EMBARRASSMENT, THE: Death Travels West: 12”EP

Jan 05, 2022

Self-proclaimed “blister pop,” on Death Travels West (released in 1983) The Embarrassment sound like the blister has burst and a fully developed, cohesive universe has emerged. A universe that still doesn’t seem to have a functioning name. I guess that’s why they relied on “blister pop,” at the same time Westerberg & Co. opted for “power-trash.” It’s whatever Ork Records had been doing. It’s music made with Chilton always in the back of one’s mind. It’s not really punk, but it also doesn’t suck! Listenable and sorta strange outsider music made within the framework of the post-punk, early ’80s rock landscape. If they had moved to L.A. and this had been released on Slash, it could very possibly have been heralded as a “proto alt-country” classic and treated as canon. But for now it simply exists and it’s great music. Definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of any of the references above, or of groups that members would go on to play in, such as Del Fuegos and Big Dipper. –Daryl (Last Laugh)

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