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New York Rocker, 1982

Land Speed Record review from New York Rocker, June 1982. Some o' ya might find the style sorta annoyin' & pretentious & wonder whether a few o' the sentences are ever goin' to end, but...ahhh, never mind. Maybe Mr. Coley was experimenting.

Hüsker Dü

     French revolutionaries of the 19th century had an interestin' way of equippin' their "human bombs." What they'd do is take a bucket full o' ball bearings and carefully insert them in the intended's oiled rectum one by one until "saturation" was achieved, at which point they'd stand "kid dynamite" on his/her head while a comrade filled the spaces between these rattlin' and lethal "pumpkin balls" with a pasty explosive known as "gouste," thus cuttin' the victim's chances o' audibly detectin' said weapon to virtual nil & also assurin' that the load carried quite a punch. Accordin' to litersature of the period, the mixture's density was deemed correct when gas would not freely pass through the space a-tween the "p.b.'s" & judgin' from the musical density o' Hüsker Dü's new rec, it's possible that these three gents have been perusin' the French Revolution stacks in the University of Minnesota library.
     The reason I say this is that while many of the newer U.S. noise mongrels rage unabated for lengths of time previously considered conscionable only by hippie bands of decades past, songs are rarely grouped in "suites" o' more than 4 or 5 at a time & moments o' sonic surcease dot their concert appearances like hives on the face of a jealous goat; as evidenced by this live disc, however, Hüsker Dü offers no such respite. Song runs into song runs into song. Temporal breaks do appear between several of the alb's selections, but they're filled with seconds of what aesthetes would surely consider music-in-and-of-itself if it appeared on a rec by one of our so-called avant-garde artistes AND LET US NOT APPLY DOUBLE STANDARDS! As New Alliance's Mike Watt recently stated in a phone conversation, "You don't get a break till the end of the side." I'm with ya, Mike. The question of course becomes: Should we want a break? I think not.      For people not used to this sorta thing, LSR could be a somewhat o'erwhelmin' listenin' experience. As casual background noise, it's not real distinct from a whole lotta other recs (the speed's full-bore, the playin' "enthusiastic," and while three vocalists help to diversify the sound, their approaches are not disparate enough to radically alter the aural stew), but the band's lyrics offer a much more developed sense o' humor than many o' their counterparts ("Do The Bee" & "Bricklayer" esp.) & the outright franticness o' their tryin' to sound like a five piece puts them virtually in the league of America's best three piece outfits (Meat Puppets, Minutemen, Descendants). My only suggestion would be that they not totally forsake the Fall-ish grind they displayed on their swell Reflex debut single as speed-for-speed's-sake is not necessarily its own reward. Otherwise I think this is fuggin' fine & I'd recommend it to anyone who likes to squeal hard.

By Byron Coley

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