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Friday, July 1, 2016

Sue Saad and the Next - s/t

Name: Sue Saad & The Next
Album: s/t
Year: 1980
Style: New Wave, Power Pop, Rock
Similar Bands: Kim Carnes, Patty Smyth, Scandal, Pat Benatar, Blondie, Girlschool, Cold Blood
One Word Review: Sleazy Power Rock
Based Out Of: LA, CA
Label: Planet Records, Elektra / Asylum Records
 Sue Saad and the Next - Cover & Record
Sue Saad and the Next - Back & Record
Sue Saad and the Next (1980)
  1. Your Lips-Hands-Kiss-Love 4:11
  2. I Want Him 3:15
  3. Cold Night Rain 2:46
  4. Won't Give It Up 3:33
  5. Danger Love 4:10 /
  6. Gimme Love / Gimme Pain 3:18
  7. It's Gotcha 3:05
  8. Prisoner 3:40
  9. Young Girl 3:57
  10. I I Me Me 3:13
Album Rating (1-10): 7.0

Members & Other Bands:
Sue Saad - Vox (Calliope)
James Lance - Drummer, Producer, Vox (Calliope)
Richard Perry - Producer
Tony Riparetti - Guitar, Vox (Calliope, Beastie Boys)
Billy Anstatt - Guitar
Bobby Manzer - Bass
Gabriel Veltri - Recording Engineer
Bill Schnee - Remix Engineer
Doug Sax - Mastering
Ron Coro - Art Direction & Design
Johnny Lee - Art Direction & Design
Aaron Rapoport - Photography
Kathleen Nelson - Production Coordination
Michael Solomon - Production Coordination

Unknown-Ness: I have never heard of this band. But I like their borderline new wave punk look, and focus on blacks and reds in the artwork. They are literally standing outside of a garage, so the idea of them being a garage band is not lost. The main question is how tame the vocals will be: smooth, or jittery, but either way, this looks like a cookie cutter new wave band from 1980.

Album Review: Sue Saad was one of the first new wave bands to be signed to Planet Records. This album was produced in less than 20 days and only cost $50,000 3x less than most albums at that time. Their second album was self produced, and just came out this year (2016) as a digital purchase. Toward the end of their career, they got involved with soundtracks and Sue Saad was even in the film Radioactive Dreams.  Because of the film, Lance & Riparetti were hired to record more soundtracks on their own. Lance moved on, and Riparetti continued solo, at one point worked with the Beastie Boys, and eventually setting up his company Sound Logic to continue low budget soundtrack production.

“Your Lips-Hands-Kiss-Love” revs up with spoken, echoy female vocals over a pulsing riff, and then a power pop guitar spews its hook, and the song begins to take it’s staggering form. The chorus is a bit call and response, as each word in the title is sung with a bit of follow up. It is pretty fun. The song fades out with the vocals and the power riff playing off each other.
“I Want Him” is another driving, slightly dark melody, with jangley, jittery guitar notes buried under basic power pop chords. Not too special, but it still posesses a nice build and delivery. The vocals are a bit raspy as they gain energy, like a higher pitch Janis or Jefferson Airplane, or even 10 Wheel Drive or Cold Blood.
“Cold Night Rain” starts out quiet and meandering. The slow kick drum comes on about 45 seconds later, and it seems like a power ballad. The vocals are powerful, reminding me a little of the current Philly band Sheer Mag. The song just kind of ends without warning.
“Won't Give It Up” has a fun, bouncy skiffle beat, and is playful from the get go. The chorus is also just as fun, pushed on with a fun bass line, with a little vocal and guitar call and response. It has a little of the Jam’s Motown inspired feel, like on Town Called Malice (but not nearly as catchy).
“Danger Love” at its base, is dark. There is some renegade guitar work that tries to stick it out on its own, and keeps the song interesting. But the rest of the song bounces along nicely. It is basically trying to be sleazy hard rock.

“Gimme Love / Gimme Pain” carries on with the raspy female vocals that feel very authentically emotional, like they are going to crack at any point, particularly in the chorus. The song is built up nicely, and delivers through a sturdy, building, bridge with a pleasant & catchy chorus.
“It's Gotcha” starts off with an intense jittery guitar, and never lets up. This nervous, coked up, driving drum and guitar melody never lets up, and only releases a bit of the energy in the chorus. The nice thing about the song is that it could just be two dimensional, but they make efforts to keep the sections different and interesting. After two run throughs, there is a bit of a psychedelic breakdown and mocking melody, but the driving beat remains underneath, it finishes out with final flourishes and ends with some power chords.
“Prisoner” slows things down, with a slow, chugging head banger. The vocals carry lots of emotion, but the music lets her have full range without interference.
“Young Girl” adds a little sly ska rhythmic guitar under the brooding, reflective lyrics…thinking Elvis Costello Watching the Detectives. The chorus reminds me a little of the Fiddler on the Roof song “If I were a Rich Man,” with a very 80’s rock vibe.
“I I Me Me” ends the album on a rocking, near B-52s surf note. The song is straightforward, without any kitchy B-52’s elements, except the short surf hook. It a driving song, and the whole band shares in the chorus. There is an odd breakdown that reminds me a little of Devo, again minus their specific sound, perhaps just in melody progression. 

Stand Out Track: It's Gotcha


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