004 (Double Oh Four) State of Affairs: 1980 - 83

Genre: New Wave/SKA

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

Buy Online: RAUNCH Records

A Personal 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 solo!

2) Ready For Love

Sheer Romance! 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 minutes.

3) Dance 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

Guitarist / Keyboardist / Singer Doug Edwards

5) Evil Minds

Beat-Crazy music 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!

6) Passionate Touching*

An intentional 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 them.

7) Limited War*

Another cut 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 (with love)

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.

9) Public Services

Augstus Pablo's 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.

10) Kind Love

Terri Mitchell 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.

11) Dance Together

A "workhorse" 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

Guitarist / Engineer Scott Simons

12) War In America*

Another jam 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.

13) Dance Trance

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!

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTIXSOYBSbY

14) World of Concern (dub/worldmix)

Sing along: Like a version (orgasmic gasp) -- dubbed for the very first time!  I'm 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.

15 Public 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.

16 Brite 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

CLICK 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:
Take 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 M.E.
All Rights Reserved for this review. Drawings Michael R. Evans 2011