The 14 tracks on Curse of the Easily Amused have either been remixed or sourced from previously unreleased tapes. Eight songs have never been officially released on vinyl or CD.
Following in the still-reverberating cultural footsteps of the Ramones and the Sex Pistols, the San Francisco Bay Area had its own vibrantly creative local punk scene by the late 1970s. The Mutants, one of its most popular acts, are set to issue their first archival release in two decades.
‘Curse of the Easily Amused‘ is out July 15 on CD and digital with a vinyl LP planned for later this year.
Fronted by Fritz Fox, alongside fellow singers Sue White and Sally Webster, the Mutants’ were formed in 1977 by seven local art school students. They found inspiration in the wildly diverse strains of punk rock emanating at the time, as well as Andy Warhol‘s Factory, John Waters‘ Dreamlanders, low budget filmmakers George and Mike Kuchar, and perhaps most intensely, San Francisco’s glitter-and-makeup adorned performance art troupe, the Cockettes. The fledgling Mutants quickly built a fervent local following based on their energetic, art-damaged live shows.
In 1980, the band’s first two releases appeared on legendary Bay Area indie label 415 Records: the three-song The Mutants EP, and the 415 Music compilation which included “Baby’s No Good.” Two years later, the band’s sole LP, Fun Terminal, was released by Mutiny Shadow International.
The Mutants made frequent trips to Los Angeles throughout their existence to play such storied venues as the Whisky a Go-Go, the Masque, the Starwood, and the Hong Kong Café. They also embarked on four east coast tours that included stops at Danceteria and Hurrah in New York City, the Rat and No Name in Boston, and the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.
By the mid-80s, the band had splintered, although they have continued to reunite sporadically over the decades for live shows. Fun Terminal was reissued on CD in 2002 with 10 bonus tracks.
Each of the 14 tracks on Curse of the Easily Amused has either been remixed, or sourced from previously unreleased tapes. Eight songs have never been officially released on vinyl or CD.
“Regarding those six songs that appeared on the Fun Terminal reissue, each cut here is in a substantially different version,” explains current Mutants bassist and project producer Peter Conheim.
“The Mutants discarded or forgot about a ridiculous amount of music during its first eight years. Audio quality for all the tracks here is superior to anything that’s come before. No overdubs were used in preparing this release.”
The Mutants continue to perform together in the Bay Area. They are joined by an ever-evolving lineup of new Mutants with histories in such groups as Tuxedomoon, Negativland, Frightwig, No Alternative, the Offs, the Next, and others. Like the title of the first song on this retrospective, “PARTY!”
THE MUTANTS – Curse of the Easily Amused
Curse of the Easily Amused is released July 15 on CD & digital via Liberation Hall; The first digital single, “Odd Man Out,” is out today
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