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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hubble Bubble

Pull up a chair.

There's been a bit of internet chatter as of late over the great debut LP by Belgians Hubble Bubble. Lemme add my ยข2, okay? Mostly notable for having Plastic Bertrand on the skins, Hubble Bubble has lapsed into hopeless obscurity since it's '78 release. It was booted a few years ago, but even the bootleg is worth an inordinate amount of money, far more then even most connoisseurs of such claptrap are willing (or able), to spend.

Well, folks, I listen to Hubble Bubble with far more regularity than I listen to other semi-obscurities as Big Balls and The Great White Idiot (One Okay Lp and A Band That's Just Not That Special), The Kids, or even fellow non-reissued proto punkers, Hackamore Brick. I'd put Hubble Bubble on about an even keel with The Pack (whom I love), but Hubble is a more interesting band - but more on that later.

Big Balls And The Great White Idiot is, let's face it folks: no great shakes. Sure, they've got a funny name and are from Germany, a nation not known for it's sense of humor, but there's not a whole lot more to 'em. Their first LP out of their surprisingly large discography (note: it's not difficult to amass a large discography when you're writing consistently boring songs) is the only notable one. It's just okay. Give me a minute while I reflect inwardly on Big Balls, and shrug.

Hubble Bubble is a better band then fellow Belgians, The Kids. I put the Kids at about the same level as The Avengers, a band that had three or four great songs (that all sound very similar) and a number of mediocre songs, that just sound like pale imitations of their good ones. Yeah, don't get me wrong, The Kids and The Avengers both had their moments, and their moments are great... But, when it's not the cream of their oeuvre and listening to 'em is spread over more then a solid dozen or so minutes, well, it's starts to all sound the same. This may sound like I'm trying to be insulting or mean spirited, but it's just in my nature, a solid dozen or so minutes is far more then 99% of bands will ever do. There's nothing wrong with writing a few classics, that have elevated themselves into the punk lexicon and calling it a day. But let's be clear on this and sgree that the remainder of the LP is little more then an afterthought, okay?

Hackamore Brick & Hubble Bubble are two different animals, whose only real similarity is they both have yet to have a proper reissue. How can someone reissue The Mentally Ill and not those two bands? I like Hackamore Brick just fine, but the later is more my speed.

Hubble Bubble has a welcome weirdness to it. The production is bizarre, and I mean that as a compliment, with the occasional analog electronic blurps, and the drastically different vocalists, different songs on the record sound like a completely different band. They can careen through a song like The Damned ('Look Around'), have a more mid-tempo almost New Waveish feel ('New Promotion'), make you think they are rubbing elbows with synth punk ('Little Jeanie'), or do some great demolitions/covers (Sandy Posey's 'Born A Women', some hippie jerkoff's 'If You're Going To San Francisco', the Kink's 'I'm Not Live Everybody Else'). This is when they aren't doing an overamped solo on what sounds like a broken ukulele ('Freaks... Out!'). Yeah, it's a heckof a record, let me tell you. I'd say it's worth buying, but I can't advise anyone to spend $100 dollars on a peice of vinyl, no matter how magical the contents therein. Spending $40 on a bootleg, well, that's just silly. But I will tempt you by saying it is an unsung punk LP, maybe even THE unsung punk LP, that could go toe to toe with most classic punk records and come out okay.

Now, how come nobody has done a proper reissue?

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