Hello. Tusk has a few tracks that predate introspective, 90’s indie rock. That’s Buckingham checking in with “Walk a Thin Line”….the obscenely catchy ballad that sounds like Built To Spill. Mother of All Saints also looked to the future, albeit a future that has yet to occur. Indie rock, or tastemaker rock, or cool shit, or whatever you want to call it, in 2007, SHOULD sound like Mother of All Saints. It doesn’t. Tusk has the ye olde photo of a pesky, perhaps feral dog tearing away at some unlucky chump’s trouser leg. Mother of All Saints has some mouth action, too, but it could pass for a Naked City cover or a later, “mature” offering from Suffocation. It must be noted that Thinking Fellers collectively had a much better sense of humor than John Zorn. Despite being one of the greatest (and weirdest) mainstream pop records of the payola era, the public felt otherwise and Tusk unwittingly helped to destroy the music industry as it was known in 1979. Its “ambitious” recording budget and efficient, non-stop journey from warehouse to cutout bin almost bankrupted Warner Brothers, and led to an industry-wide contract genocide that effectively ended many of the “careers” that resulted from the AOR signing frenzy of ’76 – ’79 (1). When I was nineteen, Mother of All Saints really alienated and disturbed the soon to be vanquished jam band acquaintances (2) that remained lurking in the tiers of my eight-count friend circle. Christ on a crutch, you’d think I was writing a 33 1/3 here, with all of the petty, “aw, me” nostalgia.
1. Which gave us the Babysitter Rock of 707, New England, Hotel, Sharks, Starz, Stank Business, Horselips, Starcastle, The Tarney-Spencer Band, and Trooper, bless their forgotten hearts.
2. Yes, jam banders existed in 1992. It was their choices that were few: Phish, Widespread Panic, Spin Doctors, and the Dead.