Review Revue: Screaming Blue Messiahs - Bikini Red

It seems the Screaming Blue Messiahs’ career peaked with this, their third album, fueled by the wild success of “I Wanna Be a Flintstone” (as predicted by one of our reviewers). Based on the response of most of the KCMU DJs (apart from our oft-dissenting friend Creed), their music was deeper than just that one hit and should have made for a long career. But unfortunately the strains of touring, label relations, and all the various trials that go into being a working band were too much for the group, who called it quits in 1989.

Coincidentally, this album’s producer, Vic Maile, passed away in 1989 from cancer, at the all-too-young age of 45. In that short life he had managed to rack up a very impressive resume indeed, working as an engineer with everyone from the Kinks to Hawkwind to Led Zeppelin, and producing artists from Screaming Lord Sutch (whose name I’d previously only heard associated with the mad genius producer Joe Meek) to Motörhead and our old friends Girlschool. Having died so long before the Internet Age, there probably aren’t many tributes to him floating around online, so why not consider this post a much-belated bit of Maile appreciation? If you can’t find Bikini Red, the least you could do is rock out to some Ace of Spades or Nick Lowe’s Jesus of Cool, right?

“Power pop. Produced by Vic Maile (i.e. Godfathers, JAMC? [if this is a reference to Jesus and Mary Chain, they appear to be one of the few bands he didn't work with] . . .). There are some really cool songs on this puppy. ‘Flintstones‘ will be AOR hit only for for novelty factor. Oh well, what do they know.”

“ROCKS.”

H? At least until it becomes obscenely popular, which it should, if there’s any justice in the world, or at least in the pop music charts.”

“Jesus Chrysler . . . cool song. The rest sounds good too. Maybe H.”

“I put the kibosh on this so hard that it goes down to M or even L.”

“The Kibosh? What’s that? Some kind of Polish sausage? This is great, big time.”

“Shawn, you’re just jealous of his bald head. (Sorry for revealing your identity again.)”

“I think this is a fine LP. Shawn, lighten up will ya. It’s getting silly now.”

“What luck! The big chunk missing is from 2 white-dots!”

“I got $100,000 for it.”

“Enough already. This has been in H for 2 months and it’s always in front. It’s like someone is having a favor done for ‘em knowing that KCMU has this mediocre record in H. DOWN NOW!”

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One Comment

  1. Eric
    Posted November 15, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Bikini Red is one of my absolute favorite albums. It’s impeccably engineered and has a sound all its own — and it sounds best when cranked up as loud as your speakers can handle. I don’t understand why this album is practically unknown. Every song is a winner.

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