Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Uncalled Four - s/t ep (1990, El Goodo)

Well, when I did a query on these folks I brought up references to a current act named The Uncalled Four that are unrelated to this one, as well as another combo of the same moniker from the '60s...but alas, nothing relevant to the nearly three decade past Oakland quartet this entry concerns.  I suppose you could usher these fellows in the collegiate power-pop neighborhood (with one of those contingents being more applicable than the other depending on the song).  For the first couple of tunes, the Miracle Legion might be a loose reference point, and the guitars even resemble the Smithereens here and there.  "Set Me Straight" is way more potent, sparking a vibrant flurry of bash 'n pop power chords.  Things conclude on a curious note with the 88-second "Deleted" that juxtapositions from an acoustic ballad to something startlingly more combustible.

01. Bodie
02. Butterfly
03. Set Me Straight
04. Another Half Pint
05. Deleted



George Leroy Tirebiter said...

The cover is an homage to the 1978 Gang of Four "Damaged Goods" EP picture sleeve, and of course not at all related to Uncalled Four's music, which sounds just like you described it. Cheers!

spavid said...

Knew it looked familiar, but wasn't the Gang of Four record sleeve yellow?

George Leroy Tirebiter said...

A shade of red: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stillunusual/23250352275/

spavid said...

I see what you mean! Thanks.

Failsafe said...

that's a clever band name

Unknown said...

There is an article in the Gavin Report ISSUE 1853 APRIL 26, 1991:
THE UNCALLED FOUR - Oakland's Newest
Hitmakers (El Goodo, P.O.Box 31563,
Oakland, CA 94604)
Of late, Oakland has made a name for itself
as the home of hip hop (Too Short, Digital
Underground, 415) and rip-off (M.C. Hammer),
but it's also host to a thriving contingent
of underground rock bands, one of
whom, the Uncalled Four (don't pun-ish me),
has just released a debut EP. While the band
has two principle songwriters, and while
each of the five cuts remains distinct from
the others, the Uncalled Four's zesty energy,
buzzy garage sensibility and affinity for a
keen hook unifies their material and pretty
much cements their appeal. "Bodie" conjures
visions of prairie grass and dust storms
and accurately reflects the lawlessness,
hopelessness and desolation of the ghost
town for which it is named. My favorite
track, "Butterfly," boasts a dead -on hook,
breathy Micky Dolenz vocals, and a rather
odd take on love/hate relationships: "Well I
don't like you/But I like the way you do/
The butterfly," and it comes complete -with -
diagram so you can improve the form of
your stroke. The band takes its garage leanings
on an Australian bent with "Set Me
Straight," imbues a bittersweet ballad with a
country tinge (a la Jason & The Scorchers)
with "Another Half Pint," and jumps from a
pretty acoustic melody to a NomeansNo
bass -propelled workout in "Deleted." Not
bad for a bunch of guys from the East Bay.
Check it out. SEANA BARUTH