This is the first time this 1982 debut LP by 23 Skidoo has been released on CD. 'Seven Songs' was an incredible strike to the senses when it first appeared, and it remains so today. The 8 songs (no, not a typo or bonus cut: the 8th song is just a 30 second continuation of one of the songs) on the disc were various shades of shocking in 1981, though they found peer with releases of the time such as those of The Pop Group.
Opening cut "Kundalini" particularly sounds like Mark Stewart and Gareth Sager assaulting the world as they did in The Pop Group. "Vegas El Bandito" (#2) is amped funk. The crispy treble guitar sound used by bands like Josef K or The Fire Engines is pitted against a super tight rhythm section with Swiss watch precision bass and drums.
The next three songs show another side of 23 Skidoo I don't like as much. "Mary's Operation" (#3) is kind of like something that might be on Pink Floyd's 'Umaguma' LP. "Lock Groove" (#4) is just a 30 second continuation of "Mary's Operation". "New Testament" (#5) is like 2 songs in one. For three and a half minutes it plays as a slowed down recording, tiredly sludging along. After a short pause, the same track is played at full speed. It sounds like a field recording of norsemen approaching on a haunted breeze.
"IY" (#6) starts right out of the beat left by "New Testament". "IY" is an uptempo track that reminds me of stuff on the Tummy Touch label (Los Chicharrons, Tutto Matto, Tim Love Lee) with the prevalent bongo beat. Only difference is, "IY" sounds like its sung by David Thomas (Pere Ubu) instead of one of Tummy Touches well groomed cats.
Now we are up to the master stroke of this disc - "Porno Base" (#7). This is the song I have loved most from this record for 2 decades. The track consists entirely of an absolutely evil sounding bass lurking on top of a tape of some lady talking about the evil of 'pop' on a TV show. The piece surpasses anything on Pink Floyd's 'Umaguma' for spot on strangeness. Closing track "Quiet Pillage" makes a mess of Martin Denny's "Quiet Village" in a beautiful way.
This record is a treasure that deserved the attention it now will get.