Eric Davidson’s Record of the Day- High Plains Drifters – “All the Same”

Eric Davidson 
OH YES! Some wise soul posted this disastrously loaf-eye trash glam slab onto YouTube. And by disastrous I don’t mean this tune is a “disaster” in the usual slaggish way, I mean the recording and band sound like they are executing their best try at the third take while tumbling and crumbling down a hill. That hill most likely being behind a garage in a suburban backyard cluttered with rusted manual push lawn mowers and old bikes unused.
YouTube player
That suburb probably was on the west side of Cleveland, I’m not sure. Which I should be, as I saw this band a couple times during their brief existence on the mid-80s CLE scene. They came and went about as fast as you’d expect a band that seems to be a classic “first band” — some members into it, some not. The sound and vision was mostly of the lead singer, a burgeoning David Johansen wannabe whose closest thing to having sex yet was probably walking in on his sister and her 28 year-old boyfriend on the couch when he cut school one day. That of course did not stop him from penning this grossly lurid boy-boast (“This won’t hurt and you won’t feel…any pain”). Sloppy Thunders guitar licks slice in like those lawn mowers pushed over those bikes, and drums rumble like sooty, rust belt rain clouds. You can almost hear the drummer yelling, ‘Take that, fuckin’ drums!”
Recently digging into the excellent Razor Boys posthumous LP on HoZac ( ) got me thinking about those bands who existed in the mid-80s: post-New York Dolls, pre-hair metal cheese-out, but sprung from punk and sub-minimum wage wallets, and hence not really cleanly falling into any obvious category. Too sleazy stupid for college radio, too cock-strutted for punk dives, and too far from the Sunset Strip where they might’ve been signed or overdosed.
So go brave this blistering tune (and near equally crashy A-side, “City Life”) that originally came in a darling Kinkos undersized folded sleeve. As the years go by and my love for CLE bands past never deflates, I’m always surprised how often I pull this single out. But then I play it, and it fuckin’ rules.
I’ve been told High Plains Drifters might’ve had a cassette with some more songs, but who knows. Some things are best left in the backyard.

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Ms. Moneynine

Musician, Music lover, Maniac! I’m also a freelance writer and contributor at Please Kill Me. And I’m presently calling the PDX my home. You can also follow me on Bandcamp.

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