Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Suitcase: Failed Experiments and Trashed Aircraft (disc 4) (2000)

Suitcase: Failed Experiments and Trash Aircraft 
(2000, Fading Captain Series)

For an intro to Suitcase: Failed Experiment and Trash Aircraft check on Disc 1.

Disc 4

Trying to Make It Work Again- 2 Deeply saddening, downward tailspin of a compact acoustic song.  You can see the steam coming off your breath while listening to this track recorded in ‘81! But besides the cool history trip back to the early '80s, this opener to Disc 4 is rather D.O.A.

Turbo Boy-  1 Have you ever heard those Billy Joel songs where he tries to get all angry and hard rocking? It usually sounds forced and laughable?  Yeah, this is pretty much one of those forgettable songs.

Chain Wallet Bitch-  1 Shambolic, snippet that stumbles along like a drunk drum set trying to drive itself home.

Little Head- 3 ‘87 basement demo with electric guitar and vocals only.  Not terrible, but little to grasp onto with no real standout moments. Could have been decent on Sandbox with the full-band.

Why Did You Land [Slow Version]- 3 Earlier recording of what would end up on The Official Ironman Rally Song 7’’ years later. Rickety and sad, and kind of hauntingly beautiful if you give it the time.

Time Machines [Different Version]- 3 Would later wind up as a classic opening song on Pollard’s side project Lexo and the Leapers' Ask Them.  This version is much different. Basically this adaptation only incorporates the verse of the “released” version as a bridge over staccato, harder chords. Hypnotic vocals are pretty cool, though.

A Farewell to Arms- The second Hazzard Hotrods song on the Suitcase box-set, that would later wind-up on the Big Trouble LP.  You can read the review there.

Best Things Goin’ Round- 2 Acoustic guitar and vocal recording from ‘83. Unmemorable 1 minute lament.

Sickly Sweet-  1 Contender for one of the worst tracks on Suitcase if not all of GBV released material. Pummeling rock noise and bullshit distorted lyrics.

United- 3  Electric guitar and pretty melodies created by dual recorded Pollard vocals.  Enjoyable sketch of a song that could have fit nicely if rerecorded on a Matador Records EP.

Unshaven Bird [Original Version]- 1 Later appeared on the Boston Spaceships LP Our Cubehouse Still Rocks. This version is pretty short, and pretty useless.

Black Ghost Pie- 3  ‘95 recording of a short, fast tempo, poppy garage banger. Lacks the big hook to make it memorable or passable for Alien Lanes era recordings.

Go For the Answers- 3  Basically the same song of what would become “Go for the Exit” on Boston Spaceships Brown Submarine LP. Here it's not the great closing track it is on there, but the acoustic/vocal sketch still bares the same great melodic flow and unpredictable chord pattern and remains highly enjoyable.

Rocking Now- 3  4 chord rendition of what would later become the over-produced, and downright pretty “Wrecking Now” off Do the Collapse. The chorus is still pretty great, sung over lo-fi punk buzzing.

Excellent Things- 2 Fairly forgettable rough sketch of a  song that is mildly saved by it’s slide, noodling guitar part at the end.

Static Airplane Jive-  1 No relation to the enjoyable early ‘90s EP.  This is one revereb riddled short, hot  mess where one moody chord is struck and Pollard scats bullshit over it.
Where I Come From- 3 ‘80s college rock jangle over mid-tempo beat, and airy vocals. Simple harmonies fill out the chorus. One of the best song on disc 4 of Suitcase but lacks what it takes to make it stick out in the pantheon in any form.

Try to Find You- 4  Live recording from ‘84 is the only appearance of said song. Mid-tempo, poppy recording that should have appeared on another recording.  The intoxicated audience members in the back are a welcome addition.

Deaf Ears [Different Version]-  1 Would also later wind-up on the GVB The Official Ironmen Rally Song 7’’ down the line. But here, deaf ears sound like a welcome addition and also your best way to get through this dreck.

Good For a Few Laughs-1  Terrible.  Random cymbal hits and kick drum hits courtesy of Jim Pollard while Pollard drunkenly whines.

Raphael-  3 Punk-pop acoustic slides on a simple song that’s undeniably catchy with no real twists. One point has been deducted for the overly repetitive, and kind of overly annoying "Raphael" pronunciation.

My Feet’s Trustyworthy Experience- 3   Acoustic and vocals with a couple of great vocal hooks over otherwise unremarkable guitar chord strums. Slyly somber.

Eggs-  1 Variation on the GBV song “The Future Is In Eggs.” Instrumental and highly grating. Especially if you've been able to sit through almost 4 CDs of this stuff.

Wondering Boy Poet [Piano Version]- 2  Yup, the piano version of the same song that appears on GBV’s Vampire on Titus.  Sounds like an Elton John unused verse.  I’ll take the rougher LP version with Sprout vocals any day.

Oh, Blinky!- 4  Roughly recorded, punk song with fractured noodling over it.  Strong, messy closer to a, but very messy collection with its few and far between strengths


  1. Why Did you Land's my favorite song on this c.d. I prefer this version to the one on the single.

  2. 'Try To Find You' main refrain can be found in the bridge/coda of 'Storm Vibrations.'

  3. Hey Eric two minor typos on this page. Track 10 is titled "United", not "Untied" - and it's a fucking 5! Very Beatlesque/ British invasion sound with a hook that just grabs you and doesn't let go. Go try it again please!

    By the way this blog is the best thing ever. I love all the work you've put into it and all the hours I've enjoyed reading it.

    1. Thank you for the good words and thanks for reading! Also, changed the title. Good call. And yes, I will revisit. As time's passed, I definitely feel different about some of these songs! Cheers!