Two of the Most Distressing/Amazing Vocal Performances In the History of Recorded Sound.
Scot Lyn Yard "Huntington Way" (MP3) "On Your Own" (MP3)
Maskull "2000 A.D." (MP3)
Two artists brought to my attention via both Egg City and elaborated on to me by sometimes-To Live and Shave in L.A. member Nondor Nevai: Scot Lyn Yard is, for all purposes, what Li'l Markie fronting a metal band would sound like. Or perhaps a cross between the singer from Cinderella and Adam Sandler doing his annoying baby voice thing through giant arena PA system. I had some thoughts that this may indeed be some kind of hoax, though we're assured it indeed is the real deal, was issued as a cassette EP called Hottest Thing On Earth, and Scot also had a band called World War III.
We've oft discussed what the most "New Wave" vocal performance might be, and several of us around here feel that award might go to the song "Checking Out the Checkout Girl" (Real Audio) by Wazmo Nariz. That song just oozes 1979 from it's dayglo-covered pores, with exaggerated hiccuping inflections at the end of every line the way Mark E. Smith might punctuate his with an "ah". Really, the Knack and the Buggles sound like Edgar Broughton compared to this thing, right? Now, I think that this weird record by Maskull (aka Troy Maskull) may win the award for the most Goth vocal performance on record. According to Egg City Radio's blogkeeper, this is a mysterious artifact indeed: "This might be the single weirdest thing I’ve yet posted on this site. I know next to nothing about Maskull, other than the whacked half-anecdote I was told by an ex-friend who disappeared down the meth hole a handful of years ago, the same bloke who handed off a copy of this record to me: Maskull supposedly is/was living with AIDS, and in his ailing state, committed to tape this album of demented, simpering goth-osity. I can’t verify this story at all, or if Maskull’s actually alive or dead, since there’s absolutely no information available on him anywhere on the Internet, except for one brief editorial review on the CD Baby website that says: 'Troy Maskull’s ghoulish voice and imperceptible melodies are loathsome, detestable and incomprehensible. Perhaps music would be better off if Maskull crawled back under the rock that he came from.' " Another source claims Maskull's amazing recording came out on the Unicorn label, and is credited in a porn doc made by the now-defunct Mondo Video in L.A. If you can/want to bask further in Maskull's black sun universe, the whole LP is up at Egg City.
Renzoku Shasatsuma "Live" (MP3)
Here's an unknown-to-me jammer from 1978 Japan courtesy the great What Fucked You? blog, from a live LP called Shibuya Yaneura. While not as insane as Fushitsusha and Gasaneta (who also existed around that time), Renzoku Shasatsuma's power trio action existed within pretty well-trodden rock'n'roll parameters yet there's some serious heavy-shred primitivity in effect. Definitely noteworthy for fans of those bands mentioned as well as Les Rallizes Denudes. As most of these songs seem to indicate, the trad-rock shuffle is the element to kind of lift these suckers off the ground and once they settle into a groove, release the carnage. Splattered solos, ridiculous volume, free-freakdom all around. The whole LP is up on What Fucked You, and here's one of the few tracks that feature some vocals (in English to boot). A nice acid attack and surprisingly below the radar for most Japanpsych-o-philes.
X-X "Approaching the Minimal With Spra" (MP3), "You're Full of Shit" (MP3)
A little slice of Cleveland punk history, X-X ("X Blank X") existed as a post Electric Eels outfit featuring John Morton (guitar), Jaime Klimek (guitar) and future Golden Palomino Anton Fier on drums (too bad Morton wasn't recruited for that later project as well, a meeting in studio between him and Michael Stipe would have been something worth being a fly on the wall for). While the Electric Eels' certainly deserve the same place in the inner circle as the Stooges (disagree? Let's fight!), X-X also sort of lost out on the radar screen to the likes of Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Mars, and DNA on the No Wave front. Though in all honesty, I guess these two songs from the band's second of two 7"s (you can find both at the Spending Loud Night blog) don't really reveal an affinity for what was happening in NYC No Wave as much as just expanding on Morton's unabashed love for Albert Ayler and Don Van Vliet. Pretty cool.