We talked a lot about Snuff last week (see HERE) but declined to offer a theory on the peak of Snuff singer/songwriter/drummer Duncan Edmonds career. Is it the Not Listening E.P., the Snuff Said... album, the Flibbiddydibbiddydob E.P. or something more recent? Or might it this bastardized collection of Redmonds short-lived band Guns n' Wankers?
All the songs on this mini-album were released in 1994 on a series of genre-themed 7"'s ('pop', 'metal', 'hardcore' and the freebie "silly') which was then issued in somewhat abbreviated format (no 'silly') as S/T by Damaged Goods in England and finally in even more truncated form by American label Fat Wreck-Chords (no 'silly', no 'metal') as For Dancing and Listening.
So with such a discographical fiddling, how will I argue this is Redmonds' finest work?
1) Songs like "Skin Deep" are "Help" are full of rough, racing guitars and choruses wound-up so tight that they just explode but yet these well-crafted songs could easily be done outside the punk idiom - just imagine what Lucinda Williams would do with a sad-but-defiant tune like "Help".
2) While Redmonds stepping out from behind the kit (shades of Dave Grohl!) may have been a bit disappointing, adding a killer Wildhearts rhythm section (Patrice Walters on drums and Joolz Dean on bass) allows his singing to be sharper, more controlled and more dominating than usual.
3) Lyrically, this release has the most resonant words of Redmonds' career. While early albums are dominated by either a twenty-something angst or whimsical cover songs (which it must be stressed are wondrous things) this album faces the sad, hard, fucked-up choices of life and then finds a "better place". Plus it make for one hell of a break-up album - jus' sayin'.
4) With just eight filler-free tracks, this album, unlike this post, proves that brevity is soul of wit.
So is this Redmonds best work? Let us know what you believe in the COMMENTS section (which is where you'll find the S/T link).
If you love this album and don't already own it go and buy the quintessential version of the album at either FAT WRECK-CHORDS, iTunes or AMAZON.