Produced by Greg Freeman & X-tal
Recorded at Lowdown Studios, 1989, and Olde West Studios, 1990
J Neo Marvin: Vocals, guitars, keyboards, melodica, tin whistle
Mick Freeman: Vocals, drums, percussion
Jimmy Broustis: Vocals, guitars
Mitzi Waltz: Bass, vocals, clapping sticks
Angel Corpus-Christi: Accordion (Song Of The Six Pack)
Jerod Poore: Didgeridoo (Dogma Suit)
Kathleen Foy: Melodica (Cheap Holiday)
All songs © 1990 Undulant Rhetoric (BMI)
Click the links below for lyrics.
7) LENNY BRUCE (Jimmy Broustis)
9) CHEAP HOLIDAY (Mick Freeman)
CMJ REVIEW: X-tal have been around the Bay Area for an incredibly long time (not as long as the Dinosaurs or Eddie And The Tide, but close) with astonishingly little concrete output to show for either their years or their overall fabulousness in tackling, in a wholly undumb manner, music that shows resin of the boho/jangle/paisley-folk grain. This debut scoops up the morning-dew innocence of the least embarrassing Haight-Ashbury petal-babies of the `60s with the world-bleary wisdom of all those SF/LA punk-worn people who turned their matured underground gaze upon gentler, more introspective directions (Penelope Houston, Yo, the Catheads, the roster of Heyday Records). And wah la, X-tal is neither too precious, too glib nor so laidback as to be dismissable, and they don’t take themselves too seriously either. X-tal makes music that one can empathize with even if you don’t own a pair of china slippers, joining (or rather, justifying their membership with) the electric bard elite of a tricky, strangely touching nature peculiar to the California-located. Cuts of choice are “Your Fragile Mind,” “Encore,” “Amateur Alchemist” and “Dogma Suit.” – : CMJ New Music Report Issue: 192 – Mar 30, 1990
MICK SAYS: “Hi, we’ve got a decade of songs, frustration and ambition stored up inside us so here you go. (Oh, and we’re kind of like these hippy punks who don’t eat meat but do)”
NEO SAYS: Our first-born, a year in the making. There are a lot of good songs here. We sound like a scrappy little garage band. “Dogma Suit” is my favorite because of the noisy rave-up at the end. “Happy Americans” is a slightly-too-late portrait of Reagan’s America with some good insults. “Amateur Alchemist” is a catchy tune based on an Annie Hesse bass line that tries to examine the allure of drugs. “Ragamuffin Girl” is a wordy love song about a couple who live in a poor neighborhood. “The Gerbil Cage” is an elaborate private joke about Rough Trade. “The Cold Civil War” is another epic about winter in America that I have a soft spot for. “Song Of The Six Pack” is a God And His Dog song that was often performed acapella at later X-tal shows. “Cheap Holiday” introduces Mick’s lovely voice, and “Lenny Bruce” introduces Jimmy’s fetching way with a rant.