I’ll admit it up front: at first I was incredibly cynical about Luna, the band that Dean Wareham put together after the dissolution of Galaxie 500.
So despite the critical hosannas for Lunapark, I didn’t rush right out and buy it, finally grabbing it at Ragin’ a month or so after it came out. And could instantly tell the difference: Stanley Demenski. For those of you who don’t know the name, Demenski replaced Anton Fier in The Feelies and played on such great records as The Good Earth, Only Life and Time For A Witness.
So when The Feelies took a 20-year break after Time For A Witness, Wareham recruited snagged him up gave Luna a thing that that Galaxie 500 never had: drive. On Lunapark’s best tracks, Demenski’s Velvety pulse pushes ever forward, giving Wareham both space and speed over which to display his guitar pyrotechnics. And so “Slash Your Tires” starts with a guitar solo over pounding toms before Wareham even opens his mouth, and then goes into a controlled roll when Wareham hits the chorus.
And in my dreams I slash your tires
And in my dreams I set these fires
And all your fears, it’s nothing new
And all your tears, they won’t help you
The irony, of course, was that “Slash Your Tires” was purportedly aimed at the former rhythm section of Galaxie 500 (cue Rob Sheffield’s “Galaxie 500 had a rhythm section? joke) but the big beat said way more than the lyrics ever could.
Also: Wareham’s long, melodic guitar solos after each chorus, sometimes measured and controlled, and sometimes overdubbed and somewhat unhinged. So while I still wasn’t yet fully onboard with Wareham (which a quarter-century later was clearly on me), a song like “Slash Your Tires” went a long way towards changing my mind.
“Slash Your Tires”
“Slash Your Tires” Official Video (muddy sound)
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