14 August 2008
Second Hand Record Dip Part 14 - Screemer - Interplanetary Twist
What: Interplanetary Twist
Found: Reckless Records, Soho (RIP)
Cost: One pound
...it's another Second Hand Record Dip entry for Bell Records. Aren't you the lucky ones? Of course, Bell were the glam rock label in the seventies, churning out endless pieces of tinsel from their dayglo production line, and it just so happens that it's these records which clog up charity store bins, remainder boxes and even rubbish skips the most. And no, that isn't a lazy, off-the-cuff remark, either - hundreds of rare glam singles recorded by Freddie Mercury under the name Larry Lurex were once found in a skip, discarded by some fool who believed them worthless.
By 1976, glam rock was starting to look a bit worn out, and bands falling back on the genre were frequently disappointed by the time the chart rundown was released. Even the established acts often struggled, so new ones - like Screemer here - found that Britain was hostile to their stomping sound.
In Screemer's particular case, however, one has to wonder if they were a mite too OTT even for the glam genre, if that's possible. I have come across many records in my time, but few have sounded as ridiculously theatrical and camp as this, a tune about introducing rock and roll to the people of the twenty first century (presumably they thought we'd all be blasting around on jet packs and listening to Jean Michel Jarre by now). Starting off with an airy synthesiser noise and a peculiar, Mystic Meg-styled vocal (which you just know the lead singer delivered with a suitably vacant stare), then building into a Rocky Horror Picture Show styled epic number, "Interplanetary Twist" is baffling. It's like The Sweet after they've eaten far too many sweets and are on a sugar rush, or Spinal Tap with some new space-age props. I've never seen a photo of Screemer, but I hope and pray they all wore futuristic space suits and had ridiculously ambitious fringes, otherwise the image I've got of them in my brain will be shattered.
I don't want to trick anybody into thinking that this is some kind of golden nugget of spacerock - although it is actually huge fun for five minutes, which is precisely what all good novelty pop should be. Just thank your lucky stars (no pun intended) it wasn't a hit and we didn't all have to hear it a hundred times, otherwise this could be a very different blog entry indeed...
Once again, the B-side ("Billy") isn't much cop, I'm afraid - but what more did you want from these intergalactic rockers, eh?
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