Friday, March 21, 2014

Angst - Mending Wall (1986, SST)

By popular demand, I was able to find another Angst album for all of you who were apparently floored with the Mystery Spot LP I shared a few weeks ago.  So far, I've only had one concerted listen invested in Mending Wall, but holy shit, the commencing "Some Things (I Can't Get Used To)" is a surging, melodic indie-rock salvo if I've ever heard one!  While nothing else on this platter holds a candle to that beaut, Mending... is at least reliable in the lackadaisical, homegrown confines Angst chose to situate themselves in.  Wonder what the experts at Trouser Press had to say about this one?  Wonder no more:

Stylistic variety also underpins Mending Wall, another dose of Angst's tense and rough-edged musical simplicity, enhanced this time with noticeably stronger vocal harmonies by (Jon) Risk and (Joe) Pope. The lyrics are less specific and more thoughtful; individual alienation, confusion and anomie are transformed into powerful, uniquely directed songs. A cover of Paul Simon's "Richard Cory," however, goes wrong, pruning the melody and bare-bonesing it into an ugly ghost of the original.

01. Some Things (I Can't Get Used To)
02. Standing Here Alone
03. All of a Sudden
04. The Burning Light
05. 127 Years
06. I Oblige
07. Richard Cory
08. Close the Door
09. I'd Rather Sleep
10. You Never
11. All Day Long
12. One by One


Harold Raisin III said...

I've always really loved this album. It's like Zen indie rock. All the fat pared away leaving a tough sinewy core. I think "Richard Cory" works for the same reason the rest of the album works - it's nonchalant but still edgy. I wouldn't doubt that these guys were inspired by Dylan's early electric albums. Lot's of bands tried to sound like this but not too many were able to be earnest and detached at the same time. I think they fit right in with their SST label mates like the Husker's & Puppets.

Mason said...

Thanks again - SST is always good for me.

Duluoz said...

"Some Things" has been ripped off (to popular effect) by modern indie band Cloud Nothings for their song "Stay Useless." I'd spoken to their lead singer/songwriter after a show and forgot to ask if he was aware of the similarities, but we did talk about his love for Wipers and Dead Moon, so he's at least a fan of West Coast 80's punk stuff.

Just a side story. I'm pretty partial to everything Angst put out, but their debut LP is still their shining achievement.

KevinB said...

Thanks!! Mystery Spot blew me away. can't believe I never heard of this band.

KevinB said...
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Smurfkiller said...

Wow! Holy Crap, haven't heard this since 1986-87 Senior year of high school, working in the HS darkroom!