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.
You guys, I still have so much to learn. It's overwhelming sometimes. I first saw this album cover over a year ago and thought "huh, that looks kind of cool and ridiculous," but the name didn't ring a bell and I never quite got around to it. Then today I finally turned my gaze toward Saturn Strip, and it turns out Alan Vega was one half of the legendary electro-proto-art-punk band Suicide! Vega had a long and storied solo career, lasting until after his death in 2016 – his final album, It, was released in 2017. This album, his third, was produced by Ric Ocasek and includes some musical contributions from Al Jourgensen and why on earth have I not heard this magical slab of vinyl??? I gotta say, usually the KCMU gang is incredibly informative and helpful in their comments, but this time around they kind of let me down. Still, they at least help point our ears toward a few key tracks.
"More upbeat than his previous work . . .the lack of death-like atmosphere seems to take something out . . . still, some very good tracks."
"The single, 'Video Babe,' stands out."
"'American Dreamer' interesting."
"'Je T'adore' - nice ballad."
"He sure looks stupid . . ." [No, you look stupid!]
"Anybody who does a 'Hot Chocolate' cover is either sick or . . . brilliant?"
This week's Review Revue spotlights the album The Axeman's Jazz by Beasts of Bourbon. See what KCMU DJs thought back in the day.