The Landlords: Fitzgerald's Paris 12"

Feel It Records

$15.00

Long before it began sprouting Americana bands on every corner, the sleepy college town of Charlottesville, VA boasted a punk rock scene whose ferocity belied its small size. The Landlords, along with Lackey Die and the Beef People, stood at the epicenter of the action. After releasing the highly regarded Hey! It's A Teenage House Party! LP in 1984, The Landlords returned to the legendary Inner Ear Studios over the next few years to record their second album, Fitzgerald's Paris. Restored from the original master tapes and released after almost 30 years, Fitzgerald’s Paris offers seventeen tracks of pure rock and roll mayhem. Fusing musical influences as varied as Black Flag, Chuck Berry, and Motörhead, side A’s avalanche of epigrammatic money-tunes showcases The Landlords at their peak. Side B’s plunge into the jungle of noise builds on the intense dissonance of Scratch Acid, Live Skull, and The Landlords’ own infamous spinoff duo, Happy Flowers, all the while remaining rooted in hardcore punk. No matter the style, all the tunes on Fitzgerald’s Paris are destined to delight America’s next generation of alienated youth, while infuriating school boards, police departments, and town councils everywhere. Packaging includes an 11"x22" insert containing lyrics, flyers, and unpublished photos plus a free MP3 download of bonus studio material and a live set recorded off the board at CBGB's in September 1985.

Our take: It seems like every update there are one or two records that I'm just kind of stuck on... that are just what I want to hear at the moment and I end up playing them over and over. This Landlords reissue is definitely the LP from this batch that's hitting me just right. Really, though, this is two records. Side A is an early recording that's just kind of your standard, run-of-the-mill USHC with perhaps a little more rock influence. All of the tracks on this LP were recorded at Inner Ear, so the whole thing sounds absolutely phenomenal. I swear, if the single worst hardcore band of all time had done a recording at Inner Ear between 1980 and 1988 or so I would probably still love it, and the Landlords are very far from the worst hardcore band of all time, so the A-side is pretty good. However, the gem here is the b-side. It busts out of the gate with this dense, almost pained sound that reminds me of so many of my favorite records... Die Kreuzen's first two LPs, Articles of Faith's Give Things LP, Honor Role's Anonymous Cave EP and The Pretty Song LP. The primary things that seem to change are 1. the band slows the tempos down a little bit 2. they drastically increase the sophistication of the harmonic interplay between the guitar and bass and 3. the vocalist suddenly becomes much more expressive and interesting. Flipping over side A and dropping the needle on side B is akin to the moment in The Wizard of Oz where everything is suddenly in color. I just can't say enough about those eight tracks on side B... I almost feel cheated that this music existed but I'd never heard it, but at the same time I'm so thankful that I get to listen to this now. If you like hardcore music that is dense, complex, and challenging (i.e. you like the aforementioned records and/or similar stuff like the Crucifucks, Spike in Vain, Saccharine Trust, etc.), you need to hear these tracks. Highest possible recommendation.
Tags: 10s 80s hardcore recommended reissues