Athletico Spizz 80

  • Athletico Spizz 80
  • Do a Runner (A&M) 1980 
  • Spizzles
  • Spikey Dream Flowers (A&M) 1981 
  • Spizz
  • Spizz History (UK Rough Trade) 1982 
  • Spizzoil
  • The Peel Sessions EP (UK Strange Fruit) 1987 

Whatever band name British vocalist Kenneth Spiers used — Spizzoil, Spizzenergi, Spizzles, Athletico Spizz 80 — he’ll always be remembered for one new wave novelty hit, 1979’s “Where’s Captain Kirk?” The charm and wit of that single was nowhere to be found on the subsequent Do a Runner, which was mired in the band’s predilection for science-fiction imagery. If it seems tough to conceive an album of time warps, time machines and almost nine minutes of “Airships,” imagine how tough it would be to repeat that formula; Spikey Dream Flowers offers robots, deadly war games and incessant runaway guitar (by recent arrival Lu Edmonds) with no place to go.

Spizz History compiles tracks from various Spizz eras, reaching all the way back to a 1978 single. “Where’s Captain Kirk?,” “Soldier Soldier,” a version of Roxy Music’s “Virginia Plain” and a 1982 single, “Megacity,” are all worth hearing, but that’s about it. The Peel Sessions EP was recorded in the summer of ’78.

[Graham Flashner]