Sunday, 31 August 2008

Paul Leary: Turn on, Tune in, Dog out

It surprised me a lot when I first heard this album; so I presume it surprised others as well.

Released around the same time as the Surfers' Pioughd, which was by far the most 'inoffensive' of the band's albums to that date, Leary's album seemed even calmer; even more sedate, even discussing political and environmental issues!
And lo-fi it certainly isn't.

There's some pretty slick stuff here. I mean Steve Vai it ain't, but there's some mighty fine chops on display.
It's a Mike Oldfield kind of affair, with Leary playing everything, providing all the vocals, engineering it and producing it, too - he probably even rolled his own spliffs.

And it's certainly more of a stoner album
than a total onslaught on the ears. This is no PCPEP.

Leary cannot sing, but he manages by adopting funny voices, mainly a double-tracked eerie falsetto, which sounds like it shouldn't work, but it does!

There's some wonderful arrangements here, 'Indians Storm the Government' and 'Too Many People' being the strangest, with the latter sounding like a psychedelic, Vegas, Tiller Girl, Busby Berkeley style mash-up. Great stuff!

As for the environmental aspect, I remember my young son on hearing the track 'How Much Longer', which features the couplet: 'How much longer/Till the Earth gets blown up?', becoming quite concerned, and quizzing me as to when this would happen. I'm sure environmental awareness became part of his life from that moment. Not something one would expect from listening to an album by the Butthole Surfers' guitar player.

Paul Leary - The History of Dogs

The Birds are Dying
Apollo One
Dalhart Down the road
How Much Longer
He's Working Overtime
Indians Storm the Government
Is it Mikey
Too Many People
The City
Fine Home

Cassette rip.
Thanks to GD for artwork.
The next one's for you.

Get it here


Anonymous said...

Many thanks! This is a really good album. Had it back in the day, on each of three formats, and lost each along the way, somehow. This sounds little like a BHS album; it's all-Paul.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff! I had forgotten all about this album. Damn,I feel old...

freqazoidiac said...

although i didn't download this..i'm rocking out to it on cassette..just found it at Goodwill..and it's really good! First listen..didn't dig it..but after more's one of a kind and very psychedelic in a understated way. Grabt his if you don't have it!!!

Richard said...

Cheers for this neglected gem.

roy rocket said...

This is next on the list for upgrading; so look out for the nod and grab at a much improved speed...

roy rocket said...

I have improved the quality of this by upgrading to 192; for your pleasure...
Shanti, roy