Strawberry Switchblade - 1982 4-Piece Demo EP

by Jeff Penczak Rating:8 Release Date:2017-01-27

About as unwieldy a title I’ve heard in a while, it does accurately reflect the contents of this 3-song EP, the original demo from the original 4-piece lineup, featuring guitarists Jill Bryson and Rose McDowall and soon to depart rhythm section, Janice Goodlett and Carole McGowan on bass and drums respectively. Bryson and McDowall would skyrocket to brief success before going their separate ways, leaving only one official album behind, although their fanatic followers have uncovered numerous demos and unreleased material over the ensuing three and a half decades. Last year, McDowall released archival recordings that included tracks originally slated for the Switchblade’s second album.

The previously unreleased ‘Spanish Song (Don’t Go)’ is a pleasant, albeit rather dirgy pop tune that benefits from a driving beat, snappy tambourine and vocal – sort of chirpy Goth pop somewhere between Siouxsie and Mo-Dettes. Sadly, it goes on for about a minute longer than it should, with unnecessary filler taking up the rear. ‘Go Away’ would be recut for the eponymous debut, but here is softer, dreamier, and slightly psychedelic. The final track, ‘Trees & Flowers’ was a freebie giveaway (with another version of ‘Go Away’ on the flip) in early copies of the album. Another dreamy pop tune, it evokes fond memories of early Galaxie 500 and Luna. All told, a worthy release for fans and newbies alike.

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