Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Trilobites - American TV (1989, Citadel)

I really had fun with the two Trilobites offerings I've thrown your way previously, namely the live document Turn it Around and an even more enticing follow-up ep, I Can't Wait For Summer to End.  These thoroughly unsung melodic punkers may have never made it onto my radar were it not for late '80s college radio, and I'm forever grateful for that.  American TV isn't a proper album, but could pass for one.  Instead it gathers four crucial and indelibly effective singles that play to every strength the Trilobites could muster.  When I commented on them previously I no doubt raised comparisons to the Godfathers, which I really thought were warranted, especially on the heels of the ...Summer to End ep.  American TV, on the other hand broadcasts transmissions from an earlier phase of the group when they were brandishing a more straightforward ethos, one that yielded swift and steady slammers like "Venus in Leather," "Amphetamine Dream," and "Jenny's Wake."  Like Aussie brethren Hoodoo Gurus, the 'bites bore an uncanny sardonic edge, albeit with a beefier sonic wallop.  They never made inroads in the States, and I just hope they made a dent on their own home turf, because in their prime these lads absolutely smoked.

01. Night of the Many Deaths
02. Venus in Leather
03. I Can See
04. Legacy of Morons
05. Dress in Black (live)
06. American TV
07. Jenny's Wake
08. Amphetamine Dream
09. Living by a Different Yardstick
10. Piece of Shit (live)


Jim H. said...

Great band!!! Somehow, here in Boston, i was able to grab all the original Trilobites 45's on Citadel Records when they came out, along with lots of other Aussie artists......i thought their major label release "Savage Mood Swing" from 1989 had some great songs on it, albeit a little more mainstream sounding......thanks!!!!

mki said...

very very cooooool!!! thanks!!

billybadbum said...

One of the best live bands we had here around that time...but they suffered from record label instability, releasing two singles on Citadel, a single and live mini-album on Waterfront, and another single on the ill-fated Big Time label (home to the Hoodoo Gurus and Huxton Creepers, among others) before signing to RooArt, Sony's 'indie' imprint/tax write-off, and suffering the label neglect that went along with that...they reformed in the mid-'90s to open for the Sex Pistols, but all entreaties to do so again have been to no avail.
Singer Mike Dalton is regularly seen on screen as a news reporter for Sydney's Ch 9; guitarist Martin Martini went on to cowpunk outfit Spurs For Jesus, and bassist Scott Leighton plays with the reformed Mushroom Planet, confrères of the Celibate Rifles who had two great singles on Hot back in the day.