Monday, September 23, 2013
The Embarrassment Sex Drive B/W Patio Set Last Laugh Records Reissue 2011
Even in underground rock circles, there are songs that just completely ignored rules and did their own thing. In garage rock the song 'Blackout of Greetly' by Gonn comes to mind. All the rockers around them doing 2 1/2 minutes tracks and they released a 5 minute behemoth of fuzz and acid. More popular example, the Velvets releasing a 7 minute character study around 'Heroin'.
After the 70's had ended and England claimed punk, there were tons of rules. You couldn't be slow, you couldn't be long winded, and you had two choices, political with an agenda or total gutter sleaze.
In comes the Embarrassment, living in the middle of the country probably caring very little about the punks to the East and West. They crafted a 5 minute epic called 'Sex Drive.' Just driving drums and whirling guitars, lyrics about a highschool jock type character with sweet wheels getting the chicks into his car and showing no respect. It's amazing. It didn't subscribe to any rules to stand apart. The isolation of Kansas allowed these guys to be more punk rock than they probably wanted to be. Because, that's what the genre was supposed to be about, not following rules and creating something yourself.
'Patio Set' is seriously got to be the most labeled "The B-Side is good, too" song ever. It's literally about a patio set at first, but it turns into some sort of metaphor for a girl. It was his favorite patio set, then it gets old, I guess. I don't know. It better showcases what the band would later become, jangly, 80's indie rockers. But, when compared to 'Sex Drive' everyone is right when they just state, "The B-Side is good, too."
Two years after its initial release in 1980, Flipper would release a song titled "Sex Bomb," a 7 minute repeating rant. Everyone gives those Northwesterners a ton of credit for being a game changer, truthfully, I think they heard 'Sex Drive' first. There was really nothing that sounded like either tune in the genre. Black Flag would later perfect sludge rock, but this masterpiece from Wichita, KS came first.
To score an original 'Sex Drive' 7" is near impossible. If you spot one and it's not over $100, buy it. This is a near perfect reissue with everything you need. And, last I check they are still available from Last Laugh Records.