Sunday, May 08, 2005

THE ENDTABLES – White Glove Test/Trick Or Treat 7”
I know next to nothing about this band, and in fact don’t even own this record (I pinched this from my brother’s collection today, which is residing at my folks’ place whilst he’s away), though it’s a stone-dead KILLER which more people should rave about breathlessly and slavishly in nerdbag music blog sites worldwide. Guess it’s my turn.

The Endtables, from what I’ve heard, were the toast of Louisville, Kentucky’s late ‘70s punk scene and didn’t in fact release anything during their short existence, but did at least manage to get a few songs on tape before disbanding. For the details, you should probably contact Robert Nedelkoff or David Grubbs or whoever, because I’m likely not filling you in on a million interesting tidbits regarding who the Endtables were. All I know is this posthumous 7” from 1991 on the Self Destruct label and the cold, hard fact that it remains one of my all-time favourite ‘70s punk rock singles from the US of A.

I wrote a quarter-arsed review for this in a fanzine in 1993. Don’t look for it, it’s disappeared into the dumpsters and bathroom reading racks of the universe, but my gist was this: imagine a hyperactive, jittery combination of Wipers ca. Is This Real?, throw it in with the nasally whine of a late ‘70s Dave Thomas and you have these two mighty songs right in your hand. I can’t pick the better of the two. “White Glove Test” is the A-side and the opening riff will slay you in your tracks. It’s got the perfect powerchord slow-mo build-up before it tears into a rollicking riff which could’ve been lifted off the Damned’s first LP (and that’s a good thing, whether you think so or not), and then Steve Rigot’s uber-nerd vocals hit the fore. This is the shit I live for. I could play this number to anyone reading this, and assuming you’re not a total flake (and I am assuming that), it’ll knock you dead.

But the B-side, man, the B-side… that’s where the goods are. “Trick Or Treat”: file it next to any fave Dangerhouse 7” you own or covet, it belongs there. There’s a nervous energy present which makes me want to move every time I whack the needle on. This kind of force can’t be faked or easily replicated. It’s a visceral, non-quantifiable energy which only exists within the most top-echelon musical combinations. That feeling is so fuggin’ rare that when you experience music this good you sit up and take notice. The Sage-like guitar fuzz, Steve Rigot’s crazy bark, that sense that the song is about to completely fall apart before it reins itself back together again and dives headfirst into the next verse… Goddamn it, I’m a man gushing over this thing. I hadn’t heard this for a good 6-7 years, but boy, it’s gonna be tough giving this one back when the time comes and my brother notices the thing missing.

No comments: