Theatre of Hate – “Westworld” (1982)

theatreofhatewestworldWe swung by Seattle’s Daybreak Records for their first anniversary sale the other day.  Daybreak has quickly established itself as one of Seattle’s best go-to used record stores, one that has an eclectic and deep selection of high grade vinyl, all of which is very realistically priced.  Plus it’s next door to Uneeda Burger, one of the city’s best burger joints, so how can you not head over to Fremont and pull the double shot, getting a burger and some brews and then crate digging?

I’d heard of Theatre of Hate (Teatro del Odio on this Spanish pressing) but never listened their stuff before.  Westworld was one of their early releases from way back in 1982, something hanging around in the hinterlands on the border between post-punk and new wave, a combination of both while yet at the same time absolutely neither.  There’s a desperation to songs like “Judgement Hymn” that reminds me more than a bit of Jeffrey Lee Pierce on those early Gun Club albums, but with music that is less rock oriented.  That being said, the saxophone on “63” firmly plants this album in the early 1980s, back when that was considered experimental and cool, but there’s also a bit of a no wave feel here.