Volcano Suns | The Bright Orange Years and All-Night Lotus Party

By MIKE MILIARD  |  February 3, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars


I'm one of those rare specimens who, thanks to the vagaries of time and fate, got into Volcano Suns before Mission of Burma. And so I've long had a fondness for drummer Peter Prescott's second band that matches — and sometimes exceeds! — that for his first.

If Burma were (and are) avant theorists, damaging eardrums via Dadaist sound experiments and squalls of knotty noise, the Suns were simply interested in bringing the rock. The bonus-track covers on Merge's reissue of the Suns' All-Night Lotus Party — Beatles basher "Polythene Pam," the Amboy Dukes' "Journey to the Center of the Mind," Leonard Nimoy's awesomely awful "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" — give an idea of the happily sophomoric rockism indulged in on this 1986 sophomore disc by Prescott, guitarist Jon Williams, and bassist Jeff Weigand. On their own songs, Prescott gives voice to the primal urge to pound loud and hard.

"Jak," the muscular (jacked?) opener on their '85 debut, The Bright Orange Years, rumbles melodically along, spazzing out in a middle-section maelstrom of roiling drum pummels and vulcanized-rubber bass lines. "Promise Me" sticks a red-hot cattle prod into cowpunk's rump roast. "Tree Stomp" could lead to serious neck injury. On Lotus Party's "Blown Stack," a short salvo of feral hardcore, Prescott seems to damage vocal cords and drum heads in equal measure. And that album's "Magic Sky" is pure, simple, surging, relentlessly catchy rock and roll. Max Ernst is great, after all, but so is Ted Nugent.

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  Topics: CD Reviews , The Beatles, The Beatles, Ted Nugent,  More more >
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