||Infinity CD (1994) |
Jeff Satan albums The band's first album was actually a compilation of various singles and unreleased songs, and strictly speaking wasn't just the band as such. The one constant throughout all tracks is drummer Jeff Satan, band guru in practice and by default, though the first song itself is by a combo called the Uncalled Four, featuring a reasonable enough romp through the traditional "Cotton Fields." After that it's an amiably wiggy trip through the group's originals and numerous remakes in equal measure, showing that Satan and his rotating crew of guitarists, bassists, and singers know not merely trashy garage punk but surf, country horror film music, and psychedelia. The Cramps may come to mind with that description, but the band is clearly its own beast, less immediately over the top perhaps but no less involving. There's no one era of the band captured here that's specifically the best -- Satan clearly has a particular goal in mind throughout -- but the various levels of recording quality sometimes force some winners. A cover of "Born Losers" features some truly vicious guitar from Mark Chapman (the way the feedback just seems to ooze out of the speakers is quite something), the rocked-out rip on Hank Williams' "Lost Highway" does the business very well, and multiple visits to the Lee Hazlewood and 13th Floor Elevators songbooks turn up gold. Perhaps one of the most interesting joys comes courtesy of a truly inspired collaboration between an early incarnation of the band and legendary TV film host Vampira. The psychotic spoken word introduction to "I'm Damned" is wondrously bizarre enough, but the extended "Tribute to Elvis" has to rank as one of the most unique nods to the King ever. ~ Ned Raggett
Photographer: Al Flipside.
Personnel: Jeff Satan (vocals, ...