Beat Temptation

Beat Temptation

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This obscure Tim Lee side project (the album is not even listed in the usually exhaustive Trouser Press Record Guide) is, despite a notable lack of stylistic focus, the best of his one-off collaborative excursions. Side one is the hardest-rocking clutch of songs ever done by a Windbreakers member. "Some Name" is a jumpy, rollicking number featuring fine saxophone breaks. Imagine R.E.M. as a thrash band and you'll have a good feel for "The Talk." "Amnesia" is a wonderfully bizarre, chaotic, funk-oriented selection with snorting saxophone interludes. The Velvet Underground song "What Goes On" is covered in gutsy, driven fashion, then linked directly up to a walloping version of the Stooges' "1969" that is cast in a crunching arrangement almost reminiscent of the Who, which even Robin Sutliff's curious whiny vocal cannot diminish. Side two is a letdown after all this. "On Your Mark" and "Bad Sermonette" are classic jangle-pop cuts, with the latter featuring stinging lyrics critical of religious abuses. "Better than You" has a very noticeable dance beat, while "Fuzztone Mama" is a snarling sax-based instrumental. "Oh No, Not Love," while it does rock out a fair bit more, is rendered ineffective by a poor sound mix that buries the vocal line. This strange, yet compelling release is well worth getting, especially for its first side.

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