Yep, this is the lone album from Ben Stiller’s high school band, released in 1982 when he was just a young wannabe punk living under Frank Costanza’s roof. Captured Tracks boss Mike Sniper came across a musty copy of the record in a dead man’s home when he was buying for Academy Records in 2005, and was intrigued by the unique artwork and the ‘B. Stiller’ listed in the credits. The band also included Kriss Roebling (his family name is linked to the Roebling Street in Williamsburg somewhere down the line), Arizona appellate judge Peter Swann and Peter Zusi, a Professor of Slavic Studies at Britain’s University College London (Stiller has since downplayed his involvement in the band, deferring to Roebling as the ringleader and the visionary). The teenage ambition that permeates Roadkill is undeniably charming and will be familiar to anyone who wanted to make a record in high school. They totally wear their influences on their sleeves: Residents, Chrome, Cabaret Voltaire, et al. Track 1 “Necronomican” opens with an ominous windchime loop dubbed over with a news report about a serial killer, like some sort of teenage approximation of Throbbing Gristle’s “Hamburger Lady.” The crew cover a surprising amount of ground here, from the dry postpunk of “Delta Time” and the title track to the Stereolabby “Cosmos,” bubbling synth burps of “John’s Forgotten Land” and the relatively straightforward “All Just In Passing.” The bouncy “Muzak Anonymous” predates Ween by a cool half decade and could easily be an outtake from Ariel Pink’s Pom Pom. Captured Tracks originally announced this reissue three and a half years ago, and have been patiently waiting for Ben Stiller to write liner notes ever since. And they were worth the wait - you simply gotta read the full story behind this record to truly believe it. Also includes essays from Sniper and the rest of the band members plus never before seen photos. Red colored vinyl pressing with download code, recommended.
- red colored vinyl
- includes booklet w/ photos + detailed liner notes by Ben Stiller, the band + Mike Sniper
- digital download included
- limited edition
- music label: Captured Tracks 2018
reviewed by military 2step 09/2018