a verb) the Sonics. Famously comped on 'Back from the Grave', this record boasts a reputation seldom rivaled, and deservedly so. In addition to insuring that the seminal 'Psycho' was worthy of it's name, Pittsburgh's Swamp Rats also managed to outshine the Sparkles with a cover of their signature tune(No Friend of mine)and put their stamp on the most blood-curdling version of 'Louis, Louis' that has ever been spun. Far from a mere cover band, the 'Rats' penned some genuine angsty trashers such as 'Hey Freak' before goin the way of the Dodo bird. Lucky for us their unpressed input has finally seen the light of day again on the re-release of the long out of print 'Disco Sucks' collection re-title 'Disco Still Sucks'.

On a personal note, I picked this gem up several years ago from a friends spread, and upon giving it a spin to ensure that the 'I' were crossed and the 'T's dotted, those in attendance commenced to wince in abject terror causing one gentleman to remark "What is that noise!"

Now, if that isn't a ringing endorsement, then I don't know what is.

Released in 1966 on the St. Clair label, 'Psycho' is so ahead of its time it hasn't even come out yet. Dig in!!!

Psycho - The Swamp Rats