Sunday, October 02, 2005

cult of the week - frank sumatra and the mob

artist: Frank Sumatra and The Mob

title: Te Dium

year: 1979

label: Small Wonder Records

personnel: none listed, but masterminded by Alig Pearce

tracklisting: the story so far, the blues, tedium, telstar 176 all out: w. indies 180 for 3 declared

cotw say…

one man, but with a million ideas, Alig Pearce’s Family Fodder collective garnered cult status in the early eighties with a string of lo-fi, schizophrenic releases, all in The Residents/ Flying Lizards/ kitchen sink tradition. however, unknown to many is the fact that within a month of releasing the first ever Family Fodder single, an Alig alter-ego appeared to put out this joyous EP.

quite why Mr Pearce adopted a pseudonym for this release remains a mystery. the EP’s four tracks are typically eccentric and diverse. ‘Te Dium’ is a perfect slice of XTC guitar pop, with the added bonus of dreamy female backing vocals, jerky time signatures and the most mind-blowing distorted solo you’ve ever heard (but is it a guitar?). the EP’s other song ‘The Story So Far’, is another departure, and sees Alig adopt a convincing Russell Mael falsetto for a hyperactive chanson that recalls similar efforts by The Red Krayola or Peter Blegvad’s ‘Kew Rhone’ album. meanwhile, ‘The Blues’ and ‘Telstar’ (yes, that Telstar) are brief experimental, electronic excursions. humorous rather than haranguing.

tedium? you must be joking.

erik -

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