GIZMOS: Never Mind the Gizmos, Here’s the Gizmos: LP

Sep 05, 2012

That little post-Stooges, pre-Ramones historical notch in the mid-‘70s has never held tremendous interest for me—i mean, you kinda hear one band tuning in on the Dictators inescapable wavelength, you’ve largely heard them all. Thus, whilst i will cop to digging the Gizmos 1976-77 LP whilst having my first beer after almost a decade on the wagon a number of years ago—as well as owning an “Amerika First” button—i can’t honestly say that “Muff Divin’ (In Willkie South)” “Chicken Queen (The [Ass] End)” or “Gimme Back My Foreskin” have played a particularly huge role in my spiritual development over the years. A corollary to my slightly-above-lukewarm interest in the band ((as anything above and beyond a historical site of interest, you understand)), is that i really did not pay much attention to the band’s latter period in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s—where they try to be less of an applicant for coverage in the Teenage Wasteland Gazette, and more of a, you know, normal, regular ol’ punk band. I mean, hell, in the back cover liner notes, guitarist Dale Lawrence name-checks the Clash, X-Ray Spex, Vibrators, Jam and Boys as influences during this period, which seems like such an un-Gizmo-like assemblage as to merit deportation ((then again, if you live in Indiana, deportation is kind of a blessing)). Either surprisingly or not surprisingly ((as i have confused myself on this matter)), this album—conveniently scraping together the band’s “Never Mind The Sex Pistols, Here’s the Gizmos” ep, as well as their half of the “Hoosier Hysteria” album and a comp track, all ca. 1978-1981—is actually pretty fuckin’ serviceable as a regular ol’ late ‘70s US punk/power-wave album. The band wrote some pretty goddamn good songs—“Cry Real Tears” “Progressive Rock” and “Rock & Roll Don’t Come From New York” ((covered spectacularly in the ‘90s by the Problematics))—the playing was pretty crisp, and the occasional Gizmoism like “Chew it up! Spit it out! Show ‘em what you’re all about! POLISH SAUSAGE, SAUERKRAUT! POLISH SAUSAGE, SAUERKRAUT!” in “Progressive Rock” kept the band’s burgers-and-fries integrity at least partially intact. Kick me to the curb as a clueless cur, but i actually prefer these later efforts to the music upon which they built their empire ((although i used to have to eat Polish Sausage for supper every Wednesday and have thereby likely had my fill for life, and never liked sauerkraut whatsoever)). Geshundheit! BEST SONG: “Progressive Rock” or maybe “Rock & Roll Don’t Come From New York” BEST SONG TITLE: “Rock & Roll Don’t Come From New York” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “Just A Little Insane” is, in fact, the Sex Pistols song “Did You No Wrong.”

 –norb (Vulcher/Hate)

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