Velvet Monkeys

Everything Is Right
(Instant Mayhem)
recommended recommended recommended recommended 1/2 (out of five)

Hell yes! Here we have a reissue of the Velvet Monkeys' 1981 tape-only release. Recorded at Don Zientara's famed Inner Ear Studio in Washington, DC (Fugazi's go-to recording house!), Everything Is Right is the work of core members guitarist/producer Don Fleming and Jay Spiegel—both of whom worked with Jad Fair in the estimable noise-pop group Half Japanese—and various hangers-on. A decade later, the band's rotating cast of musicians would include Thurston Moore, J Mascis, and Pussy Galore's Julia Cafritz (for 1990's Rake). Right is the debut album of what was intended to be a "pop-culture tribute band," and it's a superb snapshot of that time and sound. "The bad and the beautiful all around us/My head is out of balance/We need those things which are good for us/Everything is right," intones Fleming over the shuffling toms, snarling guitar lines, and screaming synthesizer on the opening title track. What follows is a stellar Cold War–era collection of proto–new wave and independent rock (not indie rock), including some hissy live tracks for good measure. Major kudos to Instant Mayhem for bringing this one back to life. recommended