Saturday, June 16, 2007

German Shepherds - Music For Sick Queers,LP,1985+I adore you,7"e.p.,1981, USA




The German Shepherds, formed by Sandy Stark and Stephen Scheatzle in Nov. 1981, released a three song ep in early "82 with "Booty Jones" -- to child molester and kidnapper Kenneth Parnell; "I Adore You" -- an offering of prayer and submission and "Message from JJ" -- a rousing sermon by Peoples Temple chief Rev. Jim Jones. Later that year a dub version of "I Adore You" and "The Earthquake Has Come" appeared on the "You'll Hate This Record, Record" compilation lp. In 1983 the Shepherds began work on their first lp and in early '84 released "THC" and "Quit It" -- a promotional single from those sessions. Sandy Stark was arrested in June of '84 on trumped up child molestation charges and committed suicide while awaiting trial. Shattered by Stark's death, Scheatzle enlisted German Shepherd producer M. Huthinson to replace Stark and work began anew on the lp project. "Music For Sick Queers" was the long awaited result.
Despite the title, this is a rather enthralling album, full of interesting sounds, structures and compositions.
Side one begins with “Communist Control” which begins like conversation between extra-terrestrial flying insects, lots of fly-like buzzing through which discernable lyrics are heard. It may not be music as such, but it’s effective. All sounds are echoed backwards and forwards in a confused melee of sonic confusion. “Armageddon Man” has a strong electric guitar pattern across which grating synths scratch, wobble and shriek. It’s a cynical song about the “God-is-on-our-side-and-hates-the-Ruskies” attitude of certain lunatic factions who hold positions of power. "Love Me” is a slow thing based around gradually moving keyboards which have a strange, ‘B’ movie sound to them, distorting reality with a certain element of dread. “Preacher” comes next, the vocalist orating over a sustaining sweep of deep vocals - it’s an invocation if ever there was one, a dark ceremony over which is shouted so absurd words. “Hitler’s Child” again has a certain ‘B’ movie sound to it - the synths just a little too grating, a little too distorted - while the vocalist sings his dark words in a deliberately flat voice over the top.
“I Adore You” begins the ‘B‘ side with a pulsing rhythm under which huge grim mass of synth noise dwells. Over the top of this the vocalist talks his way through a short poem, putting a lot into it - riding the warm black waves of electronics. "Mr. Tupper” follows this with a mass of confused vocals over which electronic flies swarm and madmen laugh uncontrollably. “THC” comes next - a mess mass of electronic noise which almost — but not quite - forms a rhythm. Over the top of this the vocalist tells us how Psychedelic music can let Satan enter your soul and how he murdered his parents. “Quit It” follows a similar anti-rhythm with a druggy, soporific, dragging sound which seems to run icy fingers of depression over your soul, gouging out your will to live and casting it upon the black dead ground. "Complacent American" finishes off the album on a drifting mass of sound which hangs like a half-uttered threat in the air. It’s a sustained bank of mid-pitched feedback while the vocalist talks of Armageddon and his lack of preparation for The End. It’s the most effective track on the entire album, with the feel of impending doom as the wall of screaming sound slowly rises in pitch to it’s climax.
An interesting debut album which shows a willingness to experiment and a decent attitude to noise composition. Subtle they are not, choosing instead to lay their cards face-up on the table, saying ‘there you are, We are the GERMAN SHEPHERDS, like it or not, we're cynical and have axes to grind. Watch out, we’re coming at you!’
A masterpiece of minimal synth combination with experimental and noisy synth punkish elements!
as requested
note: link removed as this is due for reissues hortly on Superior Viaduct 



13 comments:

Skvader said...

great to see that my rips of The German Shepherds finally made it up here! they are one of the best acts ever to emerge from USA... sooo fucking gooood... there is a live tape that I have been searching for years.

mutantsounds said...

well skvader ,i'm not quite sure that these are your own rips.Of course its not mine, since i found it waste of time to rip my vinyl since i found them in such good ripping quality.If it's really yours,welldone.I agree they were a great band .Concerning this live tape you mentioned,is it an official release?never heard of it.I only got a vhs tape from a live performance....pity i don't know how to transfer it to digital form(although i think i do not have the required hardware for it)
anyway,thanks for commenting...
Jim Mutantsounds

DDV said...

thanks for putting this all time favourite up.
and yes, i have the tape from their live concert at the valencia tool & die in san francisco on 11 dec 1981.
can do vhs digital transfer also....

Anonymous said...

sure would be nice to find out more about em. this bio about 'trumped up' charges, suicide, etc. has been copied and pasted more times than campbell's soup cans.

i think the live tape you mean is on Tonspur Tapes. probably a boot.

www.discogs.com/release/717666

it went for fifty bucks on ebay recently. if anyone has a copy, please share.

Jim, i'd be happy to digitize that vhs for you. contact me at devoislies AT yahoo

--serie

Leit said...

You guys are fantastic. I was digging around in my old vinyl yesterday and found this album... contemplating moving it to digital... and here it was... along with the 7" that I had never heard. WREK 91.1 FM Georgia Tech's station introduced me to this bit of rock-industrial-spoken word noise back in 85. Thanks again.

maluka said...

I sure would love to get a video of the show. Mark is a friend of mine…
He's in Cleveland now.
rklwmilan at gmail dot com

Tejano Punk said...

First time I heard The (Legendary) German Shepherds was on the You'll Hate This Record comp. Electro-Psychosis if there ever was.

A friend a mine once played I Adore You on his college radio show. People phoned in wondering "WHOA...what kinda creepy shit is this?!"

Screw Trent Reznor and his no-inch bitches.
This is the real deal.

Tejano Punk said...

p.s. Sick Music For Sick Queers is BEAUTIFUL!

Thank You!

Anonymous said...

Sweet article! I just listened to them for the first time in a long time. Too bad I didn't do an internet search. I just spent an hour recording the album to the computer.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine is looking for a (supposed) Christmas song by the German Shepards called "When You Fuck With Christ".. I am not entirely familiar with this band but am helping in the search. Anyone have a line on this?

I will look here for response. Much obliged.

M. Hutchinson said...

Fuck With Christ? There was no such song, however, that is a great idea for one. Perhaps I can rectify. Music For Sick Queers will be re-released on 12" vinyl this spring by Superior Viaduct Records out of San Francisco, an excellent new label also releasing titles by Factrix, Tuxedomoon, and many others. I am currently composing and recording new material for release this summer. M. Hutchinson

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the response! It cleared up I think some confusion that helped spur further research which turned up A) another band in Pittsburgh called German Shepherd, and B)a song on YouTube called "Fuck With Christ" by an 80's Canadian punk/wave band (D.A.F.P). Still not sure it's the exact song they were looking for, and I am sure your version would be better, but it solves part of the mystery. Very glad to hear there is a re-release and new material forthcoming! We will definitely be looking forward to it. Thanks again.

mindcontrolhands said...

this is one of the greatz