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.
We've had a nice run here of bands you're probably well acquainted with, but it's time to dive back into the strange and obscure work that made up so much of KCMU's broadcasts. Breather, as far as I can tell, was a two-person project based in San Francisco in the mid-'80s, which released one album -- Loves and Disloves, the topic of today's post. Based on the overall positive response at KCMU, it's sad to see the album and band didn't seem to gain much momentum, although if you poke around the internet, you can find some devoted fans out there. You can also find Robert Bolman, aka Bliss Blast, the primary creative force behind Breather, dropping by here and there to let people know he appreciates their appreciation.
Based on what little I was able to find, I don't believe Bolman makes music anymore, but he may still have copies of Loves and Disloves if you want to track him down and drop him a line. Or at least he did in 2010.
"Really scary and slow . . . probably quite depressing to the average person. From S.F."
"Some great sounds on this record."
"Face-melting music." [I wasn't reading much music criticism in 1985 -- was this phrase as overused back then as it has been for the past decade or so? Or was this one of the first documented uses of "face-melting" to describe music?]
[Drawing of melting face.]
"'Bout time. w/Antipop."
". . . depressing to average person from S.F.? Hmmm!?"
"Are there any average persons in San Francisco???"
"Yes, and they are all depressed and sad because they own this record."
"GLASS as percussion!! YES!!"
"Voted 'Best New Industrial Band' by Weenie Reader Magazine!"
"Fuckin' awesome piece of vinyl."
"'Lovely is a strange adjective to describe this record. Mugsy, can you pick a better one?"
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.