HOME AND GARDEN: History and Geography: CD

Mar 23, 2007

Home and Garden’s History and Geography is an obscure gem; this underappreciated early ‘80s Cleveland-based act deserved more. Probably best known for having Pere Ubu’s Dub Housing rhythm section, Home and Garden imploded just after its inception (apparently lasting only three shows). Obviously, the rhythm section is fucking amazing; this is probably Maimone and Kraus at their most primal. Vocalist/ lyricist Jeff Morrison is surprisingly poetic (I mean this band’s from Cleveland. Two strong lyricists—David Thomas and Peter Laughner—coming from a town best known for steel production and flammable rivers boggles the mind. Three seems impossible.) Anyway, yeah, Morrison spits out these brilliant existentialist, dada-influenced lines fans of LiLiput, Jean Paul-Sartre, and Pere Ubu will love. The Roxy Music influence is charming—Eno synth pervades (or should I say Allen Ravenstine?)—and Morrison sounds like a less melodramatic Bryan Ferry. Easily as rewarding as Savage Republic and 100 Flowers at their best, History and Geography is one of the few records I wholeheartedly endorse. Stuff it up your ass, Christgau. LEACH CONSUMER GUIDE RATING: A+

 –ryan (Exit Stencil, exitstencilrecordings.com)