Who's Landing In My Hangar?
Faulty Products (IRS Records)
I was first turned on to Human Switchboard by my friend Nick over at Ghostcapital (well-worth checking out, by the way) and found their one-and-only full-length at Som Records here in DC. I really had no idea what I was in for, but the cover photo was right, the year was right (1981), and the IRS connection was right. Upon further research, their background story is the quintessential American post-punk dream... formed in 1977 on a college campus (Syracuse), cemented with a demo mixed by a member of Pere Ubu, debut performance in the basement of a Columbus, OH record store called Magnolia Thunderpussy... and I could stop there. But then, the band opened up their own used-record store to support their own record label. Hot damn, Ohio doesn't get much cooler than that.
There's a lot here that reminds me of The Modern Lovers, both pulling from the Lou Reed book of sing-speak. The female-male-garage-Farfisa thing also reminds me of Os Mutantes a good bit, albeit a much more meat n potatoes version. Either way, this is a bunch of dorks making fucking fantastic pop-noise that everyone else that you know personally would never dare even thinking about, much less channel it through a microphone. Elsewhere on the record, I'm astonished by the cringing sexual honesty, and for that alone, I encourage you to seek this one out. Check this cut from the b-side to hear for yourself.
Human Switchboard :: (I Used To) Believe In You