Texas Platters

Record Reviews

December 3, 1999:

Swine King

Gargantuan Fantasy Mall (Eco-Disaster)

Time has been kind to the recordings Randy "Biscuit" Turner has been party to. Lost master tapes have miraculously reappeared, and outtakes have been in plentiful supply for two complete Big Boys reissues, as well as the supplemental Wreck Collection album. His subsequent effort, Cargo Cult, was plagued with lineup difficulties, but managed to release one fine album on Touch & Go. Sadly, Biscuit's latest project, Swine King, built out of his appearance with the Boy Trouble Band in the local musical of the same name, herein gets the Wreck Collection without the benefit of the larger catalog. The material's great, starting off with the raucous "Meanest Man Alive" and the Cargo Cultish punk-fusion of "Mirage" and keeping the momentum up from there, with the players (Darcee Douglass, Dotty Farrell, Snoopy Melvin, to pick a few stalwarts at random) kicking ass as well has having a great whoop-tee-do on the live numbers. Unfortunately, the studio stuff sounds even tinnier than it did on the vinyl and cassette issues where it first appeared, and the previously unreleased live material sounds like remastered boom-box tapes, which I suspect it is, though you can hear all the instruments and make out the bulk of the vocals at least. Gargantuan Fantasy Mall falls less under the category of "album" than "document," but since it's unlikely that a "real" CD will ever miraculously appear from this defunct band, it's an important document.


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The Fantastic Four