20070105

Left End - Spoiled Rotten (1974)

Orbis Quintus:

"The Left End were a snotty bunch of ‘plastic-punks’ from Youngstown - just down the road from the habitués of Messrs. Carmen and Thomas - with a stage-act to rival the Tubes and a sound crude enough to make James Taylor shit blood. Informed and equally enamored of the New York Dolls, Kiss, Aerosmith and Slade, the Left End didn’t so much cut through the chaff of Seventies rock as they did ridiculously exaggerate and entangle themselves in its many clichés. Kiss make-up, towering platforms, glitter, audiences pelted with live frogs… negative musical chops, lyrics about violence, bad women and alcoholic demons, a blitzkrieg death-ride through the Beatles’ ’Every Little Thing’ - this is the sublime sound of effortless street-level caricature - cartoon punk - thug rock of the highest/lowest prehensile order. But what the Left End may have lacked in sonic competence and originality, they made up for in outrage and bile; their collective spirit of irreverence being perfectly embodied in their imperfect lead singer, the inimitable Dennis T. Menass - a ’secret weapon’ of the classic Dick Manitoba style, possessing vocals like a Frankenstein Steve Marriott (or maybe Eric Carmen on steroids). Oh, it was pain from the start… Yet, somehow, in this ugly hick mass of fat and balding malcontents, A&R guru and all-around good egg, Paul Nelson, thought he saw the future - got the boys a deal, got their names written up in all the happenin’ papers. The Left End promptly responded to this rash display of good faith by throwing their benefactor down a flight of stairs. I’m sure Paul - a dude notorious for backing beautiful losers (New York Dolls, Blue Ash, et al) - couldn’t help, but appreciate the gesture. We can’t all get lucky like Landau, Paul - there are only so many Springsteen’s to go around (thank God).

Too dumb to rock smart and too inept to rock stupid, The Left End are to hard rock what inbreeding was to the royal families of Europe - a tragedy in hindsight, but seemed like a great item at the time. Their sound is Woodstock Nation, six years on - like the Music Machine had Jim Bonniwell cut his teeth in mid 70’s Ohio, weaned on Quaaludes instead of acid and speed. If your heart is large enough to lodge Burton Cummings and Sir Lord Baltimore, it’s more than roomy enough for Dennis T. Menass and Co. They’ll crash anywhere. The Left End’s lone album from ‘75, ‘Spoiled Rotten,’ (Polydor 6022) is highly recommended." (buy it)

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Left End - Take in Stride

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi
this is awsom this rocks!!


thanks

anders
sweden

Geir said...

Thanks a LOT!
Have been looking for this album since 1984...Finally I have it, thanks to you! You are my new idol! :-)

Anonymous said...

Not their "lone" LP, Left End continued through to the late 80's. They issued a CD album in 1989 which includes some tracks from the first album and some old 7" tracks.

Anonymous said...

i remember fondly being under the influence..not qualudes...packard music hall......i was freaking and Left End was on point....lol.....mad makeup....Dennis could not have looked more menicing. hit me up anytime.... killybay@earthlink.net.......i just came accross an old Left End flyer...1973....i can scan it and send to whoever gives a whoot...

Anonymous said...

Wow! I have been searchin for a good copy of this for ages. My original LP is kind of scratchy sounding. I really liked this band as well as all the bands mentioned in their review.
I would LOVE to track down their 1989 CD release and to see a jpeg of the flyer too!
GREAT blog!! Keep on rockin'! Dennis