Rebellious Jukebox XLII: The Wad vs Dear John

imageNowhere on the new 45 from the Wad does it mention Lumpy & the Dumpers or Lumpy Records or the band’s personnel or recording info or anything. The record merely purports to be a product of WAD MUSIC INC, out of Cooter, MO. Is this Martin’s “Bachman Books?” Sure, why not?


The Wad is all drum machines & cheap keyboards & nasally vocals ranting about jerky people & how they’re jerks. There is nothing to change your life & there is nothing not to love. When people say that some new punk band sounds early 80’s-ish, this is one of the better versions of what they’re talking about. Nothing about the lyrics of the opening cut Ron Is Wrong specifically refer to Ronald Reagan, but hey, none of them specifically DON’T refer to Ronald Reagan either. The other song on side one, Nog Bag, just kind of revels in its own weirdness, then side two’s Atomic (sadly not a Blondie cover) rails against mall culture. Is that even still a thing? Who cares, when the song uses the most ridiculously cartoon-sounding keyboard setting on the whole record?


And now, unfortunately,  I have to break your heart by telling you that very very VERY few bands in the early 80’s actually sounded like the early 80’s that the Wad is sounding like. For every Screamers, there were five hundred more bands that sounded like Dear John. The very notion of playing your own songs & releasing your own records was revolutionary enough; you didn’t have to be that weird to be weird. Dear John fell neatly in with acts like Wreckless Eric, pretty much just straight ahead poppy rock-n-roll that got lumped in with punk because there really wasn’t anywhere else for original music to go. Their two song 1981 45 suffers just a little from thin production (a problem with lots of power pop stuff of the era), but the songs are solid, with Frustrated Conversation ranking right up there with anything by Midwest power pop greats like Off Broadway. Available very briefly in 1981, the record saw a wider issue a few years back, courtesy of BDR Records. Yeah yeah, conflict of interest, blah blah blah…


Dear John-Frustrated Conversation


And here’s some internet podcast or something that plays a Wad song, amongst tons of other stuff. Fast forward to 31 minutes or so to go straight to the Wad. Or just dig in!

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