Sunday, June 24, 2012


I got more detailed info on this 1995 retrospective CD from Lydia Lunch's 8-EYED SPY from Wikipedia than I did from the CD itself - no liner notes, just the disc and a few photos - but I think I had the story pretty straight pre-Wiki in any case. 8-Eyed Spy was Lydia's post-Teenage Jesus & The Jerks combo, still very much rooted in the raw atonality of the no-wave style she helped to invent with the former band, but experimenting a bit with a dirty, bluesy reduction in tempos and slightly less caterwauling. I think 8-Eyed Spy's the superior band, quite frankly, but I wasn't ready for them when I encountered them first over twenty years ago.

It took a purchase of this Atavistic CD to give me the full lowdown on the band's late 70s/1980 output (their career, such that it was, ended when their bass player OD'ed). Some of it - most of it - is seriously bent rock-n-roll, very much a part of the "destroy music" aesthetic and a world away from most post-punk of the day. I can see very well how Lunch helped to inspire the group of drug-addled scruffs from Melbourne who became The Boys Next Door and later The Birthday Party. The swamp/scuzz sound of killer tracks like "Dead Me You" from their first single bleed right into what that latter band were doing only a year or two later on their more morose material. Lunch and her bands never connected all that much with me until right about now because I had a hard time unhooking her self-promoting sleazoid tuff girl persona from that befitting a serious maker of music; and I still think that the Teenage Jesus stuff - while admirable for its sonic attack - is mostly unlistenable tripe. 

This is not. The track I'm posting for you today, "Love Split" is more skittering and wild - more classically no-wave - than a lot of the stuff on here, but I'm still pretty sure you're gonna like it. Let me know what you think - and whether some of the later Lunch material is worth my second listen, since I'm reconsidering her catalog and whatnot. 

Play 8-Eyed Spy, "Love Split"

Download 8-Eyed Spy, "Love Split"