Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Surgery - Trim, 9th Ward High Roller

Label: Amphetamine Reptile
Year: 1993

Man, you cannot go wrong with this record, it's an absolute killer. Surgery were at the top of their game at the time this 10" came out, and this was their most straight forward, rocking record in their career. After this, they jumped ship (read: sellout! sellout!...oh, the 90's...so cute) to a major label to peter out after their Atlantic Records debut, and the untimely death of Sean McDonnell. So I feel this to be the apex of their recorded output.
You got your noise rock, but Surgery took that template and drug it through some NYC styled blues grit (think Loudspeaker and Pussy Galore, not Robert Johnson) to come up with a real unique take on that "sound". In the annals (insert "anal" joke here) of the Amphetamine Reptile canon, Surgery might have been the most conventional of their bands. They were easily the most likely to have success as an "alternative rock" band during that era when every shitty band to fart out a 7" was getting the chance to play a showcase for David Geffen ("hello Candlebox, this is David, David, this is Candlebox"). Of course it was Helmet who made the most hay after leaving the label to go on to mainstream success, but that was kinda weird don't you think? I mean, I wouldn't have predicted the frat guys at University of Georgia to be blasting "Unsung" during the Kappa Alpha alumni weekend mixer, but sure enough...they were. Surgery on the other hand, had that southern rock swagger that seems more accessible, at least on paper anyway. So how they avoided stardom is a mystery to me. 
There's my two cents anyway.
Great band, great record, great lyrics, all that shit. 

* Originally posted 02.20.09, reposted 08.28.12


Darryl Whalen said...

i was fortunate enough to see them live around the time that this record came out and not knowing even who they were beforehand i was blown away by the live show and talked about it for years
thank you for this

Anonymous said...

They toured in an ambulance, didn't they?

Anonymous said...

yes they toured in an ambulance...and avoided stardom by the singer dying not to long after there majior lable debut

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