Recorded and mixed at
Suma Studios, Painesville, Ohio
Mastered at Masterdisk
Rick Garberson played drums
Vinyl LP Record
Mercury Records (USA) SRM-1-3776
released in 1979
THE ROLLING STONE REVIEW
The Bizarros are a young quintet from that hotbed of rock & roll eccentricity, Akron, Ohio, but they're not eccentric at all: they're frighteningly, exhilaratingly accomplished. These guys have hoarded tricks and technique from the Velvet Underground (how to make slow-tempoed rock sound swiftly plotted) and any number of English punk bands (how to make abrasiveness a suitable vehicle for delicate, even poignant, feelings). To this, they've added their own ideas about rock ellipsisI defy anyone to tell me what their eleven clearly enunciated lyrics are aboutand have cooked up an original formula for combining both their sensitivity and their aggression.
Lead singer Nick Nicholis has a charmingly flat but flexible voice, one that avoids a monotone by the skin of his larynx. Nicholis invests nearly all the Bizarros' songs with a nameless anxiety, even while his crisp diction mocks the genius-garage-band sound his group cultivates.
Frequently, as in "Young Girls at Market" and "Lady Doubonette," lead guitarist Gerald Parkins implants a billowing, enveloping solo that at first seems to have sprung from nowhere in the tune, but whose origin somehow crystallizes during the course of his performance. It's more than just a neat trick, and often lifts these compositions of quotidian, disconnected images and somber intensity into areas of quiet epiphany.
So it is with the entire album. Knotty and unyielding, Bizarros boasts enough hard and lyrical force to meet a wise, witty rock & roll standard that too few bands today seem capable of reaching. (RS 298)
- KEN TUCKER
Although other Northeast Ohio post-punk and New Wave acts went on to greater success and notoriety Devo, Pere Ubu and the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde all spring immediately to mind few were as crucial to the scene's longevity and impact as the Bizarros; the first Akron band signed to a national record deal, the group's frontman Nick Nicholis also operated the fabled Clone label, which issued records by key regional acts including the Waitresses, Tin Huey, Human Switchboard and the Rubber City Rebels.