Escaped Maniacs (Charley/MVD)
By Craig Regala
Acesup pro-as-fuck (five ?) camera shoot detailing the performance of one of the now-heralded, then-ignored rock bands that signaled/keyed wild-ass rock back into clubland that was to be hailed, hailed!, as the kinda thing vicious, fun-factored, ass-peelers with funny haircuts would clutch to their own skinny breasts in the mid-’70s. Sex Pistols, Dead Boys, and The Damned covered’m early on: Their groove landed in The Avengers lap, the Flesheaters hands, then, with their true heirs, Black Flag. Herein, the roaring tension/release was to start rocking the nation whole-hog. The grooves were stompingly insistent without telegraphing ho(n)key “funkiness, “the guitar leads were acidic and bled the blues, the songs veered from moronically, perfectly simple (try it if you think it’s easy to play thusly with nothing to hide behind), to roiling holocausts. They could refer back to The Doors, garage rock, the Velvet Underground, and electric Chicago blues, and forward to Ramones, Poison Idea, and Nirvana.
In the mall rock world (no insult intended), those boys in Guns N’ Roses rolled in Stoogley dirt enough to call’m uncle, and the grunge folks of the late ’80s early ’90s tattooed their influence across every town in America. Heck, a decade later, Rage Against The Machine floated a pretty good bottom-heavy version of “Down on the Street” into a million CD players. Ya see, “The Stooges” proper recorded two records before ’71 reared up and fell the fuck down. Those LPs are represented herein in their entirety (minus each one’s long, arty ending), plus a few OK new ones. So, if you see this and wonder what the hubbub is, well, they warped and tweaked the world AS YOU GREW UP TO KNOW IT. As Byron Coley said of those times: “If you found someone else who liked the Stooges, you screamed out loud.” (Forced Exposure). The band’s bass player died, so they hired Mike Watt (Minutemen, Firehose, Mike Watt) to throw the loping bass parts at yer nuts. He did so. The shooting’s real good: Ig’s the canniest, most mobile show-boater under 65 (barely!), who gives new meaning to “low rise” jeans, the band is locked in and ferociously on. and it was a too bad it was shot in front of a buncha Belgians (probably on the drugs!) instead of regular drunk Americans. But heck, we gotta export something now-a-days. Tons of bonus features, interviews, and the rumor is one in every ten thousand comes with an inch square of Ig’s sweat encrusted (no undies to impend the flavor), “denim delinquent” brand dungarees. Hurrah!