Listen to Pylon’s ‘Razz Tape’ version of “Cool” from upcoming box set
Pylon's Box comes out November 6 and collects the Athens, GA post-punk group's classic first two album (back in print for the first time in decades) and pairs it with a host b-sides, live cuts and never-before-heard rarities.
One of the bonus discs is Razz Tape, which features a previously unreleased 13-track session recorded with Chris Rasmussen that predates the band's 1979 debut single. We've got the premiere of the Razz Tape version of "Cool," which was the A-side of that debut single. It's raw and more urgent, as you might expect, with singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay delivering a take that she calls "just barely in control" which makes it different and exciting. Bassist Michael Lachowski says it "makes the single version feel almost stately by comparison."
“'Cool' was very new and raw at this point," Vanessa tells us. "In preparation for our first single, Pylon had chosen other songs to record for DB Recs and rehearsed them until we thought they were perfect. After that big first day in a real recording studio, we all listened to the rough mixes separately in our family’s homes in the Atlanta area. We were disappointed in how wooden the performances sounded. Pylon came to a consensus and it was probably Randy who discussed it with Danny Beard. He had had thoughts along the same line and agreed to let us try two other songs. We recorded our two newest songs the very next day — 'Cool' and 'Dub.' 'Dub' was just an idea at this point and didn’t have an end to it."
"Listening to the ‘Razz Tape’ version which was recorded not too long before the studio version of the single, we definitely made the right decision," says Vanessa. "All the elements were already there which made this a good choice, interesting lyrics -- my vocal attack just barely in control, Michael Lachowski’s plucky steady high end bass, Curtis Crowe’s driving drums which speed up a little before finding the groove and Randy Bewley's soaring guitar. The opening riffs are some of the greatest ones he ever wrote."
Listen to the Razz Tape version of "Cool," along with the original single version, below.