It was lonely for the Electric Eels in Cleveland, Ohio, and lonely for Debris in Chickasaw, Oklahoma, so it must have been absolutely frigid for Hamilton, Ontario's Simply Saucer, who were probably the only band for 500 miles of frozen Canadian tundra to understand that the Stooges weren't just three guys with a fondness for eye-gouging and pie fights. This till-now lost '70s protopunk epic wasn't even issued in the first place until 1989, and—as this reissue proves—yes, it was really that out there. There's a peculiar purity of vision in the early Saucer tracks collected here, a focus that can only come from having no one at all understand you; it must've sucked to live through it, but the music throbs with so much palpably raw frustration—and ambition—that it's still a kick today. "Illegal Bodies" (recorded live on the roof of a shopping mall!) was their "Sister Ray," "Dance the Mutation" their "I Wanna Be Your Dog," "Bullet Proof Nothing" their "Gimme Danger," all part of an oeuvre wobbling somewhere between Funhouse and Can's Tago Mago. Even the bonus late-'70s material (toned down in a desperate bid for an audience) still has a fair amount of bite. But it's the first and oldest nine songs that are best, a bracing outsider answer to the mutant rallying call sounded by the American bands across the border. Too bad no one heard them till now.
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