Devils Angel

The Klemares Devils Angel 45 (GG's, 1971)

Ack! I did a search on this record under "The Klemares" and the only "substantial" result was something I wrote months ago! I did a few other terms and I found this record under "Bunny & the Klemares," "Bunny & the Kiemanaires," "The Kiemanaries," "and "The Caymanairies." And under those listings all I get is that the record is for sale. I can't tell you if this is Bunny Wailer or Bugs Bunny singing, though it doesn't sound like either to me. And if the Kiemanaries and Caymanairies are just spelling variations than can I assume that the band is from the Cayman Islands? I am afraid I am at a loss here. And I would call my younger brother, who is an expert in Jamaican music, but he's got a new phone number and the lazy bastard hasn't given it to me yet.

Devils Angel reminds me of the first time I heard reggae, which like most young punkers was through the Clash's Black Market Clash. It was their cover of Pressure Drop that hooked me and anyone else that heard it. It certainly inspired a local band called Mod Philo (one 7" released in 1981), who played at my high school and was roundly booed by the jocks. It wasn't punk rock in a pure sense but five white kids playing ska in 1981, in the quad of a Sacramento high school might as well have been. Part of the Mod Philo sound was the klunky, barely togetherness that you hear in the intro of Devils Angel. While Devils Angel slides into a groove a bit in and becomes a sweet listen, the Mod Philo never quote got there. That was fine. They were young and angry and I am not sure if they were after a groove or knew what to do if they found themselves in one. Maybe some day I will dig up that Mod Philo 7" and post it.

I know there are lot of great reggae 45s that deserve some run, but this little number and the awkward funkiness of it is what is hooking me right now. Enjoy the Klemares (or whatever they are called).

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