Wrap Around Cool review by Howard Druckman
Remember teenage suburbia? Getting shitfaced drunk for the first time at 19, watching TV until your eyeballs got singed with a technicolor carving knife, eating at those horrible plastic fast food joints?
Well, sprung from the well manicured lawns of Montreal's West Island (my home town's equivalent of Scarborough) comes the Terminal Sunglasses to remind you of what it's all about.
In a perfect match of form and content, these guys are the quintessentional garage band. Lead singer Chris Burns mostly snarles in an obnoxious off hand way. He sounds like a whiney snotty bastard, which works to maximum effect for suburban complaints like "Could that be People Crossing My Lawn" and "Breakfast in a Box".
Lead guitarist Lawrence Joseph ranges from severe angular dementia to fills that can only be described as tasty. Foster Grant plays a solid bass, but George A's "search and destroy" drums are 90% search, as he misses the backbeat alot. Especially whan the band changes tempo in mid-song, which they do every two minutes.
But that's great. In the sloppy but wild tradition of the Blues Magoos Tobacco Road, the Count Five's Psychotic Reaction (covered in a great minimalist tradition here) this is garage/punk/psychedelic trash for now people. The Sunglasses mix it up, from early Velvet Underground style sludge (their biggest influence, judging from the guitars ion this platter) to Jefferson Airplane freakout guitar, in ska-style uptempo shuffles to REM type drones. Its all cheap, stupid, immature fun, and like the title says, cool.
Antenna Dilemma is a gentle rocker that tackles the constant reselling of the flotsam and jetsam of pop culture - Big Bird, JR, Reagen, etc. It begins with Bob Barker taped right off the box. In a better application of the same trick, "The Coyote Finally Wins" offers several "Beep Beeps!" as Burns lovingly describes the episode we would all like to see. They even quote the theme song in the bridge! Inspired.
The standout is "Eating Barbie's Feet", a six minute psycho "Sister Ray" trip that includes mass laughter, groaning, references to a pengiun, slowed-down vocals, and for all I know, backwards tapes and live defecation. They know what to do with noise.
At one point, Burns punches in to ask "Where are all the record company execs, like, offering us big bucks?" That alone in priceless.
Thanks, and recognition of good-bad taste should go to Deja Voodoo, who released this record on their own OG label. The Voodoo offer hope for the Montreal underground. If there's any justice, this record will sell a million copies. If not, well, at least us Trash fanatics will be amply sated for a bit.