While it may not be as monumental news as My Bloody Valentine returning to Seattle in July, the appearance of Love Battery's original lineup on August 4 to play their 1992 debut LP Dayglo in its entirety at the Summer Stag Party III is reason to rejoice. Performing that day at Slim's Last Chance will be Ron Nine (vocals, guitar), Kevin Whitworth (guitar), former U-Men member Jim Tillman (bass), and Presidents of the United States of America member Jason Finn (drums). (Nine and Whitworth both also play in Vaporland.)
Considered by many music fans to rank in Sub Pop Records' upper echelon of rock groups, Love Battery, as I wrote in this paper 10 years ago, "gleamed like a fluorescent, feathered serpent amid their earthbound brontosaurus brethren honing their Deep Led Sabbath riffs. The Ron Nine–led group's Between the Eyes and Dayglo remain psychedelic twin towers in [Sub Pop's] voluminous catalog. Love Battery's brand of psych rock eschewed that genre's more flowery aspects for a bruising, cruising approach that made mind expansion seem like a contact sport." In 2018, Dayglo—which is out of print and, if I may be so bold, in need of a reissue in every format—still sets synapses ablaze and its freaky earworms reassert themselves in your brain just as decisively as they did 26 years ago.
I asked Kevin Whitworth about the inspiration to get the original lineup back together to perform Dayglo and if the songs on it still carry the same jolt of excitement they did when they were freshly conceived.
"We were 'inspired' to get together for this event because we were offered a lot of money!" Whitworth says via e-mail, with refreshing honesty. "It was really out of the blue, though Ron [Nine] and I have been in light discussions with Sub Pop about a remix and re-release of Far Gone, and were thinking about possible plans for the future, now that Jason [Finn] seems to be less busy with the Presidents.
"We have not as yet gotten together to rehearse," he continues, "but we have all been in touch, and have been listening to the tunes, which in my view sound better than ever. They do indeed carry the same jolt, and we were pleased to hear the band being so thoroughly praised recently on John Richards's morning show on KEXP, during the ongoing Sub Pop countdown.
"We are all very excited about this, and plan to start practicing next week. I wish I had a pithy quote for you, but this was completely Ben London's idea, bless his rock-and-roll heart."