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Hoo boy, we've got a live one here - this 1986 release is one of Zoogz Rift's most confrontational releases, and not necessarily one I'd recommend to those of you new to Rift's weird world. It features more non-musical tracks (almost like skits) then usual, and some of Rift's most pained, ranting vocals.
The opening track sports The Amazing Shithead's new toy - a sampler. But rather then looping James Brown break-beats, we've got various voices screaming obscenities, in particular, a woman shouting out: "It's the island of living puke, you ASSHOLE!," over noise/ free music. It's almost as if Rift is daring the audience to continue listening. But don't wuss out!
The title track follows, and it's a swell bit of haunted-house keyboard-driven punkishness. "A Very Pretty Song For A Very Special Young Lady" almost lives up to it's title until the douche-bag from the "Ipecac" song "Sit Down and Shut Up" returns...and returns again on "Nightclub Sequence," where this time band member John Trubee gets a rare vocal - not singing, but acting in a skit (and, yes, he did include prank phone calls on his solo releases). "The Mo-Fo's Are After Me" would almost be laid-back jazz-rock were it not for the anguished paranoid vocals.
"Torture Sequence" is simply a litany of voices complaining about Rift, and it's followed by "You're Killing Me," a great bit of New Wave From Hell, featuring some zany synths and drums machines (another new toy). "The Secret Marines" is dada spoken word + Zappa-esque horn rock.
In "Shiver Me Timbers," an album highlight, and "Escape From The Island Of Living Puke," the band gets down to utterly wacked-out (mostly) instrumental business - spazz-rock at it's finest.
"The Breather" is - hey, whatdoyaknow! - a downright catchy hummable melody, with philosophical lyrics, and a synth solo that sounds like doorbells ringing. And who's "I'm Happy" came first, Zoogz' or Ivor Cutler's?
It can all be a bit startling at first, but repeat listens reveal the humor and musical brilliance.
Zoog Rift - The Island of Living Puke