Friday, September 09, 2005

The King's Ransom: Shame/Here Today Gone Tomorrow (Integra 101)

It's all-time fave time again, kiddies! "Shame" has made its appearance on quite a few series, most notably "Pebbles" and "Teenage Shutdown." And as a jangly teen rocker, it's definitely a killer. But the other side is not to be counted out either.

As far as I know, this was one of two singles this group recorded and is the best known of the two, due to "Shame's" comp coverage. And for good reason, too, because "Shame" is an absolute teen jangly guitar garage punk monster, at least to these ears. Immediately when the guitar riff opens up and bass and drums blast in, you're hooked. Then, when you get the girlfriend putdown lyrics ("So, shame, little girl, is the game that you play"), you know you've got a winner. 2:08 minutes of glorious zit-cream angst!

I do not know if "Here Today Gone Tomorrow" has ever been comped or not, but if it hasn't been, it should be. It, too, is a winner, though in a different way. This one's more in a garage rocker vein and rock like a banshee it does. The lyrics this time are a bit more trippy, but when that happens I tend to concentrate more on the feel. And all you need to do is turn this one up and you just might get a good buzz. The guitars are certainly loud enough and right up there.

Vernon Joynson's book "Fuzz, Acid and Flowers" doesn't rate this single too highly. He dismisses it as "catchy, nothing more." Another reason not to take that tome too seriously. The truth is in the grooves and the truth is that this is a two-sided winner all the way.


hipster said...

you should probably be aware of a couple of cds that were "issued" in allentown,pa,home of kings was put out by distortions and is called "allentown anglophile".one less legitimate is called absolutely allentown.both have kings ransom and the shillings tracks.i think there is even a cd on the shillings.check with dave at positively 19th street music in allentown for the scoop.

Anonymous said...

I have to thank you for this. I first heard this tune in the 80s, as it was covered by neo-60s bands in NYC. Also, Bill Kelly has been playing this regularly on his radio show on WFMU (Jersey City) for many years. But so many songs have the word "shame" in the lyrics or title, that I could only find this by searching an exact phrase "shame little girl is the game that you play" - Bam! King's Ransom it is. Thanks again!