One of the trademarks of No Wave were the aggressive (often female) vocals, and with “Helen Fordsdale” Mars delivers most convincingly. The most musically adventurous the four-some get is during “Tunnel,” both versions pull out a multitude of effects. Finally we come to the band’s traditional closing number, “Peurto Rican Ghost” a wild bit of No Wave that finds the group (and their audience) equally drained.
Mars were charter members of a brilliantly decadent musical scene. While the bankrupt NYC was actually in the process of rebuilding, and gaining worldwide recognition for the CBGB bands, No Wave’s intent was in making the unholiest noise imaginable. No matter what you think of Sonic Youth, Lydia Lunch, Glenn Branca, et al. this is where it all began - and Mars were there right from the start. Besides containing some great rock and roll, Live At Artists Space is also an invaluable historical document of a time in the downtown New York scene which will never be duplicated.
Live At Artists Space is available from Feeding Tube Records.