Simply Saucer – Cyborgs Revisited

There are various bands who existed before 1976 but because they were a bit out of sync with current fashion and a bit raw, as time marched on, got drafted into what became known as Punk-Rock.

Punk wasn’t spontaneously generated, it was a confluence (see 1975 Melody Maker “What’s The Future of Rock and Roll” biz survey); nor was it the rama-lama identi-kit sound that seems to be the codification that defines Punk-Rock today.

Bands like the Fans, Dictators & Television, the well spring of Ohio bands (see Rocket From The Crypt for the most currently trendy example), Philly’s own Kenn Kweder & His Secret Kidds and a hundred or so others around the world. Into that list can be included Ontario, Canada’s Simply Saucer.

Built during 1973 they weren’t unleashed until 1974. They were led by singer-guitarist-songwriter Edgar Breau, with the only other constant throughout being bassist-backing vocalist Kevin Christoff.

Their sound, generally, was a busy kind of Rock and Roll combining repetition, drone, and angularity derived from the Velvet Underground, by way of the original Modern Lovers, Stooges minus the pounding and early, non-singles Pink Floyd (after all, their name is partly derived from A Saucer Full Of Secrets).

It might not read that way on paper but the material contained here, even the extended tunes, are quite compelling, though the nine plus minutes of Illegal Bodies stretches the limits of that.

This disc collects, in chronological order, their posthumous album, Cyborgs Revisited, which was released in 1989 though the material within was recorded in 1974 and 75 (the latter being live recordings), raw demos from 1977, a trio of live recordings from 1978 and their only real release during their existence: the single, She’s A Dog b/w I Can Change My Mind (Pig) which is also from 1978.

The recording quality runs the gamut from the studio work, both early and late, to the ‘77 rehearsal demos. The latter shows a shift in inclination towards basic Garage-Rock with overlays (the moody, ballad Low Profile, Boogie inflected Little Sally and the Bluesy mid-tempo grinder Get My Thrills) — probably because of the departure of the Eno type electronics fiddler Ping Romany in the interceding period.

And that carries over to the ‘78, highly distorted, Walkman quality live material (which the liner notes say will be coming out separately containing the full set that night). The last track from that segment, Now’s The Time For My The Party, mixes verses with a deep voiced 10cc inflection and choruses that recall early Television Personalities.

The TVP’s also are a presence in the chorus of the B-side of their single (which for some reason comes before the A in the track order here), while the angular guitars are brought back for the verses. And unexpectedly, for the ending they leap into a Psychobilly thing for the last 20 seconds.

The A is a bouncy, little slice of pop-inflected misogyny, marked by the tightest harmonies on this disc (which is all relative).

[Released by Sonic Unyon 2003]

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