Monday, June 6, 2011

Kommunity FK, The Vision and the Voice (1983)- An enjoyable enough early 80's deathrock record, a bit like early Christian Death with less charisma and less Rikk Agnew. Dreary, midtempo, muscular guitars drone out gloom riff after gloom riff (the lack of squeamishness about heavy guitars and rock n roll attitude is where the American deathrock bands outdid their British goth- rock cousins.) Atmosphere is kind the point with this kind of thing. Does this bring it? More or less. It attempts the sort of unhinged, dreamy sleaziness that The Sleepers were doing so well around the same time in San Francisco. I get the sense that Mata had a more- studied pose than Ricky Williams, though, and this doesn't ever properly weird me out. Lots of knowledgeable and tasteful people rate this as a classic of its kind, so don't let my lukewarm response get in your way if you think this might be your kinda thing.

Blue Oyster Cult, Tyranny and Mutation (1973)- "The Red and the Black" crashes out instantly from this one, giving some indication of what people are talking about when they suggest that punk's raw rock ecstasy didn't take over in the US like it did in the UK because America already had heaps of unpretentious kickass bands playing stripped down rock n' roll. Of course, unpretentious and stripped down don't always apply to BOC: mystical nonsense symbolism, lyrics about SF creatures (the fuck is a Diz-Buster?), and lengthy solos abound here. Buck Dharma, though, had the sense to draw his virtuosity from Chuck Berry, Hubert Sumlin, and detroit rock instead of the self-hating genuflections that the UK prog-pomp royalty made to the classical western tradition. This gives the indulgent solos and lyrics a paradoxically anti-intellectual jaggedness which takes for granted what would be radical posturing to the Brits several years later. People always called these guys "the American Black Sabbath," but the Pink Fairies on Hawkwind are a much closer comparison. They're more interested in rock n' roll and having a good time than cosmic misery and doom.

I'm going to go read some Lovecraft. I've always loved the guy, but am on a major rediscovery kick lately.

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