I’ve been corresponding with Jim Suplex on and off since back in the halcyon days of the Myspace era. I was doing my label and putting out Hipshakes, Black Time, Purple Wizard, & Coachwhips records, and he had some really noisy records and CDR’s that sounded like the bastard spawn of Guitar Wolf and Bo Diddley dailed up to 11, awash in squalling feedback and engine noises, but they also had hooks and that Diddley rhythmic sensibility buried underneath all the chaos and noise.
At a certain point we decided to swap wares and he sent me a CDR with a Waitresses cover on it (they covered “I know what boys like” but their version is called “I know what girls like”) I always secretly wished they wouldn’t have changed the gender of the original version, it seemed like perhaps the queerer and thus punker option, but a nod to The Waitresses by these English noiseniks from Croydon, London warmed my heart none-the-less, especially when it was this good. Perhaps they’ll consider tackling “Jimmy Tomorrow“, or “Bruisiology” if they revisit the The Waitresses catalog again in the future. Or team up with honeychain’s Hillary Burton again and tackle the manic and perfect Waitresses pop song “Wasn’t Tomorrow Wondeful“.
So fastforward a few years, I had started a new label (Girlsville), Atomic Suplex had two solid full lengths under their belts on the esteemed Crypt and Dirty Water Records, respectively. I started noticing Jim’s comments on Youtube videos for The Primitives and The Darling Buds. I got back in touch with him and asked if he’d consider tackling an early Primitives song for a compilation I was putting together as a co-release with Nerve Centre Records. He was happy and excited to oblige and enlisted the aid of Los Angeles pop rocker Hillary Burton (honeychain, The Pandoras) to handle some of the vocal duties. The original choice was to tackle “Stop Killing Me” but in the end they landed on a cover of “Really Stupid“. It turned out really great, and Paul Court of The Primitives seemed really tickled by what they’d done with the tune, turning it into a boy/girl call and response, intergalactic cartoon-punk rendering.
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Last September I started making rumblings about a benefit compilation I felt compelled to put together after former St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley was acquitted in the police-involved shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith. After the protests down there broke out, I was highly disturbed by the response from the police and the Mayor. I was disturbed by the crackdown and prosecution of J20 protestors. The events in Charlottesville were weighing heavily on my mind, and around that same time in Salt Lake City, Anthony Harmon was shot in the back and killed while he was running away, unarmed, in yet another police-involved shooting. The reason Salt Lake City PD gave for even pulling him over was because of a broken tail light on his bike. So these events were the impetus for this benefit compilation. I wanted to create a comp that would benefit legal aid for anti-racist, anti-fascist activists, and donate a portion of proceeds to the Haymarket Gym in Chicago which is a FREE community self defense gym that eschews the whole heteronormative macho gym culture.
Straight-away really great artists from John Dwyer’s Damaged Bug to The Myrmidons and UK Gold began to contribute material, and Atomic Suplex wanted to get involved and they offered up this fantastic Bo Diddley cover they’d recorded in 2012 but never released. Asked about the track and the comp in general Jim told us,
“The track was recorded in a couple of hours at my home in Croydon, London way back in 2012. I have always loved the Diddly beat and the lyrics are sublimely nuts, Bo walks on barbed wire for miles, in a tie made out of a rattle snake, bragging about his new ‘human skull’ chimney. Ha. Some of the ‘instruments’ are just grinding machines and engine noise, in fact I think there is more of that in the mix than guitars. Covers have never featured on Atomic Suplex records or live sets, but I was glad to have a decent track waiting in the wings when the Girlsville Our Voltage compilation came up. I know its only a very small gesture but I feel its important to make anti-racist / anti-fascist views visible whenever possible. If we all shut up and the only people making noise are the racists, then that background noise begins to sound normal. An ignorant, intolerant, hateful world is not a world I want to live in.”
ME NEITHER! So without further ado, here is Atomic Suplex version of Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?”. From (VA)OUR VOLTAGE.
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FEATURED FLYER/ILLUSTRATION USED FOR THIS PIECE BY TRISTAN WILDER