Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Highlander II's - Nursing A Hangover

(Planet Pimp, 1994)

Those kooky jackasses at Planet Pimp laid a predictably puzzling egg with this Highlander II’s single: there’s a “Straight Side” (titled “Nursing a Hangover”) devoted to covers of traditional songs, and a “Queer Side” (“Cash in on Queer Core”) that addresses more modern themes. The music has a folksy, Appalachia-partytime feel to it, thanks to the omnipresent fiddle and arrangements that swing with a good-natured booziness, but the band does crank up a decent VU ’69 boogie on its kicking version of Jimmie Rodgers’ “Side Track.” The whole thing exists midway between garage rock and barn rock, with plenty of dumb humor (the lone original: “Slacker Girl”) and shit production to boot, making it proudly unnecessary beyond its entertaining sleeve art – even if “Side Track” does deserve to be heard by trash aficionados everywhere. Of course, as with most Planet Pimp releases, half the joke and half the joy is the fact that these guys – who were probably pals with, or working for, or running the label – even put out a record at all.

And hey, have you actually SEEN Highlander II: The Quickening? Movies don’t get much more ludicrous, and the band is to be commended for hopping onto that very special bandwagon and paying tribute as they did. A poorly-written and since-deleted tidbit from the film’s Wikipedia entry sums up the movie’s absurdity quite well, and I offer it here unedited: “It is ironic that when Ramírez is about to die and Connor asks him if he will ever see him again Ramírez says ‘Who knows Highlander? Who knows?’ Then winks at the audience clearly implying that he will indeed return but due to the very negative reception of the film he does not end up returning.”

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