Saturday, February 20, 2021

X-tal - The Humboldt Desert 7" (1991, Alias)

Even for someone like myself who gorges himself on "fringe" bands from the last century, even my fringes have fringes, so to speak.  I'm not talking about weirdo/outsider purveyors, so much as artists I didn't have an adequate time to investigate due to be so deluged with everything else that dropped onto my plate.  I knew of San Fran's X-tal (by name anyway) when they were still active in the '90s, but didn't hear a note until well into the 2000s.  Looks like I neglected on a genuinely talented bunch who emanated shades of the Feelies and Velvets not to mention oodles of other substantive, left-off-the-dial types.  The deftly written "The Humboldt Desert" is a near toe-tapping ditty about...deforestation?  Strangely enough X-tal's formula works like a charm here, as well as the two songs on the other side of the coin.  "More Fun in the New World Order" is not a sardonic cover of rewrite of the X staple, rather a riveting 86-second original railing against U.S. involvement in the Gulf War.

If anything else, let these three songs be a taster of sorts for the remainder of X-tal's recorded output, now  available at your leisure on Bandcamp

A. The Humboldt Desert
B1. Damp in the Trenches
B2. More Fun in the New World Order


Josef Kloiber said...

X-tal this excellent band from S.F. which i have all, except for the first.
Thanks for this, Josef

jonder said...

X-Tal frontman J. Neo Marvin has a great "Punk Rock Scrapbook" with photos of local (Bay Area) and touring punk bands from 1978 onward.

His current duo, the Granite Countertops, made a covers album with some intriguing choices:

Andrew Christopher said...

Oh wow, thanks! Been ages since I've listened to them.