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Spike in Vain: Jesus Was Born in a Mobile Home cassette

Spike in Vain: Jesus Was Born in a Mobile Home cassette


Tags: · 80s · hardcore · hcpmf · weird
Vendor
Scat Records
Regular price
Sold out
Sale price
$12.00

Reissue of 1984 tape release, remastered from the original reels. These recordings were originally intended to be the beginnings of a second album, but were set aside after a change of drummers. Many of the songs actually predate Disease Is Relative, but were passed over for that album. It’s SIV, so it’s still pretty varied, but there’s a bit more hardcore influence here than on the debut LP. Also includes 3 live tracks, one of which is from the band’s very first gig, as well as a very early rehearsal recording by an embryonic version of the group. 12 songs, 28 minutes.


Our take: I listened to Spike in Vain’s Disease Is Relative—for me, one of the great unsung underground rock records of the 80s—for years before I realized that record was only about 1/3 of their discography. Fortunately, when Scat Records gave Disease Is Relative a much-needed reissue last year, they also gave us the unreleased follow-up album Death Drives a Cadillac, and now they’ve reissued Spike in Vain’s debut cassette, Jesus Was Born in a Mobile Home, on its original format. While Disease Is Relative is still Spike in Vain’s shining moment, like Death Drives a Cadillac, Jesus Was Born in a Mobile Home captures plenty of brilliance. The sound here isn’t as razor-sharp as Disease Is Relative, the looser playing and punkier delivery emphasized by the production, which compiles what sounds like multiple recording sessions and live tapes into a sonic hodge-podge. This punkier version of Spike in Vain reminds me of proto-hardcore like the Germs, the early Dangerhouse bands, or the Feederz (the latter feels like an apt reference for “Rejected by No. 12”). Along with bands like the Feederz and the Crucifucks, Spike in Vain were interested in the stranger and more subversive aspects of punk, their music toeing the line between evoking that strangeness and holding onto the anger and energy that make hardcore what it is. Pick up Disease Is Relative if you haven’t already, but once you digest the brilliance of that album, know the other two releases in Spike in Vain’s discography are worth exploring too.