Sunday, 27 September 2009
KHMER ROUGE - New York London 1981-86
You may have noticed that I’ve been running one of those widget ads for the Nikki Sudden and Phil Shoenfelt album. A while back I posted a Phil Shoenfelt album, and said there was a link between The Clash. Here’s the link; Phil Schoenfelt was a child of the 1977 UK Punk scene. He relocated to New York in 1979 and immersed himself in the No Wave scene, were he met up with Barry Scratchy Myers, a guy who was all versed in all things punk rawk, having been The Clash’s tour DJ for their first 3 US tours. The pair recorded and gigged together under the name Khmer Rouge, a reference to America’s foreign policy in Vietnam. They had record company interest from former New York Dolls manager Marty Thau, but he insisted the band had to change their name, he also had problems with the pairs heroin use/abuse, so any proposed deals failed to happen, and subsequently very little was released by the band, who remain to this day one of those ‘cult bands’ you wish you’d heard more of at the time at the time. The band played with The Clash, Billy Idol and The Fall, before disintegrating like their drug supply. Considering their dependencies the bands recordings are remarkably together and positive. After Khmer Rouge ‘Scratchy’ served time in The Junior Manson Slags while Phil went solo and also recorded the Golden Vanity album with Nikki Sudden in 1997. This compilation was originally released by Cog Sinister, The Falls record label. It’s a 2 disc set with the studio stuff here and the live stuff there. What’s the vibe? Well it’s like Joy Division meeting PIL and the Gang of Four and The Clash. Compelling stuff that still says something, after twenty + years; the groove and the message has aged well. I mean New York band Radio 4 used the Khmer Rouge blue print for their mighty fine 2002 album Gotham. Enjoy!