HEY KIDS! THIS CD INCLUDES THREE LIVE VIDEO CLIPS IN ADDITION TO THE 14 AUDIO TRACKS!
In the pre-dawn of the bubble-grunge revolution, there was a weird strata of bands in New York. They had some of the revo-garage moves of earlier Midnight combos, and they shared a certain scum-dynamism with the S.I.N. Club groups, but they belonged to neither camp. They were just drunk, fucked-up punks with dreams of naught but nada, and thirsts so great they cast their own shadows. These bands represented a messy musical sub-category, only muzzily-defined around the edges, but they had a sound you could always recognize when you heard it.
The Raunch Hands had it. So did the Devil Dogs. And so do Da Willys. Buckets of it.
With roots in highly obscure, semi-legendary NY garage-gangs, Da Willys were guitarist Leon Ross, drummer Peter Landau, bassist Willie Kerr and singer Lynne Von. A later version of the band recorded a German album called Saturday Nite Palsey, but Get Ugly is the real deal -- the original line-up, drunk and disorderly at Wharton Tiers’ Fun City Studios in the summer of ’88.
The combination of Lynne’s deep-throat blues-belt and Leon’s Thunders-damaged string-throb is an ear wreck that sounds like no other. This is growling vom blues on a par with anything Billy Childish dreamed on the wettest night of his life. The covers they tear into (the Fugs’ “Frenzy” and Beefheart’s ”Frying Pan”) are obscure enough to tag the quartet as record scum, but hey – they do both songs like they wrote ‘em, so what the hell?
If Da Willys had hung around long enough it’s possible they would have merited some of the attention subsequently drooled all over “grunge” bands who weren’t fit to lick the bourbon-soaked tips of Willie’s afro. But actually it’s probably weird they existed for as long as they did. The dark streets of crack-era New York were nobody’s idea of a picnic, no matter how loaded you were. And Da Willys may have been loaded as fuck, but they weren’t immortal. At least they weren’t until now.
Get on yr knees, brothers and sisters. Get on yr knees and prepare to be anointed by Da Willys.
Deerfield MA 2007