He’s the Philadelphian Wild Flower – Perry Shall, that is. Perhaps best known as the conceptualist behind a great body of visual art that finds its strength in its ability to make the mundane seem colorful and to make the crude seem kind, Shall utilizes cunning cynicism and slapstick wit in combination with juvenile line-drawing and coarse swatches of bright, angry color. He finds influence in vintage novelties and t-shirts; of which he collects and archives obsessively. Often the mark of an eccentric, this is our first clue that Shall operates within his own world. His latest endeavor, Wild Flowers Of America’s “Lost In The Salvation Army” LP, is yet another facet of his creative world. Crutch Of Memory Enterprises is thrilled to present its vinyl and digital release via the JAC World imprint December 6th, 2019.
Perry Shall isn’t the only Wild Flower, of course. He’s employed a cast of folks from West Philly to carry out the concept live. On “Lost In The Salvation Army” however, the Crutch Of Memory studio family fills the role. We have Amos Pitsch on bass guitar, drums, rhythm & lead guitar, percussion, and backing vocals. Julia Blair on Farfisa compact organ, Hammond M3, and backing vocals. Colin Wilde plays drums on a couple of songs. Of course we’ve got Shall himself singing lead and playing rhythm and lead guitar.
Though heavily informed by the pub rock and power pop of folks like Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe, the result is a little more bare-bones; a bubblegum rock group acting a little tough, like The Plimsouls covering The Easybeats… but a whole band based on that notion. 80’s power pop like Sorrows and The Sports come to mind. Shall’s vocal approach brings an aggressive bark to the table at times, with Pitsch and Blair’s vocal harmonies giving it a soft landing. The guitar work gets twangy; signaling a southern rock influence within an idiom that rarely embraces such influence. It’s an element that sharpens the sweetness and makes it cook. And this is where Perry’s world becomes OUR world too; at the division of Philadelphia and The Fox River Valley. With that, we invite you too, to get “Lost in the Salvation Army”.