My introduction to Soggy came when I saw their frontman get up and jam with The Shrine at Pyscho Las Vegas. The Shrine covered Soggy’s 1981 single “Waiting for the War” a couple years back, so they went online to see if they could find the guy… and the rest is history. I had no idea who Beb Soggy was until that moment, but on stage, he came off like a crazy cross between Bobby Liebling and Iggy Pop—and certainly made us take notice.
Soggy’s self-titled album was originally released in 1980 on such a small French label that they only pressed 300 copies. While you can listen to the whole thing on YouTube, it had been out of print for ages… until now. I think The Shrine should get an assist on this one.
Soggy certainly wears its Stooges influence on its sleeves, offering up a primitive, plaintive version of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” that’s even rawer than the original. But you’d also suspect they were listening to some stuff from across the English Channel, as well. “Lay Down a Lot” sounds like a messy mix of Venom and Motorhead, while “I Feel Top of the World” might not be outta place on Diamond Head’s seminal white album (subsequently known as Lightning to the Nations) and “Cursed Boy” contains more than just a touch of Angel Witch.
But I find they’re at their best when channelling the early 70’s Detroit scene. Opening track “47 Chromosomes” pulsates and pounds beneath a primitive punk-rock backbeat, culminating in a chorus that makes you wanna pump your fist and yell. “Cellulitis is the Top of the Shapeless Body” (Oohwhataname!) is a straight-ahead stomper with a solid stop-start chorus and several stuttering lyrics—hey, you try saying cellulitis seven times fast!
Their not-such-a-big-hit single “Waiting for War” brings together the best of both worlds. Its gritty, driving verses recall the best of the NWOBHM, while the killer chorus screams “Search and Destroy!” It kinda makes me wanna take my shirt off and flail around like a madman… (Nobody needs to see that, though!)