Saturday, 22 November 2014

Bittermen - Faster than the Speed of Spite (1996)

Oh, snap. Gene has kicked over ALL of the CDs in the CCPS archive. He's discovered something we've been trying to hide from him - we don't have any Bittermen CDs in our collection, This is more than kind of embarrassing - it's a massive hole that creates and empty, sucking, hole-like thing in our heart. We've never felt good about this, and now that Gene has realized this, we feel even worse.

For us, the Bittermen occupy a very special place in our hearts (despite the sucking, hole-like thing we just mentioned). We've had a lot of good two-piece bands (the HighKicks, Hip City Blues Combo, Miesha and the Spanks, the Fags, the Pygmies... wait, a bunch of those have tended to expand beyond two-pieces...), but the Bittermen were our city's GREAT two-piece band. With guitarist Chris McBurney and future iStockphoto empresario Bruce Livingstone on drums, these guys carved a high water mark for two-piece combos.

This CD (which Col. Cam Hayden was good enough to rip for us at one point) is a fairly reasonable intro to the band - although this ancient-but-well-preserved VOX review notes that it "only manages to capture the energy of the Bittermen on several tracks". For us the high point is "My Last Calgary Winter", a suitably apt song title, especially if you're Steve Elaschuk, Sadly for us, that song's not the one that the band made a video for.

Here's some more bonus content, via FFWD from October 1996:

Anyways, not to belabour the point, but we don't have an actual physical copy of this, hence the crappy image quality above, stolen from the Bittermen's inexplicably still-active website. From what we remember, the Bittermen were one of the first bands to burn their own CDs, which is why there was no real sleeve. But at least we have the download.

Edit: we got a copy of BOTH Bittermen CDs, thanks to Corey Hamilton! Our lives are now complete-ish!

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