Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Shower Scene From Psycho - Exploding Hits! (liner notes)

1986, and I am a hormonal hillbilly. For pocket money, my school holidays are spent driving a combine harvester in ever-diminishing circles within expansive heat-hazed paddocks. And I have just discovered that record stores also retail music which will never be broadcast on the local AM radio, or feature in glossy teen mags. Mostly, what I buy is cassettes (my first turntable is still a year away). And in my burgeoning avidity for Australian independent music of the day, I buy all the split-sided series of Cooking With George compiles. Much of it is unremarkable, but two tracks by The Shower Scene From Psycho enjoy household high-rotation. It's compelling power-pop! In my adolescent naivety, I imagine the tracks are original compositions. And I puzzle over the identity of the androgyne vocalist: man, woman, or cartoon mutant?

More than 20 years later, the recordings archived here still describe a stunning collision of eccentric creativity and aesthetic extremes. The avant-pop atonality is embellished with raucous guitar riffage, and punctuated by charmingly wry DIY concrete FX. It begins with a studious intention to deconstruct and subvert the pop tradition, but the hooks have been retained and accentuated. The covers are extravagantly wrought; the originals convey a haunted existentialism.


Available now from the Omni Recording Corporation

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