Thursday, August 17, 2006

V-3 - Monsters of Hollywood

V-3 Monsters of Hollywood 7" (Iron Press, 1991)

Ohio exports weirdly catchy artpunk as their primary source of trade credits these days (since the collapse of their laudanum empire in the 1970s), which thusly vaults V-3 into a sort of regional superstardom...sure. V-3 is Jim Shepard is Vertical Slit is one of 'those' indie-punk cult bands whose rep has slowly crawled up the Power Rankings over the last few decades, fueled by one obscurely confounding release after another. They put out a generous pile of 7" through the 90s, even managed an LP on a major-label imprint at one point and toured with some indie heavies as a result, but V-3 generally remains an aquired taste for many, perhaps due to the barking-talking-yelling vocal style of lead-avatar Shepard. Here is a slow-building track off one of V-3's earlier and harder-to-find EPs, make your own case.

V-3 ended with the suicide of Mr. Shepard, but not before he had produced some of the most boggling (and outrageously rare and expensive, like, a month's-rent-in-San-Francisco dear) records over the era 1977-2001 or so. Worth picking up in the 'actually findable' category would be his solo LP on the Siltbreeze label from the late 90s which sailed a might bit under the sonar screens at the time. -Ryan W.

This is probably the best V-3 single, sounding the most like 70s Vertical Slit. It should also be noted there are something like 4 or 6 different cover designs, each with a different "moster of hollywood" (Dracula, Frankenstein, etc.) on the front, and all hand-embellished.

six versions...Jim used to chuckle proudly when mentioning that some folks wanted all versions upon release. I have a couple of 'em, plus an original precut sheet of the spray painted sleeves framed on my wall. I also have a personal note from Jim and the V-3 gang from '96 when they came through here and crashed while touring with GBV. Strangely, after this signed tribute (and touching, I mus say) had been on my fridge for years, and a few years since Jim had taken his life in late '98, I had an actual Terminix exterminator come by to check on traps (Rat traps, not bugs, sorry), and he left his company phone number hand scrawled it in ball point next to Jim and co's inscription, just at an acute angle as if written randomly (which it was, more or less) - on this little bit of sacred paper! At first upset, I realized this was a message from beyond - Jimbo was found, not lost. KI
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