The Neats were absolutely the draw for me. And much like the Neats, every other participant on here was based in Boston (or thereabouts). I wasn't familiar with anybody else on Propeller, but the concept of cassette-only compilations is as precious to me today as it was in the '80s. So, I went ahead and did the buy-it-now thing. Picked it up at the P.O. box a week or so later and had my way with it - or at least I assumed I would. Propeller lifted off with a bang by way of a delightfully serrated punk-pop salvo, "The Law" by Art Yard. Catchy as all-get-out I thought to myself, and I hadn't even gotten to the first Neats tune ("Do the Things") yet. I did a few minutes later and accompanying it was a discernibly squeaky noise, which only made itself more evident and aggravating as the tape progressed. After having similar results in the other well of my cassette deck and even my car stereo, I chalked the problem up to being a worn-out tape. I never asked for a refund because I had no desire to return it. It was still a great little curio.
As it turns out, I learned this week that all copies of Propeller suffered from the identical defect as mine. Per comments on Discogs:
Yes, all copies are defective, but it's not damage, per se, it has to do
with a flaw in the binder between the magnetic surface and the backing.
Even if you can play the first couple of songs, eventually the surface
starts peeling away from the backing and you get this screeching noise.
It goes onto mention that the master tapes were lost in a fire...but someone must have made a backup, because a corrected version of the entire album recently found it's way online from an unknown source. It was my original intention to share Propeller with you many years ago, but the faulty condition of my tape would have made that impossible. Now that it's thankfully been remedied, not so much.
Ironically, the band I mentioned a few paragraphs back, Art Yard, were the least artsiest of the bunch here. Nonetheless, idiosyncratic and art-damaged post-punk reigns on Propeller - some dissonant and tuneless (CCCP TV and Wild Stares), but elsewhere, V: and Dangerous Birds exude comparatively warmer hues. As for the Neats tunes, "Do the Things" and the live "Another Broken Dream" are fairly nascent and formative, but if you enjoyed their albums on Ace of Heart Records I wouldn't hesitate to partake in these tracks.
01 Art Yard - The Law
02 People In Stores - Cat and Mouse
03 Neats - Do The Things
04 Chinese Girlfriends - Let's Be Creative
05 CCCP-TV - Follow It Through
06 V: - Ich Liebe
07 White Women - Midge
08 Wild Stares - No Escape
09 Lori Green - Town Without Pity
10 V: - In The Suburbs Of The City Of Pain
11 Wild Stares - China Song
12 CCCP-TV - Downtown Address
13 Dangerous Birds - Catholic Boy
14 Lori Green - She Won't Hear You_Pink Dress
15 People In Stores - Cheap Detective
16 Art Yard - Something In Your Eyes
17 Neats - Another Broken Dream