Getz, the Worm

CD Cover Pure Joy
The Great Utopia / Flydaddy

Review by Michael O'Donahue

45-second excerpt from "Cell Depletion" (various formats)

After a couple of years in the hellish wilderness of the Rock and Roll big leagues, followed by a prolonged and depressing silence, Seattle's Rusty Willoughby is BACK! You may remember, vaguely, his former band Flop -- makers of three fantastic albums Flop and the fall of the Mopsqueazer, Whenever You're Ready and World of Today.

But before Flop there was Pure Joy, featuring a very youthful Rusty, as well as Lisa King on bass and Jim Hunnicutt on drums, whose two albums, Unsung and Carnivore, were recorded in '87 and '89 respectively. Now, almost ten years later, we have the return of that same trio in the form of Getz, the Worm.

What difference does ten years make? Well, singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer Willoughby has moved quite beyond his Buzzcock-y roots and is traveling different trails now. With weird sounds, keyboards, oddball arrangements -- and mostly eschewing verse chorus repeat repeat repeat type stuff entirely -- Getz, the Worm has the sound of an album meant to be listened to in its entirety. I laugh quietly to myself wondering what Epic Records would've thought had Flop delivered this eccentric collection of surreal vignettes, instead of the glossy, I'm Ready For My Close-up, Mr DeMille Whenever You're Ready.

Yikes! It all sounds so... out there, man. Don't get me wrong, it's still bassdrumsguitar mostly. It's simply that Rusty is a one-of-kind tunesmith, and he's getting more one-of-a-kind every record. The overriding themes in his music have almost always been Death, Madness and Loss; spend enough time thinking about that trinity and you'll go a little weird too. Not that Rusty's soft in the middle or anything; in fact, the weirder he gets, the more it all comes together. This album sounds as much like an individual, true statement of where the artist is at as anything you're ever gonna hear.

And very few are likely to ever hear it. I didn't even know about it, and was lucky to find it. There wasn't even a mention of it on the Internet, for chrissakes. There's something desperately wrong with this planet...

Artist Contact Info: PO Box 545, Newport, RI, 02840 USA

First published in Drop-D Magazine on February 22, 1998

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