Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lotus STP - Million Dollar Ring (1987, Jargon)

I guess I'll introduce this by noting that on the back sleeve of Million Dollar Ring, Lotus STP are sitting in front of a wall with a Joy Division poster clearly hanging from it. Completely unfamiliar to their music at the time, I thought this would give me some sort of clue as to what I was in for. I was wrong. To give you an inkling of what their music was all about, I thought I'd share some reviews of the album that I recently found archived on the website for Midnight Records, who were in charge of distributing MDR. As for my own thoughts this suburban Rochester, NY rotating cast of characters seemed to have an affection for Wall of Voodoo, exemplified by the rockabilly-lite tinges that color this album, but never over power it. In fact, sparse flourishes of sweet, jangly guitar lines a la Let’s Active waft in and out, but often clash with mouthpiece Stan Merrell. At any rate, here are what the "experts" had to say:

from Option, Sept 1987:

Eight piece garage combo from upstate New York. For several of its members, Lotus STP is just one project among many. Nevertheless, the singer's got some pipes with a David Johansen presence, and the band supports him with a Doors/Pebbles/bleak 80's racket that ain't visionary, but is at least affecting. Garageheads should probably take note.
from Goldmine, August 1987:

This Rochester garage combo won't win points for originality, yet the music is delivered with enough teenage angst to warrant some attention. Actually, Lotus Stp is probably a lot of fun in a club, as they sorta sound like a blend of '60's Rolling Stones and mid-70's Max's Kansas City regulars. Lead vocalist Stan Merrell has a schizoid style in that he either sounds like Jim Morrison or David Johansen impersonating Mick Jagger. This is the kind of platter which will probably improve with age (or when Goldmine is ready to do a retrospective on Lotus STP.)

01. Rockslide Rock
02. I Got Questions
03. Broke Down
04. Tell Her
05. Voices
06. Union
07. Told You
08. Do You Remember?
09. With Me
10. Driving the Wrong Car
11. All Night Long


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