SWITZER- 1977-2002 (Site)
Drummer Bert Switzer has compiled a bunch of songs he’s played on over
the past 25 years, and there are definitely some keepers among them.
Most of the tracks are from his days with Boston punk forefathers
The Destroyed and these are the highlight of the disc.
I think my favorite is “Power” from 1978.
It’s a dirty, nasty groover that sounds sort of like early Iggy
meets The Trashmen, and there ain’t nuthin’ wrong with that.
Another one that stands out is “In the Room,” a Joe Rainbow
song Switzer drummed on in the late ‘70s that had it been recorded 10
years earlier would have surely ended up on one of those great Pebbles or
Nuggets compilations. I’m
not so thrilled by his 1977 collaborations with his friend Henry Kaiser
when they were recording as Monster Island.
Arty, “mind-bending” instrumentals just are not my cuppa.
Bizarrely, ol’ Bert has included a 10+ minute jam/cover of
“Crazy Train” that he recorded on a boom box with his then-13 year old
neighbor in 1985. It’s
sorta interesting of him to do this, but I can honestly say I couldn’t
make it all the way through it and have promised myself never to listen to
it again. Bert opens and
closes 1977-2002 with a couple
drum thrashers recorded in 2002 that show he ain’t lost none of his
chops. More power to you,
Bert. –Ben Hunter
DESTROYED- Outta Control (Site)
If I was a mule I think I’d kick this goddamn thing right through the
goddamn wall. The first 6 tracks on this 20-song CD are a reunion between
Destroyed band mates Bert Switzer (drums) and J.D. Jackson (guitar &
vocals), who first started playing together in the late ‘70s.
While I definitely liked some of Bert Switzer’s previous
compilation that had a bunch of old Destroyed songs on it, this new stuff
is droning, boring and pretty much blah all the way through.
It’s perfect fodder for the argument that most old rockers should
just give the hell up trying to write new stuff after the age of 29.
Switzer also hooks up here with his guitarist pal Henry Kaiser for
about 5 minutes of self-indulgent noodling, and it’s only marginally
better than the first few songs on Outta
Control. The disc ends
with 10 Stooges/Nuggets-esque sounding cuts from The Destroyed’s glory
days, and despite the vacuum cleaner quality of these original cassette
recordings, they have their moments.
Still smarting from part one of this disc, I don’t think I can
give them their proper due, though. Maybe I should have listened to these songs first so I
wouldn’t have turned into such a crabass.
Bonus points for the CD’s cover, which partially features Bert
looking for all the world like a deranged old fucker, standing behind a
cannon. I unequivocally like
that part! –Ben Hunter