Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bound & Gagged
1980 Modern Method

Side A:
1) Clutter
2) Chains and Polymers

Side B:
1) Attack
2) Roach Motel

Sometimes I really wish I was twenty years old in the late seventies/early eighties. I certainly would have embraced the punk lifestyle and gravitated towards the more artistic "wave" of new music that punk rock was beginning to spawn. I would have rocked out to DNA and Liquid Liquid, Teenage Jesus, Red Krayola, and Bush Tetras, (to name a few). Even if I did make it to these shows, more likely than not, I wouldn't have had the chance to check out Bound & Gagged. They seem to be a band that has fallen through the cracks of time. Maybe it's because their catalog is short, and their longevity as a band was short as well. Either way, their sound remains huge nearly thirty years later. The quirky guitars and sporadic, winding vocal melodies paint a picture of a band that you could convince me was a collaboration between ESG and The Contortions. They have a keyboardist too, and she does it right laying super percussiony lost and found keys alongside moderately dancey drumbeats, while executing an overall twisted no wave sound. The cover art is great (both front and back) and the label artwork and song names seem fitting as well. Throw their radical songwriting into the mix, and you have yourself a nearly perfect record.

This Ep was recorded in January 1980 and mixed at Studio B, Boston, Ma. by Allen D. Smith. It was produced and put out on the label of Boston's infamous Newbury Comics owners at the time of release.

Here they are L-R: Marcia Maglione: keyboards and vocals, Barbara "Britt" Britto: lead vocals, Deni Ozan; drums, Trude Koby: bass, vocals, Martha Swetzoff: guitar vocals, Wendy
Stone: guitar


Deniz Ozan-George said...

I am so really know your no wave bands. Bound & Gagged always had more in common with New York no wave than with any other Boston band, with the exception of the Girls, who mentored us and let us practice in their space in a rundown industrial loft on Thayer Street. Actually We became great friends with the loose confederation of bands that were the second generation of no wave (Bush Tetras, 8-Eyed Spy, Ray Beats, etc... and often opened for them in various Boston venues or most often at Hurrah in NYC.

Thank you for your wonderful review. Where were you 30 years ago??? Note, we were also featured on the "A Wicked Good Time" compilation on Newbury Comic's Modern Method label. Two songs: Black Sand and Personal Monsters. It's worth a listen.

--Deniz (Deni) Ozan-George, Drummer

Martha Swetzoff said...

Hi Jeff--
This is Martha from B&G. Deni points out the other two tracks available from us, although we recorded an additional track for Wicked Good Time that remains on tape. I may be going to those tapes soon and will post news.

Thanks you so much for your interest and your perceptive review! Sometimes people didn't know what to make of us. It wasn't common to see an all-girl contingent on stage, and sometimes we made a fearsome noise.

It made for some great, some awkward shows. Upside: besides the bands Deni mentioned we opened for the Raincoats, The Slits, Pylon (RIP dear Randy Bewley). Weirdest was done no doubt for the marquee value: The Catholic Girls. It was at the Peppermint Lounge in NYC which had a fine marquee. They wore catholic school uniforms and played more of a power-pop style. If any of them find this post I hope they don't mind this remark. I think they felt the strangeness of the pairing too!

So, maybe more history than you want or need, but thanks again.

Martha Swetzoff, guitars, bass, words

Jeffo said...

Wow! I am even more impressed now that you both helped paint the B&G picture more thoroughly for me.
Yeah sounds like you played with some of the main contenders of the scene at the time.

Martha: I'm excited that you plan to retrieve the tapes for the unreleased track! Also, that Catholic Girls comment is pretty funny; there really was only one reason to put you both on the same bill. ha ha!

Deniz: I actually found the a wicked good time comp on LP tonight and it rocks! Very happy about that.

OK well, keep me posted on the song and so glad this review was so well received. Keeps us all movin'!

Take care!


Ros Bobos said...

I love the 12" and the 2 tracks on the wicked good time compilation. I recently played 'chains and polymors' on a radio station in keene, nh. If I ever get a surplus of money in this lifetime, the first order of business would be to put out this stuff on CD. Amazing music!

jvande said...

I worked with Britt and Wendy at their day jobs in the early 80s. It was cool to see our colleagues who normally would never have ventured to "The Rat" for anything not just show up in support but thoroughly enjoy B&G in action.

Personal anecdote:

I witnessed Britt asking my wife Linda about rabbits because she was "interested in raising them". My wife raved about our French Lop, but Britt quietly indicated her preference for a "smaller breed".

I had to contain my laughter... to my wife these were pets, however Britt was the proud owner of a Boa Constrictor. I waited a few days before telling my wife the probable cause of Britt's interest in "smaller" rabbits. (My wife laughed).

I gotta retrieve this album from downstairs and rip it... can't find ready made downloads.