Effects on Exposed People LP
Rhesus Records, 1983
Before they became the Waddy Wachtel, Marcus Miller and Steve Gadd session-men of the post-punk indie crowd, E. William Tucker, Andrew Weiss and Simeon Cain played together in Regressive Aid. Effects was their second release, first put out on cassette and then on vinyl, it still holds up fine, I guess. I'd label it one of the first attempts to catch the energy of punk and no-wave noise into an all-out instrumental jazz construct and do so without coming out sounding like some New York jazz students or a jam band (i.e., Gone). Simeon later said that they were trying to be "primal" versus "cerebral" and while they may be true (live, I'm told, they shredded), I'm not so convinced its true for ALL of this album. There's a bunch of that "cerebral" stuff that veers to close to much of those awful jazz-rock Return To Forever tribute bands that proliferated in the late 70s and early '80s and later mutated into shit like Spyro Gira or whatever. But take it for what it is. Three future greats schooling each other and coming up with some cool hallucinatory guitar playing and some tight rhythm riffing.
But there's also some cool headphone music that's almost delicate - if the jazz-rock fusion sound doesn't float your boat, then download "Slack Ave." instead -- my favorite cut on the album. Dig the initial stereophonic guitar build-up in "Slack Ave" and then the easy-going handoff to the drum-bass riff (and the slight use of the kalimba). Turn it up loud and stick on a pair of headphones. "Worromot" also works well in the phones with the only "vocals" on the record and despite having that meandering quality of most modern jazz. Listen for instance to the angel-like voice in the right headphone near the end of the track. "Years and Years" also mines that primal vein has some neat sounds even as it goes on a bit too long for my tastes.
Tucker was later quoted as saying that Regressive Aid was his excuse for saying "been there, done that" when presented with proposals he didn't like. Of course, he went on to become a (some say the) house guitarist for WAX TRAX records appearing with or fronting Pigface, Chris Connelly/Swinging Junkies, Ministry, Thrill Kill Kult, Revolting Cocks, etc. He killed himself in 1999, supposedly despondent over the death of a friend. Weiss and Cain, of course, moved to LA and joined Gone, which lasted a few thankfully short years and then into the Rollins Band where they found another talented guitarist and a great singer. They're continuing to play around, popping up in the oddest places (they're longtime Ween collaborators -- Andrew Weiss produced some of their records).
| Download Regressive Aid's Effects on Exposed People courtesy Matt D'amico of Demonsweat Blog
- A tribute page to William Tucker includes links to interviews, discography.
- Chris Connelly has some downloads of shows he did with Tucker in the mid-90s. I haven't had time to check it out yet so caveat auditor.
- Something I Learned Today has a recent article on the Rollins Band.
- The movie soundtrack for Lovedolls Superstar was reviewed here several months ago. Weiss and Tucker along with Paul Roessler are credited with the soundtrack of the just released Lovedolls Superstars - Fully Realized directors cut (and DVD release). The director has apparently had a falling out with Greg Ginn and edited all his guitar work out of the re-release! It premiered in LA last Thursday.
- Last Exit was another jazz unit that tried to connect with the punk energy and were generally successful. In this case, it wasn't kids but experienced jazzers (Laswell, Sharrock, Ronald Shannon Jackson, etc.). I have some of their records in my pile and will get to them someday.