Everyone knows punk rock was born in Detroit to proud parents
The Stooges & MC5 in the late Ď60s. But
what of the followers who never made it? That is, those who
never did re-invent themselves as English Goth-punks and proceed
to die in a collision in Paris. But instead developed more
electrical problems than Uriah Heep. The Sillies released
only one 7" during their run, but still managed to influence
the likes of Gun & Doll Show, and The Go.
An MC5 solar flare starts everything out. Dirty guitar lines
carpet "Break Loose" while the bass bangs up against the borders.
Clearly the kids make the rock here, the way it should be.
Sloppy, shaggy kids out to have a good time. Yeah, they all
want to be Johnny Thunders or Paul Stanley,
but they're going to have fun doing it. The boogie-woogie
"Sex For The Handicapped" is so politically incorrect that
it comes full circle into an advocacy anthem. Clap your
hand and stomp your stump/ You get your spare parts at the
county dump/ But you can't fight back when I hump your rump.
These guys were ahead of their time when it comes to amputee
fetishes. The clever barhouse piano steals from Jerry Lee
Lewis and gives back to Lou Reed. The five-string
masturbation on "No Big Deal" is a blistering freakout with
no aim. Behind it is a Stones-styled shuffle with a
TV theme-song base. A live recording of "Apparition" causes
the volume to be cranked. The mix is so muddied that little
can come of it beside the question of placement. The dancing
piano is the only redeeming element. This should have been
saved for last, since "Heavy Breathing" comes in at full force
and destroys the listenerís eardrums. Keyboards coat the background
like a precursor to new wave. The driving roadhouse is again
coked up with high-end guitar squealing. The cock-rock posturing
is dropped in the Ramones-esque "If Your Girlfriend
Still Loves You (When Your Car Breaks Down.)" A somewhat sentimental
piece that still has time to throw in the gem, She only
loves me for my auto/ She was an autoerotic, baby.
My favorite, "Fresh Flesh" is an adventurous outing that
trades the brashness for a creepy feel. The guitars sound
electronic in a plastic way. I could have sworn this was The
Tubes if I didn't know any better. The surf-driven snares
are flat and nostalgically dated. The impression is The
Damned's "Neat Neat Neat" mixed with Pet Sounds.
Speaking of nostalgia, "Lesbo Love" is a bachelor party song
with burlesque drums and rockabilly guitars. It's attractive
like a Sam Fuller movie of teen depravity. Another
misplaced live recording in "County Fair"; the song itself
drags, while feedback plagues the mix. The searing guitar
licks are mercifully buried under bass and lethargic vocals.
The psychedelic warbling of "Real Live Love" comes off in
a mellow Byrds feel. The detractive vocals are underdeveloped.
A heaviness is hinted at but not quite achieved in "Love You
To Death." It parodies Black Sabbath for a bit, with
a little Rocky Horror melodrama thrown in. The smirking
threat offered is amusing and the mixed style is fun. The
mid-tempo trash rock of "Punk Rock Girl" has nothing
to do with the Dead Milkmen, remember this was 1977
or thereabouts. The guitars have a 3-day growth of fuzz while
the drums are adolescent pattering.
Itís unfortunate that these recordings are all that remains
of The Silliesí legacy, as some of it grabs on like an obsessed
lover. The poor quality of the live recordings weighs heavily.
The arrangement of the material leaves it essential only for
completists with no more Flaminí Groovies left to collect.
ó Ewan Wadharmi
- Break Loose
- Sex For The Handicapped
- No Big Deal
- Heavy Breathing
- If Your Girlfriend Still Loves You
- Fresh Flesh
- Lesbo Love
- County Fair
- Real Live Love
- Love You To Death
- Punk Rock Girl
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