EPICYCLE “YOU’RE NOT GONNA GET IT” 3-SONG 7″EP (WINNETKA, IL- CIRKLE, 1980)
CHICAGO-AREA SERIES, PART 1
There are some Chicago-area records, mostly made by bands from the ‘burbs, that I have a honkering to put up here after another viewing of the great You Weren’t There documentary so this is first in a series of upcoming posts.
Dig that homemade, spray-painted banner for the band in the background
of the sleeve. Is that a torn-up bedsheet or somethin? And what
exactly is the guitar playing trying to untangle from his instrument?
Bits and pieces of this 3-songer have been posted here and there but never the entire EP so, because I am such a charitable person, here is the entire record. Of course KBD fans all know Epicycle since You’re Not Gonna Get It was included on 1995’s astounding KBD #9 comp LP. But most fans of the raw and over-the-top stuff- including me- were probably disappointed when we heard all of their early records in their entirety ‘cuz You’re Not Gonna Get It was definitely their punkest song and nothing else they did even came close in terms of punkitude. If you are a powerpop fan, then you will enjoy all three of the original 7″s and the one LP they released during their first incarnation between 1979 and 1981. [I came across a later incarnation of the band in 1998 when I saw a flyer with the band looking like big time paisley hippies on it but that’s another story. I dug that thing out of the basement and scanned it in- see below]. But anyway, I am kind of wondering how they decided to veer off the pop course for this one punked-out moment. I mean, don’t get me wrong, You’re Not Gonna Get It is NOT an over-the-top, frothing mad track. But is very solid and driving, highlighted by rapid-fire, machine gun drumming, non-stop guitar strumming and catchy lyrics. They even get it right with a quick “in and out” guitar solo that doesn’t overstay its welcome at all. And there’s some dramatic breaking glass right at the end of the song to show you how punk they were, LOL. The last tune, Hardcore Punk, is also pretty good and is kinda punk in the same vein as You’re Not Gonna Get It with more solid drumming work. I kind of gnash my teeth at the leadoff track, “Colleen”, though- I think it’s a sappy, wimpy ballad that has even some annoying piano playing in it. Just play “You’re Not Gonna Get It” over and over, though, and you’ll be good to go.
This EP, their third record, has become their most sought-after. I’d run across copies of the first two, earlier 7″s at shops here in Chicago during the mid-to-late 90’s (including some that only cost me $4 each, natch). The 1981 LP had cool packaging, complete with a comic book insert, a thick cardboard sleeve and a nice printed inner sleeve, but the powerpop in its grooves did nothing for me and I sold away my copy some years ago.
Epicycle were from the wealthy, “old money” suburb of Winnetka which is only about 20 miles North of Chicago but worlds away. Residents include very successful professionals like financial executives, prominent lawyers and others with big incomes. During the peak years of the band, Epicycle were students at the elite New Trier High School that’s in that ‘burb. But- according to this article– were NOT yer typical Winnetka rich kids and their family had to work hard to keep living there. To give you a general sense of the general wealth in the North Shore of Chicago, though, Winnetka and some surrounging burgs like Hubbard Woods, are some of the highest income neighborhoods in America. Everyone kind of got to know how Winnetka looks after a home there was the centerpiece in the 1990 movie Home Alone.
Go South of Winnetka a little and you have the less wealthy (and more liberal) suburb of Evanston, home of Northwestern University, the orginal home base for the Effigies (!) and others. The sorely-missed and short-lived Raw Records store used to be in Evanston between 1999 and 2000, as were a few other record shops. Go a little farther North of Winnetka and you have Highland Park, not the most “elite” suburb, but former home of Michael Jordan. Go North of there and the wealth picks up more when you hit another big-time old money suburb, Lake Forest, which rivals the Winnetka area for opulence. If you ever want to get a flavor of the North Shore, get on the Union Pacific North line of the Metra commuter train downtown and it’ll take you through the whole area, all the way up to the outlet malls just across the Illinois border in Kenosha, Wisconsin. But that area’s kind of another story too…
Here’s that flyer for a June 1998 Epicycle show at an old Border’s Book Store in Chicago- yikes!
The paisley shirt/pant combo (pajamas?!) threw me off but the bubble blowing and balloons in the background made me gasp in horror when I spotted this thing all those years ago…