collating bones (signifier) wrote,
collating bones

The Homosexuals: The Homosexuals' CD

The first time I heard the Homosexuals was when Josh Brickman made them part of my required listening assignment at WHRB, 15 years ago. I didn't start seriously obsessing over them for a few years after that, but when they connected, they nearly gave me whiplash. Their sole "album" (assembled posthumously by a fan) came out years after they'd broken up, and they'd never appeared on CD until now... Hyped to Death is putting out their full discography as an ultra-deluxe 3-disc thing in a couple of months, but I had to have this now, mostly because I was dying to hear the five extra songs.

Well. A couple of them I knew already (like the mighty "Walk Before Imitate," which is like a janglier version of Pink Flag-era Wire with a cha-cha-cha nail-bomb tacked on at the end), but the one that's listed as "Soft South Africans (raw)"? Somebody was sleeping: that's not "Soft South Africans" at all. It's "Hearts in Exile," before it turned into the totally screwed-up dub piece on their first single. Which is to say, a song I've pretty much internalized in its mutated form, and hearing that it actually HAD a non-dub version at this point is as much of a shock as it was to hear Jacob Miller's "Baby I Love You So" in its pre-"King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown" form for the first time a couple of years ago.

Also, I'm a little freaked out by the lyric sheet, because I never knew the lyrics to any of their songs except "Soft South Africans" before--I'd just come up with my own phonetic approximations, sometimes words and sometimes not. It turns out that "My Night Out" starts "Rue Morgue/Essayed in black/Metronomes/Synchronized attack..." In my mind it'd always been a bunch of werewolves wearing librarian glasses and yelping for a few seconds before someone went AAAAAGH and then we got that MY NIGHT OUT GREAT FUN GREAT FUN!! chorus.
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