The Embarrassment


If you slam the power-chord antics of the Buzzcocks into the haughty glam punk of the Gun Club and strain the fizzy concoction through the Replacements' gritty Midwestern filter, you'll get something approaching the Embarrassment, an excellent rock group from Witchita, Kansas, that formed in '79 and split four years later.



Their recordings are clamorous and ratchety, with every part mixed way up there at the top, as though the whole thing was taped to tracing paper. That's not to say they weren't well-rehearsed and sharp. If anything, the fact that every line—the gonzo drums, the wiggling hooks, the plain vocals that land with a belly-flop slap—could be mistaken for the lead makes for a fun listening experience. I wonder if the nebbish indie acts of today, like Parquet Courts, know about them.

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