Hell I’ll take any reason to shine a light on The Embarrassment, and with this low key reissue sneaking out via Brooklyn’s Almost Ready records. Formed in 1979 in Wichita on a Vonnegut reference and an tightly wound, yet undeniably vital post-punk sound, the band would remain forever under appreciated. They usually get filed under the RIYL: Feelies, Gang of Four, Mission of Burma column, and that’s not without its merits. Like their more high profile contemporaries, the band was able to balance ecstatic tension with bone on blood hooks. Studious, but notoriously ferocious on stage, the band would eventually earn opening slots for a diverse array ranging from Iggy Pop to William S. Burroughs. The band launched into physical space with the 1980 single Sex Drive / Patio Set, but it would be this eponymous EP that would set things in motion for them.
Originally released on Cynykyl Records, the EP caught on with underground fanzines and college radio as it began to take a tighter grip on an alternative to the mainstream fare of English import new wave and outsized metal. The band would continue pretty much on that trajectory until their dissolution in 1983, haunting early Sub Pop cassette compilations (#s 5&7) in their infancy, and releasing the excellent follow-up Death Travels West. The closest they’d come to an album during this period would be in retrospectives, the best of which might be The Embarrassment LP in ’87 on Time to Develop, though both Homestead and Bar/None took a crack as well and did nice jobs with their works and legacy So as we stand the band still remains to trigger a cocked eyebrow when you hear someone mention them rather than the American indie pioneers as they might deserve to be known. This is the first time this has been in print on LP since 1981 and if you’re lacking in The Embarrassment, this is a damn fine place to start on an essential band. Thanks to Glenn Donaldson for the heads up on this pressing, almost missed this reissue, as the rollout was very quiet. The band deserves some fanfare to be sure.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.