|Posted on December 28, 2008 at 5:43 PM|
Last time I finished up by singing the praises of the mighty Wildhearts (who just posted a new, free track on MySpace & Facebook as an X-mas present to their fans by the way...and it rocks!). Once the Wildhearts dominated my heart, mind, body and soul, I began to seek out other punk bands who might tickle my fancy. Luckily, Ginger (lead singer & main songwriter for the Wildhearts) gave me a great place to start with his song "29X the Pain". If you haven't heard the song, it's the catchiest laundry list of an artist's influences ever recorded. Not all of the artists listed in "29X" caught my ears, but many of them began to deplete my checking account quite quickly.
Husker Du didn't rip my pasty white face off instantly, but when I bought their posthumously released live CD The Living End I finally got them. Husker started out as a straight-forward hardcore punk band (on Black Flag's SST Records) but evolved quickly into an ingenius, melodic rock band with uncomprimising integrity and songwriting. Check 'em out. They aren't just a type of firework mentioned in Joe Dirt.
My wife has been a Ramones fanatic for years. Being the idiot that I am, it took quite a while for me to catch on. Now that I've finally removed my cranium from my rectum, I can't believe how long it took me do the Cretin Hop. I won't say a lot about the Ramones because they're finally getting the credit they so richly deserve, but let me just say that VERY few bands can pull off writing nothing but three to four chord songs over and over without making me want to puke. AC-DC has a few brilliant albums, but they've been regurtitating the same mediocre, bottom-of-the-barrel dregs for years. Somehow, the Ramones were able to consistently write great lightspeed 1950's music (with a few clunkers here and there) with melody and aggression. Personally, I attribute most of their staying power and consistent genius to Joey Ramone's vocals. The man had such a crystal clear set of pipes and his melodies were memorable and classic. 'Nuff said.
The Sex Pistols also took time to grab me, just not as much as the Pinheads I just finished discussing. Granted, the Pistols only put out one album, but Nevermind the Bollocks is one of the most intensely hostile and ironic works of art ever. Some folks will try to tell you that the Pistols were a manufactured band created by their "genius" manager Malcolm McClaren. Don't listen to them. McClaren helped them get together and get off the ground, but he certainly didn't manufacture them like a boy band. In fact, they probably would've lasted a lot longer if he hadn't been so full of himself. Chances are, if you've at least played Guitar Hero you're aware of some Sex Pistols' tunes ("God Save the Queen" and "Anarchy in the UK") so I'll move on.
Another great band mentioned in "29X the Pain" is the Damned. Listen to classics such as "New Rose" (covered by roughly a million bands so far) and "Neat Neat Neat" and I'm sure you'll want to join Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies on their fiery descent into gothic punk madness.
Ginger also mentions Stiff Little Fingers (SLF) and I won't say much about them, except I love what I've heard and I should be slapped for not buying their stuff. Or, you could always send Amanda Palmer from the Dresden Dolls over to spank me for my sins. Please. I've been bad. I deserve it.
And why would I mention a band that I've failed to properly investigate? Good question. I guess it's because I've only just begun scratching the surface in my endless pursuit of rock gems. That's one of the few types of greed I possess. Other than the constant lust for more and more books that will blow my mind and change my life, I will never stop seeking out music that gives me goosebumps. It isn't a hoarding of riches thing but an insatiable hunger for any musical flavor left untasted.
And hopefully someone will put me out of my misery if I ever become one of those pathetic losers who think there hasn't been any great music since "the good old days".