Last Days of Man on Earth blog recently posted the other Five 7”, the “Act of Contrition” EP. I had first heard of the Five back in November of 1995 when “Death Chord”, from that EP, closed out the “Bloodstains Across The Midwest” LP I had just bought (from the sadly-missed Dummyroom record store here in Chicago, sob). It was a haunting kind of psych-punk tune- great! And cool sleeve! I want to hear the whole EP! A few months later I found a copy of the Five’s LP from 1987 (also at the Dummyroom)- um, not bad but not like “Death Chord”. And then time passed- I did not hear the rest of the “Act of Contrition” 3-songer until LDOMOE posted it a few weeks ago. So, in total, I waited nearly 12 years to hear the other two songs on the EP. Maybe you see this coming but I was disappointed. The EP, aside from “Death Chord”, did not do much for me. Oh well, not the first time that happened (although I have to say that I’ve never had to wait THAT many years to hear the rest of an EP).
BUT for my ears there is one other really good Five song- better than “Death Chord”- and that is “Napalm Beach”. Good old B.C. (my source of many KBD rarities in the mid-to-late 90’s) taped this for me 10 years ago, and I still do not own a vinyl copy of this record (good luck finding one for less than $200 or $300). But I think I did a pretty good job transferring this from cassette to mp3. The Five get the haunting feeling down very well on this tune, from beginning to end- it starts off with just some bass plucking and weird noises going off in the background, then the drums and guitar kick in nicely. They build up this incredible tension with the desperate sounding vocals and drum pounding and right when the song hits it peak of tension during each chorus, it then instantly drops off into this great sharp, jabbing guitar noise- awesome! I can’t really make out much of the lyrics but I sense a reference to the classic “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” scene from the almighty movie Apocalypse Now, which came out just a few years before in 1979.
Sorry completists, but I am not posting the flipside, “Excite Me”, because it’s BAD (as in it sucks)- a throwaway ballad-type of wank job that does absolutely nothing for me. Yuck.