Third Leg -- I Don't Know What to Call This E.P.

Third Leg
I Don't Know What to Call This E.P.
Lung Oyster, 1991

Whenever I take a trip out to Minneapolis, I make certain to visit two record stores: Cheapo's in Uptown and Extreme Noise on West Lake Street. The latter, a retail offshoot of the Profane Existence collective, frequently includes little blurbs about the records they carry, helpfully steering crusty punks looking for d-beat disks away from poppy ska or sappy emo. When shopping at the former, though, you've really got to know what you're looking for. If you're not careful, you could end up with a Third Leg EP.

Clearly, I wasn't careful. No, I took one look at the luchador taking a dump on the cover and decided a better value for my dollar could not be found. Unfortunately, though, a lucha libre mask doesn't guarantee quality. Strange, that.

I was all excited, too. I mean, there I was, standing in the same store where Bob Mould had met Grant Hart some thirty years earlier, holding a record produced by Spot, the very man employed by SST to produce Husker Du!

Alas, I Don't Know What to Call This E.P. is an underwhelming mixed bag of uninspired metal-tinged hardcore and sludgy proto-grunge.

Track Listing:

Track 1. "Pride." In this bit of garden-variety hardcore, Andy delivers a facile jeremiad on the "fucking lame" varieties of "white pride, black pride" that prevent us from realizing we're "all the same."

Track 2. "Reality." With vague lyrics that read like the melancholic doggerel scrawled in a less-than-precocious high-schooler's notebook, "Reality" is an unexceptional bit of post-hardcore. It's listenable, but ultimately forgettable.

Track 3. "Believe." Another one-word title, another bit of jejune sloganeering (about the need for some ill-defined variety of "solidarity," this time) and you've got more bland hardcore.

Track 4. "Take on Me." This awful cover of a-ha's 1985 new wave hit is what really damns this record. I should emphasize that it's not that Third Leg takes the piss out of an iconic 80's song that irks me about this track. It's just how truly bad a piss-take this version actually is. I mean, the Meatmen totally took the piss out of the Smiths with their rendition of "How Soon is Now?" and that was an awesome track so, really, taking the piss out of an 80s band can be done well. But Third Leg seems to trip over itself, missing notes, ridiculing Morten Harket's infamous falsetto, and otherwise coming across as drunkenly inept during what sounds like a live performance.

Sobriquet Grade: 71 (C-).


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