THE SCENICS! CIRCA ’76 PROTO PUNK – LIVE AT UFO FACTORY – TONITE THURSDAY 10/6/16
LEGENDARY PROTO PRE ETC PUNK BAND – CIRCA 1976 CANADA – THE SCENICS ARE PLAYING UFO FACTORY TONITE – THURSDAY – 10/ – VERY LIMITED USA SHOWS IN SUPPORT OF THEIR RELEASE “IN THE SUMMER” ON LIGHT IN THE ATTIC RECORDS…
“It wasn’t so much that The Scenics were ahead of their time in 1977, it’s more that almost everybody else didn’t even know what time it was. New York had Talking Heads, and England was blessed with XTC, but here was their equal in Toronto…” Bob Mersereau, author, “the Top 100 Canadian Albums”
“Largely unappreciated when they originally existed between 1976-81, these underground icons merged Television’s guitar work, Big Star’s pop prowess, Pere Ubu’s dementia, & the Ramones’ urgency.” Montreal Mirror
The fact that all 10 numbers were recorded, in true live Velvets tradition, on a buncha crappy cassette tapes doesn‚t tarnish the Scenics‚ sonic patina — it only enhances their chances of making this the best VU tribute album ever… they also mine the less-obvious depths of Unca Lou‚s songbook to essay what are arguably some of his greatest songs…. Finally, it all culminates literally live in a basement with a twisted 10-minute Metal Machine Music -meets- Television version of ” Sister Ray” that even John Cale never envisioned in his wildest nightmares. the Scenics don‚t ape the Velvets , they enhance them…”
Jeffrey Morgan’s sizzling platter of the week, Detroit Metro Times January 2/2008
(Jeffrey is also one of our favorite writers with CREEM magazine.)
Like Simply Saucer, The Scenics are a legendary Canadian band barely known in their own country, let alone elsewhere. Both bands built off of the abrasive drone of the Velvets, warping it into their own menacing hypnotic genius. “how does it feel to be loved” makes that debt explicit, but is more than just a set of Velvet Underground covers: it is also a reminder of and an introduction to the beast that was The Scenics.
Recorded in the late 1970‚s, these covers were taken from various live gigs around Ontario, and show the band inspired and cheeky. While the highlight is a ten-minute plus eviscerating of “Sister Ray,” what the band does with songs like ” I‚m Beginning to see the Light “and” Here She Comes Now” is what is remarkable. They manage to inject warmth into dark tracks, and sarcasm into Lou Reed‚s more hopeful tunes; in a way, they expose deeper meanings to the songs, while maintaining a seeming reverence for the original material. Pretty gutsy for 1977. While the Scenics naturally had a sped-up pub rock sound typical to the era, on their Velvets covers, show themselves to be smart and willing to take risks, even with the songs of legends. At a time when covers were an excuse for punk bands to tear down, The Scenics were rising above.