We’ve received another bundle of vintage garage sounds from Gulcher, the label specialising in re-releases from the years surrounding 1980. As usual, they represent a wide range of styles, the common factor being their appeal to anyone seeking out-of-the-ordinary music that definitely would never be seen dead inhabiting the pop charts. www.gulcher.gemm.com
This is a one-off album from1975, the project being headed by Rich Sim, one of the guys responsible for the popular group MX-80 Sound who had moderate success later in the 80s. It’s a concept album of the sort favoured by The Mothers of Invention in their earlier days – I’m thinking of ‘We’re Only in it for the Money’ with it’s spoken interlinks. The music is slightly sleezy with saxophone and flute phrasing, dramatised by gong or cymbal crashes, enigmatised with jazzy Beefheart-like breaks & twiddles, and its Bonzo Dog style vocalisations. I haven’t really had enough time to work out what it’s all about. The Gulcher package arrived just a couple of days before the copy deadline – but I’m sure I will get to that, because it’s clearly a record to be listened to time and again – with new angles being revealed on each play. Probably, as far as I’m concerned, the pick of the crop.
This is a fuzzy-guitar based album by a bunch of rockers who look like inbred Kiss offspring and sound like The Flaming Groovies should’ve. This is what garage music ought to sound like - something recorded by competent musicians, but who’ve only got a battery powered cassette recorder and who haven’t yet been told about producers and engineers. I bet they were brilliant performing down in the high school gym on Halloween. Well noisy!
Is this Bill & Ted for real? It certainly sounds like it by the way it opens. And looks like it too by the amateur photography employed in the cover design. Absolutely no pretensions at being rock stars. Just good ol’ fashioned get-down & get-with-it rock’n’roll. It was recorded in ’78 but sometimes sounds like it had jumped forward in time from the mid-60s. Simple words and rhythms but highly effective. Any song which declares ‘I hate vegetables, I really do….I’m sure you do too.’ Gets my vote! Often derivative but highly skilful and an awful lot of fun. I love it – I think you will too.
If such a thing exists, I would say this is a typical Gulcher Record. The Gizmos are the sort of group the Ramones might have been before they ventured out into the light of day needing those shades and before they discovered the accelerator pedal existed. Fabulously illustrative of where punk came from even though it was recorded after the Sex Pistols were long gone! Quaint but full of raw energy.