Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Family Fodder - Playing Golf (With My Flesh Crawling)

(Parole/Fresh, 1979)

Cheeky UK/French artoids with a strong fondness for percussion and stronger attraction to the bizarre. Even if the band’s debut, “Playing Golf (With My Flesh Crawling),” isn’t a classic on the level of subsequent Dominique Levillain-sung LSD-dub-punkers like “Debbie Harry” or “Savoir Faire,” the chanting gnomes, dark/surreal lyrics, and unpredictable synth abuse that make up the song give a decent sense of where Family Fodder was coming from. Just as freaked lyrically and choppy musically as Barrett’s ultimate Floydian weird-out, this one is essentially “Scream Thy Last Scream” rethunk for the late ’70s. “My Baby Takes Valium,” overtly jokey and cheerfully bloop-bloopy, sounds like a Talking Heads novelty record: obviously not a good thing at all. Still, the single remains well worth having for the A-side.

Even today, those original discs are surprisingly cheap when they turn up (why haven’t collectors glommed onto this stuff?), but those interested in efficiency should note that most of the best songs are crammed onto an out-of-print Dark Beloved Cloud comp and a more comprehensive double CD from Jungle.

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