The Stickmen – Get On Board

The Stickmen – Get On Board (Red Music) 1983. Get on board for the funky hayride. What the fuck is this!?! It sounds like the missing link between Flaming Demonics-era James Chance and the early Real Men Don’t Kill Coyotes era Chili Peppers. Well in a way, it is. The Stickmen were and are the greatest band you have possibly never heard of. They released an amazing record back in 1982 called This is The Master Brew and followed it the next year with the slightly more professional Get On Board EP before calling it a day. Hailing from Philadelphia, one of America’s great new wave cities in my opinion, The Stickmen laid the gauntlet down on how to throw one fucked up party. Combining the visual aesthetic of bands like the B-52s with the new wave skronk of bands like James Chance and then ramping it up three or four notches, The Stickmen did not make nearly as much of a splash as they should have. Is it because their brand of high-energy, skronkofied funk was just too hard to get next to? Was it that they were a few years late on the No Wave thing? Was it the curse of Philly? Who knows? But in my universe, the Stickmen are bonafide legends. Combining the ungodly rhythmic prowess of Bill Bradfield on bass guitar, and Jim Meneses on drums/percussion with the squealing high end of guitarist and vocalist Peter L. Baker, keyboardist B.A.L. Stack, and Chuck Mattern Jr. on vocals, saxophone, trumpet and electronics, The Stickmen were pretty untouchable. Get On Board starts off with one of their most accessible songs, the five minute Funky Hayride before moving back into familiar territory with Bone Shadow a totally syncopated and fucked up new wave tune. Action Man kicks off with some great cowbell before Chuck jumps in with some great undecipherable vocals. One of my favourite Stickmen songs. Crash My Dome and Jampire keep the high speed noise funk flowing. After this amazing EP, and gigs opening for Gang of Four, The Slits, Oingo Boingo, Bush Tetras, The Pop Group, Nina Hagen and Wall of Voodoo among others, the band called it quits and to this day remains criminally under-recognized. In 2001 Cuneiform Records released the essential Insatiable CD.

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4 Responses to The Stickmen – Get On Board

  1. Dan says:

    Joe, they all have the same URL.

    Everybody else, just change the ’01′ to ’02′…’05′ to get the other tracks.

  2. Joe says:

    Don’t worry about it…its fixed now.

  3. Dan Bailey says:

    Good grief — I’ve owned this one for probably at least a couple of decades (& This is the Master Brew for several years longer than that), but not until I glanced here just now did I realize that the sleeve graphic is taken from the cover of Marvel Comics’ Avengers #147 …

  4. Oddrocker says:

    Great stuff man I LOVE DANCING (ODDRROkkkKin) to musikc like this . There needs to be a “mutant disco” club for this. day and age.

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