MANUAL SCAN: All Night Scan!: LP

May 30, 2014

Always thought the mods were twats back in the day; sure, punk might not have been the open-ended coalition of free-thinking individualists we all said it was, but at least punk kinda rewarded novel ((i.e., goofy)) solutions to shit, whereas mod was more like some ready-made fashion craze for U.S. proto-alterna-teens and/or something more like a classic car club than a vital subcultural hoop-de-do. That said, I have no idea how this band ((est. San Diego, 1981)) completely flew under my radar for thirty-two years; I completely do not remember ever even hearing their name, ever, before this album dropped out of some Lichtensteinian aircraft into my lap. Shame, really—the band is pretty dang good and the recordings sound great, especially given how pancake-y records sounded back in the first half of the ‘80s. It’s really hard to believe Bomp didn’t wind up marketing these guys as an American Barracudas ((roll that around in your mind for a while)), or Slash didn’t give them a tumble when they were churning out those Rank & File and Dream Syndicate albums, or Restless didn’t dump their records at all the college stations in 1987 or whatever. Go figure. The band definitely has that ‘60s-filtered-thru-the-’80s sound ((see also; The Last, The Barracudas, The Fleshtones, The Unknowns, and all like that)) and cover the Pretty Things, so twats, I venture, they ain’t. BEST SONG: I’m gonna say “New Difference” but I bet most of you ham and eggers will say “Plan of Action.” BEST SONG TITLE: “She Said It’s Late.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Peter Beckett, who played guitar for the Thoughts, who were the band who originally released the Ray Davies-penned song “All Night Stand,” covered here, moved to California and scored one of the more annoying #1 hits in America with the band Player, whose song “Baby Come Back” topped the charts in 1978. I’d imagine the casual reader didn’t quite expect the Player/Manual Scan connection to be declared so abruptly. 

 –norb (Cheap Rewards,