Monday, 12 February 2018

Randy & The Goats "On The Lam" 1981 Private US Hard Psych,Garage


Randy & The Goats  "On The Lam" 1981  Private US Hard Psych,Garage

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This one’s pretty obscure, but I suspect it’s only a matter of time until someone discovers it’s low-fi charms, word gets out, and it becomes a sought after and extremely pricey collectable. 

Good luck finding something about Randy and the Goats on the web or any musical reference works. The only write up I could find was on the wonderful Acid Archives website, written by the ever insightful Aaron Milenski (if Mr. Milenski likes an album, consider buying a copy !). As a result what little I can tell you about the band comes from the liner notes accompanying the band’s first and only album. 

They were apparently from upstate New York and the line up showcased drummer Rob Cenci, guitarist/keyboard player Mark Chmielinski, bassist Doug Harris, and front man/singer/guitarist Randy Would. Released in 1981, most of their one and only LP was recorded in Rensselar, New York’s Cathedral Studios with Chmielinski producing. Two tracks were done at Trod Nossel Studios in Wallingford, Connecticut. 

Released on the small Broken Records label, “On the Lam” was one of those early-1980s releases that sported a distinctive mid-1970s sound. By the way, that was meant as a compliment … That said, let me warn you that the set occasionally shows up on dealer lists slapped with a psych label. In the interests of accuracy I’ll tell you that while there were minor psych touches, notably from Chmielinski occasional fuzz guitar and ‘It was the End of the Movie Anyway’ (which had kind of a cool Blue Oyster Cult 'Don’t Fear the Reaper’ vibe), the album was better classified as a slice of garage/grunge, or perhaps proto-punk. With Would responsible for writing all of the material (bassist Harris co-wrote two tracks), the album effortlessly bounced around between garage/grunge and haunted singer/songwriter with one pretty if atypical ballad thrown in - by the way the stark and stunning 'Broken’ was one of the album highlights. As lead singer Would took a little effort to get acclimated to. His ragged and gruff voice and sometimes mubbling delivery wasn’t the prettiest instrument you’ve stumbled across - imagine a younger Springsteen with a nastier street attitude, or perhaps a young Lou Reed who could actually hold a melody and you’d be in the right aural neighborhood. On the other hand, his voice and biting delivery were well suited to the band’s raw sound and after a couple of songs Would actually sounded pretty good on tracks like the rockers 'The Day I Left Town’, 'Media-ized’, and 'Nausea # 2’. Come to think about it, showcasing Would’s dark and depressing tales of urban angst ('Screwed’ and 'Murder By Programming’) the Lou Reed comparison wasn’t that far off … The album also benefited from The Goats. Cenci and Harris were a devastating rhythm section (Harris’ bass way up front in the mix), kicking the crap out of these songs, while Chmielinski turned in some nice lead guitar throughout the set - check out his solo on 'Screwed’). Surprisingly impressive and I have it on my Ipod !!! …..~


His project began unknowingly in 1973 when I recorded “Screwed” and “N.Y. Survivor”. At the time I was playing In a group called “George Arliss and the All Night Shakers” and Doug Harris was the bass player. We had just finished up 3 years worth of bar and club dates and were about to split up, but before we did, we laid down those two tunes. After that, I moved around alot, from Boston to Woodstock, to Manhattan and finally back to upstate N.Y, where I ran into my old friend and band-mate, Doug, who had just returned from an extended gig in Alaska, and was looking for another Insane project. I had a notebook full of songs and during the winter of 1979 we wrote a few more. In the spring of 1980 we rehearsed briefly with Rob Cenci who had played with Doug during the Alaskan thing and went straight to the studio where we laid down 11 songs In one day. I returned for a few days and added some guitars. It was a shoe-string budget deal and the album was never quite finished. 9 of those songs along with “Screwed” and “N.Y. Survivor” were released as “ON THE LAM” (Randy and The Goats") MP BMI, Cycloid Music 1980-1981. 0nly a few records found their way to the U.S. market, most ended up being exported to Europe and Asia. In 1984 “We came away” and "Stop It” were recorded. Those two songs, together with "Driven Away”(an outtake from the 1980 sessions) and three new tunes recorded in 2009, "Get Lost”, “Gate 17” and “Tonight Is Taken” have been added to the song line up of the current “ON THE LAM” release. We are presently working and recording under the name COLD.HARD. Mark Chmielinski aka Randy Would, 2010….~


Although he’s from Albany, Randy Would sounds like he’s spent at least 10 years hanging out in the wrong streets of Manhattan (pre-gentrification) and picked up old fragments of Lou Reed’s and Bob Dylan’s souls that were left in the gutter. Droney urban rock with piercing guitar leads, sounding not unlike George Brigman in parts, and thanks to Randy’s artistic presence and sense of style, completely convincing……~


Credits 
Bass, Vocals, Guitar – Doug Harris 
Drums – Rob Cenci 
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Percussion, Written-By – Randy Would 
Guitar, Vocals, Organ, Harpsichord, Producer – Mark Chmielinski





Tracklist 
A1 The Day I Left Town
A2 Call Me Yesterday
A3 This Time
A4 N. Y. Survivor
A5 Media-Ized
B1 Nausea #2
B2 Screwed
B3 Broken
B4 Murded By Programming
B5 It Was The End Of The Movie Anyway 



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