Boomkat Product Review:
A desert island disc and sought-after relic of Osaka’s legendary Vanity Records, Aunt Sally’s sole release is mercifully back in circulation after scant reissues and compilation appearances since 1979.
Famously the first release fronted by Phew, ‘Aunt Sally’ is their sole, eponymous salvo of wiry post-punk jags littered with songs that will burrow their way deep into your memory. Flanked by four others in the band, Hiromi Moritani aka Phew gives a strikingly upfront focus to Aunt Sally’s needling melodies and wickedly jagged stop/start rhythms, puckered right on the cusp of skronky jazz-fusion, punk, proper, and a sort of spiky/spiked pop that helped create the schism between what came before their generation, and after.
While still in college at the time of the album’s recording, Aunt Sally are clearly visionary beyond their years, taking kernels of inspiration from Velvet Underground to Can to folk music and transmuting them into a jangling, tight-but-loose, and sharply controlled, grooving sound that would place them, and particularly front woman Phew, in the ears of everyone from their heroes to Ryuichi Sakamoto, The Raincoats, DAF and Einstürzende Neubauten. After becoming lowkey addicted to some of tis cuts, such as the mind-bending title tune, and the bittersweet tang of ‘Essay’, via the immense Vanity Records boxset, we can only forewarn that this one’s going to get in there and not let go.