Saturday, May 31, 2008

Chapter Thirty-Two: Grave--Diggin'

The It Came From Canada compilations contained multitudes. They were anything but seamless; in fact Og created a Frankenstein Monster out of the rotting copses of crude sounds of the past and its stitched togetherness was grotesquely obvious. When they were done the Og crew looked upon their work and declared it ‘cool’.

Last time around, we said that “Og pilloried the vacuousness of the nineteen-eighties by pushing bands who were a hundred different shades of anachronistic: Western-Swing, gospel-punk, garage rock, country blues, psychedelic, 77 punk, lounge-jazz, faux girl-group and cow-punk…” Perhaps we over-simplified.

Many years ago, in a crappy suburban record store (yes, Virginia…) I discovered a whole rack of the Og Catalogue. I chanced Volume One. Something was happening here, and I refused to be Mr. Jones. I still posses the first volume in the shrink-wrap (slit open) with the $6.99 written in white grease pencil. Soon I dug up the rest of the Og oeuvre.

Volume One’s multitudinous variety includes Jerry Jerry’s gospel-punk, Ray Condo’s rockabilly, Dusty Chaps western-ness, Chris Houston’s lounge-jazz and Deja Voodoo’s distorted 50’s pastiche, And that’s side one! Side two is both more cohesive and completely fucked. The Enigmas and UIC are both garage-punk in the mightiest sense of that compound. The Gruesomes’ ‘66 shtick worked live in grimy bars but on vinyl their exactness grated. Then, as compilations often did in the 70’s and 80’s, things get experi-mental. Terminal Sunglasses get hicuppy and trippy on their two tracks while Calamity Janes go all Bongos-and-free verse on you before My Dog Popper (who link this LP to the earlier It Came from the Pit) choose one of their more irritating work-outs to end this LP off on in a Ronald Reagan Acid Flashback kinda way. Enjoy the way it all comes together in a hideously wonderful way.

Download V. 1

IFC II almost equals its predecessor in a way sequels rarely do. (I refuse to name check the G-dfather series so let’s just compare it to Aliens.) The second LP is another musty distillation of ghost-town genres (garage-rock, hardcore, surf, country-gospel, blues, western swing, spoken-improv and, mais d’accord, a cappella beat-boxin’) with the zany creepiness of Vincent Price in the Hilarious House of Frightenstein. While it lacks a stone-classic like Jerry Jerry’s “Bad Idea”, it features one of the best Gruesomes’ songs (“What’s Your Problem?”) and the more comic side of the oft-furious Guilt Parade (see here for their shockingly-unheard album).

While not all songs (this time the one-song-per-band dictum is adhered to) reach lift-off, they all fit together. This synchronicity is one of the joys of a well-compiled piece – even the irritating bits help vary the flow and eventually find a place in the narrative.

Download V. 2

Third time’s the harm – here's where the ghoulish It Came From Canada series, after gorging on the corpses of genres-past, shambles towards its ghastly climax.

Familiar names abound; Deja Voodoo, Condition, Jerry Jerry, Guilt Parade, the Grusomes, Ray Condo, Chris Houston and the Ten Commandments all return from previous volumes. The Dik Van Dykes debut here, with the lead-off track, as they will do for the last two entries in the series. Perhaps the lower-string-less Diks along with the bludgeoning Colour Me Psycho and the nouveau-sludgeabilly House of Knives illustrate that the series, instead of uniting pre-existing primitivists, was now inspiring a new horde.

Download V. 3

Or try this one.


  1. What an exquisite musical selection you have here. I'm a kid in a candy shop on this one and I don't know what to get first. I will be getting everything you have posted. Thanks for this great blog.

  2. Glad you found good stuff here, my focus is more scattershot (urge to pun successfully stifled) than yours but there's some good crossover.

    I put you on the blog roll.

  3. these albums would be appreciated by me for a reup. I have some on vinyl and haven't heard them in years


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