The Perc Meets The Hidden Gentleman – “The Fruits of Sin & Labor” (Sireena 2015, CD, originally released 1990)

The Perc Meets The Hidden Gentleman is the duo of Tom “The Perc” Redecker and Emilio “The Hidden Gentleman” Winschetti. Originally released in 1990 in an LP edition of 2000, The Fruits of Sin & Labor was an A side of studio cuts and the B side live material, and this Sireena release (Redecker’s label) reissues it on CD for the first time.

We’ve got a hell of a lot of variety here. Bronx Vanilla is a trippy vocal song with dirty Neil Young guitar and spacey flowing keys that opens the set. I like the low register, drugged, droney Folk quality of Redecker’s voice. There’s a “Reprise” version later with even more up front Neil Young grunge guitar. We then do a complete stylistic 360 degree turn with the Funk-Disco grooving Feed your Heart To Beat. Wow, did ya get the number of that truck? The 4-part Comics Suite begins as a melodic vocals, piano and orchestral synth tune and then transitions to the Pete Meets Margo chat section, which sets the stage for the main rocking guitar, synth, piano and cheesy electro rhythm led song segment in which Redecker sings about Pete and Margo’s afternoon in the bedroom. The Widow On Strings is another shocking contrast, being a short tune that’s like a Philip Glass string ensemble composition with strange vocal accompaniment.

Hungry is the first of the live performance songs. It combines a drugged, Bluesy dobro sounding guitar with noisy Psych guitar and dark, droney vocals. It’s sparse but emotional and even a little disturbing, like some kind of stripped down Velvet Underground tune. The vocals and keys on Respect & Devotion sound like a soaring symphonic funeral procession punctuated by pounding march-like electro percussion and periodic intense stinging guitar leads. Niteride has a cool contrasting combination of dance pulse, ripping guitar leads and wild theatrical vocals. The nearly 13 minute Rock The Widow is by far the longest track of the set. Again we’ve got electro dance rhythms accompanied by excellent rocking lead and rhythm guitar and impassioned vocals. The keys are pretty basic, giving the music a homemade quality, yet the duo make full use of what’s available to them to create a full sound during their performance. As the song develops and transitions through multiple themes there are some wildly intense vocal and instrumental segments that create a full on maelstrom of Rock theater. The audience responds enthusiastically to this one. Finally, I Want Ya Scalp is another freaky Funk-Disco dance floor stomper that closes the set.

This album completely defies any attempt at classification. Despite the unabashed diversity there’s some cool and interesting music here. Check it out if what I’ve described sparks your interest.

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Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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