New York's Bush Tetras are almost as famous for what they didn't do as for what
they did accomplish in their short-but-influential three-year campaign
The group--Cynthia Sley (vocals), Laura Kennedy (bass), Pat
Place (guitar) and Dee Pop (drums)--rose to prominence in the late '70s/early
'80s thanks to a fierce sound that mixed punk energy with African rhythms and a
tribal dance beat, taking their place alongside the New York No Wave
figureheads of the era: Lydia Lunch, James Chance & the Contortions and the
By the time they disbanded in 1983, the quartet had released
a string of singles and EP's (their first single, "Too Many Creeps," climbed to
#57 on the Billboard Dance chart), but never a full-length album.
Beauty Lies (May 6) will change all that. The first new material by
the original band in over a decade and their first full-length ever,
Lies is a 13-track barrage of aggressive singing, spiked guitar, nakedly
harsh and slightly-off drumming and post-punk angst that speaks with an acid
tongue and an unforgiving heft.
Produced by former Labelle member Nona
Hendryx, the album is bursting with dark material like the lurching slide bass
tune "Dirty Little Secret" and thudding, funky rap/sung rocker "Satan is a
Bummer," the industrial-leaning gutter blues of "Color Green" and the gothic
stumble of "The Ballad."
BT got their feet wet for their re-emergence with
a Henry Rollins-produced single on Tim/Kerr Records last November that featured
the songs "Page 18" and "Find a Lie," both of which appear on the record. Other
songs on the new BT album are: "Mr. Love Song," "Beauty Lies," "Silver Chain,"
"Mental Mishap," "Basement Babies," "World" and an appropriately trippy,
dub-inflected remix of that song called "World Dub."