Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Flies - Get Wise (1984, Homestead)

The Flies were denizens of Massachusetts (quite possibly Boston) who caused a minor raucous with this album and a subsequent ep.  Nat Freedberg sings in a semi-nonchalant Dylan-ish drawl, which he conveys at a rapid fire-clip on much of the first half of Get Wise.  At heart, The Flies had their collective feet firmly anchored to the garage, but it's Freedberg's ringing, melodically penetrating fretboard runs that imbue "Something Wrong With Me," "Put All That Behind Me Now," and "I've Got Something" with something especially sweet and succulent.   In fact, ditch the vocals, and the Flies almost sound like a prequel to Chicago's unrelated Eleventh Dream Day.  Renditions of the Stones "2000 Light Years From Home" and Carl Perkins "Everybody's Trying to be My Baby" (popularized by the Beatles of course) could pass for Flies originals were it not for the lyrics, truly putting a unique spin on them.  Click the Get Wise link above for Robert Christgau's assessment of the album.  BTW, Freedberg would later become a Titanic, and in the '90s part and parcel of the Upper Crust.

It wasn't until I finished converting this wax into ones and zeros last night that I discovered that Down Underground blog is hosting Get Wise as well, plus their Get Burned ep.  This rip is taken from my own personal copy.  They refer to Get Wise as an ep, but with ten tracks I beg to differ.  Not to split hairs or anything.

01. Put All That Behind Me Now
02. Endless Summer
03. She'd Be Lost
04. Jesus Christ
05. 2000 Light Years From Home
06. All Hung Up
07. The Only One
08. Something Wrong With Me
09. I've Got Something
10. Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby



slovenlyeric said...

I really enjoyed the Flies records. As you mentioned the Titanics came later and they actually had an interesting heavy metal meets punk sound. They isued one disc on Taang! I there were a couple of recordings later on as the Satanics as well. I think that at some point the Satanics was 2 of the 3 guys from the Flies.

spavid said...

If anyone is interested you can read a blurb about the Satanics here:


jim said...

This is mighty enjoyable. I've been looking for this for a while since I lost my vinyl copy years ago.

I also picked up the Reeve Oliver Stuff that you posted a while ago. Do you happen to have any of the Olivelawn 7"s I can't find any of the non-album stuff anywhere online.

spavid said...

I think I may have an Olivelawn 7" somewhere. If so, I'll try to get it up in the near future.

tiocharlie said...

Undoubtedly, Gaunt remains for me, a very special band, minus the voice cast is impressive voice of Jerry and the sound of the group as particularly dirty.
Thanks for the post!!!!


Sin lugar a dudas, Gaunt sigue siendo para mi, una banda muy especial, se echade menos la voz impresionante voz de Jerry y el sonido tan particularmente sucio del grupo.
Gracias por el post!!!!


neilnumberman said...

Still listen to this all the time! Does anybody have any live footage or pics of the band?? (Besides the album art?)

Unknown said...

Thanks - I have my vinyl cppy of Get Wise up in the attic. I saw the Flies at the 2d location of the Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill in 1986. I spent the show dancing with a nice gal that identified herself as the band's manager. What a throwdown. Great time, terrific album. Thanks!

Mr_Crass said...

Could you please re-up?

spavid said...

Just updated the link. Thanks for alerting us.

Terry Evans said...

That link isn't currently working. I would love to get this album if it's still available somewhere. Thx!

spavid said...

The link has been updated.

naz said...

thank you very, very much for this one!