Randy & the Goats

Band members                         Related acts

- Rob Cenci -- drums

- Mark Chmielinski -- guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

- Doug Harris -- bass, backing vocals

- Randy Would -- vocals, guitar, percussion




- The Tom Healy Band (Rob Cenci)





Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  On the Lam

Company: Broken

Catalog: 104040
Year: 1981

Country/State: Rensselaer, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap - opened

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5562

Price: $90.00


This one's pretty obscure, but I suspect it's only a matter of time until someone discovers it's low-fi charms, word gets out, and it becomes a sought after and extremely pricey collectable.


Good luck finding something about Randy and the Goats on the web or any musical reference works.  The only write up I could find was on the wonderful Acid Archives website, written by the ever insightful Aaron Milenski (if Mr. Milenski likes an album, consider buying a copy !).   As a result what little I can tell you about the band comes from the liner notes accompanying the band's first and only album.


They were apparently from upstate New York and the line up showcased drummer Rob Cenci, guitarist/keyboard player Mark Chmielinski, bassist Doug Harris, and front man/singer/guitarist Randy Would.  Released in 1981, most of their one and only LP was recorded in Rensselar, New York's Cathedral Studios with Chmielinski producing.  Two tracks were done at Trod Nossel Studios in Wallingford, Connecticut.


Released on the small Broken Records label, "On the Lam" was one of those early-1980s releases that sported a distinctive mid-1970s sound.  By the way,   that was meant as a compliment ...  That said, let me warn you that the set occasionally shows up on dealer lists slapped with a psych label.  In the interests of accuracy I'll tell you that while there were minor psych touches, notably from Chmielinski occasional fuzz guitar and 'It was the End of the Movie Anyway' (which had kind of a cool Blue Oyster Cult 'Don't Fear the Reaper' vibe), the album was better classified as a slice of garage/grunge, or perhaps proto-punk.  With Would responsible for writing all of the material (bassist Harris co-wrote two tracks), the album effortlessly bounced around between garage/grunge and haunted singer/songwriter with one pretty if atypical ballad thrown in - by the way the stark and stunning 'Broken' was one of the album highlights.  As lead singer Would took a little effort to get acclimated to.  His ragged and gruff voice and sometimes mubbling delivery wasn't the prettiest instrument you've stumbled across - imagine a younger Springsteen with a nastier street attitude, or perhaps a young Lou Reed who could actually hold a melody and you'd be in the right aural neighborhood.  On the other hand, his voice and biting delivery were well suited to the band's raw sound and after a couple of songs Would actually sounded pretty good on tracks like the rockers 'The Day I Left Town', 'Media-ized', and 'Nausea # 2'.   Come to think about it, showcasing Would's dark and depressing tales of urban angst ('Screwed' and 'Murder By Programming')  the Lou Reed comparison wasn't that far off ...  The album also benefited from The Goats.  Cenci and Harris were a devastating rhythm section (Harris' bass way up front in the mix), kicking the crap out of these songs, while Chmielinski turned in some nice lead guitar throughout the set - check out his solo on 'Screwed').   Surprisingly impressive and I have it on my Ipod !!! 


"On the Lam" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) The Day I Left Town   (Doug Harris - Randy Would) - 1:40

2.) Call Me Yesterday   (Randy Would) - 2:38

3.) This Time   (Randy Would) - 5:15

4.) N.Y. Survivor   (Randy Would) - 3:36

5.) Media-ized   (Randy Would) - 2:47


(side 2)
1.) Nausea # 2   (Randy Would) - 1:55

2.) Screwed   (Randy Would) - 2:33

3.) Broken   (Doug Harris - Randy Would) - 4:51

4.) It was the End of the Movie Anyway   (Randy Would) - 3:10

5.) Murder By Programming   (Randy Would) - 5:04


I'd love to know more about these guys.  Wonder if they recorded anything else ...


Cenci seems to have kept in music, reappearing as a member of Albany's blues-rockers Tom Healy Band.