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.
As we fold up our fine black linens, stub out our clove cigarettes, and close the books on another World Goth Day, I am inspired to share something from one of the Pacific Northwest's few homegrown goth-adjacent acts, Vancouver's own Skinny Puppy. I don't know whether to actually call them a goth band - I don't want to get myself into trouble with any goth purists by declaring anything to be goth without 100% certainty - but they certainly share many attributes with that scene, and based on my own experience with goths, there is an overlap in the fanbase, if nothing else. Sadly, this long-running and prolific group was not a big favorite at KCMU in the mid-'80s.
If the comments on their debut album were contentious, this, their third, was almost universally scorned among the DJ population. Mix in a DJ comment scandal that I don't totally understand, though, and you've got some fun reading, anyway. (Note to Nivek, cEvin, and the gang: please don't take it personally; this was a long time ago.)
"Take equal parts bad Cab. Volt, Portion Control, and the most obvious industrial music [illegible], send them to Vancouver and this is what you get. Nothing new. This may've been invigorating at one [time?] but now it's zip. Destined to be fashionable and popular with the Aqua-Net/Miss Clairol crowd."
"This is sooooo scary. Yuck!"
"Anybody able to guess what I think of this one? -DR"
"Anybody care? Sorry - I could not resist. I do know that this is pure garbage, and I bet Dave agrees."
"Boy, my hair wants to turn black and get all big and tumble down the back of my head and [scribbled out, but I can make out the word 'pretentious']."
"On the weekend. I'm 'Industrial.'"
"Boy howdy boy howdy I don't get it. How can they not see how dumb this is."
"Cevin Kay's such a dork. Garbage garbage garbage."
"Read the comment above by Phil West. [The 'garbage garbage garbage' comment.] Now refer to his comment on Tear Garden EP of 10/86. Back when he was Alison Key. [Whaaa? Man, I wish I had thought to dig up that Tear Garden EP when I was at the station last.]"
"ATTENTION ALL DJ's" [Arrow pointing to the above comment.]
"We should file all comments on the Zenith for quick reference." [Man, I don't know what the Zenith was, but that sure would have made my job a lot easier.]
"Yeah you sure did - he was cool. Now he's a dork." [What did he say? What did he saaaayyy?]
"How quickly things change in Phil West's little corner of the world."
"Let's start a Hate Campaign!"
"Not very original, but very danceable."