"On Fyre" may very well be one of the most appropriate names ever for a rock'n'roll album. The first full-length album by Boston's Lyres wasn't just incendiary -- it was a deliberate act of arson.
It also provided one of those handful of musical moments (hearing "Rocket to Russia" for the first time, watching Costello's first "SNL" appearance, the first time I heard "Pet Sounds," etc.) that changed my life as a music fan -- walking into Sounds records in Manhattan's East Village on my 23rd birthday in 1984, hearing the first bashing strains of "Don't Give It Up Now" for the first time, right into the mad vibrato throbbing of "Help You Ann" ... and two songs later, the familiar "You Really Got Me" riff that opened "I'm Telling You Girl," followed by a scream and a Vox organ riff from the depths. And my jaw dropped. And I just about ran out of the store with the album. It led to many Rolling Rock-powered nights over the next decade of seeing Jeff "Monoman" Conolly and his...
"On Fyre" is a Matador reissue of the of the Lyres 1982 debut album on Boston's homegrown Ace of Hearts label. The Lyres, lead by the charismatic Jeff "Monoman" Conolly were among the premiere bands of the early 80s club band renaissance in Boston Massachusetts. Only two other bands, Mission of Burma and the Pixies were arguably more significant players in a music scene that revolved around tiny, smoke-filled, standing- room-only music venues like Cantone's, the Rat, the Underground and the In Square Men's Bar. The neo-garage rock of the Lyres was particularly well suited to the sweaty hard edged clubs of that era. The Lyres embodied all that was pure and passionate in the music of the venerable Boston school of garage punk. Monoman, a walking archive of garage rock, was initially involved with DMZ, the seminal Boston garage rock band of the late sixties. DMZ, along with performers like Willie "Loco" Alexander, provided a blueprint for the for the...
There were two bands from Boston in the early 80s which held it all together for a lot of people, and never got what they deserved, and the Lyres of Help You Ann and Don't Give it Up Now were one, and the early Neats (of Another Broken Dream and Red & Grey) were another. The only thing standing between the Lyres and massive success was the pinhead record industry...The Neats with their jangling, perfect, guitars came within an inch of being REM, and REM (which crashed in with Radio Free Europe, a song which couldn't hold a candle to Red and Grey) was a poor substitute for the culturally requisite Neats, let alone The Lyres, which stand way above the usual idiotic "garage" classification. (Garage, sure, but also...). In Boston in those days we had a music scene which would stand up to Liverpool before the Beatles broke-and nothing happened except indy releases and band members becoming dentists. You can't find the Neats on amazon and Monoman is playing bars. But they...
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