Archive for the 'Post-punk' Category

Savages-She Will

Second in my post about Master’s Theses of indie rock influence and sound amalgamation. I don’t want to knock critical fave Savages, because they clearly have a tuneful yet ferocious approach, but no matter how excellent the song (and this live take on “She Will” is definitely compelling), it has a “created in a lab” feel that I just can’t shake. Peter Hook bass (but also early U2), New Order beat shuffled through dance punk, driving chiming guitars- Chameleons UK, Felt, and I am sure a bunch of others. Vocals are Siouxsie Sioux with a dash of Sinead and slight affectation like Sonya from Echobelly, and Karen Finley if anyone remembers the remix of Sinead’s “Jump in the River”. Drums are almost “Hollywood Nights” by Bob Seger when the drummer is just riding it in the beginning, and then she starts killing them. I love all of these sounds but only when the song is at its most driving does all the seams melt away and then I can just go with it. I love a lot of retro sounds, but I’m on the fence here because it can come across as prefabricated.

Between the Rent and Me-Snowden

A certain propulsive urgency. I like especially that it doesn’t feel overdone. Kind of like melodic retro-post punk. I wonder if the case can be made to have a certain amount of faith and get the entire album. This is a pretty good live version (the album version is on their 2006 LP Anti-Anti). This track was brought to my attention by Pandora.

the enemy guns — DeVotchKa

Listening to DeVotchKa’s album How It Ends is like wandering through the malestrom of strum with horns and fiddles piled on. The description from Wikipedia says they “fuse Romani, Greek, Slavic, Bolero, and Mariachi music with American punk and folk roots”. Sounds about right — it’s like Tijuana on the Aegean.

I’m not sure either of the YouTube videos for this track really do either the song or the performances justice, but you will like it.

And if you don’t Pinko will swear off pork for a month.

Alec Eiffel-The Pixies

From their most underrated album Trompe le Monde, an album which I like quite a bit, we have this small trifle to an “Alec Eiffel”- Alexander Gustave of tower fame. What gets you is the revolving coda that just kind of swirls about with some Kim Deal backup vocal goodness. Third radio track off the 1991 album, after the pretty good “Letter to Memphis” (Egypt I think) and the meh “Planet of Sound”. You might remember their cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Head On” from this album.

Primitive Painters-FELT

So what’shername (Liz Fraser, it just came to me) from Cocteau Twins sings on this classic from Felt, who are kind of sitting smack dab in a nexus of Chameleons, Television, The Smiths and other like-minded alt-chimery guitar studwagons. And this song is awesome. BUT what AOR staple does it recall in the deep down recesses of your brains? I won’t give you any hints. Save the year: 1987. Trust me, Felt oughta sue.

Primitive Painters-Felt

Teen Age Riot-Sonic Youth

I had the ol’ 12 inch of this one, so it is a similar edit, it doesn’t have the thoughtful instrumental intro. Ignore the kind of scenester-esque NY-sCene feel to the vid, these indie kings always made the music they wanted to play. You can hear exactly why the metallos etc. hated SY. The detuned guitars. This song is straight-ahead for them, but like fingernails on a blackbaord to noodly proggos. I love love this song. Ignore the video, just listen. It has a certain confidence and directness. Four minutes of art punk pop. In a way, listening to the words, it is like a rocking “Kids On Holiday” by Animal Collective. What I mean to say it has a certain nostaligic feel for me.

Counting the Beat-The Swingers

Oh Jesus. The babba-dabba-dum dum dum dum dum. The staccato “do do do doot doot doot” swinging into the “woo woo woo woot woot”, there is no way this song is not about masturbation, but it is so good. Gavin M. passed this song on to me, and it is a masterpiece of plain old run of the mill sexual tension, and it is so good. These guys were from New Zealand, and they supposedly had one other song of note. I wish there were a video of this so we could share it with you. I kind of want to just have some nothing for 3:01 so we can share the file that way.

I Will Dare-The Replacements

I will dare you to come up with a better song that evokes that feeling that you feel- the feeling of love/lust/possibilities that you only feel when you have a glimmer of hope. And it has to clock in under 3:20. I submit it is not possible. The flip side of this song, for the feeling when it all goes bad down the road would be The Buzzcocks “Ever Fallen in Love”. These two together cover both sides of the line.

Hopeless-The Wrens

There’s a lot of buzz on SoftD about The Wrens. And for good reason. The featured SoftD song by said group, Surprise, Honeycomb, is one of the great songs. Period. But more mature and moving than Secaucus as a whole was the latest CD by The Wrens, The Meadowlands. This CD tells the story of what happens to rock musicians when they grow up and become adults. There is heartbreak. There is love. There is hurt. There is divorce. There is lonliness. And it is all captured on this fantastic and moving CD.

Hopeless is probably the most, well hopeless, seeming of the tracks. But it really isn’t. The theme of the song is the concept of being used. A bad relationship whose only possible conclusion is its termination and where the only dignity that could come of it was in doing the leaving. It’s bitter, biting, and in the end justly vindictive. The woman getting served in this song deserves it in the worst way, and the only thing not leaving you crushed to pieces is the righteousness of the anger. For me, this particular lyric sums up the song nicely (full lyrics available here):

and now you’re sorry for the things you did to me
I want you to know
I feel I was the one who got used and use to
just about anything you would tell me

I love the contrast between being used and getting used to. Funny that for a song that I like so much, I haven’t commented on the music yet. The music is perfect, but I can’t describe why. It has the driving guitar, and the beat that starts slow and keeps bulding in tempo and dynamics as the anger grows and grows. And like the words, the music is relentless and loud. The singing is terrific as well. During the more dramatic lyrics, there is some overdubbing that, while not quite harmonic, does sound richer and more joined. This is the song of many men – not one.