Thursday, October 17, 2013

Slammin' Watusis - ST (Epic, 1988)


This band is something of an enigma. I've never really heard anyone else talk about them. And despite living close to their hometown of Chicago, I don't remember them playing Milwaukee. But I was a little clueless about a lot of shows back then.

I discovered the Slammin' Watusis through Thrasher magazine. I think they offered one of their albums free with a subscription. But there was also some other strange Thrasher contest that either involved a Slammin' Watusis deck, a live appearance or meeting the band. I'm a little fuzzy on the details.

Besides their song "Skt, Skt, Skt," I'm not really sure how they fit in with "skate rock," but the term/genre had expanded considerably in the late 80's to include bands like Odd Man Out and the Tar Babies. Basically, if it was played in a skate video, it was skate rock. I'm not sure if the Watusis had a hardcore background like the aforementioned bands though. They had a punk element, and sentiment, as displayed on the opening track "Won't Sell Out." But they had a very blues rock influenced sound, complete with harmonica and saxophone accompaniment. Imagine a mix of Strawberries era Damned and maybe a little Faster Pussycat. Although you'd never hear a Sunset Strip band espousing safe sex (perhaps a little awkwardly) on a song like "Some Sex":

You can reduce your risk of AIDS
If you limit the number of sexual partners
Some sex is possibly safe
Some sex is safe

Not exactly groupie fodder.

But they were an interesting band and it's been fun revisiting their albums. There's a really great song on their 2nd album called "Everytown" that I'm glad to have back in the rotation.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for your kind words.
    Lee Popa

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    1. thanks for chiming in, lee! still jam these 2 albums from time to time, nostalgic for the midwest and real "alternative" music.

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  2. Thanks for your kind words.
    Lee Popa

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  3. The words for "Some Sex" were taken from a pamphlet we found laying on the street after a gay pride parade in Chicago. Lee read straight from the pamphlet while we laid the music down.

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  4. ah, cool to know! kind of like the lyrics to the nada surf song "popular" which came from a 60's teen advice book i guess.

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  5. The entire Kings of Noise album is in my rotation. The Watusis got a lot of airplay on Long Island in late 80's. Especially Livin' in Sin - a classic.

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