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EDGAR LEND’s getting’ stranger all the time

(LP+Digital, Konkord)

Everytime I listened to this album in the last weeks there was something nagging at me. After the second time I knew it was some comparison. After the third time I knew it was in the voice –and it is not Jello Biafra never minding the nasality of it. After the fourth time I knew it was also in the recklessly carelessly distorted guitar and the Sixties trash beats. And then with the fifth time it snapped even before the guitars set in after the first bars of sixties soul beat on solo drums. What I was heading for was Wild Billy Childish! Edgar Lend has got to be an illicit son or at least nephew of the old, legendary English Trash-Beat master. Distortion, incredibly simple yet effective melodies, and over all the wild trash of oh so badly yet oh so fittingly perfect (read imperfect) record sounds should be enough of corroborating evidence to base this judgement on. Fast, stomping and over before you can blink an eye, Edgar Lend takes on a wild ride through those parts of the history of music that always made do with three or four chords total.

I think it is important that in every decade there is at least a handful of bands or musicians like these around. (The best of the last decade probably was Superhelicopter and their unquestionable Fuck You sermons.) Willing to rip the piss out of a guitar-chord-progression with utter ignorance of technique or the fine nuances but where the main thing is to pour pounds of energy. Sixties beat always had a lot of that. “Take A Knife” starts with the same relentless energy the Stooges had, and then it gets faster and more country, yet all through the first half of the album I have stinging flashbacks of Thee Mighty Ceasars or Thee Headcoats. When Lend wails “I need your love” or “Have mercy” that is just as good as the first EPs of The Animals or early Yardbirds, meaning not the original blues, but the best a young, white city boy can do. (Just don’t take the “I need love” scream at the last song for a measure.) The second half of the album is more diverse, with the highlight to me being the 100% country trash ballad “I will die, my darling, I will die”, sung in the same voice as an old Dave Dudley or Tom T. Hall and with an impeccable southern accent reminding of Lester Flatts and friends. The song “SPoS” right after sets the record straight again with its fast 1/2-beat and half punk / half beat melody.

There is more formal craziness to count off: Edgar Lend played and recorded all instruments by himself, which is a feat in itself, taking into account the technical problems of trashy pounding rhythms. This album will only be released on vinyl (which comes accompanied by a CD) but then also as a download. Guess these days there isn’t anything you can do about that. And finally Edgar Lend has named Lux Interior of the Cramps as his only idol, which is fitting in some ways. Because these songs and these recordings are just as much about attitude as they are about singing songs; about not giving a fuck and about taking the piss if necessary.

If you want to take a breath of fresh air that comes from the same realms that those Back From The Grave compilations came from or those Born Bad (The Cramps again!) compilations or those crazy Country-Rockabilly-Trash compilatons you can buy for a Euro on a flea market, then this is the place for you to go. I grew up on these heavily (and Las Vegas Grind and Girls in the Garage, but those don’t count so much around here…) and I still listen to them from time to time. Here those are mixed with heavily distorted guitars, so what can I ask for on top? It is over after not even half an hour or so, but then Creedence’ “Green River” is also a very short album, so fucking what?