Teenage Jesus and the Jerks/Beirut Slump: Shut Up and Bleed

By  Peter Lindblad

From the squealing noise of “Red Alert” to the pulse-pounding menace of “Orphans” and the tortured, schizophrenic freak jazz of “The Closet” and “Less Of Me” — not to mention the harrowing, nightmarish fun houses of “I Wake Up Dreaming” and “See Pretty” — this is, without a doubt, the most confrontational, diseased collection of archival No Wave ramblings ever set to record.

Shut Up And Bleed, packaged with a photo-filled booklet and extensive liner notes, is a 29-track compilation of rare, live and unreleased material from Teenage Jesus And The Jerks’ late-’70s output, and it’s all brutal, art-damaged stuff.

The first vehicle for Lydia Lunch’s bizarre, often violent, poetry, Lunch led Teenage Jesus And The Jerks — featuring James Chance’s psychotic saxophone runs, Lunch’s shrieking vocals, Bradley Field’s drum storms and Reck’s rumbling bass — fearlessly through dangerous asylums of sound. Abrasive, nihilistic and terrifying, this is the work of lunatics — uncomfortable, gripping and oddly compelling.

Smatterings of feces-throwing madness from Lunch’s notorious Beirut Slump side project are found here among the 29 garbage-strewn tracks, along with a clutch of … well, songs from “Hysterie.” This is what must be going on in Roky Erickson’s head when he forgets to take his meds.

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