Vic Godard – Long Term Side-Effect – Review

Vic Godard

Long Term Side-Effect (Amsterdamned)
by Jon Sarre

“The guy from Subway Sect” will either ring a bell or it won’t. If it doesn’t, Subway Sect was an early UK punk band which was inspired by the Sex Pistols and then went on to share representation and practice space with the Clash. Subway Sect was artier than those two bands, but not in the same sense that Generation X was poppier and still not minimalist “arty” like Wire or experimental “arty” like Throbbing Gristle. They were more “arty” if arty involves Tin Pan Alley and post Pet Sounds pop, so, I dunno, you’d probably haveta make a case for whether that’s indeed arty or just simply unpopular, but that’s why some other clown in the band, when it was the day to chose their all-important “fake last names,” was dubbed Vic “Godard.” Arty like French New Wave.

Vic Godard‘s latest solo effort (second or maybe not, it’s kinda unclear) builds on his past in Subway Sect as well as some implied unknown position working with a supporting act for Dexy’s Midnight Runners (boy, bet that must’ve been something) and dabbling in some developmental stage of something akin to pale and clammy English soul – Motown, sorta, but with worse weather and horrible food. All of which adds up to lounge music, who knew? Godard warbles thru the very Vegas “Cold London Blues” and the Vegas-decorated-in-a-tropical-theme “S-T-R-E-S-S.” If that’s pop, it’s Sinatra or Dean Martin, it’s pretty little ditties with string-y keyboards. When he throws in Marvin Gay falsetto on “Don’t Do Me Down,” or Beach Boys’ “whoh whoh”s on “Outrageous Things,” it just sorta sounds weird. Not weird in a Beefheart way either, just stupid-weird. Viva Las Vegas listened to about half of it and threw her two cents in by blaming the cheapo production for why Long Term Side-Effect sounds the way it does. I think Godard’s just like that, confusing “deep” with “unwanted” or “unneeded.” I also figure this is gonna be someone’s favorite record. I just don’t know that someone.