F-SystemsFour Flies on Grey Velvet
Formed in 1979, F-Systems became one of Austin's earliest DIY bands. Hip enough to reference Dario Argento in a song title, but accessible enough to garner the occasional spin on KLBJ, the combo cut-and-pasted from both punk and New Wave in the brief window before the antagonistic demarcation between the two. The hyper-participatory impulse that has defined local underground music ever since colors the primitive-yet-adventurous musicianship and trenchant lyrics of Four Flies on Grey Velvet, a document of F-Systems' short life via 1979 and 1981 recordings thought lost. "People," one of two previously released tunes, remains the calling card. Penned by bassist/bandleader/filmmaker Neil Ruttenberg and his Inner Sanctum Records colleague Richard Dorsett (1955-2012), the droll synth-punk anthem crosswalks Eighties avant-pop and existentialism with aplomb. "Dawn of the Dead" recasts the plot of George Romero's horror classic as a tongue-in-cheek broadside against consumerism. Closer "SIN" codifies the band's evolution with vocalist Lorinda Ash projecting darkened high drama to complement potent guitar interplay that enlivens the slow fade.