(Double Oh Four) State of Affairs: 1980 - 83
Primary Musicians (in alphabetical order)
Wanda Day: Drums, Percussion;
Doug Edwards: Vocals, Guitar;
Phil Miller: Saxophones, Melodica, Harmonica.
Terri Mitchell: Vocals, Bass, Guitar;
Scott Simons: Guitar, Bass;
Produced by Eliot Case and Scott Simons for WayMax BMI.
Dedicated to the memory of Wanda Day 1959 to 1997 (R.I.P.)
Special Thanks: John Reese, Phil Miller, Raven Simons.
AAD Analog masters - digitally remastered.
All tracks Copyright various dates 1996, 1983, 1981
by 004 -- All Rights Reserved. Published by WayMax BMI 1996 Earlier
versions 1983^DKTR Fun BMI 83.
A Rutabaga Records/Mossburg Production
© 2011 Rutabaga Records RR02 - Released March, 2011
Review by Michael Evans
1) Second Thoughts
The CD starts
off with THE SOUND OF 004 -- Doug Edwards' booming lead vocals;
Throbbing Rock-Steady guitars by Doug and Scott Simons; Resonant
Tenor Saxophone underpinings, and solos, by Phil Miller; Somewhat
uncharacteristic restraint from Terri Mitchell's bass and singing;
but powerful drumming by Wanda Day -- including a flying-sticks
There's nobody listed as playing harmonica, and it's likely Phil,
but there's some serious yearning vibrating out of those reeds.
Doug and Terri throw down this sexy vocal cajoling for about four
Dance Dance Dance
THIS is more
like Terri's bass style - she played a Fender with really long strings
that broadcasted her most nuanced plunks and touches, as well as
allowed clear, fast runs when lots of notes were in order. There's
no restraint in this tough-beat jam!
4) World of Concern
UB40 had nothing
over this band, except more players. Terri and Doug mix vocals beautifully
and there's a steely sinuous Reggae groove driving the song. Wanda
Day's drumming and vibra-slap percussion is nothing short of phenomenal!
Bassist /Singer Terri Mitchell
/ Keyboardist / Singer Doug Edwards
5) Evil Minds
by musicians who knew how to keep the dancers on the floor by running
fast and slow dynamics together -- same song, same set, any old
time, especially when they were unexpected!
segue from chops to emotion -- an echoing ambience surrounds this
song. Phil plays a sweet recurring saxophone figure in response
to Doug's plaintive vocal. Scott, Terri, and Wanda churn out an
incendiary Reggae rhythm.
*This cut was originally recorded for a release in the 80's,
but technology of the time necessitated painful editing. This and
the following song are now in the order that 004 wanted to play
and now-restored song from the 80's release, with a resonant concrete-canyon
ambience -- Hard-Rock over sophisticated rhythms, honed in the Dance
Club, derived from any no other source than experience. It is somewhat
softened by Phil's melodica, but he lets it rip too!
Inside Information (I & I) from Spy Society Records told
me that this song was a tribute to the group Gang of Four.
8) In Trouble
I fancy some
influence from The (English) Beat in the uptempo pace and punctuating
sax, but Terri and Doug lay down their own vocal style with flair!
The band's sound benefits from an understated organ sound from Scott's
rhythm guitar. Phil's energetic solo takes the song's hook and runs
in a new direction.
spirit fills the studio inside the Redman/Bekins Building. Terri
Mitchell plays a superb guitar over Scott's bassline -- integrated
beautifully into this dense mix of Progressive Reggae and keen social
observation from the darkest days of Reganomics. ONE drummer makes
all that percussion on ONE drum kit - Wanda loved to tickle her
cymbals while pounding out thunder on the skins.
takes a vocal solo, with the aid of guest instrumentalist Leraine
Hortsmanshoff on mandolin, and what sounds like Phil on a few high
trills. Wanda's BIG drums are amazing counterweights to this paean
to frustration. Inside Information (I & I) told me that's
Scott on bass.
of 004's live shows -- stripped-down in this cut to feature Doug
Edwards' ripping vocals, pushed 'way up to the front, then answered
by isolated, polished, and glistening samples of Scott's guitar,
Wanda drums, Phil's saxophone, and Terri's urgent harmonies.
Drummer / Percussionist Wanda Day
/ Engineer Scott Simons
12) War In
deleted from the 80's release, but asserting its reverberating self
in this collection -- I might have heard this song more than any
other in 004's live repertory, but that is no complaint. (I &
I) said this bassline was inspired by Norman Whitfield's Ball
of Confusion. This recording is set at a perfect tempo --representative
of late sets, when their audience was all warmed up. The band members
all show individual moments of virtuosity, but the grim song still
carries its strident message forward.
Nice and a half -- Doug once told me that he wanted to put out this
song as a single. I seem to remember hearing it almost as much as
the "workhorse" mentioned a few paragraphs above, but
it had an indefinable flavor that set it apart. I believe it is
the tandem of Terri and Doug churning out their vocal conviction:
You just want to be moving!
14) World of Concern (dub/worldmix)
Like a version (orgasmic gasp) -- dubbed for the very first
joking, of course, but Scott Simons was very interested in the effects
he heard on remixes of Reggae records. Reused "dub" backing
tracks could be heard behind various "versions" of songs.
Services (public/dub version)
More fun with
alternate tracks! In case you didn't guess, Scott's a fan of dub
master Adrian Sherwood - so is CD manufacturer John (Rutabaga) Reese.
The credits say Phil Miller plays melodica, and I don't doubt them
at all, but I wish to point out that Doug Edwards played the same
instrument live, as well.
Lite (motor home mix -dub-)
This song was
the flip side of 004's 45 RPM single, and I suspect this dub version
is based on tracks from early in the group's existence -- simply
because my friend Steve Fletcher is playing congas. We had known
each other most of a decade earlier when I was stage manager for
a Dance company. I was very pleased to see him again, making music
with such a high-quality group.
17 Let Me
Be! (rapid transit version)
One of the first
songs I ever heard 004 play - I'm sure that is Scott growling during
Doug's whoa-whoa chorus. The original quartet's first performances
were at a subterranean Punk-Rock club named The Roxy, and this trip-hammer
rave eloquently evokes the vibe of that long-gone venue. I must
acknowledge the fact that I never saw 004 at The Roxy, but visited
the place at least twice to see other bands.
Saxophonist Phil Miller
HERE or on the logo to the right, and read about music which WASN'T
on State of Affairs, and even more about 004's scene:
A Look At The CD Cover with
Michael's Liner Notes
Images from State
of Affairs and 004 memorabilia used for review purposes. Drawings by
Rights Reserved for this review. Drawings © Michael R. Evans 2011