Friday, June 19, 2009

Band of Susans - Blessing and Curse ep (1986, Trace Elements)

Here it is, the vintage, debut wax from perhaps the most maelstrom-friendly co-ed band to ever grace the face of the earth, Band of Susans. Recorded before their most renown member, Page Hamilton was part of the lineup, and just as notably, when there was no less than three “Susans” (surnames and roles: Stenger on bass/vocals, Tallman on guitars, and Lyall on guitars/vocals) fleshing out 3/6 of the ranks, the Blessing and Curse ep is so far as I can tell the only B of S recording not to get a digital release (however a portion of the tracks did appear on the group’s double CD anthology, Wired for Sound). Based in New York, the Susans opted out of the prevailing and often embarrassing trends of the era, and instead elected to pursue the amped-out six-string swath laid out by such across-the-pond acts as Killing Joke and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. The bristling yet sweetly dissonant “Hope Against Hope,” and “Sometimes,” pack plenty of firepower here, but would be doubly outdone on the scorching Love Agenda and The Word and the Flesh albums that would follow. Brilliant. On a more trivial note, there’s an alternate jacket for Blessing, specifically a guitar gracing a plain white background. I believe my copy of the sleeve is the original, and in my opinion, less flattering incarnation.

01. Hope Against Hope
02. You Were an Optimist
03. Sometimes

04. Where Have All the Flowers Gone


sapristi said...

thanx, this blog is awesome!

Ace M. said...

Spavid, the alternate sleeve you mention is the UK issue 12" on Blast First Records. There was a version of Hope Against Hope on the first album, but it's not as good as this one - thanks for posting!

NashSpaceRocket said...

Of the 4 tracks on this EP.
1 - 'hope against hope', the same recording was remixed for the 1st album, it's not a different recording, just a different mix.
2 - 'you were an optimist', unique to this ep, they re-recorded this for the 1st album.
3 + 4 these versions were bonus tracks on the Blast first CD issue.

Unknown said...

I like the Band of Susans post. Thanks for keeping this stuff alive and sharing. Most of the entries on here are very obscure. Is Band of Susans as obscure as some of your entries? I play the vinyl every so often, anytime I want to shake the paint off the walls. It is one of my favorite EPs.

El Isabelino said...

Thanks and Saludos.

spavid said...

The link has been updated.

Unknown said...

Great site. Went to see Susan Stenger give am artist talk last night, awesome!

aj said...

link is down, can u re upload please?