Ron House - As New Wave As The Next Guy (1997)

Best known for his roles as frontman for seminal 1980s indie-retro-popsters Great Plains and 1990s noise rockers Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, Ron House got his start in the late '70s and early '80s outfits Moses CarryOut and Twisted Shouts. New Wave as the Next Guy collects those bands' nearly impossible-to-find early recordings, several of which were previously available on House's cassette only Blind Boy in the Backseat release on Old Age records. House's distinct vocal style, a bit nasal with a tendency toward tantrums, and bitter wiseguy lyrics evoke one of two reactions from listeners: vehement hate or total adoration. Sure, the initial reaction may be shock or confusion, but it very quickly melts into one of the two others, there is no middle ground. Lo-fi and recorded live at various Ohio State University-area venues, the songs have a ragged quality, but it works well for the songs with darker lyrical tones, among them "New Maps of Hell" and longtime House (and later Great Plains) staple "Chuck Berry's Orphan." Worth the price of this record on its own, on "Chuck Berry's Orphan," House's vocals tear through the listener with lines like "Hey Captain, it's been a bad night/My best friend was shot on sight." In all, New Wave as the Next Guy should serve to complete the collections of House fans, but moreover it is interesting enough to warrant the interest of those less familiar with his work and serve as an introduction to his unique musical vision.


decrepittapes said...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, big fan of Great Plains & TJSA. True to say a lot of folks don't get it. I described Ron Houses' voice as a cynical Jad Fair to someone once which is kinda there.

Not heard this one before, looking forward to it.

Cheers Mike