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In the mid to late 70s, a seam of largely underground music got to percolating around the world to counteract the bombast-choked mainstream.This was before pub rock was tweaked to become punk.This bunch was one of those units from a time when everything was much less premeditated. Sometimes the racket they made was as rough as a bear's behind but as you'll hear here, that just added to the explosive quality. Generally, what people were used to was the "rock".There was largely no conception of the "roll" aspect.What an act like this brought to the party was to celebrate both. They recognised the greatness of The Stooges, New York Dolls or Flamin' Groovies and correlated that work with Lenny Kaye's Nuggets to create music that would never go out of fashion. Much of this material was recorded at a Boston radio station in that very year, two years before their Flo & Eddie-produced proper debut hit the racks.The band was firing out short, sharp anthems of their own alongside choice covers to packed crowds that wanted to dance. It was about having fun first and foremost, then building on the music they loved. Listen to this and I reckon that you'll agree that it shows. Jeff "Mono Mann" Conolly laid it out simply for interested parties at the time - "I'm just lookin' for something to make us sound good. No message.We want people to dance when we play.The music comes first, then we put words to it.We don't have anything to say. We're not trying to do anything revolutionary." Lindsay Hutton
The 1970s garage punk band from Boston, DMZ, had dissolved in a 1978 train wreck. Jeff "Mono Mann" Conolly decided to take a Vox organ-driven direction next in his Lyres. Lyres evolved into an amorphous group of players moving in and out of the band over the years with certain mainstays like Paul Murphy and Ricky Coraccio, DMZ's drummer and bass player respectively, hanging in longer than most. Ricky "Little Man" Carmel was the original guitarist for Lyres and was with Conolly, Murphy and Coraccio when they recorded the classic 1979 45 'Don't Give It Up Now' / 'How Do You Know?' By the time Peter Greenberg, DMZ's lead guitarist, returned to Boston from Cincinnati in the summer of 1980 to join Lyres, the original line-up had also dissolved and Conolly was filling in players on an ad hoc basis. The next iteration of Lyres had some staying power and included, along with Conolly and Greenberg, Michael Lewis, DMZ's original bass player, and Howie Ferguson, who had been the drummer for the Real Kids. This band recorded Lyres' first two releases for Ace of Hearts Records, the EP AHS1005 and the 45 'Help You Ann' / 'I Really Want You Right Now'.This batch of Lyres collapsed at the end of 1981. Conolly re-recruited Murphy, Coraccio and Carmel back to Lyres at the start of 1982. However, for the recording at hand, "Live At Cantones, Boston 1982", Carmel was indisposed and Greenberg got "the call" from Conolly to fill in the night of the show. From a historical perspective, this night at Cantones is reported to be the only night where Conolly, Murphy, Coraccio and Greenberg - four fifths of DMZ - played together as Lyres - except for a much later Spanish tour in 2009. Cantones was an Italian restaurant in Boston's financial district by day. By night, the suits were gone and left those cold and empty streets to the kids.This particular show is an energetic and raucous representation of the many, many nights Lyres cranked it out at Cantones. It was commonplace for the night to end at 2:30am with brawls that spilled out through broken windows into the street.