THE ENDTABLES s/t LP/CD

The only reason I know anything of the Endtables is due to their inclusion on that Bloodstains Across The Midwest compilation from the early nineties. I remember their track sticking out for the simple fact that it sounded more like it should have come out of Los Angeles in the early eighties rather than Louisville, Kentucky in 1979. The beefed-up riffs and deadpan vocals made me think it would have been a perfect fit in the roster of a label like Dangerhouse or Playgems, but instead it was self-released by a bunch of middle-of-nowhere high schoolers. As with all obscure punk rock what-have-yous, their single has yo-yoed in price over the years, but never into such a reasonable range where I would take the plunge and get one. As usual, good things come to those who wait, ’cause now said single is wrapped up in a nice little package including a posthumous single released in ’91 that I didn’t know dick about and a handful of live tracks. As stated above, these tunes could have easily slipped out of the proto-surf punk scene with plenty of fierce, almost poppy hooks and a rhythm section that slips and slides out of time, but always comes together at the right time to nail the point home. The live tracks on here are typical of the ones usually tacked onto to fill out a Punk Rock bands’ retrospective; interesting to hear, but they basically turn into one big blur due to poor recording.

The question has still not been answered as to why bands like this, The Worst out of New Jersey, The Fix out of Michigan and The Original S.S. from Japan were operating in that late seventies void without any knowledge of one another; or at least a subscription to Flipside magazine or a copy of the “Nervous Breakdown” EP. It’s something to scratch your head and drink a few beers contemplating. If you ever come up with the answer, please let me know. I’ll be here… [Drag City]

- Tony Rettman

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