Monday, September 1, 2014


Back in 2007, I survived 600-odd music people from across Canada to find out their favourite all-time albums of this land.  The results came out in the book The Top 100 Canadian Albums, and there was no more surprising appearance than at #36, Simply Saucer's Cyborg Revisited.  Honestly, I hadn't even heard of it before, nor had most people.  It was a cult classic, not least because it hadn't even been released when it was recorded in the mid-70's, instead finally appearing in 1989, and then in subsequent forms in reissue volumes.

The Hamilton group was the missing link between prog and punk, featuring a sound previously unknown.  With a unique blend of glam, Detroit, art rock, New York and beyond, the band really had no scene in which to belong, eventually finding at least temporary shelter in Toronto's late 70's punk scene.  Breaking up soon after, leader Edgar Breau laid down his electric and went into acoustic guitar music for decades. But the belated interest in Simply Saucer (Uncut magazine named one of the Cyborgs discs in its reissues of the year) led him to reform the band, and he now alternates between solo and Saucer projects.

This nifty EP, on fetching splatter vinyl, is an interesting project.  The band has a certain influence on underground Detroit, and the feeling is mutual, with Iggy, MC5 and Mitch Ryder among Breau's biggest influences.  The was group was asked by some pro fans to come record in the city in 2011, and happily accepted.  What they did was find some classic Saucer that hadn't been properly recorded in-studio, and set up shop for a weekend to get off-the-floor flaming versions.

Low Profile is a very Stooge-like number, going back to 1976.  Dance The Mutation, with its garage-band organ, has only been heard on vintage live recordings before.  Baby Nova was going to be on the group's proposed first album, but money woes meant it never got recorded.  It's doubtful Breau's insane guitar on this take could have been imaginable back then, so that's a bonus.

Side two features I Take It, a more mellow, haunting ballad at first, which explodes on the chorus, and definitely in The Kinds mode, Breau showing the softer voice that makes his solo work pleasing.  It wraps up with Reckless Agitation, a number salvaged from their Toronto club days, a proper punk number which turns into a rave-up.  Indie/underground fans will buy this for its fantastic cover and cool vinyl, and discover a blast over five cuts.

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