Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Harvey Milk Pleaser

Sometimes a record is so good, it brings a smile to your face. Not just a grin, but a full on, I am about to piss my pants laughing euphoria. The kind of joy that makes you want to drive fast and air drum as you blow through red lights. Pleaser is one of those records. Somewhere in the late 80s/early 90s, US post punk and pre indie rock heavy hitters like Bitch Magnet and Dino Jr hinted at the brilliance of classic rock bombast. Rapeman coverred ZZ Top and connected the dots between US rock groove brilliance and anglo post punk angst, and Jesus Lizard launched a thousand Travis Bean toting hopefuls in their wake.
Harvey Milk just soaked it all up and spat it back out like a mouth full of warm Pabst. By the time they put this out they were renowned (at least in Boston) as purveyors of some super slow damaged sludge. Epic, heavy, harsh, and glacial. Totally demented. This was pre Sleep, pre Sunn, pre whatever. In that framework rather than slow dooowwwwwnnnnn even further, they dropped this jaw dropping party starter. Echos of all your older brother's record collection can be heard as they blow through 9 tracks of power anthems. Think AC/DC not Slint "US Force", "Get it up and Get it on", "Shame", and on and on.
I am sure there are some tongues in some cheeks on the lyrics(which are delivered in a muffled Mule'ish style), but this is not shtick or retro-goof. It kills it.
If you missed it on Reproductive Records, you can thank Relapse for reissuing the entire Harvey Milk catalog which you have already bought to enjoy the extensive bonus tracks.
The bonus live on the radio disc is a nice walk down memory lane to late nights upstairs at the Middle East and long drunk walks home after too many Newcastles-followed by too early walks to work and barely hanging on listening to Breakfast of Champions and Late Risers Club.
You can't be blamed for being too young to have seen this band when they were around or missing the first run of CDs, but you can definitely be blamed for being too stupid to get these reissues now that hey have been served up on a silver platter.

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