Sunday, September 16, 2012

Three Tapes from Baldy Longhair Records





Punk is NOT a musical style. I love the "punk" bands of yore ever sooooo much don't get me wrong, but please realize that slap bass & banjo is as much "punk" as stepping on a distortion pedal rigged gee-tar plugged into a Marshall stack (or whatever - insert brand name here) is. If the players on You Name It Album should sing and noodle with determination, heart, and attitude then, sure "punk" is a thing, but it need not sound like Rancid or The Dead Boys for the music to actually be "punk."

I'll never understand the rigid devotion to a vanilla-ized Mall notion of “punk rock” that umpteen thousands of bands have, so maybe I should just stop trying to tell people about the broader diversity of what "punk" could mean and accept that chugga-chugga electric guitar, bass, and drums template.

[It will be difficult for me to dive into the three tapes sent to me by Baldy Longhair Records without a certain chip on my should pissed off crank mindset, so bands sorry in advance for being tired of your sound before I even hear you.]

Disclaimer aside, I did appreciate the thought and care that went into the box I picked up at the post office. Baldy Longhair Records is a class act as far as I can tell because the tapes were wrapped well and came with detailed one-sheets about each of the three bands (buttons and stickers also made for a complete handsome package). The artwork and color choices were pro! Great presentation Baldy! I'm a fan of your operation. The music is not for me however so stop now lovers of chugga-chugga - for I'm about to share not your love of formulaic banalities. 

The Disconnects, The Everymen, and The Scandals all have pro's and con's like any bands. The slight edge here might barely go to The Disconnects, but The Everymen (though there is one female in the group...ha ha ha) have some fine skunky sax playing so that was a nice touch on their live album, Seconds as an English Language (Live from Asbury Park). The songs on the The Disconnects...Are Healthy don't display as much of a debt to Richard Hell (their song "Stranger" does allude to Hell's "Blank Generation" by using the term) as their PR lead me to believe, but they definitely WANT to recapture Times Square for the junkies and the prostitutes. "Hopesick" is the only good song on the tape. The lyrics manage some depth in the dearth of platitudes & punk-libs that fill out the rest of the songs. "When I'm old and jaded and my tattoo's are faded/I'll be sitting on my windowsill intoxicated," the singer yelps. It aint poetry, but I like it.

The Everymen's live set is rough even for a rough Jersey bar band. One too many drunken sing-alongs in near empty bars here friends. The band have a presence and a stick-to-it group unity, a DAMN THE TORPEDOES, fuck the trends vibe that makes even my cold, black heart pump once in time with the drums. 

The Scandals’ Trenchknife is an album with a thick shell. They don't give a shit I'm sure and fans will like it that way. The gruff shout in unison songs remind me of the 90s when I thought Social Distortion was a great band. Why is that I think of SD EVERYTIME I'm sent a "punk" tape??? 

Too many sound-alikes out there for me readers as this is true of most genre loyalists (not just "punk" lovers)...people clutch the "rules" so tight they strangle the ethos...nobody is energized by the status quo. Tear up the sound. Invert the commonplace. Add a mohawk to a string quartet or play disco with a brass band, just no more angsty twenty-year olds singing about boredom in America. We're all bored – dream bigger than yourself.

Check out Baldy Longhair Records HERE.

2 comments:

  1. these bands rule, you're a fool.

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  2. these releases are rad! saw the disconnects in austin and they killed.

    ReplyDelete