Review Revue: Scratch Acid - Berserker

Review Revue
Levi Fuller

Welcome to Review Revue, where every Thursday I dig through the KEXP stacks to share DJ reviews and comments written on the covers of LPs (and occasionally CDs) in the ’80s and ’90s, when the station was called KCMU, the DJs were volunteers, and people shared their opinions on little white labels instead of the internet.

Is it possible? Have I really, in the decade-plus I’ve been doing this column, never covered a Jesus Lizard or Scratch Acid album? Sometimes I confuse even myself.

The Jesus Lizard was one of my very favorite strange/heavy/beautiful guitar rock bands of the ’90s, a decade seemingly full to bursting with strange/heavy/beautiful guitar rock. Scratch Acid, of course, was the band that came before Jesus Lizard but that many people (myself included) discovered later as “the band that came before Jesus Lizard.” Dark, thrilling, disturbing, deeply transgressive – as they were a couple decades later in what I think of as their relatively recent performance at the Showbox, which the internet informs me was a dozen years ago. Anyway. They may have made music that was practically designed not to be played on the radio, but KCMU DJs did what they had to do to get them on the air, even if only one song on this EP was remotely acceptable.

“Can’t play half of this and I’m not so sure we should play some of the songs anyway – someone will complain – OH WELL.”
“It’s them tho! 5 out of 6 are red-dots. That’s why L.”
“Ah, Faith. This is nifty.”
“‘Moron’s Moron’ will blow your hairpiece right off – but Nooooooo we can’t play red dots.” [For those just joining us: songs that are considered obscene and thus not playable at any hour of the day are marked with red dots. I should have thought to get a picture of the back of the record with all the red dots on it.]
“For cryin’ out loud – what’s the key difference in KCMU? We play ‘Fuck’ + ‘Shit.’ Big deal. Nobody’s complained yet.” [Ah, how the times have changed.]

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