Tuesday, October 28, 2003

If I had to vote for one band that never got their due respect, and probably never will, it would be the Dustdevils. Every once in a long while I run across a fan of theirs, and we inevitably discuss the fact that the Dustdevils should have followed Sonic Youth to the noise-guitar-band hall of fame. Instead they broke up and disappeared. Good lord, they even got left out of the Trouser Press Guide to the 90's [the online Trouser Press has belatedly added a decent entry]. Go to Allmusic and you'll get a horribly incomplete discography. As far as I can tell, there's no fan page dedicated to them. They're just gone. This week I'm going to try to spread the word as best I can. Their best shot at being remembered is this song, track number one from their best album Struggling Electric and Chemical, which was a joint release by Matador and Teenbeat. It's a cover of the Fall song Hip Priest. How incredibly ballsy to cover what's essentially the theme song for one of the greatest bands of all time. And, dare I say it, after years of hearing both versions, I have to give the edge to the Dustdevils. Theirs is just flat out more powerful, and their lead singer Jaqi puts a great female twist on the Mark E. Smith style of singing. Judge for yourself here (be warned it's a big file). Trivia note: the bass player on this album was none other than Mark Ibold, later to go on to fame in Pavement.

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