Suburban Lawns

  • Suburban Lawns
  • Suburban Lawns (IRS) 1981 
  • Baby EP (IRS) 1983 
  • Su Tissue
  • Salon de Musique (Adversity) 1982 

This eccentric California quintet made a minor splash in 1979 with an independent single, “Gidget Goes to Hell,” a spirited, twisted variation on the ’60s Gidget movies. But the group’s jittery industrial pop comes off highly ordinary on Suburban Lawns, a sub-Devo mesh of hiccupping vocals, angular tunes with tiresome stop-start rhythms and a high, weedy guitar/organ sound.

Reduced to the quartet of Su Tissue, Frankie Ennui, Chuck Roast and a bizarrely named bassist, the Lawns returned with a much better outlook on Baby. Richard Mazda produced the five songs, including the alluring “Flavor Crystals” and a batch of muscular syncopated dance creations that evade rhythmic pursuit.

Following the group’s dissolution, Su Tissue (Sue McLane) recorded a solo album of piano and voice and played a small but memorably mousey part, as Peggy Dillman, in the Jonathan Demme movie Something Wild.

[David Fricke / Ira Robbins]