[Review] Full Time Men: Your Face My Fist (1988)

The first and only full-length album by this Fleshtones splinter group, it’s good psychedelic garage rock.

Kronomyth 1.0: Flesh of my fleshtones.

This answered the musical question that everyone was asking in 1988: Whatever happened to The Fleshtones? Okay, well maybe not everyone. Keith Streng, Bill Milhizer and Gordon Spaeth reappeared in another F’in band, Full Time Men, and continued to churn out the psychedelic garage rock that their former band was known for with Your Face My Fist (love that title). The band’s first (and only) full-length album, it reprises the earlier song “I Got Wheels,” updates the tracks “Critical List” and “One More Time,” and antes up another eight foggy, sleazy slices of psychedelic garage rock.

It would be easy to dismiss this as a novelty record, except that The Fleshtones weren’t kidding to begin with: garage rock was their chosen milieu. That Full Time Men return to the same garage is no accident, and they didn’t engage Peter Zaremba and Peter Buck just for a lark. Your Face My Fist is a legitimate artifact, a fine addendum to the career of The Fleshtones. “I Got Wheels,” “One More Time (Encore),” “Full Time Men” (which reminds me of the theme to Futurama) and “Critical List” are as good as I’ve heard from The Fleshtones. True, vocals aren’t Keith Streng’s strength, but he does manage to evoke a beastly Eric Burdon, which is exactly what you’d expect to find creeping around in a garage.

Since The Fleshtones were hardly a household name to begin with, Full Time Men was only a part-time proposition. Like Monks of Doom, “cult” band splinter groups tend to become historical footnotes. Too bad, since Your Face My Fist is a fine garage rock party record, a nod to that serendipitous span of time when rock ‘n rollers didn’t wash their hair and didn’t watch the clock–they played till they got tired. This one is really due for a dusting off; in fact the whole Fleshtones experience is something we should revisit in the future.

Original LP Version

A1. Nothing’s Gonna Stop Our Train (Keith Streng)
A2. One More Time (Encore) (Keith Streng)
A3. Southern Twitch (Keith Streng/Peter Zaremba)
A4. I Got Wheels (Keith Streng)
A5. Four Day Creep (Ida Cox)
A6. Full Time Men (Keith Streng/Gordon Spaeth)
B1. Critical List (Keith Streng)
B2. Wreckin’ Ball (Keith Streng/Robert Warren)
B3. Making Time (Kenny Pickett/Eddie Phillips)
B4. High On Drugs (Keith Streng/Peter Zaremba)
B5. Baby Don’t Do It (Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Eddie Holland Jr.)

The Players

Bill Milhizer (drums, percussion, vocals), Gordon Spaeth (saxophone, harmonica), Keith Streng (lead vocals, guitar, lead guitar, tubular bells, sitar guitar), Rich Thomas (lead and slide guitar, vocals, 12-string guitar), Robert Warren (bass guitar, vocals, piano) with Ann Arbor (backing vocals), Stiv Bator (backing vocal on B4), Peter Buck (6-string guitar, 12-string guitar, remixing), Chris Clements (piano), Jeff Connolly (lead vocal on 2nd verse and Hammond organ on B5), Deerfrance (backing vocals), Pat Dinizio (feedback guitar on B4), Dave Faulkner (backing vocal and production assistance on B4), Kenny Fradley (trumpet on B1), Pete Linzell (tenor saxophone on B1), Phillip Stahl (backing vocals), Michael Ullmann (backing vocals), Peter Zaremba (duet vocals). Produced by Keith Streng except A4 with Peter Buck andB4 with J.A. Ball; engineered by Mark Pawlowski, J. Keene; mixed by Mark Pawlowski, Keith Streng and Rich Thomas; A4 remixed by J. Keene.

The Pictures

Art direction and layout by Anita Verdun. Back cover photograph by Timothy Loftus. Typing and specs by John Runnion. Typset by Ann of Seven Graphic Arts.

The Plastic

Released on elpee and cassette in 1988 in the US (Coyote, TTC 88138), Australia (Liberation, LIB5169) and France (New Rose, ROSE149).

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