Welcome to Review Revue, where every Thursday I dig through the KEXP stacks to share DJ reviews and comments written on the covers of LPs (and occasionally CDs) in the ’80s and ’90s, when the station was called KCMU, the DJs were volunteers, and people shared their opinions on little white labels instead of the internet.
I don't know why, but I don't think I've covered many bands from Philadelphia in my decade-plus working this beat -- or at least many bands that I knew were from Philly, or that half of the DJs commenting made a big deal of pointing out were from Philly, as they do with Bunnydrums' PKD. (One exception being the much-gushed-about Nausea, by Executive Slacks, which was still two years in the future here.) I've probably written about more bands from New Zealand than the City of Brotherly Love, and while that's not necessarily a fair comparison since one is a country and the other is a city, maybe you see what I mean anyway. (Sorry I'm feeling a little rambly, I've been reading a lot of Winnie-the-Pooh to my toddler.)
Bunnydrums were most definitely a band from Philadelphia, and despite their short career they seem to have made waves across the continent, riling up DJs in Seattle and playing with the likes of Pere Ubu, REM, Bauhaus, Colin Newman, Tuxedomoon, Gang of Four, The Cult, Alan Vega, and Pylon. I don't know what the former Bunnydrummers have been up to in the past few decades, but PKD was re-issued in 2011 by Metropolis Records -- mastered from the vinyl, so even if you buy a CD or a download you can hear it as our pals at KCMU did lo those many years ago.
"What the heck's in Philadelphia & where do these bands hide? An entire LP from our pals, including some stuff from the previous EP -- instrumentals as well as some vocals. Very rhythmic, funky at times, and almost English sounding (good or bad?)."
"Crawl! Again! Yah!"
"That's what I meant, Marsh!"
"Almost as good as The Nazz. (who were also from Philly)"
"Philly's got it, check out: I'd Rather be in Philly (compilation) and TMI 015 (compilation). Also check out: Mutant Pop (compilation), on Fast Products label."
"Don't, however, bother checking out Philly itself."
"If the asshole who stole the LP even thinks about stealing this one, I hope his/her genitals disintegrate into a pustulent mass of gangrenous flesh."
"Ugh! (I mean, the song -- it's pretty good!)"
"UGH! [smiley face]"
"'Crawl' has one of those sneaky scratches in it."
"'PKD' or 'Peaked'? [the former, I think] Good Bunny Doo."
This week's Review Revue revisits Billy Bragg's 1984 LP Brewing up with Billy Bragg. See what KCMU DJs thought back in the day.