I can almost remember the day that Rep sent me the first issue of this LP. Taking it out of the package I glommed the title, looked at who was participating and snorted appreciatively. Ego Summit – perfect! Don Howland, Jim Shepard, Ron House, Tommy Jay and Michael Hummel were all guys whose impact on the world of music (as it is known) was questionable, but all of them were well-known at the sub-underground level, and it was damn certain they all felt like kings!
Between them they had created sounds and records that were legendary and influential, but the fact that they were all bums dedicated to living in Columbus, Ohio made the reality of their impact something that was hard to appreciate if you lived further away than Dayton (home of GBV). But as the years peeled away, oddball record collectors (and perhaps, even, the women who love them) have come to appreciate the insane form-moves this cabal of record collectors was up to.
By the time of this release, they’d been putting out records for years, with bands as diverse as Gibson Bros, Bassholes, Vertical Slit, V-3, Great Plains, Mike Rep & the Quota, True Believers (OH), and in various solo incarnations of one form or another. Each had evolved a dinstinctive sound, redolent of every goddamn record he’d ever heard – from Ramblin’ Thomas to the Twinkeyz to Armand Schaubroeck Steals to Destroy All Monsters, and they were ready to roll it all out.
Ego Summit functions like a download of everything they’ve ever really loved, from the VU’s Live ’69 to Quicksilver’s cover of Buffy Ste. Marie’s “Codine”, all piled up in a beautifully loose garage band jumble. I’m never sure whether my fave track is Ron House’s “Rise Sherry” (with its lazy approximation of the original Contortions’ slide guitar/bass dualism), Jim Shepard’s abosultely blown talling-blues, “We Got It All” (the best experiment in the form since the Minutemen’s “History Lesson Part Two”), or Don Howland’s “Wife Blues” (a track that makes every motion by Spencer’s Blues Explosion extraneous), but the whole goddamn thing is great.
A totally superior listen, by a bunch of clowns who were their own best fans. And knew why. Now you do too.