SOCIAL CLIMBERS – s/t LP (1981)
This is a post I’ve poached directly from the excellent Zamboni Soundtracks, drugs who’s got an embarassment of riches pouring out from in-between his lines of CSS code. I’ve been listening to an awful lot of stuff from his site recently, more like the discog of former Temptations vocalist David Ruffin — and this one also hit me up the head sideways. Solid post-punk junk! Zamboni sez:
Considering this band was a cross-section of Hoboken, NJ, New Orleans and Bloomington, it is right up my alley! Featuring members of MX-80 Sound, this is actually 3 7″s compiled by Gulcher, although originally released by a Gulcher-friendly Hoboken label. -Ian!
Mark Bingham flirted with a number of projects prior to compiling the works of Social Climbers, including production work for MX-80 Sound and collaborations with New Yorkâ€™s Glenn Branca. A. Leroy also worked with Charles Moulton, a choreographer, creating the music for his â€œPrecision Ball Passingâ€ pieces in the early 80s. Social Climbersâ€™ only album was indeed a compilation of three excellent, but poorly pressed 7â€ flexis put out by the band. Armed with just a couple of guitars, a rhythm box and an organ, youâ€™d be forgiven for thinking that this album may not offer anything special, or that Social Climbers would simply mirror the b-movie aspirations of their New York peers, Comateens (which they do here there, particularly on â€˜Western Worldâ€™). however, Bingham & Co. conjure up a highly original mix of quietly neurotic post-punk restraint. both the organ and rhythm boxes are used highly effectively, thanks to subtle production trickery and clever programming, neatly offset by the geeky garage-band vocals. tracks like â€˜Chicken 80â€™, â€˜Chris & Debbieâ€™ and â€˜Thatâ€™s Whyâ€™ are shining examples of the very best of post-punk DIY, thanks to both memorable tunes and a cool, if insular, atmosphere of moderate despair. as the album wanders comfortably over the stylistic map, each track in some way hits the spot, and most hit more than one. Every lo-fi collector should get to hear this. and what a tragedy that it was never followed up.