Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Killdozer - Yow!

(Touch and Go, 1989)

Criticizing a single that has the best song from the best Killdozer album on one side, a superb Janet Jackson cover on the other, and label-chum David Yow on the sleeve is a total no-can-do; this is prime sleaze-grunge, heavy, scummy, and smart. “Lupus” adds horns to the band’s slow, crushing attack, and stars an especially animated Michael Gerald, who weaves summaries of the works of Flannery O’Connor around a genius chorus: “Lupus took the life of Flannery O’Connor / She wrote many books before death came upon her.” Ha! Funny rhyme, true biographical tidbit! The Jackson song, “Nasty,” tops most of what’s on For Ladies Only (where it wouldn’t have fit, thematically, due to those tracks coming from the late ’60s and early-/mid-’70s), thanks to a mostly-synthetic backing and a low, creepy vocal delivery. When Gerald finally breaks the slinky tension and lets loose with his standard growl-yell on the lines “I’m not a prude / I just want some respect,” that’s about as close as you’re gonna get to pure audio gold, mister. So pencil this one in at the top of your handy “to-get” list, and then go ahead and add the parent LP, Twelve Point Buck (which includes “Lupus,” but not “Nasty”) right under that – I’ll stack side one of that album up against that of almost any other record in terms of sheer perfection.

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