The Visitors

Visitation '79

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Visitation '79 by the Visitors is a legitimate follow-up to the two classic Radio Birdman albums that preceded it. The material certainly stands with guitarist/writer Deniz Tek's other work, and although Mark Sisto's singing certainly isn't better than that of Rob Younger, it is very similar in style and holds up well by comparison. Sisto has a little bit more of a Jim Morrison thing going on, but that's OK because so does the band. This is the only album the Visitors made, and this reissue has been remastered to great effect by Tek and keyboardist (and fellow M.D.) Pip Hoyle. The songs are pretty dark and pure rock & roll. The moody opener, "Living World," sets the tone with Hoyle's Manzarek-like organ work. A song about John Needham, "Brother John," follows. Needham became Tek's manager, but was then just a friend of the band who issued the album as the first release on his own Citadel Records, a label that probably put out more great music than any other indie label in the '80s. "Haunted Road" is next, a song about North Territorial Road near Ann Arbor, MI, Tek's hometown. Other highlights abound. "Sad TV" is absolutely devastating, and a song many should relate to. "I'm going home to watch my Sad TV" pretty much sums up life for many in this world. "Let's Have Some Fun" is an upbeat rocker in the tradition of Radio Birdman's "More Fun." "Hell Yes" is a hair-raising footstomper that sounds like a good show closer. Appearing for the first time on the reissue is "Skimp the Pimp," a song by Tek that dates back to his first Australian band, TV Jones. The version here is chaotic (in the best way possible) and fully realized. Several of these songs were performed by New Race on its one and only tour; that band elevated the material to an even higher level. [Note: the original Citadel album cover had an Easter Island motif and was seriously cool.]

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