Any young avant art-noisers out there should take note: bow down to Mayo Thompson because he was on to the crazy stuff way before anybody else. Drag City's tremendous new reissue of SOLDIER TALK checks in with the Texas proto- and post-everything madman at the close of the 1970s when he was exiled on tour in Europe trying to find an audience cool enough to hang with him.
The album concerns itself with movement of all varieties: shifting time signatures, interlocking guitar shards, and, lyrically, mobilizing forces in one of the hottest zones and eras of the Cold War. The intense, paranoid music consistently falls apart and reconstructs itself in every measure, but always retains its primal groove, thereby throwing the gauntlet to every up-and-coming post-punk band as well as every aging hippie feeling out of touch. At times SOLDIER TALK sounds like an open audition for a spot in Pere Ubu, and it's easy to see why Dave Thomas obliged and nabbed him for their '80s incarnation.