Following the enormous success of Electric Eels compilation Their Organic Majesty’s Request, Paul Marotta and Overground decided to continue this partnership, and the result is a compilation of rare Styrenes material.
Unlike The Electric Eels who have been defunct for the best part of 25 years, The Styrenes are an ongoing concern. Just check out their recent awesome new CD ‘We Care, So You Don’t Have To’ on Scat. They regularly gig and in October 1998 visited Britain for the first time.
Leader Paul Marotta formed The Styrenes in Cleveland in 1974 after the demise of the Electric Eels. They released a series of singles that David Fricke accurately described as “post-punk before punk happened”. Releases have ranged from the very abstract ‘Agit-Prop Piano’ (Paul’s avant solo piano LP) to the essential ‘A Monster and the Devil’, which marked Mike Hudson’s (ex-Pagans vocalist) debut in the group. The collaboration began by mail Paul sending Mike his depressing music and Mike sending Paul his depressing lyrics.
This album collects long deleted vinyl only singles with rare tracks from obscure compilations. These tracks collate perfectly as each is a story and each is performed as such. There are two highlights; the first is ‘Two Up Two Down’ which is a true story of a kidnapping. The text includes the actual ransom note. The names were not changed. The second is ‘The Social Whirlpool’ which was written by Dave McManus but never recorded by The Electric Eels.
The album also features contributions from Jamie Klimek (ex – Mirrors and Styrene Money Band) and Charlotte Pressler (ex – Hearthan recording star), David Licht (ex Shockabilly) and Fred Lonberg-Holm (ex – John Zorn).
The sleeve is a 12 page booklet featuring new John Morton artwork (ex – Electric Eels) and the lyrics to each recording.