Though Angst resided on the lower rungs of the SST food-chain, the two albums I posted last year, Mystery Spot and Mending Wall, proved to be remarkably popular with the Wilfully Obscure set. So when I spotted the predecessor to both of those at a recent record show I took the plunge. Lite Life was their first full-length (itself preceded by a 1983 ep). Angst's exceedingly loose and amateurish melange of the Minutemen and Feelies (likely not deliberate on either count) isn't particularly visceral, but the trio's goofball wit amusingly parlays itself into geopolitically themed missives like "This Gun's For You" and "Glad I'm Not in Russia." Better yet, when these folk-punks put their minds to it, they're genuinely rockin' on "The Poor (Shall Refuse)," and the more angular "It's All a Life." Below is Trouser Press's take on things.
The articulate lyrics on Lite Life again prove Angst's prowess
for turning politically informed ideas into mature and witty tunes.
Plain sound and no-frills arrangements underscore the preeminence of
function over form. "Glad I'm Not in Russia," delivered as dustbowl
country-rock, is a fairly incisive comment on the cultural divisions
between the superpowers; the skittish and busy dance-funk of "This Gun's
for You" mixes up several topics but stays sharp; personal emotional
issues ("Friends," "Turn Away," "Never Going to Apologize") receive the
same coldly objective analysis.
BTW, my copy of Life Lite was formally in the clutches of a radio station, so don't be the least bit surprised when you see call letters on the sleeve.
01. Love Dissolves
02. Turn Away
03. Just to Please You
04. Glad I'm Not in Russia
05. The Poor (Shall Refuse)
06. Lite Life
07. This Gun's For You
08. It's All a Life
09. Butler Grace
10. Never Going to Apologize
12. Ignorance in Bliss