"I’ve been a Cynics devotee as long as I remember -- from the early ‘80s singles on Dionysus and the subsequent Blue Train Station elpee debut; through a still-memorable mid-’80s gig in North Carolina that found the boys from Pittsburgh torching, appropriately enough, an old pizza joint-turned-punk club; to a long hiatus during the ‘90s when I consoled myself, in the group’s absence, by taping all their 45s for non-stop in-auto play.
Now they’re back, my first return whiff of the Cynics’ still-extant power being a pair of frothing slabs of 45rpm wax. “Turn Me Loose” is classic high-octane Cynics: overdriven fuzz guitars, distorto-choogle harp, Yardbirds raveup dynamics and manic vocal yelps, while the flip is a searing cover of the Electric Prunes’ proto-metal nugget “Never Had It Better.” Another cover, of obscure psych-garage outfit The Gonn’s desperation daze ode “Doin’ Me In,” leads off 45 #2, and verily, it is a lovely sort of death. With the jangly 12-string pop musings of band original “Last Day” gracing this flipside, it’s safe to say that for Cynics fans, the band never really went away it was just snoozing. Now my advance peek at the Living Is The Best Revenge CD completes the jumpstart upon my Ray-O-Vac heart. Alongside the two above-referenced originals and the Prunes tune are stellar covers of the Satans and the 13th Floor Els (what would a Cynics album be without the band genuflecting before the sonic teats that have nourished them since their cub scout years?) plus a slew of prime Cyns’ skree. Among my picks to click are the malevolent, iPsycho”-edged “The Tone” and the interstellar hard rock jam “Shine” which sounds like Coltrane crossed with the old Alice Cooper Group. But there ain’t a duff track in the bunch, and all I can close this appreciation with is — boy fuggin’ howdy!
-Fred Mills, assoc. ed., MAGNET Magazine
1. Turn Me Loose PLAY 2. Making Deals PLAY 3. Marianne PLAY 4. The Tone PLAY 5. Ballad of J.C. Holmes PLAY 6. She Lives (In A Time Of Her Own) 7. Revenge 8. I Got Time 9. Let Me Know 10. You've Never Had It Better 11. Last Day 12. Shine