Saturday, August 13, 2022

Popdefect - Ode to Billie Joe ep (1987, Heart Murmur)

On the strength of an earlier ep, 1983's Playing For Time, I was compelled to investigate this L.A. three-piece further, for a relatively modest financial investment anyway. Though it strikes me as being something of a novelty the apparent "draw" here is a cover of Bobbie Gentry's fatality ballad, "Ode to Billie Joe."  Though the execution of said song is more than satisfactory thanks in part to some irresistibly jangly fretboard runs, it's hard to see how a rendition of such an aging chestnut could woo ears of '80s hipsters, but whatever.  This 10"'s two mildly sardonic flip-sides are more in keeping with what the garage-leaning Popdefect are about, sort of a low-rent  Meat Puppets peppered with glints of early Replacements. Perhaps nothing here could be deemed "crucial" in the canon of vintage indie rock, yet I was still impressed with what I heard to usher these songs into the digital realm.   

A. Ode to Billie Joe
B1. Devil in My Zip Code
B2. Futility Train

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