Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Various Thoughts From Beneath My Screeching Weasel Cap: 22/02/06

So the Buzzcocks have two songs from their forthcoming LP, Flat-Pack Philosophy, streaming on their Myspace page. If you’re inclined to dismiss the Buzzcocks as over the hill and irrelevant, wait up a second. I probably would have done the same thing if I hadn’t seem the live in 2003. Now, I went into the show with very low expectations, so there wasn’t much of a chance of being underwhelmed. I left with my balls sitting somewhere in my abdomen. That night the Buzzcocks kicked me square in the testes. Or they tore them off and force-fed them to me... d'know... whichever analogy suits you is best fine. Before that show, the Buzzcocks’ recorded work never set my world a blaze. I always thought the guitar tones were a little foppish. Mind you, I never questioned their song writing acumen, it was the production values that failed them. You know that old piece of music journalese that gets bandied around… ‘buzzsaw’... 'buzzsaw guitars'. I’m sure you’ve happened up on it. It’s about as hackneyed -- and usually inappropriate -- as adjectives get. But I couldn’t think of a more appropriate descriptor for the guitar tones that night.

Now, I’ve gone and trailed off on a tangent. Just check out their last self titled LP. If you’re expecting to hear melodic, sunny power pop punk that you'd expect from the ‘cocks, don’t. Buzzcocks was a jagged, pithy piece of punk rock. It wasn’t without the hooks of their standards. It was however sans the teenage angst. Not quite angular like the post-punk and no-wave bands that congealed in punk’s wake, yet in no way resembling their definitive works. It’s an album that’s hard to provide reference points for, yet accessible. I know it’d be easier for me to say ‘oh the last Buzzcocks album sounded like X and Y’. Well eat my shit. The point is, these new songs seem to be in the same spirit. Check ‘em… stat!

Speaking of punk rock’s forefathers, I finally saw Don Lett’s Punk Attitude last night. A few things dawned on me. The thought that stuck at the fore of my mind for most of the documentary was ‘fuck I want to buy a shitload of records’. The documentary does a fantastic job of explaining punk rock’s lineage. From proto punk bands like the Stooges and the MC5 and the Sonics, up to where it splintered off into several different sub-genres like hardcore, post-punk, no wave, grunge, pop punk/neo-punk/mall punk. I dug that. You see, I suffer from a neurotic compulsion to put music in context. To be able to able to identify who informs band X and conversely which bands band X inspire. To be able to articulate an ancestry. I don’t know why. I think it’s why I surround myself with music junkies, nerds and pseudo-historians. It’s like some pseudo-science self-medication that I’ve prescribed myself for my insecurities and hang-ups. I don’t know. I should know better than to be so candid about my mental afflictions on the internet. Go fuck yourself.

Thumbs up,


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