Review Summary: crazed with devotion..EP II
“It's dark outside except for pinpoint light,
Why, a little gold tooth, lost in a fight.
I'll duck outside, pick it up from the street,
Stomp on it once and lay it at your feet,”
Hell squawks on opener "That’s All I Know (Right Now)", his lyrics serrating a golden mean between Bleecker gutter crud and the prim androgynous elegance of Rimbaud; Tom Verlaine’s snaky, impervious guitar lines coiling around him. Such was the decidedly spendthrift start of two of East Village’s most wanton bands, then known as The Neon Boys, a quarrel-prone entity, which would soon fracture into Television and the Voidoids. The two bands’ ‘same but different’ whacks at a new sound are both lodged in the EP’s opener, and "That’s All I Know (Right Now)" is about as perfect as a punk song can get – tense, terse, tender and desirous the way only kids standing on the brink of something extraordinary could be. The distinct proclivities of its splintered bands are here in equal giddy measure – Verlaine’s tightly-drawn, immaculately-curated guitars and Hell’s uncoordinated free-form assaults.
Concentrated on Hell’s early writing output (both he and Verlaine have been compulsively removing most of their oldest material from the bowels of the internet), the EP does a cool and brisk quarter-hour dash through early demos (Don’t Die), future cult staples (Time) and soon-to-be full-body reworks (Love Comes in Spurts), the imminent agility of its creators already planted in the marrow of the material. It throbbed and thrashed, and somewhere there, marked the scrappy beginnings of the future iconoclasts of the borough’s maligned southern border, a stranded corner of the universe where in just a few years, sonic reducers, psycho killers and brats with baseball bats would cement CBGB’s as a haven for the unholy.