recorded October 15 – 25, 1979. Released circa 1980.
Sole album by the Jitters (not to be confused with other bands with the same name), lead by P.K. Dwyer and sounding like a Northwest backyard band influenced by hillbilly and perhaps Velvet Underground, old-time rock ‘n roll and Jonathan Richman, Neil Young and Los Angeles, old-time music and Ray Davies, NRBQ and all the obscure mid-70s bands that centered around CBGBs.
While most Seattle outfits from this era seemed attached to hard rock or new wave, these folks seem to be having fun and doing their own thing.
With the hillbilly and quirky elements, it’s easy to hear how this band foreshadowed all the alt-country and cowpunk that surfaced in the wake of this album.
This ain’t an essential outing, but it’s fairly enjoyable from go to whoa, and it certainly offers some pretty great moments. It’s certainly a worthwhile listen for fans of songwriter P.K. Dwyer or for fans of obscure Northwest bands.
— winch (author of )
LINKS TO SELLERS:
The Peel Sessions
Strange Fruit (SFPS 002)
Producer: Jeff Griffin
Rating: **** (Recommended)
Recorded May 10 1977, first transmitted May 16, 1977, released June 1986 (UK only)
Four-songer from the John Peel show, a couple of comments but mostly tunes, about 10 minutes total. Some might find the killer sound wrong for punk, but worthwhile grab for fans.
Out of Their Skulls
With likely most straight-forward rock and roll UK outfits (from the Who and the Stones to the hard-rock of Led Zeppelin and the pub-rock of Dr. Feelgood, to the punk rock of the Clash and the Sex Pistols) owing something to this outfit, the Pirates wax this half-live/half studio set, reminding folks how it’s done.
released September 1979
Crass returns to chuck more wrenches at everything in sight, including the Clash, democrats and liberals, again reminding everyone what punk was all about: cars, girls and anarchy. (Maybe they forgot to include songs about cars, but anarchy is thoroughly covered.)
This might have been better served as a two-sider, but who am I to tell Crass how to make an album.
This is another essential set for fans, puts most punk of 1979 to shame. Three sides studio, one side live.
— winch (author of… http://www.eight-track.com/Eight_Track_Publishing.php
Released December 1978 (UK only)
Anyone who wants to understand punk, or a lesson about what went wrong, needs to give this set a listen. The cover is one of the greatest sleeves in rock-and-roll history, but one needs to go beyond that, put the record on the turntable and crank it high enough to tick off the neighbors. While some of the band’s other material might interest a variety of listeners, on this debut they march through both sides with a single direction, the rhythm a mix of R&B and military marching, stomping everything in sight with the sound of punk rock.
While most early punk was simply R&B, even more so than most of the rock stylings of the mid 70s, some punk bands were clearly offering something new, Suicide in the States for example, and this outfit in the UK. If you can’t recognize the R&B core of those two bands, you’re not really listening, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t breaking open something that had rarely seen the light of day. In order to understand something, you have to break it open.
A lot of punks on politics can get annoying and sound self-righteous, let the politics get in the way of not just the music but the message as well. Meanwhile, Crass mixed everything into one thing, dropped punk into a batch of battery acid and dissolved it down to its core.
This album is about as punk as it gets. Not that a sound has to be pure punk to sound good, but Crass deserves credit for recognizing something and something wrong, and getting down to the gritty core of it.
— winch (author of…http://www.eight-track.com/Eight_Track_Publishing.php
The Label (001)
Rating: **** (Recommended)
Released January 1978
The only album by this no-talent UK punk outfit, a few weaker cuts, but plenty of great ones, mostly originals but some sped up V.U. and a transformation of “Eighteen” (Alice Cooper Group), this version called “15,” which maybe points out the age of these punks. This band helped remind London what rock ‘n roll was supposed to be about in the first place, kids doing the best they can with little talent and a lot of heart, crappy guitars and a few chords.
Great stuff, worthwhile grab for fans of punk.
(author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s)