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100 Albums: "Missile Toe" by Pspazz

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Pspazz
Title: Missile Toe
Released: 1995
Genre: sophomoric christian surf-punk



This one is obscure enough that I can't even find a video for it. You're just going to have to take my word (or listen to some extremely low quality samples here) (or just do the minimal amount of googling required to download the thing for free). The 90s saw a surge in the Christian rock movement spearheaded by dc Talk's Jesus Freak and crossover success from Christian bands like Jars of Clay and Christian-influenced bands like Collective Soul. Riding this wave, a lot of Christian bands were marketed to parents of teens as wholesome alternatives to mainstream rock. Youth pastors would get promo CDs to share and one-sheets of an entire record label's catalog saying "if your teen likes Stone Temple Pilots, you should get them an album from Third Day." In 1995, my youth pastor heard this oddball album and gave it to me thinking I'd enjoy it and, dear reader, he was right on the money. I don't even consider myself a Christian anymore, but I unironically love this bizarre juvenile attempt at art passing itself off as a Christian rock CD.

The lyrics to the opening song (and title track) Missile Toe were taken from a textbook for the lyricist's typing class. So the first thing you hear when you put this album on is a vocal so tinny it verges on snot-rock saying "Joby quickly fixed the glass vase and amazed the proud owners." If that's the sort of nonsense that speaks to you, you're gonna love this record. Subject matter "explored" on the "album" includes such diverse categories as: having bad body odor, playing with a rubber ducky in the bathtub, eating french toast, campaigning for mayor, and God. The token "religious" songs--this was on a religious record label, so there have to be at least a couple--are so ham-fisted and unsubtle that it's hard to even find them off-putting. When the back-up singer blasts out with "Nietzsche's dead, Nietzsche's dead, Nietzsche's dead 'cause God ain't dead" you just kind of want to pat him on the head and tell him how adorable he is. After forty-plus minutes of mostly uptempo punk and a couple of clumsy ballads, there are not one but two hidden tracks, the second of which is a prolonged jazzy jam on "Where's my ears? They're in the closet" that falls apart while the singer describes doing a "fade-out thing on the end."

I don't know what it is I find so endearing about this record. It's the sort of project that can only be built from youth, passion, and a complete lack of self-awareness. And yet there's enough raw musical talent here to make it listenable and enough moxie to make it charming.

Further Listening: I know of no other projects from this band or any of its members. Like I said, this one is obscure. The one-sheet I noted above offered them as an alternative to Presidents Of The United States Of America. So... that, maybe?

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