Saturday, December 20, 2008

Performing Ferrets: No One Told Us (Hyped2death/Messthetics CD) This CD is a collection of songs by a heretofore-unknown band from the 1978 to ’82 era. The folks at Hyped2death call this short span of years the DIY era. Whatever you want to call this musical era, whether it is indeed anything as profound as “an era”, this was a time when an amazing bunch of secretly talented young (non) musicians performed and recorded an extraordinary rich variety of music. This music continues to trickle back to us on-line and on official compilations. Most of these bands were unable to grip their personal muses long enough to put together a longplayer’s worth of material. And many of these bands can be found on the 2-dozen (plus) CD compilations available from the Hyped2death label. Performing Ferrets is/was one of the exceptions. This newly collected CD includes material from their long lost L.P of 1981 along with an E.P., a self released cassette and previously unreleased demos. This music, retrieved from the vault of history, amounts to a brilliant new release, enough for a vinyl L.P. (If any labels are listening, you could do, no doubt have done, much worse.) The Ferrets are comparable to such U.K. contemporaries as the Mekons (circa their debut Quality of Mercy), early Fall, and pre-L.P. Gang of Four. On this side of the ocean Performing Ferrets had (no doubt unknown) musical brothers within the New York sub-No Wave set. The P. Ferrets bring to mind the brilliant tin-can clatter of Blinding Heahache, Mofungo & Information as heard on their cassette compilation Tape #1. Since I discovered this terrific compact disc, the Ferrets have been pretty much all I want to hear.


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