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The faithful remnant of “the Few” have implored for the reissue of all things Allan Aguirre. The gods have listened. The creative genius behind this musical catalogue is of a high magnitude. There is much to celebrate in this CD boxset (and Vinyl!), remastered to perfection!
With 2 full albums by Spy Glass Blüe and 4 full albums by Scaterd Few in addition to 17 bonus tracks, the Scaterd Blüe Box is unquestionably an essential listening. All the music has been remastered by the competent Rob Colwell (Bombworks Sound), the impeccable box and album layout art by Scott Waters (No Life Til Metal), and is a collaborative between Retroactive Records and Allan Aguirre’s own Faceless Gen Recording Company. You also get an absurd amount of attention to detail, Allan Aguirre autographed lithograph prints, and six cool trading cards with the CD boxset. Only 500 of these will be made, so make sure to get yours. Two words: Get Stoked!! ....Doug Peterson / Music Critic
- Individual CDs are not available for purchase - only the box set
- 6 CDs in jewel cases with 6-8 page booklets
- 2 full albums by Spy Glass Blüe & 4 full albums by Scatered Few
- 17 total bonus tracks - many previously unreleased
- Includes tracks from the ultra-rare Cygnet band
- Includes the entire Blue EP
- Includes tracks from Allan's Guatemala City band (1981), The Aspects!
- Remastered by Rob Colwell at Bombworks Sound
- Box Set includes an exclusive Allan Aguirre (lead singer/band leader) hand-numbered & autographed lithograph print
- Limited to just 500 box set world-wide
- All albums also available for purchase on limited edition Vinyl (200 copies)
- Purchase the Scaterd Few - Sin Disease GoldMax CD & Ltd Collector Card separately (it is NOT included in the CD box set)
Scaterd Blüe Box Set - 6 Remastered CDs/6 Ltd Collector Cards/Autographed Lithograph Print + 16 Bonus Tracks
RRCD1660 Scaterd Blüe Box Set 637405142433
1. Spy Glass Blüe – Shadows (1996)
2. Spy Glass Blüe – Loud As Feathers (2002)
3. Scaterd-Few – Out Of The Attic (1983-84)
4. Scaterd Few – Jawboneofanass (1994)
5. Scaterd Few – Grandmother's Spaceship (1998)
6. Scaterd Few – Omega No. 5 (2002)
1. Spy Glass Blüe – Shadows (1996)
RRCD1642 Spy Glass Blüe – Shadows CD 732131700800
It is no secret that by the time Sin Disease found its way into music stores, Aguirre had been playing the LA club scene with his dark wave band Cygnet. The average music enthusiasts tends to regard Scaterd Few as a big fish in a small pond of relevant faith-based bands. However, when Scaterd Few went on hiatus the first time, Aguirre gravitated towards dark wave, playing alongside bands like Jane’s Addiction, who were then vying for recognition in a sea of hair metal bands. Years later, Cygnet ended up evolving into the moniker Spy Glass Blüe.
I first became aware of Spy Glass Blüe when Flying Tart (also known as Flying Fart, but I digress…) released Spy Glass Blüe's debut EP on a 7” and a cassette. The songs on this 7” and tape later made it onto Shadows, their first full length. When I hear this album, I think steam punk, though it is also referred to as dark wave. I also hear Eastern European post-punk in these fine crafted songs.
One of the elements I adore about Spy Glass Blüe is the more stripped-down approach to song structure. Layers are ever-present and the vocals are front and center. Thin and Leaner launches it with reckless abandon, reminding the listener that post-punk is no respite from the punk family. Lodging embodies the wonder of being in love, perhaps the most intimate lyrics to date. In Sultry Places is my favorite from Shadows, though I confess I am hard pressed to decipher its meaning: “With a Crimson Face disgraced, By secret names and childhood games, Tales of Croatian sacrifices, Opal Eyes don’t fantasize aloud but, alone in sultry places…” Hey, does anyone have an Allan key to help unlock this lyrical mystery?
Can You Feel? is a song of lament as well as an apprise: “His eyes kaleidoscope in pain to see, the mass creation, Continue in their degradable shame, But still the broken heart keeps bleeding for the population, Shouldn’t we be doing the same in His name?”
On Me Mine there is passionate interplay between the guitar and bass with goth influences bleeding out. Next up, Stygian is colorful post-punk that it may transport your mind to another ethereal location. While it appears to be sing-song-y and jovial, the subject matter is anything but … “For the lips of an adulteress drip like honey, Her feet go down to the depths of She’ol, Like a Syriac or oxen to the slaughter, Little Stygian follows to her chamber of death.” If you happen to wonder where Spy Glass Blüe stands on the fate of defiled spiritual leaders, this might give you pause. Iron Grey is a masterpiece, Bowie-esque and bewildering. In all sincerity, if Aguirre had a solid shot at general market music, this would have been the song. Should Have is the antithesis of a sappy love song, written from the persuasion of one who realizes beauty is not what makes a relationship. Ending with Tell, this is a tribal-esque praise piece, quoting from a portion of a Hebrew Psalm.
Shadows not only sketches personal shadows but also those of religious leaders on public display. It is often dark, mostly exquisite, and essentially truth-telling.
The Cygnet tracks following are from the Cygnet tape that preceded Spy Glass Blüe. These earlier renditions never had the best fidelity but they represent the evolution of the songs as they were originally heard early on.
The last track on this album is from a Heaven’s Metal (HM Magazine) compilation of bands covering other bands’ songs from a mostly faith music context. As I have heard, Aguirre was exposed to music like Daniel Amos, Phil Keaggy and Keith Green while living in Central America as a young believer. This Keith Green song fits Allan’s juxtaposition like a glove while also breathing new life into it.
(Doug Peterson / Music Critic)
1 Thin And Leaner
3 In Sultry Places
4 Can You Feel
5 Me Mine
6 On And On
8 Iron Grey
9 Ignorant Side
10 Come Patmos
11 Should Have
SHADOWS BONUS TRACKS
Cygnet (Allan’s band circa 1986-1989) Recorded 1988
13. Iron Grey
14. In Sultry Places
15. Me Mine
16. On and On
17. Can You Feel
18. Should Have
Spy Glass Blüe – Loud As Feathers (2002)
RRCD1647 Spy Glass Blüe – Loud As Feathers CD 732131700756
ABOUT THE ALBUM
The second Spy Glass Blüe album Loud As Feathers is lustrous, fun and distinguished. The veiled lyrics and steam punk found on the debut have been supplanted by more personable lyrics and post-punk/goth leanings. The songs are tight and masterfully played.
Beginning with Light Machine, this mid-paced rocker sets a solid musical trajectory for this new band variant. Because Of You sounds like Big Star and is reminiscent of the style of lyrics Keith Green would have penned. Moving along, I hear the ambiance of Bowie in The Dreaming, a beautiful song that extrapolates on of purpose and calling.
Morning Star has Britpop sensibility and showcases mature songwriting: “Adulation – Comes in so many sizes, And in the end we’ll bow on bended knee to, the Giver of Life.” The next track Everything could have been recorded in a space capsule if you use your imagination and is equal parts brooding and enlightening. Ophelia sounds like something Peter Murphy might have done, majestic and joyous. Song For My Children is a heart-on-sleeve song about empathy felt for children growing up. Closing song And I Go is melancholic goth, a gorgeous romping song about searching and finding.
On this CD reissue is a song from the Daniel Amos tribute compilation, the song by the same name as the tribute album title, When World’s Collide. This is a brilliant DA song. While Allan’s version does not add anything strikingly unique, it does captures the song’s beauty well with his own keyboard and vocal delivery.
Also, the Loud As Feathers boxset album contains The Blue EP that was released a year later. It is essentially an indie rock album. Mercy launches it with fresh energy and a reference to a Psalms passage: “In skin you’ve clothed me, With bones You’ve knit me, Fearfully wonderfully made.” The third cut Stymie boldly stands out, incorporating moody rock tones and competent vocals. Come Away is a dreamy love song, not unlike the prose one might find in the Song of Solomon: “The flowers are blooming, They dance with the dew, And the voice of the dove has been heard, Come away with me.” Vacant Places closes the EP with the drive of a steam locomotive while repeating the line, “I will fill your vacant places.” It sounds more like a song fragment rather than a finished composition. Having said that, Aguirre was never fearful of trying new ideas, and this was a first.
The overall atmosphere on The Blue EP is more carefree than on any other project. As I repeatedly listen, I wonder if this Ep was recorded in a time of rest or reset for Aguirre, as even the more energetic numbers have a calm to them. A rapturous musical experience through and through. (Doug Peterson / Music Critic)
1 Light Machine
2 Turn And Remember
3 Because Of You
4 The Dreaming
5 Morning Star
8 (Looks Like) We Made It
9 Song For My Children
10 And I Go
LOUD AS FEATHERS BONUS TRACKS
11 When Worlds Collide (Daniel Amos cover)
**Spy Glass Blüe EP (2003) BONUS TRACKS
13 One And Only
15 Come Away
16 I Will Love You
17 Vacant Places
Unreleased Bonus Track
18. Tell (Alternate Version)
Scaterd-Few – Out Of The Attic (1983-84)
RRCD1649 Scaterd-Few – Out Of The Attic (1983-84) CD 732131700732
ABOUT THE ALBUM
Out Of The Attic was “officially” released in cassette format in 1991 on Aguirre’s own Sacrosantus label, a year after Sin Disease was released. Before that, an eleven-song tape was made available at shows, or bootlegged. Flying Tart Records picked it up for a CD release in 1994. With its inclusion in the boxset, Out Of The Attic finally receives the sound tweaking it has been begging for.
I remember hearing a bootleg of these songs back in 1984, along with Circle One’s Patterns of Force album. There was nothing more authentically punk than these songs from the viewpoint of outreach. As Terry Scott Taylor of Daniel Amos fame penned in the Flying Tart liner notes, the LA club scene had these songs long before the Christian bookstores did.
One of the first band incarnation of Scaterd Few consisted of Allan Aguirre (then known as Ramald Domkus) on guitar, another “Allen” on vocals, brother Omar on bass, and Brian Andrews on drums. Tracks four through eleven off Out Of The Attic were on The Terry Tapes, named accordingly since Terry Taylor sat in the producer’s seat. Attic is unapologetic LA punk, no special effects, no over-dubs. The audacity of believers doing punk in the early ‘80s is unequivocally ballsy. These were short yet authentic punk songs informing a decade and a half of starch-in-the-collar industry types what they could expect, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, for another musical revolution.
When listening to these early songs like Death or Anti-Ape, it revisits an earlier time when some of us wanted nothing more than to experience unabashed freedom in both Jesus and music that spoke in a raw vernacular. Apart from the first Barnabas album, Circle One, a young U2, and some fringe UK bands, nothing came close to the fire Scaterd Few was igniting. And nothing came within a country mile of the punk vibe of these primal songs. (Doug Peterson / Music Critic)
Gave Us Life ('83 Studio)
Anti - I'm Right
Gave Us Life
Anti - I’m Right
Ratzak at the Beach
(the beach continued)
BONUS TRACKS (The Aspects - Allan’s band in Guatemala City circa 1981)
Scaterd Few – Jawboneofanass (1994)
RRCD1645 Scaterd Few - JawboneofAnAss Gold CD 732131700770
ABOUT THE ALBUM
Next in the Scaterd Blüe box (refer to the Sin Disease Gold Disc or Vinyl reissue for chronological order) is a chapter of epic proportions. Jawboneofanass may not be the eclectic cacophony that Sin Disease was. But as we all know, Scaterd Few never put out the same album twice. It is in this stoical persistence to keep evolving that birthed an album like this one. Jawboneofanass took three separate recording stints before a finished product emerged, explaining four years elapsed for the album to materialize.
This album has a quintessential line-up of Allan Aguirre, Paul Figueroa, Drew Domkus, Omar Domkus and Samuel West. Omar rips it up masterfully on bass, Figueroa throws down guitar with precision and fluidity, and Sam West owns drum finesse as only Sam can. There is also nearly an all-star cast participating: Jyro of Mortal, Eric Clayton of Saviour Machine, Edie Goodwin of Headnoise, all on background vocals, as well as Mark Rodriguez (Mortal, The Blamed, Aunt Betties, Lost Dogs, etc.) recording and Dave Hackbarth (The Choir, Prayer Chain, etc.) editing.
Forty-five seconds into the first cut Witchcraft, one can experience transcendence from a band that understands their alchemy. That transcendence does not let up, dancing between the rhapsodic Sinking In Sorrow to the sinuous balladry of Dame, and ending with Pinnacle, a fast wielding number rebuking corrupted spiritual leaders. There within the album are twelve indispensable cuts of dark and weighty content played with reggae-infused punk likened to Bad Brains, with whom Scaterd Few played backing band for their singer HR. The funk and rhythm of Oom Pah Pah serves as kudos to their comradery. Another point of intrigue is the ballad Once Upon…, narrating a veiled tale of biographical nature with references to Godsent Humans and Native Son (Mark Solomon’s hip-hop project).
If by chance you did not receive Jawboneofanass with the ecstatic welcome as Sin Disease, give it another listen. It may surprise you how well it has aged.
(Doug Peterson / Music Critic)
3 Sinking In Sorrow
6 Once Upon...
7 Oom Pah Pah
8 Reel Not Real
9 Holding Stare
Scaterd Few – Grandmother's Spaceship (1998)
RRCD1651 Scaterd Few – Grandmother's Spaceship CD 732131700718
ABOUT THE ALBUM
Once again, Allan Aguirre brought in new band members to lend their skills to another formation of Scaterd Few. This album dabbles in the otherness and identity of those following God through the imagery of “alienation in an alien nation.” In my ears Grandmother’s Spaceship does not wield the same intensity as the first two Scaterd Few albums, though it is a colorful and energized soundscape in its own ranks.
In the manic indie rock Space Junk, Aguirre screams out in triplicate “How can you believe in a God that…” with three different barely audible indictments aligned to cyber-age intelligentsia argumentation. The song ends with: “Is it harder to see the pure simplicity of you and me are waves and micros redefining the free when cyber-space defines your reality?” Strong imagery to open the album. Win The Fisher is reminiscent of the Primus bass-guitar interplay. Lyrically, it is subpar, which is rare form for Aguirre.
Like Space Junk, Arbitrator is thematically apologetic. Quoting from Psalm 119 and the book of Amos, amongst other biblical references, this track extracts the detail humanity is made in as well as the humility that humanity would be better off to embrace. Species declares that “God was broken from death, was woken, became the Token for human kind species, filled with anti-matter.”
Incorruptible is credited to all three members playing on the album. Musically it has the force and delivery of bands in the Soundgarden vein, as identified in its wall of thick guitar. Next up, Vanishing is a roaming track with some beefy riffage and gang vocals, and then it outros into three minutes of a reggae jam with vocals of praise echoing into the atmosphere. It is in these eclectic ventures that good songs become timeless in leaving lasting impressions that can be revisited decades later. Brilliant stuff.
Suspension My Love kicks out the jams with some funkified rock not far removed from the Red Hot Chillie Peppers. It features a cool and eerie vocal delivery that brings it back to the alien theme.
The pinnacle of the album finds itself in the rampaging Bobby’s Song about a boy whose grandma had an extra-terrestrial visit. Scaterd Few does not dismiss these mysteries but are more centered on “the Light of Truth Eternal upon the mysteries found in this song.”
Worm Hole is a crazy fast number written by the guitarist on this album, Russell Archer. Man, can that guy play! Splendor, also written by Archer, again explores other-worldliness through the imagery of the Sons of God being revealed: “But we ourselves are yearning, Creatures who hope for what we have not patiently, … Body redemption … By our adoption … Future splendor.” Maybe no one told you to bring a theological dictionary to the Scaterd Few listening party but it would not hurt at this juncture.
On the prior Sin Disease the epic ballad As The Story Grows always felt unfinished in its brevity. That snippet of a ballad now finds its continuation with the Bowie-esque As The Story Grows V.2, this album’s closer. It completes the song well, also bringing summation to the alien/alienation theme. (Doug Peterson / Music Critic)
Win The Fisher
Suspension My Love...
Twinkling Of An Eye
As The Story Grows V.2
Scaterd Few – Omega No. 5 (2002)
RRCD1653 Scaterd Few - Omega No. 5 CD 732131700695
ABOUT THE ALBUM
After going on hiatus from bands and albums for four years, Allan came back in 2002 with his own label Accidental Sirens and two albums. The first of the albums was Omega No. 5, slated as Scaterd Few’s parting shot. Allan imported members from the Dallas band Greyskull to record and tour the album. Bringing in an accomplished guitarist and bassist allowed for a virtuoso return to the uninhibited spirit that made Scaterd Few’s music legendary.
Taking flight from the starting gate, Run If You Can echoes the energy and vibe found on Kill The Sarx off of Sin Disease. Resistance, a no-nonsense admonishment to resist the games played by corporate bloodsuckers, keeps the musical trajectory at full throttle. Next, Fair Is He, another one hovering at warp speed, is a play on the word “pharisee:” “Coursing veins of contradiction, Seeking whom to heap affliction, Fruitful is your dereliction, Let’s go have a crucifixion.”
Just after four songs of fast relentless punk, the apocalyptic Rise Up! switches gears to tasty hope-filled reggae. Then four more fast and furious cuts sung and slung rapid fire, addressing topics of family, carnality and worldly wealth. Then another reggae number, Tomorrow, chimes in, this time a more traditional variant. This jovial number describes in lush detail the imagery of the afterlife experience of a faithful believer. Such an under-rated song.
Only hearkens the listener back to the Sin Disease familial U. It’s a spirited song with a reminder that Jesus is “the only friend you need that will see you all the way.” Sheol, a dark and lurid soundscape, precedes the punk closer of Secret – Secret, a UK-flavored rampage on the travesty of sleeping with the corruption that will bring about destruction. The Outro on the end is a short segment from Kill The Sarx II (Apocalypse), an appropriate way to sign off on the Scaterd Few legacy.
I am reluctant to declare Omega No. 5 as Sin Disease Part II, though the references and similarities are intact. Some of the compositions on Omega No. 5 could have benefitted from an outside ear, as the album sounds a tad analogous. Though with these songs remastered and repackaged, it is an amazing album to revisit. The song writing is more accessible than previous SF albums, and the in-your-face punk fare still bears freshness and vitality over twenty years later. (Doug Peterson / Music Critic)
1 Run If You Can
3 Fair Is He
4 This Is...
5 Rise Up!
6 Parental Advisory
7 Anybody - Everybody
8 Shark Attack
9 Camel Crawl
13 Life Bleeds Out
15 Secret - Secret