Thursday, September 13, 2007

THE NO-COUNT GARAGE BLUES OF ART PHAG

There was this compilation that came out, jeez, I don’t know, I want to say 1987 (?), called “IT CAME FROM THE GARAGE II”. It was a bunch of Detroit-area garage bands, most of them extremely raw & quite more fulfilling than anyone else at the time who sought to connect 60’s raunch with CRAMPS-style lurch-n-roll. Even THE GORIES made their debut there, and they, along with ART PHAG, were the ones that made the most immediate impression. (I seem to remember an ode to porn stars by SNAKE-OUT that started with the line, “Hey Ginger Lynn / What’s on your chin?”, as well as a hideously racist song by someone going by the nom de plume of JERRY VILE. Classy!). ART PHAG’s contribution was equally distressing – a two-minute, bottom-feeding sludge-o-rama of the most guttural garage sounds imaginable called “Golf”, interrupted by occasional angry rants from a guy yelling at his girlfriend for messing with his golf clubs, followed by the sound of her screaming in sheer terror as he goes on a rampage. Like I said, tre classy.

So a couple years later the ART PHAG album comes out. It’s got a spray painted cover, each one handmade – you know the way every Tom Dick & Harry noise band does it this century. Kinda cool back then. “Golf” is on it, and all the politically incorrect DJs at my college radio station rush to be the first one to play it. But hidden in its grooves are other songs – much better songs, I thought – that proved that ART PHAG weren’t a one-trick pony, and that they engaged in a primitive level of subdued raunch as well as anyone else going - sounding very CRAMPSian for sure but also with nods to the Panther Burns and 60s punkers of all stripes. I’m posting two of the best from the LP – oh yeah, and “Golf” – as testament to a band undoubtedly lost to time if not for the Interweb.

Play or Download ART PHAG – “A Boy And His Gun”
Play or Download ART PHAG – “Molly & Bobby”
Play or Download ART PHAG – “Golf”

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

They were also on the "Beautiful Happiness" comp ("A Boy and His Gun," I think) along w/ Drunks With Guns, the best Bastards song ever, etc.

-Selvig

Scott Soriano said...

This is a great record, a hidden gem. It has been on my list of "to Crud" records since I began the thing but, you know, things get shuffled about, another record comes along, the piles get bigger and bigger....Glad someone got to it!

luKe said...

"Golf" is a true classic! At the time, I also bought ART PHAG's follow-up album 'Instant Ventriloquism' which is OK. I also liked Len Punch other band THE FUKNOTZ and the ELVIS HITLER album he produced. I remember how I DJ'ed at a Headcoats gig many years ago where a friend of mine suggested me not to play THE FUKNOTZ' classic "Scratch N'sniff With Grandpa's Butt" song because he was afraid Billy Childish would hate it. I ignored his 'good advice' and Billy came up to me and asked what I was playing so I suppose he did like the song after all...

Eric O said...

Fucking great album. Semaphore compilation not so good, for some reason. Different mastering? I dunno. Most (all?) of the covers are Snake Out covers turned inside out and spraypainted. Stupid and not stupid, too.

Anonymous said...

a forgotten masterpiece, in may http://cactusmouthinformer.blogspot.com posted the euro-version (Gods of Grunge), which is a must-have, because it includes CHAINSAW, a moment of true musical genius ...
something inbetween Human Fly by The Cramps and Mom I gave the Cat some Acid by Happy Flowers!!!
keep on keepin´ on
greetings
dj667

Raygun1966 said...

Wow...I've got one of these jems. I had forgotten...now I have a good reason to pull it out for another spin around the turntable.
Thanks for the post
Raygun1966
www.soldiersintime.com

Cliff Pallet said...

You speak too much french for me to take your review of this record seriously.

I use your plaid shorts for a rag, sir.