If you’ve followed this blog for any period of time, you know that I’m sorta obsessed with Proto-Punk, particularly the Cle Punk scene of the 70’s. Bands like the Electric Eels, Mirrors, Rocket From The Tombs, X_X, The Styrenes, and later, the godlike Pagans, etc, produced some of the most exciting music of the era, influenced in varying doses by the Velvet Underground, the Avant Garde, Performance Art, and a take no prisoners approach to live shows. Though most bands received minimal, if any, fanfare outside of the area during their existence, the sphere of their influence posthumously, is substantially wider.
As noted, The Styrenes were one such band, formed with former and future members of several of those other Cle Punk bands. They released several singles (one as the Poli Styrene Jazz Band) and one LP on the seminal Cleveland label Mustard, from the mid-70’s to the early 80’s, which showed an updated, take on Psych and Prog, with a twisted, more cynical, sense of humor, not to mention being blessed with one of the best post-Reed/Morrison guitarists, in one Jamie Klimek. Check out Drano In Your Veins, posted below, for ample evidence.
All of this leads me to the new 3x 7″ box set, Cle 76-79 Unreleased, which includes a version of Cle Punk’s own Louie Louie style obligatory regional cover, Jaguar Ride (a song on which I will soon do a separate post), and sixteen other unreleased recordings, issued on My MInd’s Eye Records. Yet another essential part of the Cle Punk puzzle, for those of us who care about such things.