I couldn’t believe it when I saw it, but there, sitting in the racks at Womb Records in San Francisco, was a pristine LP copy of an album – probably a bootleg, right? - called “SONGS WE TAUGHT THE CHEATER SLICKS” . Seems that some rogue figured out that a good chunk of the venerable Columbus-by-way-of-Boston band’s recorded works consisted of obscure-ass covers by a plethora of one-shot and never-were rock heroes, and decided to fill in the gaps of our collective knowledge by putting some of the best originals – i.e. the ones later covered by the Cheater Slicks - on an LP in 2007. Oh wait, you’re not familiar with the CHEATER SLICKS? All right, let’s start there.
From the late 80s on, and even continuing up to this very day, the Cheater Slicks were/are the foremost garage-influenced band on the planet. Their format was simple: guitar-guitar-drums, with two vocalists trading off duties. During the lean years of the early oughts, I even called them “the last rock band” (thankfully some new ones popped up a couple years later). Their recorded history includes some of the most savage, alive and feedback-drenched mojo-working ever waxed, from a mere trio at that (!). They played at such a maturity level beyond their peers, with restraint and gentleness when it was called for, and sheer gonzo guitar explosions often when least expected. They truly were light years ahead of the pack, incorporating controlled feedback, feral drum bashing, a double-play of raw, throaty, vocalists, and a demented 60s psych approach that has started to creep in and lord over the sound like an unseen, angry hand. Live, they couldn’t be touched. The shows I saw of theirs during the years 1991-98 or so were flat-out amazing, the kind where you leave with your jaw on the floor while speaking in tongues to anyone who’ll listen (and while dealing with some serious ear bleed to boot). My favorite band of the 90s? I think there’s a case to be made.
So anyway, “SONGS WE TAUGHT THE CHEATER SLICKS” has a King of Prussia, PA return address, but I’m guessing there’s actually no “1234 Main Street” in that town, either that or someone got really lucky with an address. Mine is #78/169, and comes on persimmon-colored vinyl, with “A Porky Prime Cut” scrawled on the inner grooves. The inner labels have no info, just pictures of clowns. And then on the back cover, in large letters right next to the track listings, is a single word: DUDE. That’s it! DUDE. I’m going to do something I’ve never done before, and get ya all 14 tracks right here. Why? Because Detailed Twang loves you, that’s why. Enjoy the original 60s and 70s versions of some of the greatest rock and roll ever made. You can play or download each track by left-clicking on each link.
“SONGS WE TAUGHT THE CHEATER SLICKS”
1. THE HUNS – “Destination Lonely”
2. THE MYRCHENTS – “Indefinite Inhibition”
3. THE RIOTS - "I Can Go On"
4. HOLOCAUST - "Savage Affection"
5. MODERN LOVERS - "Walk Up The Street"
6. THE SAVOYS - "Can It Be"
7. THE MODDS - "Leave My House"
1. MAD MIKE & THE MANIACS - "The Hunch"
2. ALEX CHILTON - "Hook Or Crook"
3. THE MOODS - "Rum Drunk"
4. THE GESTURES - "Run Run Run"
5. THE LOST SOULS - "This Life Of Mine"
6. LEE HAZELWOOD - "Think I'm Coming Down"
7. THE MYSTIC TYDE - "Mystery Ship"