Originally released on Dionysus Records in 1985 and reissued by Get Hip in 1990, this classic Cynics double-hitter is available again!
1985 was a transitional year for the Cynics. Michael Kastelic had joined the band, replacing original vocalist Mark Keresman, who appeared on their debut single, “Painted My Heart” b/w “Sweet Young Thing,” which came out that year. While the band continued with a sound that combined the dreamy aspects of the West Coast’s Paisley Underground with vintage ’60s garage rock, Kastelic unleashed a new, wilder element in the band. A dynamic performer, he had a tendency to wail, and nowhere was that more apparent than on the band’s sophomore single, the original “No Place to Hide,” backed by a cover of “Hard Times,” originally recorded by the Century’s in 1966.
Written by Richard Schnap, the Cynics’ rhythm guitarist/organist at the time, “No Place to Hide” is built on a dirty riff that finds Gregg Kostelich introducing the fuzzed-out attack that would become the band’s calling card within the next few years. While Kastelic captures the pent-up frustration of that song, he explodes in the B-side with a manic scream (twice!) at the end of the chorus. As good as the original version of “Hard Times” was, that yell (soon to be another Cynics trademark), and the band’s heavy attack, make it their own.
Before long, the Cynics would strip their sound down to a pure garage rock stomp, launching their Get Hip imprint along with it. This single serves as a significant piece in their history, as their momentum started to build.
The reissue of “No Place to Hide” comes a few months after the passing of Schnap, who left the band not long after its release, but continued writing and creating art in Pittsburgh. - Mike Shanley