[3 November 2009]
The Lexicon Devil imprint continues its reissues series with one of New York City’s truly unsung underground rock acts with the release of Total Jive, the excellent second album from the Scene Is Now. Formed in the early ‘80s from the ashes of no-wave greats the Information, the Scene Is Now created a more romanticized strain of a sound caught between No New York and New Wave. One can easily hear the influence of groups like the Feelies and Television in its style but also the rumbles of such art-ghetto heroes as DNA and Mofungo (drummer Jeff McGovern’s previous band) with echoes of then-younger groups like Yo La Tengo laying the foundation for future generations in the not-too-distant background. Jive, originally released on the Twin/Tone label in 1986, is perhaps the band’s most realized effort, expertly produced by downtown experimental luminary Elliott Sharp. This straight reissue (no bonus disc or tracks, sadly) marks the album’s debut on CD and has never sounded more urgent or incendiary. Anyone looking to further his or her education in the post no-wave sounds of New York City in the 1980s would be wise to look into the investment of this hidden jewel.