The never-ending well of 70s Ohio underground music continues to seep from the pores of the Buckeye State with reckless abandon, as diligent archaeological excavation is repeatedly rewarding us with gems like this 3x7" boxed set, just released in time for your holiday shopping by the fine folks at Lakewood, OH record store My Mind's Eye. As part of the critical Cleveland triumvirate of mid 70s CLE noise, Styrenes were the more straightforward leg of that triple-headed beast, while in contrast to cohorts electric eels and Mirrors, they were definitely able to pull off a noisy melody just as the Mirrors could, as well as an art-skronked freakout just like the eels. The band emerged originally as the Poli Styrene Jass Band, with a main base consisted of Paul Marotta, Jamie Klimek, Anton Fier and Jim Jones starting from around 1975. Several fluid name changes later (Styrene Money, George Money Band) they plowed right on into the the early 80s before disbanding, and reforming in the 1990s with The Pagans' Mike Hudson in the fold.
What we have here, is a really handsome 3x7" boxed set, covering seventeen rare tracks culled from the vast archives of founding member, as well as the hub of these three band's world, Paul Marotta, and lucky for anyone that's been keeping track of these guys for a while, it's all previously unreleased. It cannot be praised enough that these bands recorded as much as they did, and it's always just so exciting hearing about more of this material surfacing this late in the game.
Cleveland legends in their prime, they sadly were not, yet 40 years later, these bands like Styrenes, electric eels, and Mirrors still conjure that Midwest proto-punk magic that keeps the fires burning bright, deep inside our scarred rock'n roll souls, constantly intrigued at the prospect of EVEN MORE material being unearthed from this golden age of the Mesopotamia of Punk (that's OHIO). Even if you picked up that Styrenes 2x7" set on Mustard Records a couple years back, there's luckily no overlap here and this triple 7" really hits the spot with a vengeance, with detailed liner notes from both Jamie Klimek as well as Marotta, and a whole collection of songs you need to hear.
For a limited time, My Mind's Eye is selling a clear vinyl mail-order-ONLY edition, but the black vinyl is only $20 plus shipping, an excellent deal and another pivotal part of Cleveland's lush underground rock history unfolds right here before us. Pick up a copy wherever fine records are sold, or direct from the label right HERE.
Check out a live clip of Styrenes performing their classic debut single "Drano In Yr Veins" and "Circus Highlights" at Pirate's Cove in Cleveland circa 1979 right here: