ATLANTA'S Swimming Pool Qs, the best of the Southeast's new-wave bands, always had two very different sounds. When Jeff Calder sang his own songs, the result was the raw-edged art-punk of Captain Beefheart at his most acerbic. When Anne Richmond Boston sang Calder's songs, the result was the soaring, melodic folk-rock of the classic Jefferson Airplane.
Needless to say, the latter sound was more accessible and popular, and many listeners were disappointed when Boston left the band earlier this year. The Qs' first post-Boston release is a five-song EP, "Firing Squad for God," which features the hard-and-fast attack of Calder's bristling satire at its best. This 1987 title tune is an Orwellian nightmare about right-wing evangelists, complete with inspired hard-rock guitar by Bob Elsey and delightful speaking in tongues.
The political message continues with two versions of 1985's "El Presidente," an outtake from the band's "Blue Tomorrow" album. Using jarring sound effects, the jagged song suggests the fascist tendencies underlying personality cults. The 1982 song, "Working in the Nut Plant," links the dehumanizing routine of a factory with the same routine at home; the song's grinding sound is redeemed by melodic solos from Elsey on guitar and Boston herself on pedal steel.
THE SWIMMING POOL Qs --
"Firing Squad for God" (DB 87). Appearing Saturday with Hyaa! at the 9:30 Club.