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SUBURBAN LAWNS

S/T

SUPERIOR VIADUCT


Format: LP
Cata No: SV179
Barcode: 857661008797
If your brain has a shortlist of bands that instantly evoke
New Wave, Suburban Lawns deserve a slot right next
to the likes of Devo, Talking Heads and the B-52’s. After
putting out two singles on their own Suburban Industrial
imprint, the Lawns signed to I.R.S. Records and released
their debut LP in 1981. While the band gained cult status
thanks in part to a Jonathan Demme-produced music video
which aired on Saturday Night Live, their self-titled album
would sadly be the five-piece’s only full-length statement.
Suburban Lawns’ asymmetrical aesthetic is personified
by co-vocalist Su Tissue, whose mesmerizing stage persona
was at once childlike and terrifying. Her unique style
embodies the awkward/arty female singer of the Reagan
era, while the group’s male vocals—courtesy of Frankie
Ennui, Vex Billingsgate and John McBurney—maintain
the satirical themes of Southern California’s postwar mirage
of limitless sprawl.
Suburban Lawns’ catchiness can be attributed to their
drum-tight performance and taut songwriting. Listen
to the vocal trade-offs on “Anything,” which could have
easily come out on any purely Punk label from LA at the
time, while Tissue’s deadpan delivery on “Janitor” glides
into the best art-warble this side of Lene Lovich, broaching
the possibility of nuclear annihilation with a murmured
“Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom.”
From a West Coast scene dominated by 7-inch singles and
EPs, the Suburban Lawns’ lone LP remains in a class with
precious few. It’s not surprising that they found acceptance
in the Hollywood punk scene, despite their Long Beach
roots, and would influence other bands such as Minutemen.
This is not a disc that will get parked in your collection
hoping to get pulled once in a while; this is a record you
will play.

Tracks:

1. Flying Saucer Safari
2. Pioneers
3. Not Allowed 4. Gossip
5. Intellectual Rock 6. Protection
7. Anything 8. Janitor
9. Computer Date
10. Mom And Dad And God
11. Unable
12. When In The World
13. Green Eyes
14. Jam The Controls

Press:

Sole album by legendary Southern
California New Wave/Punk band
Originally released in 1981 on I.R.S.
Recommended for fans of Devo, Talking
Heads and The B-52?s

 

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