parlando playlist #96: volcano suns - noodle on the couch [1989]

Posted on March 4th, 2014 by Scraps.
Categories: Music, Parlando Playlist.

Volcano Suns, Noodle on the Couch

From their SST album Thing of Beauty.

current parlando playlist



Comment on March 4th, 2014.

Volcano Suns was drummer Peter Prescott's band after Mission of Burma broke up. Their first three albums were on Homestead, and then the next two were on SST. (The last was on Quarterstick.) SST was the 800-pound-gorilla American hardcore punk label of the 80s, discerning, knowing, sometimes out-there, and badly recorded, mostly by everywhere-producer Spot. Sometimes they even released two-disc albums, usually the kind of pretentious stylings of the 70s that got you sneered at by punks. Particularly there were two that almost immediately got hailed as great, not just by punks but all over the rock landscape (well, at least by critics): Hüsker Dü's Zen Arcade and the Minutemen's Double Nickels on the Dime (and both released in 1984).

I have a third: Volcano Suns Thing of Beauty (released in 1989). 22 songs (on CD), 21 good to great. It was astonishing to me the first time I listened to it. It's still great; it's number 1 in my ratings in 1989 still. I confess I'm nearly alone with this opinion; for instance, of their six albums, it's rated last on the popular ratings on Rate Your Music, and incredibly, it's not even placed in the top 1000 albums of 1989. Well, I'm stubborn: it's great, and it's one of my fifty top albums, period.


Comment on April 29th, 2014.

Volcano Suns were always part of the background college-radio sound for me: I'm sure I played this record as a DJ in 1989, but it receded into memory like so many others.

"Noodle on the Couch" sounds solid, but I didn't hear anything that distinguished it enough to want to check out more. (Which isn't to say that you're wrong--it took me years to wrap my head around Zen Arcade, for example.) What is it that you like about it?


Comment on April 29th, 2014.

You know -- sigh -- I always end up believing that I've picked the wrong choice re Volcano Suns. I fell in love with the whole album, and maybe they can't boil down their essence to one song. (Or maybe I'm crazy; everybody has one album that makes everybody else look at them sideways. Except Victor -- my buddy in Thing of Beauty worship.)

I can't tell you what I like about it, except vaguely: the lyrics! the tone of the guitar! the deep, powerful drums! Well, okay; in "Noodle on the Couch", I like the back-and-forth pace (really like that) between sections; the slow-to-stop end. But mostly, listening to it again, I just like it, start to finish.

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