The Bizarros – The Bizarros (Mercury) 1979. The Bizarros were one of the bands signed to the Mercury Label’s imprint “Blank Records”. The band recorded their self titled album in 1978. Blank folded before the recording was complete, so the Bizarros album was released on Mercury Records.
Other bands that were on the Blank label included Pere Ubu and the Suicide Commandos. I have no idea why Mercury focused it’s attention on the midwest of all places but all three Blank releases were bonafide classics.
The Bizarros LP sits somewhere between the poppy drive of the Suicide Commandos and the more abstract experimentalism of Pere Ubu. There is a strong Velvets vibe with many of the tracks. Young Girls At Market and White Screen Movies for instance both feature “What Goes On” style riffage. What makes the Bizarros stand out from your garden variety Velvets homage is Nick Nicholis’ totally snide vocals.
I don’t really know what happened with Blank Records. If anyone can fill that part of the story in, please do. My suspicion is that Blank was another example of the record industry’s complete lack of understanding of punk/new wave music in general.
I first heard the Bizarros on the excellent ROIR cassette “Trouser Press Presents the Best ofAmerica Underground” with the cut I Bizarro. This was an amazing comp and introduced my hardcore-lovin’ mind to all kinds of new-wavey stuff I had previously scorned. On a side note, it had an amazing cut by The Suburbs called World War III. I long ago lost this tape. You can hear a sample of this great song here. I wish Twin Tone would offer individual track purchases!
Two of the tracks on this LP were previously on the Bizarros self titled 7inch. I think they benefit from the better production that Mercury/Blank provided. The Suicide Commandos LP is posted on KBD Records for those who are interested. The Bizarros have a very informative website here and seem to be recording again.
Young Girls at Market
The Waves Cry
Seeing is Believing
After the Snow
It Hurts, Janey
Mind’s a Magnet
White Screen Movies