Randy & The Goats – On The Lam



Records have a slight warp due to shelf storage over the years but they play just fine.

$35 LP

$12 CD

RANDY & THE GOATS  On The Lam 1981
      Randy & The Goats are still ‘On The Lam’ in 2023 as far as most collectors go, 42 years since this street savvy blast of ’70s New York rock and roll was unleashed. It’s way past time you caught up with them.  Don’t expect them to hang with you for very long, escape is their modus operandi and their central theme. Wherever they are you can be sure they have one urgent eye on the exit sign. That restlessness is vividly real and supercharges the music. This is an under the radar dose of NYC action in peak form.  The late Mark F. Chmielinski aka Randy Would is the creative force and protagonist laying down these. uncompromising glimpses into life on the edge. It’s his vision. He wrote the songs, produced and arranged, sings and plays nearly all of the instruments, backed by the deadly duo Doug Harris on bass and Rob Cenci on drums. He is quite ambitious, to the point of mysteriously crediting himself as two members of the band on the LP sleeve! Although Mark/Randy came from Albany upstate the vibe here is quintessential mid ’70s lower Manhattan back when law and order were alien concepts in daily life. The city was broken, dangerous and cheap to live in. Think post-Velvets Lou Reed for reference. Tough, confident, ironic, wise to the ways of the concrete jungle. There is a proto-punk / pre-grunge DIY edge here but at it’s core we have a singer- songwriter character who evokes Reed, Dylan, Johnny Thunders even… smart dude who knows how to slum it. He may echo those legends but he is his own man shaped by similar circumstance.
As a whole this intense slice of life leans towards outsider hard rock on savage tracks like “Screwed” and “Nausea #2” with guitar action ripping like rats on garbage. “It Was The End Of The Movie Anyway” veers into a psychedelic zone that is the polar opposite of flower power, underlining their central theme of escape with a plea to change the channel amidst dark swirling guitars and voices. “Broken” is a chilling downer ballad. BUT… there is the proverbial flower blooming through a crack in the sidewalk and it is titled “N.Y. Survivor”. You really need this song in your life, especially amidst the darkness and decay the rest of the album captures. It emerges like a ray of light, streetwise with elegant motion and dreamy harpsichord flourishes depicting a radiant, confident NY survivor lady gliding freely through the debris. Life affirming and sexy gracefulness that can only be acquired through experience. It comes across like a reward for enduring all of the chaos and angst the rest of the album drives into your brain. A stunner, a head turner, and maybe you’ll get lucky the next time she rolls by!  I’ve been recommending this record ever since the late ’80s. I never tire of it. It is real life on vinyl. If you are into vintage ’70s New York Rock you need this one.
Words by – Paul Major –
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