The first Sun City Girls singles collection You’re Never Alone with a Cigarette
showcased the tightness of the group, spanning their realm of incorporated folk sounds and solid execution. This new release focuses more on the Girls humor, with a litany of shorter tracks showcasing the Uncle Jim sounds of upfront perverted tales that will leave your head spinning. This disc shows the blunt force trauma side of the band, reaching into your skull and rolling some spiked twenty-sided die around while tempting to mount your dog onto of your mother at the Christmas table (or something). The tracks are just as much a part of the SCG world as the bizarre folk excursions featured on the first singles collection, though not as palatable or solid as those tracks.
And then around The Bearded Hermes
something shifts pretty dramatically. The songs still showcase the bizarre Lenny Bruce-like riffs, one after another, rolling off the tongue to the carpet, but the music shows up with this restrained beauty. Instead of the previous slaps of songs against your face, this song slides down your arm like putting on a coat. The lyrics still have the venom of previous songs, but the delivery lets some of the words be able to be swallowed whole, without having to hold your breath to wait for the song to end. The music behind it incorporates piano, two kinds of strange vocals and lots of echo, giving the opium den feeling that the beginning of the story tells.
Most of the focus will fall to the last tracks, the alternate version of Napoleon & Josephine
with it’s twitchy homeless ramblings over a sound bed of crickets, car traffic and feet dragging on sidewalks, letting you really believe that “insects are microphones”. Anyone who has spent even a few hours in any kind of city will find the track familiar in it’s insight and unfocused dialogue.
The music that does creep in stays in the background, like another hit from the opium den, leaving a lot of space, but not to be ignored.
Reflection Of a Young Boy Eating From A Can of Dog Food On A Shiny Red X-Mas Ball
drags you pretty far on the patience scale after all those short blasts of word vomit earlier on the disc, but it’s a pay off, welding somewhere in the middle of the collected folk sounds with the open space launches of weird.
Paired with the first volume of Singles, this disc pays off in spades as a great representation of the Sun City Girls and their weird, weird world. 8/10 -- Andrew Murdock Livingston (11 June, 2009)