Like many, I’m sure, the death of Dave Kusworth has sent me spiraling through Jacobites’ back catalog and some solo Kusworth LPs, all wonderful examples of his idiosyncratic songwriting over the years, but the dive pulled up one I wasn’t familiar with. Dave’s first band TV Eye, which bears some deal of influence from the band that penned its namesake, has found its recorded output reissued in the last couple of years and its worth a rifle through the tracks in its own right. Kusworth and his cohorts were all still in high school when these tracks were recorded, all between 17 and 18 and while its definitely a bit rough, the band channels the snottiness of garage and the raw edge of porto-punk that came before it into something that radiates its own kind of glorious damage. The record pulls in some of that Stooges mania, but they never get that raw (who could) and more often they storm through some Voidoids/Heartbreakers territory that’s equally fun.
The comp contains five studio cuts and the rest are culled from some rehearsal sessions, which give a working mindset to their songs and inject a bit of raw edge to the collection. Its certainly not the sound that Kusworth has been associated with for the majority of his career, but along with The Hawks and Rag Doll, it make up a good trifecta of his formative years. The collection is put together well and 40 years on, these sound as sharp as they ever did. This one has appeal to the Kusworth completists, but hey for the roots of punk crowd, there’s plenty to hang onto here as well.
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