Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet
Explosion of Taste EP
S.M.S.P. Records

I am typing this review on a computer, and I never type my reviews for Nerve on a computer, but I am typing this one because it is full of Wonders of Technology.

So last week I got this review copy of something from Shadowy Men on a Etc. (you know those guys), and it looked an awful lot like a package of Jiffy Pop. But it said it had music on it, so here I was in a great dilemma, because when I shook it I couldn't tell if it was just popcorn inside or what. And I had this shrewd suspicion that what they were trying to do was get me to fry a record so I would look really stupid. I know when I'm being set up.

So I carried this thing around in my shoulder-bag for a couple of days trying to decide what to do with it. Finally I showed it to a friend of mine who is more clever than I am, and he suggested I pry the top off and see if there was a record under it, so I did and there was. So this was okay, but I didn't pry the top off very well, being not very clever myself, and the foil wrapping came off too. This was the first time I had ever seen what Jiffy Pop looks like before it is popped. It looks gross. I put the foil back over the top.

I realized that to fully do my duty, I should now pop it. It said on the top I should put the burner on medium heat and keep the container moving constantly, but I didn't, I put it on high and left the container sitting still. Hell, I'm a rock journalist. I live on the edge. I dont' have time to stand around waiting for a bunch of Jiffy Pop.

So it took a long time anyway, so I took some pictures of the chicken stock that my roommates were making on the next burner. It looked really disgusting, all these chicken bones and chicken fat and chicken skin floating around, and one of the tracks on the record was called 'Run Chicken Run', so it seemed appropriate to some degree.

Well, the popcorn really did pop, and the thing of it is I don't actually like popcorn, so I put it in a bowl and left a note saying "Please eat this" and went out. When I came back it was gone, so that was all fine. Then I took some pictures of one of my roommates holding the record and then I thought maybe I should listen to it.

The first side I listened to had, yes indeed, the very sounds of Jiffy Pop itself sizzling and popping away, but theirs was even faster than mine so I bet they speeded up the tape. Then in the other earphone you got 'It Wasn't God That Made Honky Tonk Angels', which when it came out I was living in the Kawarthas and it was on everybody's radio about every ten minutes. I thought I could forget it, but no. Now I am truly aware that when married men think they are single, it has caused many a good girl to go wrong, and I will certainly bear that in mind.

Then the rewind mechanism on my camera went crazy and all the film got exposed and ruined. I guess you could say I had a total experience.

Yeah, the other side of the record had two little bits of music by the Shadowy Men themselves. It is just possible that someday they will record something more than fragments, in which it will be possible to write a record review saying what a fine upstanding band they are (they actually are, by the way), but that is yet in the realm of the unknowable future. Anyway, when you have Jiffy Pop, what more do you need?

Maggie Helwig

Notes from the Shadowy Webmaster: