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Henry Flint and the Insurrections

I Don't Wanna
Locust Music

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Thanks to the generosity of Locust Music, Ampersand and Recorded, we've got a flood of releases by a musician who couldn't buy label interest in the '60s and '70s, when the bulk of his recordings were made. Known as the hillbilly minimalist who decided to take the essence of country and western and hoedown fiddling, stretch it out and expose its innards forevermore, I Don't Wanna finds the one-time John Cale stand-in -- who once got punched by Lou Reed for being too country during an early Velvets gig -- showing those North Carolina roots.

 

Though he's primarily known for taking mountain fiddling as close as it ever got to Rajasthan, on this '66 outing Flint straps on the six-string and crashes through a half-hour of psychotic, trashcan-backed geekabilly that's dated only due to repeated references to 'Nam. No matter: Between Flint's malnourished jittery drawl, backward John Lee Hooker-isms and Walter de Maria's deconstruction of the trap set, this is one of the most influential avant-garde rock 'n' roll records no one ever heard. But somehow, Pussy Galore, the Gibson Brothers, Half Japanese and Alex Chilton's Like Flies on Sherbet happened anyway, further proof of the power of suggestion. Of course, Flint was conscious of what he was doing in a way, say, Hasil Adkins never could be, but that detracts not one iota from the longer, more twitchy excursions here. Now we can wallow around in this little gem's more fucked-up moments with the hindsight that some studied music geek could have steered a still-juvenile rock 'n' roll from the clutches of production and soulless virtuosity and pushed it down the unmarked route of repetition, drone and ugliness. It's a damn shame.

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