Death Party

The Gun Club

(LP - Cooking Vinyl #COOKLP 506)

Review by Thom Jurek

Gun Club's Death Party EP was issued in 1983 between the mixing and mastering disaster that was Miami, the band's second album, and the nearly sublime Las Vegas Story. The recording also features a new and extremely short-lived lineup that featured guitarist Jim Duckworth (Panther Burns), drummer Dee Pop (Bush Tetras), a friend of his on bass named Jimmy Joe Uliana, and Pierce's then girlfriend Linda "Texacala" Jones on backing vocals. The five tracks could have been outtakes from Miami, powerful, dark rock of disillusionment, drug abuse, and warped sexuality. The playing here is somewhat pedestrian though certainly able. The pathos on the Gun Club's best records is missing here, but the quality of the songwriting makes up for it some. Certainly fans will want this. [In 2004, Sympathy for the Record Industry reissued the EP on compact disc with seven bonus tracks from a live performance on Radio Geneva. What's notable about it is Pierce's between-song banter, which is entertaining, snotty, and obviously intoxicated, and he plays piano on every tune. This gig is also the first recorded performance of bassist Patricia Morrison (aka Pat Bag from the L.A. punk quartet the Bags) with the band. (She would remain for years before leaving to join the Sisters of Mercy.) The material from the radio gig contains three tunes from Death Party, covers of "Run Through the Jungle" the old roots rock nugget "Heebie Jeebies," and Lewis Allan's "Strange Fruit," as well as a scorching rendition of "Fire of Love."]

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