Thursday, January 22, 2015

If there's a better way I'll learn it (Split Enz) #354-355

Split Enz I See Red/ Hermit McDermitt; Message Boy (Mushroom, K 7284, 1978)

Split Enz Things/ Semi Datached (sic) (Mushroom, K 7643, 1979)

To my mind there are distinct phases to the Split Ends/Enz story:
  • Prologue - Split Ends release two singles and appear on New Faces
  • Act 1 - Split Enz - Phil Judd and Tim Finn in control, Mike Chunn on board
  • Act 2 - Tim Finn in control (Neil ascending)
  • Act 3 - Neil in control (Tim descending, then no Tim)
  • Epilogue - reformations
These two singles are firmly in the transitional zone into Act 2 with Tim in control and younger brother Neil finding his feet.

I See Red is a Tim song and is a frenzied blast of raw kiwi rock and roll. It works, spectacularly! A classic!

Things is a Neil song (although Tim and Neil sing great co lead vocals) and is catchy in a clever XTC pop way. Although undeniably catchy, it's still not quite firing on all cylinders. 

Neil was paying attention though as we'll see in the next post.

Hidden gems: The bizarre image years of weird haircuts, weird makeup, and weird clothes were becoming a thing of the past but Hermit and Message both have that kind of weird vocal quirkiness to them still.

Semi Detached (but spelled incorrectly on my copy) is a kind of Charlie or Stuff And Nonsense style ballad. For my money Tim nailed it more on those other two titles.  

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