Old Time Relijun - Songbook Volume One
This reissue of the classic Old Time Relijun debut is most welcome. Right in time to ride the wave of 90s nostalgia, "Songbook Volume One" is a missive from ground zero of the decade's biggest "scene." But these Olympia, WA legends never cashed in like bands from the more fortunate sister city Seattle; they just dug in, turned it up and cranked out a slew of great music over the course of seven records. This set also includes goodies like four songs from the "Sabertooth Tiger" record, as well as a few four-track versions of classic tracks.
Tis good to relive the cranky blurt of tunes like "Baby Dragon" and "Gaw Gaw" and "Fig" again, as well as to jump out of your seat at odd times when vocalist Arrington de Dionyso lets a horn riff loose from the depth of his bowels, Beefheart-style. The four track stuff doesn't really add to the originals, which sucks because they take up a good half of the release. Still, the real meat is on that debut set, and it remains hot and bothered as on first hearing back in the day.
Old Time Relijun sometimes get their due, but not often enough. "Songbook Volume One" had the band blasting onto the radar in '95 fully formed and ready to shred. A band at home in straight on punk as well as in experimental grooves, OTR were fearless, and this is a good place to start, where they did, to see how big they really brought it in their prime.
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