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The Sillies
America's Most Wanton
Scooch Pooch


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

Track Listing:

  1. Break Loose
  2. Sex For The Handicapped
  3. No Big Deal
  4. Apparition
  5. Heavy Breathing
  6. If Your Girlfriend Still Loves You
  7. Fresh Flesh
  8. Lesbo Love
  9. County Fair
  10. Real Live Love
  11. Love You To Death
  12. Punk Rock Girl

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Mike Doughty



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