Well, what do you know, another compilation! Rest assured, this is a justified posting just as the Dicks one was. I know you were horribly worried that this wasn’t the case. I’ve had this on my computer for quite some time, thinking it would be something I would never come across in real life, but LO AND BEHOLD, I saw a copy of it sittin’ around this weekend for 8 bucks!
Smells Like Smoked Sausages is double 7″ release from the Sub Pop singles club, serving as the February/March 1992 installment- each disc counts for a month even though it was released as one package. Now, here comes the justification- this particular entry in the singles club is comprised entirely of bands on Amphetamine Reptile Records, and none of the songs are available ANYWHERE ELSE (except for the Helmet song)! That’s right- if you call within the next 10 minutes, all eight of these gems can be yours with fifteen EASY payments of just 54 cents (I’ll make a 10 cent profit)!
So, yeah, this isn’t Punk-O-Rama 27 where everything is already on other records- it’s just here, and it’s comprised of bands who have some really fun, noisy songs, but full-lengths that are mostly a chore to listen to (except for the Cows discography and the first Helmet album, WHICH I SWEAR I’LL REVIEW). Even if you do find some of the bands’ full lengths worthwhile, this can at least be the stepping stone for you to dive right into owning the entire Surgery discography (I’m pretty sure no one has ever done this).
Honestly, all of the songs on here are great, except for the Boss Hog “I’m Jon Spencer’s other band and I still play stupid, kitschy moronic fake blues” entry. It starts off with a Tar song, “Deep Throw,” which has a surprisingly good combination of noise with a melodic chorus, most of which cannot be said about their other releases (I own several of their albums, I don’t know why), and then immediately jumps into Helmet covering the Melvins’ “Oven,” which is GREAT, and this version sounds (essentially) exactly the same, thus making it great and pointless at the same time. Also thrown in at one point or another, you have two efforts in some straight, standard AmRep rock stuff by Surgery and Vertigo, again made enjoyable because of the length of their appearances. There’s a spacey Helios Creed offering, that worthless Boss Hog shit, and, saving the best for last, the Cows performing an overly noisy version of Leadbelly’s “My Girl,” and a really funny and disturbing entry by God Bullies called “Bullet,” which is unrelated to the Misfits tune, but does involve a lot of murderin’.
And there you have it! Little did you know that Vienna sausages were actually modeled after the smell and taste of Page Hamilton’s penis.
Shellac’s first release was The Rude Gesture: A Pictorial History, which among other things (one other song), included “The Billiard Player Song” (perhaps their best song to date) and “The Rambler Song.” The latter of which still kicked ass- as much as a song comprised of one chord and a bunch of feedback could, anyway.
This release contains an alternate version of “The Rambler Song,” released several years later, and holy hell is it awesome. Produced even more minimally than the original, which seems impossible considering Shellac recordings are all incredibly minimal, this version sounds like it was recorded after an inspired by a marathon session of listening to ZZ Top’s Tres Hombres. I’m fucking serious, go back and listen to that album, specifically focusing on “Sheik” and “Master of Sparks” and tell me that it doesn’t resemble that album at all- I dare you. I dare you at the expense of losing nothing. This new production, coupled with adding a few extra notes to the song somehow simultaneously makes you feel like sportin’ some cheap sunglasses, yet feeling oddly emotional at the same time- and the song is just about a goddamn car! AND THERE IS A KEYBOARD PART AT ONE POINT! None of these things are contained in normal Shellac songs, which is why I thought it was worth highlighting.
I don’t really know much about Mule, except that some of them were in the Laughing Hyenas (I have one of their albums) a few years before. Apparently Mule is bluesier. “Beauteous” is produced with the same vibe as “Rambler Song,” except the vocalist is a little more nasal-y and traditionally blues-ish sounding. Apparently it was also recorded before, but basically sounds the same except with a different mix. I didn’t really write this review for that one, though. Sorry, Mule. Not a bad song though!
Ramble around right here, pal: