ARTIST: Teenage Jesus & The Jerks
TITLE: Shut Up and Bleed
YEAR RELEASED: 1978 and 1979
CHART ACTION: Oh heavens no
SINGLES: Orphans, Baby Doll
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Well….no.
LINEUP: Lydia Lunch, Jim Sclavunos, Gordon Stevenson, Bradley Field, James Chance, Reck
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Provocateur Lydia Lunch’s first band tries to destroy rock and roll.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I don’t think you were supposed to really enjoy this music. It’s all art and deconstruction of the rock-and-roll form, or maybe it’s tuneless yelping. It’s probably both, on purpose.
Lunch was still a teenager, but she was smart – almost too smart – and mercurial. The band lasted just two years, played a handful of gigs, turned over a couple of times (though drummer Field was always there) and burned out when Lunch and company decided to move on to more performance art or rock destruction or both.
This release captures everything they recorded – both from the No Wave collection and their own singles (and demos). The stuff with insane sax player James Chance doesn’t work as well as the material where it’s a stripped down three-piece.
I don’t recommend this for everyone. If you don’t ‘get’ what they were doing (or aren’t a student of alternative NYC scenes) then you’ll just think this is hot garbage. But if you do, then you’ll find cuts here to enjoy. Ask some of those who I’ve mixed for – Orphans is usually there somewhere just to make sure they’re awake.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Some of the cuts are actually of another Lunch band Beirut Slump that had Bobby Swope on vocals and lasted all of four concerts. Talk about art damaged.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: B-: Some of this is really too art damaged for words, and some live cuts you can’t really hear, and the Chance stuff I don’t like. Some of it, like Orphans and I Woke Up Dreaming I get and really love. So a B- is kind of where it all averaged out – and I disposed of the cuts I didn’t like, get or couldn’t hear.