12 rough jewels of integrity in a sea of overproduction and hype
This post is specifically designed to be read by my old best mate Ian (’76-’89, or thereabouts). We met at school, via a mutual love for comic books (see this interview, for further information), formed a band together and started dancing down the front of gigs (alongside the near-legendary Geoff the Postman). We haven’t been in touch since, not till very recently. Cue Facebook.
Ian left a comment on a link to this post, thus:
Seweeeet!!! Thought stuff like this had died and gone to the pub. A rough jewel of integrity in a sea of overproduction and hype. ‘course they’ll never ‘get’ anywhere – and therein lies their beauty. Made my day. Thanks fir that. Thanks indeed.
And that got me to thinking. What other bands featured on Collapse Board during the last few months/year might Ian (“greatest album ever, The Red Krayola - Soldier Talk“) appreciate in 2013? So I came up with a list, of sorts. It wasn’t easy. I’m trying to second-guess the taste of an old friend I haven’t seen, or communicated with, in over two decades. Still, this was the friend who took me to my first ever London show (Stiff Little Fingers + Essential Logic + Robert Rental & The Normal), specifically to see Essential Logic (I believe live footage of the actual gig surfaced a few years back wherein it’s possible to spot the two of us furiously dancing among the static self-styled punks). So, whatever. I’ve probably got a load wrong, but here goes with a few stabs in the dark:
(Click on the link to find out more.) (And Ian never really went for ‘cute’ the way I did, so that cuts out a few of the more obvious contenders.)
Los Cripis (as recommended to me by Geoff the Postman)
I couldn’t let this one go past without dragging it to the front page again This music is so fun and poignant: nerve-ends left exposed, clattering and jagged, guitars that run naked through the streets in a running battle with the tentative rhythm section, vocals that judder and jar, from Argentina and a trio like all the best trios are – they leave in the space and the clutter, and take out the boredom with the trash and remains of yr dad’s old Pearl Jam records. The reinvented, re-imagined sound reminds me of another great No Wave/post-punk, heartland ET territory, trio from Argentina – Las Kellies.
This is nothing – NOTHING – like Boredoms. OK. There’s squealing and freedom and guitars. That’s to the good. That’s a little bit Boredoms. There are melodies just when you’re least expecting them, and also at the very start. Yep. That’s fine. But it’s all subtle and doesn’t make you want to gnaw on your fist in awe. Your arm, yes. Maybe the way the music seems to leap through several symphonies of dissonant sound in the space of two minutes, maybe that’s the Boredoms hook? Yeah, maybe. Maybe the A-side of the 7″ is composed of 10 miniature songs? Dunno. It aims for the stars and over-reaches so easily, so clumsily, it’s brilliant. Throws them away laughing. Frankly, it’s more abstract art absurd than music.
Somewhere, tricky instruments play fun-smart, dumb-smart motifs/to one another/and occasionallyEXPLODE
The giant balloon is a cornucopia, a whirligig of wonder
The sound you hear is angels laughing at your own head
Imagination comes in teams
The key to the treasure chest containing all the maps is right here
All you have to do is grab it
Here we go. ‘SLACKJAWED’ in its entire fiery entirety. LISTEN TO IT!!! NOW!
I can only follow where others lead. Here boy. Down Rover. Here Fido.
It’s the title of my new music magazine. Where Others Lead. Every week in constipated black and white, 20 jaded douchebag Australian critics rediscover the bands that Vice was writing about six years ago, and dress them in clothes of zero visibility. Earplugs will be issued because it is A Danger To Future Life to listen to music without some form of self-inflicted impediment. Words will be paraphrased relentlessly, and whole sections of Bob Christgau’s Consumer Guide to Rocks will be quoted according to grade and condition. There will be no hypothesising or marginalising and certainly no – what are those damn things called again, he boilks, looking momentarily like Johnny Depp as a trillion-dollar Willy Wonka – hyphenating. The cover art will always be printed bigger than the review. When I say ‘cover art’, I mean the iTunes symbol for an MP3. No band will be featured unless they’ve performed a minimum of four Nirvana covers, preferably in support to Girls. GI URLs. Leashes will be mandatory. (Little-known fact, but Brighton’s own Kate Bush tribute act Bat For Lashes were originally called Back For Leashes, in anticipation of this very moment. There are photographs in existence. FACT.) If an artist is to be deemed “worryingly listenable” then they shalt be excluded, as the readers of Where Others Lead do not appreciate being worried in their pursuit of pleasure. Simon Reynolds’ Retromania will be viewed as something akin to a bible. Unless we decide to use it as a baton.
Three videos I played, trying to get a fix on noon:30 – three (two?) sisters from DC, so I’m told – and each time, they threw up something entirely different. The first one is totally eviscerating, brutal. The guitar keeps distorting, the mood builds, the voice keeps chiding until… whoa! PUNK ROCK!
Neonbabies (this is ancient, but there aren’t NO WAY Ian ain’t lovin’ this!)
A 57-second blast of jazz kronk/punk madness.
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