Agony Shorthand

Thursday, January 06, 2005

If you were heartened and educated by last year's terrific reissue of THE ZOOMERS' only 7"EP + an early cassette on the "Exist" CD, as I was, you might want to tiptoe precipitously before giving this one a go. This contains material created by "Zoomer", the man who monikered the band or vice-versa, recorded between 1984 and 1989. Outside of a zonked-out weirdo power pop track that starts things off ("Johnny Has a Good Thing") and a strong couple of similar numbers deeper in, I had a hard time connecting with the synths and the 80's new waver stuff. Even with my Members Only jacket on. Sure, I like "Rock of the 80s" as much as the next guy, but this CD's missing the "....phasers, delay effects, plinky keyboards and distortion pedals, layered on top of genuinely offbeat song structures..." of his early 80s material. Oh, it's buried in there at times, but it does little to transcend the mediocrity of the fairly straight-up material. They say you only get one shot in life, and Zoomer and his crew appear to have sank that shot from three deep in Baton Rouge around 1980.