SAD SACK “HEINOUS BITCH/TRASH IT” 7″ (NEW PALTZ, NY- ERL, 1991)
Here is a wonderfully craptastic single. Or Shit Rock, Shit-Fi, whatever you want to call it in 2009. The more I listen to this record, the more it becomes one of my more favorite singles from the 90’s- and it came out so early in the decade (1991!), a few years before the “90’s KBD-inspired punk”/garage punk revival kicked into high gear. I had never heard this record until last April when Dave Hyde included it in his fantastic Shit-Fi.com Mixtape #5 of 90’s slop. Thanks, or I probably still would have been in the dark about it. And of course check out his nice “Cheap Rewards” columns on the great Terminal Boredom site.
The A-side SNARLS along at a great grinding, mid-tempo pace and just drips bad attitude with its mix of extremely snotty vocals (think Bobby Soxx’s “Scavenger of Death”), in-the-red bass pounding and just a general mean tone (and song title, eh). To top things off, the guitar breaks are just delightfully inept and will bring a smile to your face. The guitar virtuoso plays a great sloppy, clumsy solo in the middle that makes me think of other cringe-inducing solos I love like the one in Trend’s “Band Aid”. Sad Sack also used a cheap-ass drum machine which totally adds to their shit rock approach AND- how great is this- the single was recorded on a Panasonic tape recorder (the RQ-356 model, according to the back of the sleeve). Screw yer fancy, 24-track “professional” studio bud!
Speaking of the sleeve, you gotta love the homemade artwork on the front which has yer Grandma in her favorite floral-print dress. The A-side is the hands-down classic here but the B-side is also a jawdropper. “Trash It” is a totally menacing track with a mean guitar growl that is played a bit faster than the A-side and is full of snot and bile. Yowlza! These guys had a chip on their shoulder, and it comes across loud and clear. The notes for Dave Hyde’s Shit-Fi Mixtape said that their hometown of New Paltz, NY (about 80 miles North of New York City, by the way) is a college town that he pictures with sidewalks full of bead selling hippies. Perhaps these local residents helped fuel Sad Sack’s rage- I’m sure that if they played live with the same attitude put forth on this record they could have easily cleared a room of college kids who were expecting a jam band or something. [As an interesting sidenote- to me at least- New Paltz is only about 15 miles North of Kingston, home of the Manikenz famous for their rude “I Don’t Want Romance” ditty from 1980. I guess Sad Sack and the Manikenz prove that quaint cities outside of mean, dirty New York City could also be rude, eh.]
The first 200 copies of the Sad Sack 7″ came on red vinyl, and according to the great Grunnen Rocks site, there were also 800 copies on black vinyl. Er, but I am guessing that when this single was released in 1991 they had a hard time finding anything close to a thousand people to buy and appreciate this classic at that time. Too bad.