THE SCREAMING MEE-MEES CLUTCHING HAND MONSTER MITT Dog Face Records DF 002 (US LP) For more than a decade St. Louis' own man mountain and self-styled guru of musical mayhem. Bruce Cole and equally insane partner Jon Ashline have been producing cassettes of uniquely bizarre cacophonies of wit and wisdom. Lurid tales of talking pumpkins with accompaniment that cares little for the niceties of melody, rhythm and staying in tune. It's all one huge joke to some people, but at the centre of this clamorous noise is the very real lyrical talent of a true one-off, Bruce Cole. More subtle is the concept that 10 years of trying not to play musical instruments has resulted in the boys not being able to play their instruments superbly!! A sort of inverted virtuosity abounds - it's just a question of listener acclimatisation - and after three or four plays this album will suddenly make some sort of sense.The Mee Mees smash all sensibilities asunder with long, merciless sonic assaults that are like the coming of the Anti-Christ to the average Bongos fan. Titles like "Psychoward Reunion" and "Riotous Crowd" say it all. It takes real effort, and a couple of Panadol, but after a while you'll cotton on to what it's all about. Didn't people have the same problem with "Trout Mask Replica" when it first came out? Leave your brain in the cloakroom and come down to the basement of cortex violation that is "Clutching Hand Monster Mitt".
As well as being a musical adventurer Bruce was also an inventor with a unique vision..here are just two of his inventions
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching. It unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. The money powers preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me & the financial institutions at the rear, the latter is my greatest foe. Corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed." -Abraham Lincoln, (letter to William Elkins, Nov 21, 1864)