• Playhouse
  • Gazebo Princess (TwinTone) 1987 

Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner co-produced Gazebo Princess, this uncommon Minneapolis trio’s rawboned mini-album debut. Skittish, disorienting syncopation supports guitarist Eric Haugesag’s distorted power’n’jazz chords and throaty vocals in a punk-folk-jazz hybrid that derives equally from Killing Joke, the Minutemen and Love. Melodic but no less challenging than the flintier tracks that surround them, “My Eyes” and “Rule No. 1” are standouts that indicate the extent of Playhouse’s potential.

[Ira Robbins]