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The Voltags - Hot Flash: The Best of The Voltags

The Voltags

Hot Flash: The Best of The Voltags

Perfect Toy

Released: 17th November 2017 | 21 track new wave album

It does not happen that often any more that unreleased music from 40 years ago surfaces. Even more unlikely it is that the songs put on tape are such treasures. The Voltags were right at the forefront of the local Washington DC New Wave/Punk scene of the late 1970s. Influenced by Kraftwerk, Gary Numan, The Clash, and The B-52's, they have released only one 45rpm single during their existence. But during the time span of not even 18 months, they had recorded enough material for an entire album - but the songs remained in the can.

This is the story of The Voltags, a short-lived band which could have become famous and mentioned in the same breath as the aforementioned music legends of that era – if their songs had been released back in the day. Dive in and enjoy the sound of The Voltags, it is truly special. We here at Perfect Toy are thrilled to be label to finally release their work and we sincerely hope that they are finally getting the appreciation they so richly deserve.

Detailed information:
Dave Bennett and Hangnail Phillips grew up in Brookside Park, Newark, Delaware, USA, a small suburban college town nestled midway between Philadelphia and Baltimore. Their first band project evolved into Pump Productions (Pump) under which they released their only 45rpm single in 1970 (one of the two songs, Pappy's Rug, can be heard on Down & Wired 3, Perfect Toy Rec.). Soon after the recording of the single the two graduated from High School and disbanded Pump. Both moved on to form two new Newark bands. Dave was a founding member of Snake Grinder & The Shredded Fieldmice and Hangnail co-founded Rudy Baker & The Vegetables.

In early 1979, two friends of Dave's, Nick Norris and Mike Fisher, became partners in a music production company, White Clay Productions. One of White Clay's first artists was Dave Bennett who had just written two excellent songs: Electric Jungle and Son Of Sam. White Clay set up a recording session and Dave assembled a group of friends to record the songs. Before the recordings were even mixed, Dave asked Hangnail if he would join in a band to support the single and other songs he had written. When James Keesey (drums) and Rick Reid (bass) were added the line-up was complete. For a while they didn't have a name and then one day Nick Norris was looking at a photo of Dave standing next to a Danger High Voltage sign. Dave's head was in front of the E in Voltage and Nick laughed Danger High Voltag? and so it was soon suggested that the band should be called The Voltags (pronounced Vol'-togs). After months of preparing a repertoire they were ready to play out. Their first gig was (October 20, 1979) at a gay disco in nearby Wilmington called The Backstage. On December 30, 1979, White Clay decided to put on a big show at the State Theater to celebrate the end of the Seventies (The End Of The Decade Bash).

For the next year, with the help of White Clay, they recorded 19 songs, both studio and live recordings with White Clay's mobile unit. If not for these off the board recordings, many of their songs would have never been recorded. There was always talk of a second Voltags single but the strains of working so closely together were taking their toll on them and Dave decided to leave the group in December of 1980. The Voltags couldn't be The Voltags without Dave, and by the end of 1981, Hangnail, James and Rick, too, were ready to disband.