Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Hardcore Art Gallery: Dayglo Abortions "Feed Us a Fetus" LP

I stumbled across a CD re-issue of Dayglo Abortions "Feed Us A Fetus" the other day while cruising through the bins at SMASH! Records,located on M Street in the Georgetown section of Washington DC. I absolutely had to pick this CD up. In high school, I used to love this record.

I remember when I first came across this record. I was a junior at Central Bucks West High School in Doylestown Pennsylvania, and I was cutting classes with my friends Mark, Steve and Jason to take the R5 into Philadelphia for a day of record shopping. I was standing in the basement of 3rd Street Jazz, located in the Old City section of Philadelphia, when I came across a record that had a portrait of Ronald and Nancy Reagan on its cover. Ronny was seated at a table with a dinner place setting in front of him, with Nancy standing by her man, arm draped around him. Both of them wore big smiles for the portrait.

Upon further inspection, I noticed the Gipper was seated in front of a large serving plate that had a fetus on it, covered in ketchup and jelly beans (Reagan's favorite candy). On Ronny's tie was a tie clip in the shape of the McDonald's golden arches, an obvious reference to American consumerism and disposable culture. Upon very close examination, I noticed that Ronald Reagan also had a set of fangs, and while his expression had a "smile for the camera" feel to it, he also looked kind of evil. Lastly, on the Presidential Seal hanging from the wall behind them was the title of the record, and the banner being held by the Eagle on the seal had the lyrics to the Dayglo Abortions song "Bed Time Story" on it, which read: "Flesh and Blood and Spattered Guts. Dripping Brains and Radiation. Everybody's Mutilated. Screaming Missles. Burning Babies." Very cool.

This cover art was actually the subject of some controversy. The art, painted by Randy Stubbs, was at the center of a precident setting trial for obscenity in Canada. The band faced charges of distribution and possession for the purpose of distribution of obscene material in an Ottawa court in the late 1980's, and were acqitted of all charges. You can guess where a band stands on the subject of censorship when it prints "Dedicated to Tipper Gore (play it loud, Douchebag)" on its back sleeve.

For those who have never checked out the Dayglo Abortions, they're like a Canadian blend of The Meatmen and Dead Kennedys in that they have clever, politically charged lyrics accompanied by a hefty dose of gross out humor. If you're interested in checking the band out, I would definitely start with Feed Us A Fetus. It's a great record if you stop playing it after track #10. The first 10 tracks were recorded in 1985, and they absolutely smoke, while the remaining 11 tracks basically sound like a demo, before the band really got an opportunity to perfect their sound and focus on their identity.

You gotta love a band that has stage names like Couch Potato, Jesus Bonehead, The Cretin, and Wayne Gretsky. But if you don't dig the music, just get it for the cover anyway.

Best tracks: Bedtime Story, Wake Up America, Proud to be a Canadian

You can purchase Daygo Abortions "Feed Us A Fetus" through God Records

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