Connecting all the dots to get the complete Vertical Slit picture has been a grail-like task for hundreds of record collectors since the band and its leader Jim Shepard were outed in Forced Exposure # 13 in the late 80s. Whether James Johnson counts himself among the minuscule number of V/Slit completists is moot; the impeti for initial digging around and eventual article-publishing were the basement roar and defiant outsider vibe of the Smudge seven-inch (New Age, 1981) and Under the Blood Red Lava Lamp cassette (Old Age, 1986). Apocryphal? Perhaps. Baloney? Perhaps not. Still, the end result remains the same: the word was out and here we all are. Save some room, theres pie. \r\nThis CD collects all the tracks from both the Smudge EP and the Lava Lamp cassette, both of which were recorded live in the latter part of 1980. Vertical Slit-at any time-were an anomaly whose live sound was unlike any other band preening around the south campus of Ohio State. They most assuredly did not nod in the direction of either NME or NY Rocker. Instead they pinned back ears Creem-style; three meth-baked, beer-soaked shamen who concocted a unique midwestern prog/metal slobber somewhere between In the Court of the Crimson King and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Even though no onell read about em in The Wire, no less of an authority than Chuck Eddy immortalized V/Slit when he ranked Lava Lamp number 455 in his seminal" book Stairway to Hell: The 500 Top Heavy Metal Albums of All Time, beating out not only the two aforementioned influences (at 460 and 488 respectively) but also Confusion Is Sex (number 459). Says Chuckles, "[Lava Lamp] adds up to a moss of pedal-mass not unlike Hearthan-era Pere Ubu." Get the picture? And for those of you who can only be moved by Joy Division covers (hello!), V/Slits version of "I Remember Nothing," done as a tribute to Ian Curtis (who had died in May of 80), absolutely (to be enunciated Eddy-like) gets atomized! So surrender your shekels and climb aboard. In the eternal words of Jim Shepard, "Its here/Its now/Eat it up/Youll enjoy." Contains original Lava Lamp liner notes as well as a remembrance from Old Age/New Age honcho (and Anyway recording artist) Mike Rep." - Siltbreeze.