Tuesday, November 10, 2015
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: THE SCENICS - IN THE SUMMER
Mavericks they were, and obviously quite excited that strange things were happening nearby in NYC. At this period in their career, the influences are easy to spot, going back to the Velvet Underground and au curaunt with Talking Heads. The Scenics would also develop nicely as well, seeing the limitations of punk and embracing the art rock of New Wave. An album, Underneath The Door, did arrive in 1979, but these studio tracks are plenty polished enough for full release, and far surpass many of the supposed key records of that period, from Toronto and the other punk capitols.
Twitchy and angular, the band was making up chord combinations and vocal intonations, sounds that weren't supposed to be pretty but certainly were once you had ears to hear. The title cut has all the swagger of Sweet Jane, the beauty of The Byrds vocals on the chorus, and a mad scientist singing lead everywhere else. Great Piles of Leaves is about a fish-out-of-water kid who really just wants to play cello like Pablo Casals, and Wild Trout is just about a fish. And it rocks. Meanwhile, the Juno Award for Best Selling Album in 1978 went to Dan Hill for Longer Fuse. Just sayin'.