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.
This week we're looking at the second album from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who now need no introduction, but in 1985 were far from a household name.
When I first ever heard of Steve Albini's provocatively-named band between Big Black and Shellac (after they'd ceased operations) I was already a fan of his, so I just kinda rolled my eyes and thought "ah, there goes ol' Steve again, ruffling feathers and pushing buttons." Being a fairly sheltered …