Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review :: Paleoacoustics :: Human Switchboard

Human Switchboard
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

1 comment:

  1. the 3 of them were my friends big-time (i can't tell you how many shows i saw them play in the cleveland - kent - akron - columbus area) from 1980 through 1984, and the fact alone of them befriending a 20-year-old black punk from Cleveland makes my mouth still drop open to this day. all 3 genuinely good people: Bob, truly cocky/arrogant, but with a right to be, based on his musical creations; Myrna, who I did (and still do) harbored a super crush on, which amused Bob to no end whenever we'd hang out, as my puppy-dog eyes followed Myrn like radar; and then there's the affable big-hearted and down-to-earth Ron Metz, who i still hold dear to my heart and who I truly believe has only 2 peers earthbound, that being Karl Burns of the Fall (Live at the Witch Trials-era) and the criminally overlooked Billy Ficca of Television. God bless the Switchboard.