Jeffrey Lee Pierce and The Gun Club exploded upon the LA club scene in the early 80s, with a howling, unholy mix of punk rock and the blues. His soulful, passionate voice with a quavering Elvis tremolo settled somewhere in that post-punk psychedelia no man’s land with fellow travelers Echo and the Bunnymen, Nick Cave, and Cramps/Jerry Reed-style swamp rock for good measure.
The Gun Club recorded Fire of Love, their debut, for the local Slash/Ruby label…but their follow up demanded something more substantial. Chris Stein of Blondie stepped in. He signed the band to his fledging Animal imprint, awarded to him by Chrysalis Records for Blondie’s huge commercial success. and passed the torch to The Gun Club.
Stein produced Miami at Blank Tape Studios in June 1982, with Deborah Harry on hand to sing backup vocals, credited under the pseudonym D.H. Laurence Jr. In a sense, it was a karmic return, because Pierce (a massive Blondie fan) had suggested they cover The Nerves’ Hanging on the Telephone on 1978’s breakthrough album, Parallel Lines.
It’s criminal how little attention the record garnered at the time, but in the crystal clear hindsight of 2020, they were simply light years ahead of their peers. You hear elements of Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, late 60s garage, and new wave in their indefinable sound, but sakes alive, this album is a rollicking journey.
This is an auspicious year to right the universe: Blixa Sounds will be releasing deluxe reissues in double CD and double vinyl editions on 4 December 2020. Both the double-CD and double-vinyl editions will contain a digitally remastered version of the original 12-track album, as well as demos of every track. In addition, the CD version will contain a second disc jam-packed with a total of 18 previously unreleased demos of material that would later turn up on The Las Vegas Story, including 6 tracks exclusive to the CD release. The double-vinyl version will be released as a two-LP set packaged in a gatefold cover with extensive liner notes by drummer Terry James Graham and journalist Craig Rosen, as well as rare photos and ephemera. The CD version is a two-disc set, also with liner notes, photos and ephemera.
Get yer paws on this and preorder at Amazon here. The Gun Club is one you’ll immediately want to join.