LP - Randy and the Goats - On The Lam - Original 1981 Stock
*Note: All copies have a slight storage warp that doesn't affect play. Guaranteed to play through without any issues.
Randy & The Goats are still 'On The Lam' in 2023 as far as most collectors go, 42 years since this street savvy blast of '70s New York rock and roll was unleashed. It's way past time you caught up with them. Don't expect them to hang with you for very long, escape is their modus operandi and their central theme. Wherever they are you can be sure they have one urgent eye on the exit sign. That restlessness is vividly real and supercharges the music. This is an under the radar dose of NYC action in peak form. The late Mark F. Chmielinski aka Randy Would is the creative force and protagonist laying down these. uncompromising glimpses into life on the edge. It's his vision. He wrote the songs, produced and arranged, sings and plays nearly all of the instruments, backed by the deadly duo Doug Harris on bass and Rob Cenci on drums. He is quite ambitious, to the point of mysteriously crediting himself as two members of the band on the LP sleeve! Although Mark/Randy came from Albany upstate the vibe here is quintessential mid '70s lower Manhattan back when law and order were alien concepts in daily life. The city was broken, dangerous and cheap to live in. Think post-Velvets Lou Reed for reference. Tough, confident, ironic, wise to the ways of the concrete jungle. There is a proto-punk / pre-grunge DIY edge here but at it's core we have a singer- songwriter character who evokes Reed, Dylan, Johnny Thunders even… smart dude who knows how to slum it. He may echo those legends but he is his own man shaped by similar circumstance.
As a whole this intense slice of life leans towards outsider hard rock on savage tracks like "Screwed" and "Nausea #2" with guitar action ripping like rats on garbage. "It Was The End Of The Movie Anyway" veers into a psychedelic zone that is the polar opposite of flower power, underlining their central theme of escape with a plea to change the channel amidst dark swirling guitars and voices. "Broken" is a chilling downer ballad. BUT… there is the proverbial flower blooming through a crack in the sidewalk and it is titled "N.Y. Survivor". You really need this song in your life, especially amidst the darkness and decay the rest of the album captures. It emerges like a ray of light, streetwise with elegant motion and dreamy harpsichord flourishes depicting a radiant, confident NY survivor lady gliding freely through the debris. Life affirming and sexy gracefulness that can only be acquired through experience. It comes across like a reward for enduring all of the chaos and angst the rest of the album drives into your brain. A stunner, a head turner, and maybe you'll get lucky the next time she rolls by! I've been recommending this record ever since the late '80s. I never tire of it. It is real life on vinyl. If you are into vintage '70s New York Rock you need this one. - Paul Major
"Although he's from Albany, Randy Would sounds like he's spent at least 10 years hanging out in the wrong streets of Manhattan (pre-gentrification) and picked up old fragments of Lou Reed's and Bob Dylan's souls that were left in the gutter. Droney urban rock with piercing guitar leads, sounding not unlike George Brigman in parts, and thanks to Randy's artistic presence and sense of style, completely convincing. Cool record with wide appeal." - Patrick Lundborg (Acid Archives)
Review from Discogs:
Randy & The Goats.."On the Lam "1981 Private US Hard Psych.
This one's pretty obscure, but I suspect it's only a matter of time until someone discovers it's low-fi charms, word gets out, and it becomes a sought after and extremely pricey collectable.
Good luck finding something about Randy and the Goats on the web or any musical reference works. The only write up I could find was on the wonderful Acid Archives website, written by the ever insightful Aaron Milenski (if Mr. Milenski likes an album, consider buying a copy !). As a result what little I can tell you about the band comes from the liner notes accompanying the band's first and only album.
They were apparently from upstate New York and the line up showcased drummer Rob Cenci, guitarist/keyboard player Mark Chmielinski, bassist Doug Harris, and front man/singer/guitarist Randy Would. Released in 1981, most of their one and only LP was recorded in Rensselar, New York's Cathedral Studios with Chmielinski producing. Two tracks were done at Trod Nossel Studios in Wallingford, Connecticut.
Released on the small Broken Records label, "On the Lam" was one of those early-1980s releases that sported a distinctive mid-1970s sound. By the way, that was meant as a compliment ... That said, let me warn you that the set occasionally shows up on dealer lists slapped with a psych label. In the interests of accuracy I'll tell you that while there were minor psych touches, notably from Chmielinski occasional fuzz guitar and 'It was the End of the Movie Anyway' (which had kind of a cool Blue Oyster Cult 'Don't Fear the Reaper' vibe), the album was better classified as a slice of garage/grunge, or perhaps proto-punk. With Would responsible for writing all of the material (bassist Harris co-wrote two tracks), the album effortlessly bounced around between garage/grunge and haunted singer/songwriter with one pretty if atypical ballad thrown in - by the way the stark and stunning 'Broken' was one of the album highlights. As lead singer Would took a little effort to get acclimated to. His ragged and gruff voice and sometimes mubbling delivery wasn't the prettiest instrument you've stumbled across - imagine a younger Springsteen with a nastier street attitude, or perhaps a young Lou Reed who could actually hold a melody and you'd be in the right aural neighborhood. On the other hand, his voice and biting delivery were well suited to the band's raw sound and after a couple of songs Would actually sounded pretty good on tracks like the rockers 'The Day I Left Town', 'Media-ized', and 'Nausea # 2'. Come to think about it, showcasing Would's dark and depressing tales of urban angst ('Screwed' and 'Murder By Programming') the Lou Reed comparison wasn't that far off ... The album also benefited from The Goats. Cenci and Harris were a devastating rhythm section (Harris' bass way up front in the mix), kicking the crap out of these songs, while Chmielinski turned in some nice lead guitar throughout the set - check out his solo on 'Screwed')
Other review clips:
"--this is a refreshing album, pretty strong stuff, bohemian, indifferent cool ......"
Aaron Milenski • The Acid Archives
"-- tense and catchy.".........
Jason Gross • The Village Voice
"--stark and stunning "…"Cenci and Harris were a devastating rhythm section, kicking the crap out of these songs while Chmielinski turned in some nice lead guitar throughout the set"..........
• Bad Cat Records