Hot on the heels of Alive’s first-ever formal reissue of the Nerves EP and a rare live set, comes this volume of demos cut by Peter Case and Paul Collins in between the demise of the Nerves and the formation of their respective bands, the Plimsouls and the Beat. As with the Nerves, Collins started out on drums and Case on bass, with various guitarists pressed into action for cassette- and home-made reel-to-reel recording sessions. Case and Collins handled the vocals and eventually took on guitar duties as well. The recordings vary in quality, but the enthusiasm of power-pop pals playing and singing their hearts out easily transcends moments of mono muddiness and under-mixed vocals.
The thirteen songs include a few that had been recorded by the Nerves such as “One Way Ticket” and “Working Too Hard,” as well as originals that would become staples for the Plimsouls (“Everyday Things”) and Beat (“I Don’t Fit In,” “Let Me Into Your Life,” “USA” and “Walking Out on Love”). Even more interesting to fans are the originals that didn’t make it past these rough demos. “Radio Station” features the deep reverb guitar and impassioned vocal Case would perfect with the Plimsouls, “Will You Come Through?” has the ringing guitar of a P.F. Sloan folk rocker, and “House on the Hill” shows off Case’s rock ‘n’ soul sound.
In addition to the songs Collins would re-record with the Beat, he offers the driving drums and Everly-styled harmonies of “Little Suzy” and the rhythm-guitar propelled “Do You Want to Love Me?” As Collins notes in the liners, “this is the sound of pop on the streets of Los Angeles circa 1978, no money, no deals, just the burning desire to make something happen in a town without pity.” Case and Collins approached these sessions with the unbridled passion and total dedication of musicians without masters – no label, no audience, no radio stations, no managers or agents, just the muse of pop music. The recordings may be fuzzy in spots, but the invention is clear as a chiming bell. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]