Simply Saucer’s Cyborgs Revisited is an explosive time capsule from one of the great Canadian cult rock ‘n’ roll groups. Formed on the hardscrabble streets of Hamilton, Ontario, these sci-fried proto-punks created a sound fusing Hawkwind, The Kinks, Pink Fairies, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, and the omnipresent Velvet Underground. Originally recorded from 1974-1975, the album became a critically revered classic when it was finally unearthed in 1989 by Hamilton’s Mole Records. Now, In The Red is proud to release the definitive, remastered 2LP edition featuring new liner notes by band biographer Jesse Locke, unseen images, and the complete live recordings that provided the album’s B-side available as a second LP for the first time ever.
As a means to escape his oppressive experiences while living in the band’s jam space surrounded by biker gangs, singer and fretboard-shredding guitarist Edgar Breau wrote a set of songs filled with dystopian visions of the future. These conjured metalloid thugs blocking humans from walking the streets, Eva Braun’s cyanide love affair in the midst of Nazi home invasions, and dancing the mutation (whatever that means). With the singular contributions of nimble-fingered bassist Kevin Christoff, clatterwauling drummer Neil DeMerchant, and electronic cosmonaut John “Ping Romany” LaPlante (Breau’s foster brother and answer to Pere Ubu’s Allen Ravenstine), his lyrics were launched into a sonic supernova.
Simply Saucer’s first recording session took place in the basement of brothers Bob and future superstar producer Daniel Lanois. Largely ripped live off the floor, their buzzsaw salvo was initially intended as a demo. Naturally, interest was non-existent for the sneering six-song set including “Nazi Apocalypse”, the S&M ode “Instant Pleasure”, and mesmerizing instrumental “Mole Machine” (named for the subterranean vehicle of a Marvel Comics supervillain). However, it remains somewhat shocking how anyone could have overlooked “Bullet Proof Nothing”, an undeniably catchy VU-swiping anthem for the used, abused, and confused.
Shelving these sessions, the band ascended into the future with 15-year-old drummer Tony Cutaia. This set off a series of turbulent gigs at county fairs and high school gymnasiums before Simply Saucer touched down on the roof of Hamilton shopping center Lloyd D. Jackson Square. Highlights included the gut-churning chug and mantra-like ramblings of “Here Come the Cyborgs (Part 2)”, razorwire twang of “Dance the Mutation”, and steamrolling 10-minute “Sister Ray”-schooled tour de force, “Illegal Bodies.”
While these raw powered rave-ups have filled the second side of every previous edition of Cyborgs Revisited, In The Red’s reissue includes the full live recording for the very first time. From the ramble-rock of “I Can Change My Mind” to the Stooges sass of “Rock ‘n’ Roll The Brain Cells”, and a direct homage to their VU heroes with a “Sweet Jane/I’m Waiting For The Man” medley (included as a bonus download), this live set showcases all sides of mid-70s Saucer. Perhaps most interesting of all is the uncharted territory of “Gonna Throw It All Away”, a plaintive Modern Lovers-style lament with warbly synths straight out of Hardcore-era Devo.
Following their 2006 reformation, Simply Saucer continue to tour and perform to ecstatic fans while being celebrated with a belated wave of releases, reissues, and documentation. This has recently included the rarities compilation Saucerland (Logan Hardware/Galactic Zoo Archive), Jesse Locke’s book Heavy Metalloid Music: The Story of Simply Saucer (Eternal Cavalier Press), and an upcoming 7” featuring two new songs from Label Obscura. At long lost and at the top of this towering stack, In The Red’s expanded reissue of Cyborgs Revisited gives the Canadian cult classic the deluxe treatment it so greatly deserves.