The Endtables - Process of Elimination EP (Tuesday, 1979)
The Endtables - White Glove Test b/w Trick or Treat (Self Destruct, 1991)
It’s the sound from nowhere that we dig the most. The infrequent, furtive grumble expulsed from the void which posits that isolation and inspiration often share a mutually inclusive relationship. Sometimes we’re rewarded with middling results like the Fucking Flying A-Heads or the Village Pistols, but occasionally we luck out, in spades, with outlanders like the Endtables. The fact that the same unlikely locale produced these unsung misfits and the soporific sounds of those joyless turds illustrates the delicate chemistry intermingling in the vacuum. A full decade after having first heard it, I still consider the Process of Elimination EP to be one of the twenty greatest records to bubble up from the American underground.
So what’s it sound like? Well, there’s a tactile nervousness that lends to a greater CLE-like equilibrium; think Pere Ubu circa The Modern Dance--except for eyeliner and coiffures that were way more asymmetrical. The Endtables also placed more emphasis on the punk quotient of artpunk and issued forth these ungodly, elastic riffs that invade your brain and cleave through your corroded sulci like so much razor wire. A quasi-hardcore freneticism and Kermit-esque vocals (I thought we were modern!) aid the band immeasurably and bump them up a few more notches still.
500 of these were pressed in 1979 and half of ‘em were cruelly cast out into the world sans textured sleeve or insert. The lead singer recently unloaded a few copies with a previously unknown glossy sleeve (re: color copy) that’s never been seen before or since. This is a record that deserves to be owned in its complete form, despite the escalating price-tag.
Just to prove what a benevolent despot I really am, I’ve also included the two tracks, from the same recording session, that were released posthumously by a Louisville label way back in 1991. There’s also talk of a retrospective lp in the works with both singles and additional unreleased materials.
Process of Elimination / The Defectors
They're Guilty / Circumcision
White Glove Test / Trick or Treat