In 2010 I wrote the following:
On the whole this is a pretty great record and Xene is pretty damn alluring.
There is a little too much Manzarek here for my liking. From the liner notes it sounds like the Doors cover and, perhaps, by extension, his involvement, was somehow a condition of the release, which is annoying and also not very “punk.” His organ adds something to their sound which was missing from most punk music of the era, but it is still a little odd that they didn’t seem to know “Soul Kitchen” before they did it.
It’s funny what nearly five years will do to one’s tastes. Now I don’t regret Manzarek’s involvement at all – I find it a nice differentiator from other punk bands.
To be honest, I thought I had been surprised by how traditional punk this was, misremembering that I had expected something like Black Flag and instead got the American version of X-Ray Spex. Well, they’re considerably more rock and roll / rootsy than X-Ry Spex but there is a slight similarity in the female vocalists.
This is relatively traditional punk for 1980 but it boasts stronger songs than most punk albums of that time, and their sensibility is unique and defined in a way that many of the punk bands that appeared around this time weren’t able to accomplish.
All tracks written by John Doe and Exene Cervenka except where noted.
- “Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You’re Not” 2:25
- “Johnny Hit and Run Paulene” 2:50
- “Soul Kitchen” (John Densmore, Robbie Krieger, Ray Manzarek; Jim Morrison) 2:25
- “Nausea” 3:40
- “Sugarlight” 2:28
- “Los Angeles” 2:25
- “Sex and Dying in High Society” 2:15
- “The Unheard Music” 4:49
- “The World’s a Mess; It’s in My Kiss” 4:43
- John Doe – bass, lead vocals
- Exene – vocals
- Billy Zoom – guitar
- D.J. Bonebrake – drums
Ray Manzarek – organ on “Soul Kitchen” and “Nausea”, production