Thursday, April 20, 2006


I've been meaning to rip all of my singles by Minneapolis noise-rockers Vertigo for some time, but shit always seemed to get delayed. Then, about a month ago, always on-the-ball Jay Hinman at Agony Shorthand wrote up the first Vertigo 7" and fucking nailed it:

The fucked-with stills from some ancient monster movie on the record's sleeve hinted at what was inside. "Two Lives" is foreboding and weird throughoutits 3+ minutes, when barely-harnassed feedback providing the bedrock for a simple, haunting guitar squall. The singer - when there are vocals at all - sounds distant and a little bit annoyed, like he's parked in a bedroom behind alocked door not entirely capable of providing his disinterested commentary. "Front End Loader" is a crazed instrumental with a hall-of-fame riff - it makes sense that these guys covered CRIME's "Murder By Guitar" later on, because I'm telling you, they are easily in the same league. Finally, "Phil 105" might be the best of them all, with thinly-disguised melodics that are the diamond in a showering frenzy of heavy guitar-shard feedback.

Awesome - This 1988 single by Vertigo just may be their best offering. Originally pressed in a batch of 300, Forced Exposure decided to help out and press another 700 to make this a nice even 1000. In 1989 the band hooked up with AmRep and released the killer Bad Syd/Going To Pieces 7". They would go on to release 3 full lengths and 3 more singles before burning out some time in the mid nineties. While the albums were spotty in places, the singles always delivered. Here are the first two:

from their debut on Skid Mark
Vertigo - Two Lives.mp3
Vertigo - Front End Loader.mp3
Vertigo - Phil 105.mp3

from their first AmRep single
Vertigo - Bad Syd.mp3
Vertigo - Going To Pieces.mp3

and while I have your ear why not enjoy this cover of the Flesh Eaters
Vertigo - Shallow Water.mp3

  • Vertigo founder Gene Tangren followed up Vertigo with the equally cool Silver Salute, who released 3 singles in the mid-nineties. Gene is currently in Grackle and runs Suspended Dimension Records
  • "Shallow Water" appeared on the 1993 compilation Self Mutilation Volume 3, lovingly compiled by Cousin Creep