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Star Maps

Possum Dixon

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Album Review

The most distinctive element of Possum Dixon's 1993, self-titled debut was an art-rock aftertaste that only occasionally got the better of its own cleverness. "Go West," tlead track from follow-up Star Maps, suggests more of the same with its Talking Heads/"Psycho Killer" paranoia. But by the chorus of second number "In Her Disco," its clear that Possum Dixon has tempered to a less-labored, better-edited vibe. The sparse, sometimes claustrophobic structure makes the group's unnerving lyrical and instrumental textures all the more effective, anchoring them to identifiable pop landmarks. Keyboards invoke the spirits of both vintage Tex-Mex and murder-mystery background music on "Radio Comets," then minimalist new wave electro-pop for "Party Tonight." Out of nowhere and without warning, Possum Dixon quite straightforwardly rocks on "General Electric" and "Crashing Your Planet," marrying early Flamin' Groovies booze-ups with that influential group's more refined, mid-'70s Beatles/Byrds/Stones hybrid. Things shift once again toward the moody, obtuse, and dislocated, but without the bold neon banner that telegraphs "insert weird stuff here." Invigorating and slightly disturbing all at once.

Customer Reviews

10 Years to Early

Possum Dixon was fantastic live band that brought more chaotic entertainment to the stage than most bands of their era. Across America, they were well worth the $ of admission. So now we have The Strokes and a host of other stripped down art-rock bands selling in the hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of CD’s. Though definitely not the first, PD did it when it was definitely not in vogue and with plenty of flair. I suppose they carried a new wave torch when Rap was exploding and Indie bands ALL wanted to sound like Pavement. I guess what makes Star Maps so memorable was that it was released at a time when nobody else was tilling the same field. Starting with the neo new wave 'Go West' and finishing with the somewhat strange and minimal 'Apartment Song', they remained true to whatever narrow-minded view they had of the pop universe. Too bad they’re broken up; it would’ve been interesting to see where they would have evolved.

Exploding White Mice!

Possum Dixon's follow up to their extraordinary 1993 debut continues to mine the pill-nerve paranoia and sunshine noir of the Los Angeles that exists primarily in trashy paperbacks, backlot detective films, and cheap, moldy apartment buildings. Possum Dixon excel at maintaining a tension between precise pop hooks and car-crash dissonance. The album deserves to be heard in toto, but the four essential numbers are "Go West," "In Her Disco," "Emergency's About to End," and the best of the bunch, "Reds."

As great as it is overlooked

Slyly hooky and endearing as hell, Possum Dixon created their masterwork with this set. How this didn't go google-platinum is a mystery for the ages. I'd say it's in my '90s time capsule with only about 6 or 7 other discs. It even ages well (maybe that's because others are finally catching up?). Do not hesitate to go for the whole disc. Even if you cherry-pick, you'll surely return for more.

Biography

Formed: 1992

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

First used as an outlet for job anxieties between friends, Possum Dixon ballooned into the big-time when Interscope signed them on the strength of their L.A. club tours. The band's neo-new wave pop style first appeared in early 1993 on their self-titled debut. Rob Zabrecky is the vocalist and bassist, Robert O'Sullivan handles the...
Full Bio
Star Maps, Possum Dixon
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