george brigman: jungle rot

"So you're 18, the good vibes of the 60s have turned ugly in a PCP/STP haze, and yer living/surviving in an urban wasteland. There's little doubt fate has you pegged to be another pasty zombie victim of the American dream… so what do you do? You record a fucking killer record that's what!! In 1974, George Brigman, hunkered down in a 'studio' called The Hole in his Baltimore apartment and laid down a series of tracks that would eventually become Jungle Rot. It ended up being released in a small private press run and promptly disappeared. Over the next 30 years it would be bootleg a number of times and then given a proper resurrection and clean up by Karl Ikola & Rick Noll.

"Jungle Rot" is special because it exists as not only an absolutely demented record of wide eyed white boy blues but it also acts as one of the missing links between the heavy blues and acid damage of '67-'72 and the major musical revolution that erupted a year after it's release. When you factor in that Brigman was 18 years old when the record was conceived, well it hardly seems possible. The album kicks of with the fuzz-packed proto-punk Stooges Fun House downer trip of "Jungle Rot" & "DMT" (trade Steve McKay's horn for a harmonica) and slides into a bit of snotty kid punk (Don't Bother Me) before hitting the charmingly inept drunk basement blues of "Schoolgirl", "I've Got to Know", and later "I'm Married Too". Mixed in through the album were two tracks that really stood out (T.S. & Worrying) not for anything good or bad, but for the lack of sludge & how much they reminded me of something else. I didn't catch it right away… even though it was pretty obvious what with one track titled T.S., the original label called Solid, and later bands Hogwash & Split…ahhhh this kid was a Groundhogs fan!! At 18 this kid was a fucking Groundhogs fan and even had enough talent, skill, balls to create a song that not only honors Tony McPhee but sounds like he wrote it too!!!

Sonically, the apparently crap pressing has been remastered from the original tapes, but still retains a nice shit-can recording sound that adds to its authenticity. It's nice it was cleaned up, much more so that it 'beats the boots' as it were, but even a lo-fi version of this album would have received rave reviews. The LP version is pretty solid package, but for those strictly in the digital realm the CD adds three other tracks from a later Brigman project."

(Chris Jacques, foxy digitalis)