An interesting concept. Collages of stolen spoken word recordings (with some original material slipped in) with lots of electronic squalls and disturbances over the mess.

    Some of my old KCOU buds must be in on this somehow, as the first track is taken from a 7-inch that was released back in the late 60’s called “Letter to My Teenage Son.” I don’t remember who the person speaking was, but I’ll always remember the classic line “Your mother will always love you, because she is a woman.” That thing got loads of airplay at the M.U. radio station in ‘91-’92, and it’s not too much to think that it might have migrated two hours away to St.Louis somehow. It’s re-titled as “Draft Card” here. You gotta hear it. What a howler.

    The general production value is pretty low, and some of the pieces don’t cohere very well. Some of that is intended, no doubt. There are plenty of bizarro moments from recent American history which don’t stand up so well when replayed to modern ears. Though unless you’re some sort of masochist, you probably won’t want to play “Squawk Box” more than once. It ain’t pretty, and it’s not supposed to be. I like the concept, and even most of the execution. Unsophisticated and crude, which fits the subject matter just fine.

:: A & A Feb. 1999

American Power
records