You’d be hard-pressed to find a more appropriate combination of band name, album title and cover art than the Dayglo Abortions’ ’81 debut, Out of the Womb. The cover’s strung out, gut-slashed punker with a dog collar and chain around her neck set against a bright orange background offers a pretty good indication that the contents found within are going to be anything but mellow AOR or inoffensive pop.
(Within the record sleeve, I mean – not the slashed womb.)
The long-running Canadian band started out playing fairly typical punk rock that was roughly two-thirds Ramones, one-third early Dead Kennedys – simple, catchy chord progressions backed with basic drumming and propelled by an energetic delivery. Lyrically, they delivered a truly goofy sense of humor befitting a band whose drummer took the pseudonym Jesus Bonehead. It wouldn’t take long for their musical and lyrical approaches to change, though – by their third album Here Today, Guano Tomorrow the band had morphed into a three-guitar metallic juggernaut, while the sense of humor became more and more over the top gross-out fare. (Not to bad effect on either count.)
Opener “R.B.F.’s” (short for religious bumfucks) sets the musical tone for the album, ripping through a few well-written parts topped off with singer/guitarist Cretin’s vaguely off-key hollering. It’s a path the band rarely deviates from throughout the album, but those curveballs are definite highlights – “Black Sabbath” is a dead on musical tribute (right down to the uptempo “Into the Void” bridge) that features lyrics about the band in question, while “I Am My Own God” sounds like a drunken, pissed-off Nuggets outtake thanks to a whirling organ track. Really, though, there isn’t a single weak moment to be found, apart from “P.E.T.,” a short series of sound effects. It’s to their credit that the slow, droning psychedelia of “Too Stoned to Care” is every bit as solid as the uptempo singalong “I Killed Mommy” and “Idiot,” which features some hilariously unbalanced vocals from bassist Spud.
Soon drifting out of print, rather than reissuing it the band re-recorded almost all of the songs and slapped them onto the B-side of their ’85 follow-up, Feed Us a Fetus. Out of the Womb has since been reissued by Unrest Records (along with the rest of their catalog), so snag it. It’s a damn fine debut, and they’d only get better on Feed Us a Fetus.