Tommy Jay - Tommy Jay's Tall Tales Of Trauma 2xLP
Tommy Jay's Tall Tales of Trauma, originally released in a small cassette run in 1986, is perhaps the most understated mini-masterpiece to wiggle out from under the Columbus-underground rock. Jay was (still is) most closely associated with Mike "Rep" Hummel – the duo have been recording together since the early '70s and have collaborated in such groups as Ego Summit, True Believers and Mike Rep and the Quotas – even as his Tall Tales have long solidified his standing in Ohio D.I.Y. history. Rep once tagged him the "Pavorotti of Punk."
With one foot in the dusted glitter of the Ziggy/Lou/Iggy era and another experimenting with rural folk and lite-psychedelia, Jay's approach to songwriting is refreshingly timeless. Rooted in the craft of the classics (covers of Joni Mitchell, Neil Young the Dead and the Velvets are all here), the tunes on Tall Tales of Trauma feature acoustic strum, cheap synths, flute and fuzz leads, all punctuated by Jay's tender warble that steers his ship like a captain through rough seas.
Jay's magnum opus was first resurrected a decade ago by now-defunct Columbus Discount Records and is now back in print in an expanded double-LP edition by Assophon Records. Tall Tales of Trauma is every bit as good as the more celebrated records from the tail end of the Acid Archives era even as it remains buried in obscurity outside of Central Ohio. Hopefully this reissue allows for a few more fans to jump on board.