Otto’s Chemical Lounge

Dig this: “Departure Blues” by Otto’s Chemical Lounge.

I’m amazed–appalled?–that this is the only cut I could find on YouTube off this amazing album. Otto’s Chemical Lounge were not only one of the most inventive bands to come out of Minneapolis in its heyday (speaking of Minneapolis….), but OCL were one of the great bands of the entire 80’s. One of the greatest even.  Noisy as hell, rocking but swinging, they had great dynamics for a punk band of the time (we were all incredibly loud back then) and some crazy ass guitar. The music is plenty loose in the stretch but tight on the changes, which come hard and fast. Insane stuff. I’ve had my copy of Spillover for thirty years and still play it. If only I could have seen them live. They never came out west. The successor band did. They were called the Blue Hippos. I saw them at Club Lingerie in Hollywood in the late 80’s and they were good, but not as good as the original. But the Blue Hippos were brand new. You got the feeling that Otto’s Chemical Lounge had been around a while, jamming hard in the basement through winter after dreadful winter, and if not the most popular band in town, they just might have been the most ingenious. There’s a mindphuque Shakin’ All Over on the record, and an intense take on the old Flamin’ Groovies classic Slow Death. The originals are best of all, though, a good thing. Spillover is just one of those splendid records that never seemed to make it onto compact disc, or onto anything really, except a record geek’s mix tapes, and who knows where those wind up.

I couldn't find a picture of the band back in the day, but I found this record geek shot of the album.

I couldn’t find a picture of the band back in the day, but I found this record geek shot of the album.

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