MENTALLY ILL, THE: Gacy’s Place: 12” EP

My adoration of this band began on a late, early ’80s night, when one of the local punk radio programs snuck “Padded Cell” into the rotation. With an apparent minimalist approach to songwriting, the cardboard box-sounding drums, a guitar that was more like a wire shorting out than big rock “axe,” and a singer who sounded completely unhinged, I had heard nothing like it before and wanted more. It would take several years and assorted comps before I succeed in finding anything else by ’em. Collected here is the studio session that produced the Gacy’s Place single, which included the aforementioned “Padded Cell,” recorded in January 79 at Starbeat Studios in Deerfield, Ill. Previously released as part of Alternative Tentacles’ 2004 retrospective collection of the band’s early years, Gacy’s Place: The Undiscovered Corpses, this contains eight tracks dripping with sly, deviant humor and primal performances that are streaked throughout with a paranoid psychosis fitting of the band’s name. Amazing and singular they remain some forty years later; and no less essential an addition to your collection. –Jimmy Alvarado (Last Laugh)