Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Working for the rat race

Happy Wednesday you silly waffles, and welcome back to Wednesdays With Andrew, your weekly (over)dose of punk rock tunes. OK so I was really behind schedule, and I was tired and hangry, possibly to the point of mild delirium, while writing this one. So bear with me as  I stumble my way through today's playlist, which features some outstanding tunes from the likes of Slothrust, Dillinger Four, Paint It Black, Iggy Pop, Dag Nasty and much, much more.

Annnnd here we go with the web player link, for all you scoobies.

We kick off the playlist with a rousing call to action, If The Kids Are United, courtesy of those rowdy Hersham Boys of Sham 69. Like a lot of material this seminal 70s UK punk band put out, this track is characterized by marching power chords punctuated by piercing solos and runs, chant vocals led by frontman Jimmy Pursey, and that unmistakable pogo, makes-you-want-to-jump-up-and-down sound.

Last Communion is a sonic salvation from omnipresent punk force Dillinger Four. This track is off their 2000 full length, Versus God, which was their second (and last) album released through Hopeless Records. Proudly and loudly hailing from the wastelands of the American midwest, D4 has been a reliable source of incredulous and snotty punk rock since 1994; although they stay active with live shows, they haven't released new material since 2008. So, uh, guys when can we expect some fresh tunes?!

Who Wrote Holden Caulfield is a Green Day song as old as time itself. This track was originally included in their 2nd studio record, Kerplunk, which was released  in 1991 through Larry Livermore's Lookout! Records, and was their first album to feature mainstay drummer Tré Cool (side bar: meet the Pete Best of Green Day! - This harkens back to a time when Green Day was still considered 'true punk' (note the ironic quotation marks there), playing shows at 924 Gilman with bands like Op Ivy and Screw 32, and contributing to that early 90s, East Bay sound.

My man, Iggy (snap, crackle and..) Pop, comin' at ya with his lugubrious ballad The Passenger. This 4-chord, la-la-la track may sound simple enough...but does it also hold the answer to the age-old human question of 'why'? Why are we here? Why does the universe exist? Probably not. But Iggy Pop never ceases to amaze and astound, so keep vigilant.

Circles is a punchy, throaty and pop-laden anthem from undisputed melodic hardcore champs, Dag Nasty. Formed in 1985 by guitarist Brian Baker after the break up of Minor Threat, Dag Nasty was one of the main acts throughout DC's Revolution Summer. Circles was part of their debut album, Can I Say, which featured their new singer, the illustrious Dave Smalley. Dag Nasty is up and at it once more, playing shows in North America and Europe, with original vocalist Shawn Brown.

Our next track, Z, is born out of the depths of imagination of French electrician/house music magician Mr. Oizo. Keeping in line with his contemporary frères of the blue-blanc-rouge, like Daft Punk and Justice, Mr. Oizo focuses compositions around a core idée fixe while invoking ear-catching synth sounds. Unlike his more radio-friendly brethren, however, he brings a darker and stranger timbre to his tunes, challenging the listener's sanity with terrifying aural imagery.

Cubicle is an addicting song from one of my favorite newcomer bands, Slothrust. This New York trio, who met and bonded over blues-soaked psychedelic rock while they were all students at Sarah Lawrence College, have been cranking out tunes and touring heavily since their formation in 2012. To test a hypothesis, I put Cubicle on repeat to see how many cycles I could handle before cracking....6 and a 1/4 times. Pretty fucking good for someone with as much musical ADHD (and real ADHD for that matter) as me. Good on you Slothrust, good on you. OH FOR ALL MY DC PEOPLE - they will be playing Rock N Roll Hotel August 12. Make sure to come out and get weird with us!

We're gonna end this confusing stream of consciousness with CVA, the title track from Philly hardcore act Paint It Black's debut studio album. Clocking in at a generous minute and a half, CVA is one of the longer songs on an album that features blazingly fast, super aggressive yet still strangely alluring ditties. Fun fact - frontman/wordsmith Dan Yemin incorporates the phrase 'fistycuffs' into the song Womb Envy, also on this record. Well, at least I think that's fun.

That's it for this week's playlist. Be sure to keep tuning in every Wednesday for more of your favorite punk rock anthems, garage rock gems, and all the weird stuff in between.

Oh, and here's a limerick for your troubles:

There was a young artist called Saint
Who ate a whole sampling of paint
The whole of the spectrum
Flowed out of his rectum
With colorful lack of restraint

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