If every music journalist is a failed musician then perhaps every blogger is a failed music journalist. Count me in for that generalization.
I failed to write a brilliant article on the Winnipeg scene of the late 80’s. I interviewed a few future legends and a few old warhorses and while the bands all did their part I never finished the damn article for the Manitoban.
One of my interviews was with Honest John and his Merry Men, a mild moniker for a band that encapsulated the history of Winnipeg punk rock; including singer Mitch Funk of Personality Crisis and the three former members of the Stretch Marks. Honest John (who have just recently re-formed for a local show) used to perform the Stretch Marks’ classic “Dog’s World with half the audience (yes, including yours tunelessly) singing the ‘arf, arf’ backing vocals. That night, Mitch said that he’d been offered good money to re-assemble PC for an East Coast tour but that his heart wasn’t in that old material.
Well his heart was pumping in the early 80’s when PC with Mitch’s hulking, yet animated, frame out front dominated the scene. Never a hardcore band per se, the band featured stinging, metallic guitar, steady beats and Mitch’s deep bass vocals. A band without a single clear antecedent (the NY Dolls influence is not pronounced) they simply stomped in the same way that DOA, who also had a taste for beer, rock and thrift store clothing, did. On this collection (which has all their studio tracks plus a live track) the hits come thick and fast with the anthemic, “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” and the pummelling “Mrs. Palmer” being early contenders for standout track. The album is relentless - so stay focussed till it's all finished, unlike yours truantly.
Enjoy this neglected masterpiece and be prepared to buy the re-issue when (and keep faith here - even if it’s never been on CD) it arrives.