Friday, June 20, 2014

It Happened...But Nobody Noticed - compilation CD

This compilation of New Haven, CT. bands was originally released in 1982 and has been reissued with extra tracks by Craig Bell. As I'm looking online, there is a companion documentary, as well, and there has been at least one related live show. Mighty impressive! There is a booklet included with photos, member info and contact info for all of the bands, as well - nice package!

This two-CD set is jam-packed with varied high-quality tunes, from the fairly silly, fun new wave of Poodle Boys' "Pop Party" and the Subdueds' "Subdued Theme" to the pop of Scout House's "Talkin' About You" and Hot Bodies' Shoes-like "In the Inside" (featuring Kerry Miller from Craig's current band, Deezen). More new-wavey quirkiness from The Furors and Craig's own Saucers and their "Muckraker" (originally done with Rocket From the Tombs - love the wacked out instro break). The Snotz' "That's Life" has more than a passing resemblance to "Sweet Jane" mixed with "Is That All There Is" (among other songs), but with their own bits thrown in to this 60's-styled pop ballad. There's a bit of Farfisa-fueled garage power in the TV Neats' "Dear Abby" and pure goofiness in International Q's glossolalia-inspired "Small Talk". Things get a little more esoteric with Troupe Di Coupe's "Funeral Row", with its soundtrack-y congas and horn section. Rawer and a little more "punk" is No Music's "Same Old Shit" while October Days' "Do the Right Thing" is more atmospheric, in kind of a Pere Ubu way. The bassist for the Bats is nicknamed "Riff", and his playing on "Living In Alaska" makes it obvious why - cool, upbeat and rockin' all the way through by every member of this three piece.

Disc 2 opens with the Stratford Survivors (featuring Mad Mike Czekaj of the Fuzztones, Headhunters and Alter Egos, among others) and their hard hittin' catchiness of "It's Not Enough". More new-wave weirdness in Disturbance's "Somebody Move" and pure power-pop in the Excerpts' "Give Me a Second". Epitome thrown a bit of everything into "Baby No More Tears" - hard hittin' guitars, pop melodies and a smattering of noise, all to good effect. Waves of feedback open Valley of Kings' drivin' "Today You're Laughing", a hip piece of psych-surf. I'm sure my bands appeared on some of the same comps as the Not Quite and their super-cool, high-energy organ-fueled retro-garage. The Sabres are definitely garage-y, as well, but with a bit more new-wave influences, and Dada Banks' "communism" is pure early new wave (with a tag-ending of "Wild Thing"), as is the Radio Reptiles' "The Man in the Chinese Puzzle", while the Cadavers' "Do Ya Wannit" is a bit of low-fi, smash'n'bash pop. Craig Bell relinquishes the bass to (his wife?) Claudia Bell and takes up with guitar in The Plan for their garage-pop "I Love NY I Hate NY". More garage-psych-pop (terrific melodies) in Happy Ending's "Planned Community" with the added plus of some sweet saxophone and the proceeding conclude with the power-pop of the Reducers' "Out of Step".

Who knew that New Haven was such a hot-bed for new music in the early 80's? Great comp of a variety of music and great time capsule.