BIZARROS: Complete Collection 1976-1980: 2 x LP

Like fellow Akronites Devo and the Rubber City Rebels, The Bizarros twisted and wrenched rock’n’roll’s standard conventions into all kinds of interesting, idiosyncratic directions. Operating during a time when the landscape of what was later called “punk” and “the new wave” was still very much open to new ideas and sounds, they melded together a potpourri of different influences both contemporary and from previous decades—traces of psychedelia, rock, the Voidoids, the Velvet Underground and, yes, even Devo can be found with a little scratching at the surface—to create a sound in step with the times, but still very much their own, and topped with a vocalist well aware that a snide sneer is often more effective than a shout. Collected here are assorted tracks from their sole album, singles, live recordings, and later demos for a never-to-be-recorded second album. Though some of this stuff was released on a major, Mercury, like so many bands that failed to safely fall within one of punk/new wave’s rapidly shrinking, ridiculously rigid pigeonholes, they quickly went the way of the dodo and have wallowed in the “who?” section of collector-geek limbo ever since. Hopefully, this collection will give ‘em a proper dusting off and place ‘em back on the shelf for those with the (in my opinion, proper) attitude that punk is about being different from the pack o’ punters to appreciate yet another group of, well, bizarros who weren’t afraid to dance to the beat of their own drum.

 –jimmy (Windian)