Album Review

Cravats, The – “Cravats In Toytown : Double Volume, The” – [Overground Records]

Thurston Hunger   3/22/2013   A Library, CD

Prepare to love the Cravats as much as I do. Went hunting for
“Colossus Tunes Out” but found this recent repackage/reimagining.
KFJC is lucky enough to have the orig 1980 12″ of “In Toytown”
but this comes with a bunch of bonus bouncers (“I Am The Dreg”
alone was worth plunking my pennies down) and the second disk
has another Penny (Rimbaud) cranking up the compression & inserting
snippets and a right cheeky little Alice who must have fell in
through the CD centerhole). There’s more variety in the Cravats’
bag of art-punk tricks than’ll fit in this review. Excellent
scurries of Svor Naan’s sax, gutter-busting basslines from The Shend,
whose irate vocals hit the little red spot, or at other times get
wobbled up in a fine weird way. Guitarist R.R. Dallaway can rev
up tense chord rumble (X.M.P. which features The Shend shouting
“What now, Little Man?”) or skudge the song and sax along (like on
“Situations Vacant”). Drummer David Bennet adds the right amount
of hyperactivity via the drums. This album rarely idles, truly
exceptional rock, with the oddball attitude, effects, sampled
sounds and lyrics (“Gordon” the dada tale of a mama’s boy
and dig the vocoder heavy breathing on the second disk!)
Penny’s remix, is far from Crass, it’s devoted and demented
(the sax sounds turns into an army of kazoos) and the peppery
bits tossed on top worked in kind of a Negativland way. But
plenty for the impure purist to peruse on the first disk.
Do not miss.

-Thurston Hunger

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