THE WINDOW SMASHERS – This Is Pre-Coital Rock
(2006 Belial Records)
Talk about making a good first impression, this CD sports some classy packaging. The matchbook-style case, a limited series of 300, is a work of art in itself. Designed by synth player and vocalist Lacey Smith and printed at Firecracker Studio, the heavy cardboard case is screened with the band name and a horse skull on one side and a rocking horse surrounded by lightning bolts on the other. And it is seriously cool.
So, I haven’t even listened to the CD yet and I’m already completely intrigued, because the second best thing is the song titles. Unabashedly un-PC, songs with titles like “She’s Growing Tits, I’m Growing Old,” “Drunk Blind Girl Drinking Piss,” and “Bareback Saddling Toby Keith,” demand your attention and each seems to clamor, “Pick me! Pick me!” And this is where they get you, it’s all a trick, the Window Smashers just want to pull you close so they can push you down and steal your lunch money. The CD only runs thirty minutes, but it’s a punishing half hour. Yelping vocals, abusive drumming and sadistic outbursts from the Moog, this is what happens when a band like Screaming Cyn Cyn & the Pons goes bad, maybe even rabid. “Demon Dance Floor Eyes” finds Smith demanding “take off your clothes” after confiding that “demon dance floor eyes will steal your soul.” Meanwhile the dysfunctional family ABC’s of “A is for Abstinence” teaches us what we didn’t learn in school, that B can be for birth control or birth defect, and D for dirty or delinquent. All the while there’s another voice telling us that “M is for masturbation,” disturbing, yet strangely hypnotic. (Oh, and while I can’t be exactly sure, I don’t she does actually drink piss.)
So what then to make of disc two? After spending a half hour working you up (not to mention roughing you up) they spend the next 45 minutes chilling you out. With titles like “Early 2005 Improvisation” and “February 2005 Noise Piece #3,” these songs are as intriguing in their vagaries as disc one was with its troubling specifics. Gone are the ferocious vocals, the synth is now your friend, whether calming you in one song or gently encouraging you to nod you head or maybe shimmy your shoulders in the next. Huh. Will the real Window Smashers please stand up? One way or another they are going to get you.