Pylon announce retrospective box set ++ ‘Gyrate’ & ‘Chomp’ reissues
Athens, GA post-punk greats Pylon will release a new retrospective four-disc vinyl box set on November 6 via New West. Keeping with their one-word title tradition, it's just called Box and features their first two albums -- 1980's Gyrate and 1983's Chomp -- remastered from the original tapes. It will be the first time Gyrate's been in on vinyl in 32 years and it's the first time Chomp has been on vinyl since its original release.
Pylon's Box also includes two additional discs with of singles, live cuts, and unreleased sessions and rarities, with 47 tracks in all including 18 unreleased recordings. One of those discs is titled Razz Tape which features a previously unreleased 13-track session that predates the band's 1979 debut single "Cool" b/w "Dub." The final disc is titled Extra and includes a recording made before singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay joined the band, as well as the "Cool" b/w "Dub" single, a rare recording "Recent Title," the original single mix of "Crazy" (famously covered by R.E.M.), five previously unreleased studio recordings, and more.
The box set also comes with a 200 page, full color hardbound book which will be autographed by the surviving members of the band: Vanessa Briscoe Hay, Michael Lachowski, and Curtis Crowe. The extensive liner notes include submissions from R.E.M, Jon King and Hugo Burnham of Gang of Four, Kate Pierson of B-52's, Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney, Steve Albini, Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth, Clint Conley of Mission of Burma, Calvin Johnson of K Records & Beat Happening, Bradford Cox of Deerhunter, Sam Fogarino of Interpol, journalist Anthony DeCurtis, Steve Wynn of The Dream Syndicate, Chris Stamey of the dB's, and many more.
There are also new interviews with the surviving members of the band, as well as Fred Schneider of the B-52's, Danny Beard of DB Records, Vic Varney of Method Actors, and many more. The book also contains rare photos, flyers, posters and other memorabilia.
Pylon also spoke to NPR about the new box, their influences early on, and more. Here's an excerpt of what Vanessa Briscoe Hay said about Razz Tape:
Chris [Razz] wanted to record us. He'd recorded us at Chapter Three or at a party or something. He was just a nut about wanting to record things. And so we said sure. I don't remember that we ever used this for anything, but it was late summer or early fall because it was so warm. I remember that.
I was set up in the hall outside of where [Michael] and Curtis and Randy were. And he kept the tape machine in the hall, which was outside of Michael in my studio, and it was also the band's practice space. He set the mic up for me in the hall. There were two mics in the room: one was for the drums and the other mic was shared by both the bass and the guitar. Y'all couldn't see me; I couldn't see you.
We had some songs that we were trying out that were very recently written. "Read a Book" has the instrumental version; I hadn't written the lyrics for it, yet. And we'd just written "Cool."
We just went through it. We just plowed through it. It's not overdubbed, but that's just what it is.
And I cringe at some of the things, but the overall sound and feeling of it is very spontaneous. It's a beautiful record just because of that and, of course, we threw out a bunch of those songs and they were never recorded.
Read more at NPR.
You can pre-order Pylon Box now.
For those who are just looking for those original albums, New West is releasing Gyrate and Chomp (both essential for any record collection) as standalone vinyl and CD reissues on November 6, and both albums will be on streaming services this week. Good news! You can listen to those via Bandcamp below.
You can watch a trailer for Pylon Box, and listen to "Human Body" from Razz Tape and a live version of "3 x 3" from Extra, below.
The one thing Box does not have is Pylon's very good 1990 album Chain.
PYLON BOX TRACKLIST:
Pylon Gyrate Track Listing
2. Feast On My Heart
4. Weather Radio
5. The Human Body
6. Read A Book
7. Driving School
10. Working Is No Problem
11. Stop It
Pylon Chomp Track Listing
4. Italian Movie Theme
8. No Clocks
Pylon Extra Track Listing
4 Recent Title
5 Danger!! (Danger Remix)
6. Crazy (Single Mix)
7. Reptiles (Channel One Version)*
8. No Clocks (Channel One Version)*
9. Spider (Alternative Mix)*
10. 3 x 3 (Live)*
11. Danger III (Live)*
Pylon Razz Tape Track Listing
1. The Human Body*
2. Modern Day Fashion Woman (Version 1)*
3. Read A Book (Instrumental)*
4. Working Is No Problem*
11. Modern Day Fashion Woman (Version 2)*
13. Feast On My Heart (Working Version)*