EDDIE & THE SUBTITLES: From the Womb to the Tomb (The Full Horror): CD

Dec 03, 2020

A collection of the first two albums by Orange County’s legendary rabble rousers. Best known as the band responsible for the perennial punk anthem “American Society” and one of the floorboards upon which the O.C. punk “sound” built, this look back is also a nice reminder of just how varied approaches to “punk” could be back then, a fact too often lost in an era when things are shoved into nice pre-approved cubbyholes that rarely intersect. Peppered amidst the punk and proto hardcore are legit stabs at rockabilly, faux-disco, blues, dreamy pop, death rock and R&B, as well as covers of standards Richard Berry (via the Kingsmen), Hank Snow, Pete Seeger, Trini Lopez, and Barrett Strong (who should’ve followed Eddie’s lead and started off “Money” with, “The best things in life are fucked/ but you can leave ’em for the birds and the ducks!”), all of which send things bouncing from one corner of the rock’n’roll pool with more ease than might usually be expected. True, some of the lyrical subject matter here and there is probably best left in the ’80s, but it’s impressive how much here still sounds fresh and vital. While Frontier’s recent collection of “hits,” Fuck You Eddie!, is faboo, it’s goddamned criminal that the Subtitles’ oeuvre remained out of print so long. Nice to see the tunes out in the world again, whatever the medium, and here’s hoping vinyl reissues of both are in the pipeline. –Jimmy Alvarado (Eddie Subtitle, facebook.com/eddiesubtitle)