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Human Switchboard: Who's Landing In My Hangar? Anthology 1977-1984

Seen as a hugely influential and trail-blazing Avant-garde, melodic, punk outfit, Human Switchboard have over the many years since their passing been championed by luminaries such as The Beastie Boys, Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell and Mark Lanegan. However influential and trail blazing don't always result in truly great music and while there is the odd genuine classic housed on the band's only real full album Who's Landing In My Hangar, this reissue come compilation, also shows much of the music of Human Switchboard was decidedly wide of the mark.

The CD opens with the ten tracks which made up the WLIMH album, which first saw the light of day in 1981, with a less Pop savvy Talking Heads quirk and chorus being strongly in evidence. The trio, made up of Bob Pfeifer on guitars and vocals, Myrna Marcarian on keyboards and vocals and Ron Metz on drums, also had more than a touch of The Velvet Underground about them, resulting in a mixture of songs which have a certain accessibility to them, while at the same time being a million miles away from being "Pop". The songs "Refrigerator Door" prompted Kurt Cobain to proclaim it as "The "Stairway To Heaven" of Punk", although to most ears the slow keyboard dirge is at best an acquired taste, that said the 60's Pop meets the Stranglers twee, wallop of "(I Used To) Believe In You" offers a far stronger glimpse of what Human Switchboard were capable of.

The other eleven songs on this CD are culled from a couple of "sessions", a demo and a live show at CBGB's, and again the level of success varies wildly from song to song. "In My Room" comes across like sub-standard Doors, while the slow insistent stop of "Shy About You", while maybe a little more straight ahead than much else this band produced does have an eerie confidence that convinces to a far greater extent.

Ultimately Human Switchboard's one full album proper deserves this long overdue reissue on CD. Long time devotees will revel in the bonus tracks (another nineteen are available as exclusive downloads when you buy the disc), although for the non-initiated there will be an awful lot digging through the chaff to find the wheat.

Track Listing
1. (Say No To) Saturday's Girl
2. Who's Landing In My Hanger
3. In This Town
4. No Heart
5. Refrigerator Door
6. I Can Walk Alone
7. (I Used To) Believe In You
8. Don't Follow Me Home
9. Book On Looks
10. Where The Light Breaks
11. Shy About You
12. In My Room
13. Prime Of My Life
14. I Gotta Know
15. Fly-In
16. Shake it Boys
17. A Lot Of Things
18. She Invites
19. (I'm Your) Temptation
20. Maybe It's Stupid
21. Always Lonely For You

Added: November 22nd 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Human Switchboard MySpace
Hits: 1734
Language: english

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