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Boomkat Product Review:
Oustanding V-O-D set shining a light on Galen Herod’s revelatory catalogue of drily witty and hook riddled synth-pops from Phoenix, Arizona circa 1983-1988, pulling material from some four cassette releases onto vinyl for the first time. Together with the Recordings 1979-80 and Recordings 1980-82 collections it completes a comprehensive overview for one of the most brilliant - if under-regarded - synth pop song-writers and producers of his era.
As heard on his prior V-O-D salvos - both solo and in Tone Set with his KAET radio colleague Greg Horn - Galen Herod was a dead funny chap who laced his charmingly lean but bright machine animations with wickedly off-the-cuff observations about life in mid-west America in a droll way that should resonate with and raise a chuckle from anyone who’s experienced life beyond the big cultural centres. It’s a music that defies frustration and boredom with silly wisdom and instinct, and still sounds uncannily fresh today because of it.
Across the course of four tape albums included - plus a pre-Tone Set bonus The Compact Man which opens the set - we follow his development “from home-brew synth pop to a sort of Dinosaur Jr sound” as the wigged out and deadly funky strains of Looking for the Perfect Love and The Pig Story from his Glad To Be A Human  tape give way to subtly more layered and rounded sound in the electro-country twanger of Maybe I’m A Martian and the creamy boogie contours of Dumb Questions from the Food For The Mood  album, to some excellent Arthur Russell/Dinosaur Jr vibes in Everything Is Happy and Nice from the Bite The Wax Tadpole  tape, although the flowery jangles of Where the Heck is Mr. Fun  are passable.
Essentially it’s crammed with some of the nattiest ohrwurms you’ve (probably) never heard, and if lyrics likes “i hate the mid-west / there’s no culture / it’s like stale yogurt / there’s nothing but pickup trucks that don’t work / i hate corn / we didn’t get to see ET till the last week” tickle you like they do us, it’s really a no-brainer!