Johnny Skilsaw, S/T, 9 songs, 1991

Johnny Skilsaw, S/T, 9 songs, 1991

Mike Pain: Vocals
Jay Wasco: Swiss Army Bass, vocals
Rev. Peter Führy: Pyrotechnics/A.C. repair/more vocals
Karen Carpenter: Drums

Overproduced by Jay Wasco

Side A
Hair Colour And Witchcraft
Spaghetti Western
Absolution Row
Last Stop

Side B:
Treadmill For Two
Black And Green
Fat Of The Land
One Heartbeat Away

Jay Wasco is among the more memorable characters I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Musical wizard, inventor of instruments bizarre, post-punk circus master, manic-expressive nutzoid — heck, spend some time in Jay’s Museum to catch my drift, or just listen to this. This self-titled cassette from 1991 was my first exposure to Johnny Skilsaw, a few years before Jenifer Convertible and Philco Bendyx shared a bill with them at Brownies that will live forever in my memory — mainly because Skilsaw destroyed that night. I swear, it was like ELP turning up for a small town battle of the bands!

Other than Jay, the line-up on this self-titled cassette is entirely different from the gents I came to know in person; I suspect it’s mainly the amazing Mike “Pain” Patterson on lead vocals (man, I wish I’d seen this guy perform!), with Jay doing everything else with a drum machine (although Karen Carpenter would have been awesome. Also dead.) and his bloody mad bass/keyboard hybrid, the Swiss Army Bass.

“Treadmill for Two” is the killer tune on this ribbon, remaining a centerpiece of their set up to and throughout an ill-fated singing to Atlantic, and tragic ending, of which more later.

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