Whoa Oh Oh Oh?: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 88

Redness - Killer Bees - not on label - 6 songs - 12"

This is a reissue of a 7" that originally came out in 1980 as the sole release on Non Records, to my knowledge. I'm not sure how official this release is, but it's cool to have nonetheless. I usually seem to see Redness listed as a "punk" band, but that's really not the case. It's maybe art-punk and there are a few tracks that could definitely be called no wave, but it's more of an experimental, artsy, DIY kinda sound. The title track has a synthesizer emulating constant bee-buzzing over a jazzy track while a guy screams about killer bees. Bizarrely, it reminds me a lot of Fossil Fuel, and you can try and figure that one out. "Gran Torismo" continues the sorta art-jazz style with a story about the titular car while someone in the background does a ridiculous performance of "Dead Man's Curve." Now, as far as Cleveland "punk" bands with jazz influences covering "Dead Man's Curve" goes, it's not as good as the version by the electric eels, but it's still pretty cool. The last track on Side 1 is "Little Debbie," which is the first one you'd certainly call no wave or art punk. Continuing that theme, the first song on Side 2 is "Creme Rinse," which is punk but also bossa nova or something like that. It might be my pick for the best one on here. "Backwards, Forwards" goes back to the weird artiness and fades out halfway through one of the lines, which leaves me really wondering what it is he said. Finally, "Primitivjam," as the title implies, is a short instrumental noodling freakout song. I'm not quite sure what to make of all this, especially since the band is apparently a complete mystery. Is it serious? Is it a punxploitation kind of thing but making fun of a far more obscure genre? I really don't know. If you're into the weirder side of things, this is a good one to check out. 3.5/5

(Due to this release's dubious officialness, I don't know where the best place to get a copy is. Try a local record store.)

Are you a local-ish band? Do you have a record out? Email vaguelythreatening@gmail.com or send it directly to Observer headquarters: The Lakewood Observer, c/o Buzz Kompier, 14900 Detroit Avenue, Suite 205, Lakewood, OH 44107.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 9:40 AM, 05.22.2019