Art Bergmann Vultura Freeway

Back in 1984, Art Bergmann was just beginning as a solo artist. He was already a legend in the Vancouver punk scene through his work with Young Canadians and Los Popularos, but times had changed. We can now glimpse the transformation that eventually led to Crawl With Me with this collection of the first solo demos Bergmann completed with various Vancouver musicians for a proposed full-length album. Many of the songs ended up on the Poisoned EP, but since that's probably impossible to find now, Vultura Freeway will have to do. The challenge is getting past the archaic early '80s production, with its cheesy synths and popping bass lines. However, the songs themselves stand up remarkably well. Bergmann seems completely on top of his game, both as a singer and songwriter, spilling out his trademark bile on every track. The best finds are the stripped-down "Fade To Black," the title track and an early version of Sexual Roulette's "Deathwatch." While this collection might appeal to diehards only, its mere appearance now should hopefully help restore some of Bergmann's confidence to make a full-scale return. (Audio Monster)