Really, I should be a big Fuzztones fan. They’re right in my wheelhouse — American garage rock with its tongue in its cheek. A lot like The Cramps, but I think it’s more obvious they’re having fun (whereas I wasn’t entirely sure that Lux Interior wouldn’t use my eyeballs for dials on his TV set). But while I had heard of them in the ’80s, I never heard them. That’s how things worked back then, kids — if your friends didn’t own it, if the radio didn’t play it, if it didn’t show up on MTV, well, there was no way to know what something sounded like. If the record was used and you were tight with the owner, there’s a chance he’d put a disc on for you so you could see what you thought, but like buying a house, you really had a few minutes to make your decision. And while houses come and go, records are a lifetime commitment.
But a friend had a table at a Punk Rock Flea Market held here in Phoenixville two or three years ago, selling off some of his collection, and this beauty was among them. It’s a collection of spooky monster-related tunes, including one of my all-time garage rock favorites, “Night of the Phantom,” also known as “Night of the Sadist,” a swinging tune about a knife-wielding maniac who menaces Lover’s Lane (originally by the menacingly named Larry and the Blue Notes, and featured on a Back From The Grave collection). Originally released in 1992, this version is a very limited edition remastered release from 2016, one of only 500 pressings. It’s rock-solid spooky garage, but given the theme, it’s not necessarily someting I give a lot of plays. You’ve gotta be in the mood for songs like “Jack The Ripper” and “I’m the Wolfman,” though I’d argue that “Horror Asparagus Stories” is appropriate to all seasons.