Friday, September 02, 2005:

The Screaming Blue Messiahs

The Screaming Blue Messiahs -- Lie Detector
The Screaming Blue Messiahs -- Jesus Chrysler Drives a Dodge
The Screaming Blue Messiahs were an 80s rock trio, probably best known for "I Wanna Be a Flinstone," off Bikini Red; their style ranged from hard rock to blues rock to pop-punk. Gun Shy (1986) was an interesting start, good enough but more promising than fully accomplished; they followed that with Bikini Red (1987), which was more consistently great; and then came Totally Religious, which struk me as almost as good, and then they disbanded. Odd, that.

"Lie Detector" is a fun poppy track about a man challenging his S.O. to hook him up to a lie detector and figure out what's true and what's not. The delays and echo effects are all fine, but what sells me on it is the tempo and the melody; it's exuberant and catchy, inviting you to sing along.

"Jesus Chrysler Drives a Dodge" is another track putting rest to the age-old question "What Would Jesus Drive?" (Ministry hinted that he might drive a hot rod, though alternate answers include a Plymouth, Pontiac, or Geo, and a hybrid). Personally, I think he'd live in Europe and use a bike.

More manic goodness on this one: a rhythm section barrelling past, and some great wailing distorted guitar coming in periodically.

These two are digitized from a new copy of the Bikini Red LP I picked up on eBay; the album's out of print. It's solid work, work that's stood the last twenty years well, and I'm puzzled why it's out of print but also willing to give up trying to understand the reasonings of music execs. Other standouts on Bikini Red are "I Wanna Be a Flintstone," "I Can Speak American," and the title track. Actually, I like them all, even the closing "Waltz" (though the guitar sounds a bit out of tune).

I might post a couple more by The Screaming Blue Messiahs, from their other albums, if there's any interest in it.

update: Jon informs me that Good and Gone was the Messiahs' debut, and that there is also a Peel Sessions on vinyl and an official live CD release.

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