Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Vulcan - "Say Girl" b/w "Drugs Can Kill" 45 single

Vulcan is mostly known for releasing an insanely nasty sounding slab of psychedelic rock, the Meet Your Ghost LP released in 1985 and only sold in one single shop in Spencer, Iowa, where Vulcan was from.  Dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, the LP is very raw, poorly recorded, but oh so fuzzy and really, really good.  Since being rediscovered sometime later, the LP has been bootlegged and reissued to death.  Little do the private press record hoarders know, however, that before Meet Your Ghost, Vulcan released a 45 single that my friend Justin just so happened to come across tucked away in the jacket of another record in the free bin at a local record shop.

Vulcan, as it turns out, is one man, Lyle Steece.  In 1979, a few years before Meet Your Ghost was recorded, he released this 45 on North Star Productions.  This single is about as far away from Meet Your Ghost as you can get, musically speaking.  This is a folk record, there's nothing electric about it.  It's stripped down and simple, Lyle crooning over an acoustic Dobro guitar.  The whole package is screaming loner: songs about a lying significant other, drugs, and the record itself is "dedicated to My X on H", a person whose relationship with Lyle must have been a rocky one if we're to believe the songs themselves.  In "Say Girl", Lyle sings of a cheating woman and a bad break up.  The b-side, "Drugs Can Kill", is a warning that dabbling in hard drugs could lead to a quick death: "listen brothers and listen sisters, a little grass won't hurt anyone, but when you take bigger risks, your life could be done".  A weirdly depressing vibe is created by the sparse vocals, downer lyrics, and simple, no frills guitar playing.

When listening to this record, you can't have Meet Your Ghost in your mind.  You're not going to like this record if you do.  This is in no way psych rock, so don't expect that.  I didn't appreciate this record at first simply because of the fact that it is not the sound that Vulcan has become known for.  I've since grown to appreciate this record for what it is as I've learned to let it stand on it's own with no comparison to what the artist did later in his career.  So go ahead and clear your mind of anything Meet Your Ghost related and enjoy this nice little slice of Iowa loner folk.

Vulcan - "Say Girl" b/w "Drugs Can Kill" - 1979

1. Say Girl (4:30)
2. Drugs Can Kill (3:45)

Click here to download.