Considering this band was a cross-section of Hoboken, NJ, New Orleans and Bloomington, it is right up my alley! Featuring members of MX-80 Sound, this is actually 3 7″s compiled by Gulcher, although originally released by a Gulcher-friendly Hoboken label. -Ian!
Mark Bingham flirted with a number of projects prior to compiling the works of Social Climbers, including production work for MX-80 Sound and collaborations with New York’s Glenn Branca. A. Leroy also worked with Charles Moulton, a choreographer, creating the music for his “Precision Ball Passing” pieces in the early 80s. Social Climbers’ only album was indeed a compilation of three excellent, but poorly pressed 7” flexis put out by the band. Armed with just a couple of guitars, a rhythm box and an organ, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this album may not offer anything special, or that Social Climbers would simply mirror the b-movie aspirations of their New York peers, Comateens (which they do here there, particularly on ‘Western World’). however, Bingham & Co. conjure up a highly original mix of quietly neurotic post-punk restraint. both the organ and rhythm boxes are used highly effectively, thanks to subtle production trickery and clever programming, neatly offset by the geeky garage-band vocals. tracks like ‘Chicken 80’, ‘Chris & Debbie’ and ‘That’s Why’ are shining examples of the very best of post-punk DIY, thanks to both memorable tunes and a cool, if insular, atmosphere of moderate despair. as the album wanders comfortably over the stylistic map, each track in some way hits the spot, and most hit more than one. Every lo-fi collector should get to hear this. and what a tragedy that it was never followed up.
Social Climbers-SOCIAL CLIMBERS (1981)