August 7, 2007

Holy Reissue, Batman!


I'm a big fan of the band Shudder to Think and have long desired to hear the long out of print first LP, Curses, Spells, Voodoo, Mooses. It first came out on Sammich Records in 1989 and I'd heard it was a really remarkable album, showcasing the band's powerful and unique blend of punk, glam, and melody.

Apparently, Dischord had rereleased Curses on CD for the first time and I didn't know about it. I'm disappointed in me, too.

Finally got around to it and it's wonderful. It's got all of the trademarks of Shudder to Think's later years, but with much more youthful zest. Strange time changes, obtuse lyrics, Craig Wedren's caterwaul/vibrato. The band is driven by punk much more so than their major label offerings (if there is any hint of punk in 50,000 BC), or even on the last Dischord release Get Your Goat. "Abysmal Yellow Popcorn Wall" is a powerful song with so much earnestness that you just KNOW what Wedren means even if you can't comprehend the lyrics. Easily he has to have one of the best singers in "post-punk". In Curses, it's raw and not ready for primetime.

I'm a terrible album reviewer, but I can tell you that this album is one of a kind. I can't think of anything or anybody who has even tried to pull off what Shudder to Think has done in one album, much less spanning an entire career. They toned things down at the end of their run (their contributions to the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack and their work on First Love, Last Rites and High Art can hardly be compared to their album work), but everything was complicated and thought provoking.

Alright, the wank fest is over. You can go about your business.

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