Concert Review: No Man, Gamma Rays


As the Gamma Rays began to play, I sat in the kitchen listening to their cover classics, now performed ad nauseum to the twelve people present, and wondered what the record was for hearing the “Jane The Slut/Stairway To Heaven” ditty? I know after five to ten times, I had better be puking and buzzing like a barfly to relish their tired standards. Forsake the almighty dollar, boys … go for integrity, suffer the indignation of fewer bookings, go out on a limb—do a Debbie Gibson ballad—seriously!! If you’ve seen one Gamma Rays show, you’ve seen them all. Party band of the century? Most definitely. But, hey, Utah’s only got so many club-eligible drinking fools—maybe they could gig at the rest homes and tupperware conventions—tapping an entirely thrilled, excited, new market. Otherwise, Pedersen better start whistling with his anus for me to chance a listen.

As for No Man … their gig was highlighted by Roger Miller’s (Mission Of Burma) crafty electronic crush and Russell’s (didn’t catch the last name) inventive bass-play. Without a human drummer, No Man’s two-man attack took on small scale industrial intonations with programmed mood synth and scintillating rhythms. With a medium-size dance floor separating the rabid dionysians from No Man—the show took on head-above-water realities, where Miller’s quips were greeted with the warmth of shark smiles. Somehow No Man managed to be great, covering a couple of Mission of Burma songs and debuting material from their unreleased summer LP, and even furnishing the empty dance floor with fitting mementos of Miller’s bygone days of sonic assault—several pairs of foam earplugs. Unfortunately, they remained unclaimed for inane display in some adoring fan’s collection. Perhaps it’s an irony that the most memorable shows, like No Man, give a rare glimpse of the exposed artist without the shield of applause and acceptance, for Miller and sidekick Russ certainly squirmed like electric eels out of water. A superb outing. 


For more from the SLUG Archives:
Local Tape Review – June 1989
Willie Tidwell and the Roxy Age