As Superdope/Agony Shorthand scribe Jay Hinman so eloquently put it in a comprehensive piece on the Perfect Sound Forever site, Simply Saucer may have been "the single greatest 1970's band to influence absolutely no one." Toiling in sub-obscurity in the steel town of Hamilton, Ontario, the band's mastermind Edgar Breau put his Velvet Underground, Pink Fairies, Sun Ra, Krautrock, and Stockhausen obsessions into full swing way ahead of the coll-rock curve that started liberally referencing all that stuff in the next decade. The reason for their lack of presence on the underground scene most likely was due to the fact there wasn't much recorded material, or maybe there was just no impetus to move things forward in a time where anyone who didn't move to a large city basically languished. Unlike today. In 1988 or 89 I read Byron Coley talk up these guys in his SPIN Underground column, and eventually that year I found an LP called Cyborgs Revisited made up of half-studio, half live tracks (the studio recordings done in a Hamilton basement by pre-fame Daniel Lanois and his brother Bob) and it killed as much as I had imagined it would, even more. First off, Simply Saucer's name was somewhat of an ode to Pink Floyd, and you can tell which Floyd era these guys grooved on (or, more to the point what song: "Interstellar Overdrive.")
What most floored me about Simply Saucer was exactly how they fell between gaping cracks; their psychedelic nods were free of hippy-dippy sentimentality, their prog leanings never veered into academic overindulgence, and their metallic nods were more towards the "metal" connotations of robots more than anything. Cyberpunk started right here without a doubt, and the primitivity going on in these grooves (electronic spasms, extended guitar rants, repetitive trance) went hand in hand with excellent songwriting which easily put them up there as the rightful Canadian counterpart of the VU. Witness this live 1974 cut "Illegal Bodies" (MP3), a total freakout of epic proportions that can certainly hang with "Sister Ray." Despite a CD reissue from Cargo sometime in the mid-90's awareness of this band was still relatively low; I had crossed paths with people like Jay Ferguson from Canada's Sloan and Tim Gane from Stereolab through the 90's and even they hadn't heard these guys which surprised me a whole heckuva lot. Thematically, SS concentrated heavily on the future and its impending chaos, claustrophobic echoplexed guitars bugged out over woozy electronics while Breau sang in his best Barrett/Reed tone songs like "Nazi Apocalypse" (a love song from Eva Braun to Hitler with the chorus "I'm cyanide over you baby", -WTF?!) and "Dance the Mutation", and of course "Here Come the Cyborgs." Clearly Rush did not fully represent the Canadian sense of humor in rock.
Uber-Kraut-worshipper and all around good-kosmische-dad Julian Cope waxed more notes on the band in 2001, and in 2003, the Sonic Unyon label, after hearing an on-stage SS namedrop from Sonic Youth when they dedicated their live set to Edgar and co. at a Hamilton show, pursued putting out a new CD reissue adding some bonus tracks and stirring a whole new interest in the noise-lovin' youth of today. And in recent news, a revamped line-up led by Breau is hitting the stage December 28th at the Casbah in Hamilton, more info here on Edgar's My Space page, which also has some unreleased MP3s. It also looks like a couple videos are finally up on You Tube! One here of "Bullet Proof Nothing", which has some excavated 70's footage of the Saucer, and another clip courtesy a CBC music show schooling Canadians today on their criminal ignored national treasure. A rumored tour of major Hockey cities (including New York) is being talked about for 2007.