The Embarrassment, “Patio Set” 7-inch (reissue)
“Patio Set” b/w “Sex Drive”
(Last Laugh Records)
The Embarrassment‘s debut single has been out of print for decades now, and copies regularly fetch well over a hundred bucks. The only way to hear what many consider to be the definitive Embos song, “Sex Drive,” on vinyl for a decent price was to track down a copy of the Bloodstains Across the Midwest compilation. Even that compilation was just sourced from a copy of the single, however.
Then along comes Last Laugh Records, a Brooklyn-based reissue label, to save the day. Working with the original master tapes, they’ve put out one of the best reissues I’ve ever seen. The art is identical to the original, save for a Last Laugh mailing address on the back. The labels have been duped to look like the originals, as well, with Big Time changed to Last Laugh. The sleeve’s a paste-together cardboard one, as well – as opposed to the original’s paper. An upgrade, if you will.
But who cares how it looks if it doesn’t sound good? As previously stated, the Last Laugh folks were working with the original master tapes from the recordings, and it shows. This sounds like it was recorded yesterday, and for those such as myself who’ve only ever heard these tracks on the Heyday CD collection, both songs are going to sound a little different.
“Sex Drive” has a rumble I’ve never noticed before – more depth, if you will. So does “Patio Set,” but the larger, rounder sound is much more noticeable on “Sex Drive.” On that cut, the guitar and bass placed at almost opposite ends of the mix, presenting a high/low differential completely free of any of the midtone muddiness encountered on the CD version.
This is an essential for any musical library, and I’d suggest you buy a copy before they’re all gone.