So how the darkness doubled: long time cooling for Blow Up Blow's "Super Tonight" single, which was a signature song when they used to play it in 2004 but which needed a just-so recording to get it right. Fine with me: this double A-side maxi-single claps the Can/Ubu original against a loft-disco Liquid Liquid remix and packs in a few tracks from last year's Sunshine on the Frontline CD (reviewed earlier in OCW) and that adds out to about 15 heavy minutes of heartbeat-in-darkness repetition rock. Rapture is sort of a reference—though I can almost guarantee you this song owes more parentage to Can's "I Want More" than "House of Jealous Lovers"—so maybe "relative" is a better word. "Super Tonight" is a stark dark song carefully faithful to that spirit of '79, when Suicide and mass murder (as barely tolerated by Pop Group) put some pig-iron into pop. Bassist Dennis Owens (also in Free Moral Agents and also keeping the good at club Good Foot) and drummer Bob Kurthy are the rhythm section from the center of the earth and guitarists Paul Zanzler and END (possibly also known as ENDio Morricone) lock leads like Television with Levene instead of Verlaine. "Marquee Moon" is a dance song, too, and though "Super Tonight" drops Television tightness for Mission of Burma atmosphere, it puts the same spots before your eyes. The "Amish Riot" remix deletes almost everything but a generous dub echo and remakes "Super Tonight" into something by Material or especially Liquid Liquid, whose "Optimo" lends a lot to the tense Amish finale. Disco (as they called it one summer) actually did get this dark (Was Not Was took Detroit creepdom digital) and Martin Rev did as much for a drum machine beat as anybody; Zansler with remix reverb here stutters like Alan Vega (as in: "America America is killin' its youth!") and I could even hear some Big Black (or Dale Nixon) in the way Blow Up Blow built this song around a machine. (Machine being Kurthy—that most motorik drummer.) People talk about club-friendly and a-good-beat and that's just what "Super Tonight" has always had, though something about those phrases as used here makes me want to tug a helmet tighter down on my head. "Final Solution" wasn't a dance song, really, but "Super Tonight" is a real good one, though it's pretty great if you really don't care to dance at all again ever, too. A deep dense record that used well all the time it took.
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BLOW UP BLOW PERFORMS WITH THIS EVENING AND SOLO CLIQUE AT ALEX'S BAR, 2913 E. ANAHEIM ST., LONG BEACH, (562) 434-8292. THURS., FEB. 8. $3. 21+.