We Dig Nixon Seven-Inch
(Vee Dee Records)
The Voodoo Idols were a Cramps-inspired band that toiled in the greater Tampa Bay area between the end of the '70s and sometime in the mid-'80s. While the verdict's out on the fans' appreciation of their two full-length albums, one thing is for certain regarding their two seven-inch efforts: These are genre pleasers that encompass everything early primal punk rock was about. Shock, crassness, sloppiness, and genuine youthful naïveté are words that come to mind. Today we'll look at their second seven-inch single, the oft-misunderstood We Dig Nixon record.
Comprised of Butchie Necropolis on guitar, Vah Metz on bass, Hughie Whoopee on drums, Johnny Yen on vocals and Merlo on saxophone, the Voodoo Idols had all the makings and potential energy of going the Devo/new wave/new romantic route if they had chosen so in 1982. However, what we have here is a clear swamp and demonic blues inspiration for some irate-sounding tracks that deal, at some level, with era politics and self-aggrandizement.
Where exactly the saxophone fits is better explained as an aid for the quirky guitars and effects that almost add not so much of an art-punk base but more of an experimental but-we-don't-quite-know-what-we're-experimenting-with noise line. Good if you're into that kind of stuff. I could see them on stage at a Roofless Records party, spitting warm beer on hipsters whilst trying to entice the girls into the van. Swampy.
On paper, "Fuck You, We Dig Nixon" is a reactionary take on the politics of their youth but is more an excuse to shout "fuck you" over and over while declaring their love for the disgraced politician. Their take on the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen"? Maybe, but there's far more unintentional humor here. The flip is "Dead Air," a track that purportedly attacks the perpetual horridness of commercial radio but at the same time serves as a call to arms for the band to perform live. Longer than the A-side and far more complex in its (mis)use of noise and artiness, it's actually a little cleaner sounding.
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Both these tracks are as lo-fi as you can get, but there's something irreverent about them that makes them kind of endearing. We'll go into the band as a whole via coming reviews of their catalog, but for now, enjoy this slice of swamp Americana. Whether you dig Nixon or not. Or even make the lyrics out at all.