Romeo Void "Its A Condition" LP (1981)
Details: Romeo Void's debut full-length released on 415 Records in 1981. Cover is VG (sticker wear in two spots--see images) with spine shelf-wear and slight ring wear. Record media is super clean. Incredible first record from a fantastic punk/new wave band led by Deborah Iyall.
Description: "Walloping big-beat riffs with snaky sax and darkly intelligent lyrics characterized this San Francisco area dance/think combo. Native American artist-and-poet-turned- vocalist Debora Iyall uses her smoky, conversational voice to wax reflective on love and lust in these modern times; consistent with the band’s name, she sings not only of situations where love is absent, but also of when it should be absent. Its a Condition introduced Romeo Void’s unique blend of jazz, funk, rock and confrontational poetry in its formative stages, the music a bit tentative and unfocused, especially in contrast with Iyall’s hard-edged lyrics."--Trouser Press
"The record opens with what should have been their first single, Myself to Myself. It has the sort of tension-release verse/chorus you’d find on a R.E.M. song from this period, and the group manages to weave the sax into the song effectively. (It wasn’t for nothing that the sax player was usually the first one to get booted in a new wave band.) Nothing for Me follows a very different line: tribal drumming (perhaps a nod to Iyall’s Native American roots) and squawking sax. By Talk Dirty (To Me), a pattern emerges where Frank Zincavage and Peter Woods provide a basic melody and Iyall sings her poetry on top of it, with predictable results. Iyall remans the focal point for most of these songs, but she’s up to the task. Even the title of Love Is An Illness sounds like a Talking Heads song (another band influenced by Patti Smith), while White Sweater brings everything to a dark, almost terrifying close (with shades of X this time).
Charred Remains is a deceptive title; Iyall’s pretty, breathy performance is the kind of thing that got people excited about this band. Confrontation is a tight, catchy song that reminds me of early XTC or Joe Jackson, if not quite so kinetically charged. Drop Your Eyes and Fear to Fear are filler, more or less, but the closing I Mean It is the album’s grand sonic statement, totaling nearly six minutes and featuring some epic sax work from Benjamin Bossi. He was one of the best sax players from the early punk/new wave acts, back-handed compliment that it probably is.
It’s A Condition didn’t benefit from a big hit the way that Benefactor did, and producer David Kahne, while competent, was no Ian Taylor. Still, it’s an artifact of the times that has aged better than most. Iyall filled the shoes of poet-priestess-temptress with her own, unique personality, and the group stuck around long enough to shake the one-hit wonder label with two bonafide hits."--Progrography
Grade: VG (Cover) / NM (Record)
TRACK LISTING SIDE A:
A1. Myself To Myself
A2. Nothing For Me
A3. Talk Dirty (To Me)
A4. Love Is An Illness
A5. White Sweater
TRACK LISTING SIDE B:
B1. Charred Remains
B3. Drop Your Eyes
B4. Fear To Fear
B5. I Mean It