Tag: Punk

1978, Music

Another Music in a Different Kitchen (1978) by Buzzcocks

Full disclosure: I don’t like the Buzzcocks. Until hearing this debut, I’d only ever heard A Different Kind of Tension and that record likely biased me towards this one and its importance.

1978, Music

Easter (1978) by Patti Smith Group

I struggle with Patti Smith; she’s one of those artists I think I should like, not just because of received opinion but because the things she does are things I supposedly like. But for some reason I have this barrier. I think it comes from how I first heard her.

1978, Music

Crossing the red Sea With the Adverts (1978)

I think the thing that so many people find really appealing about this band is that they manage to combine punk attitude with a pretty strong sense of melody, a sense of melody lacking in other punk bands of the sort of second wave of British punk bands, who got record deals in 1977 but …

1982, Music

Milo Goes to College (1982) by Descendents

This is the point where hardcore starts to lose me: where the virtues of the genre are starting to give way to things more common to earlier punk or the later skate punk. It is very clearly the bridge between early hardcore and skate punk/pop punk but I don’t know that this is a thing …

1982, Music

Back from Samoa (1982) by Angray Samoans

I feel like I’ve listened to a fair amount of offensive music in my time but this record is right up there. If you’ve ever wondered where the “piss off at all costs” aesthetic of some bands comes from, it might be from Angry Samoans. Though Gwar and Anal Cunt sound nothing like this band, …

1992, Music

White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean (1992) by NOFX

There was a time in my life that I think I would have really liked the sophomoric humour of NOFX. Unfortunately for them, but probably fortunately for me, I was into Oldies and then into prog rock when I was a teenager, so there is no way I would have listened to a record like …

1977, Music

Like a Mother Fucker (1977) by Heartbreakers

Aka L.A.M.F. and these Heartbreakers are not to be confused by Tom Petty’s band of the same name. Recorded in the UK, this record still sounds extremely “New York.” In fact, the central feature of this record and the thing that I struggle with while listening to it is its huge resemblance to the New …

1977, Music

No More Heroes (1977) by The Stranglers

I used to think there was only one true British New Wave band: The Police. (Well, and Elvis Costello. But Costello is labeled New Wave primarily due to laziness; too punk to be Pub Rock and too classicist to be Punk, people didn’t know what else to call him.) The Police were the only band …

1997, Music

Full Circle (1997) by Pennywise

I don’t love 90s punk, I generally find it too polished and too formulaic for my tastes. I’m not sure what it adds to the legacy of hardcore and frankly it’s all too one note. You can get away with one-note when you’re doing something brand new, but when you are doing a slightly more …

1997, Music

Dig Me Out (1997) by Sleater-Kinney

The songwriting has improved here – the arrangements feel tighter and the hooks are  arguably stronger. This is only the second record of theirs I’ve heard, so I’m not sure I can argue that it is their best (I believe it has that reputation) but if you are looking for 90s punk that still feels …

1977, Music

(I’m) Stranded (1977) by The Saints

This is a really early punk record – so early it beat The Clash and The Pistols to the punch in terms of their debut LPs – that likely gets ignored because it’s Australian. It louder and grimier than almost all the UK bands and most of the American bands, pointing the way for future …

1991, Music

No Pocky for Kitty (1991) by Superchunk

This is a set of solid songs that are uptempo and pleasantly loud. I get why this band was a big deal back then because, to my knowledge, this kind of straight-ahead abrasive power pop/pop punk was a relative rarity. But it’s not really my thing. It’s too one note for me, as much as …

1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, Music

The Modern Lovers (1976)

This sort of compilation of “demos” is an early punk classic that lets the rest of the world know what probably only a few people in Boston and the music industry knew. The mix of straight ahead rock music and the laconic delivery is not quite bratty enough for punk but way more in line …

1978, Music

All The Mod Cons (1978) by The Jam

This is, by all accounts, The Jam’s masterpiece. It’s clear the songwriting has improved by leaps and bounds, especially from their second record. The music has also developed: most of the raggedness is gone and the musical ideas are more complicated, and this is quite clearly the missing link between The Kinks (and The Who) …

1977, Music

This is the Modern World (1977) by The Jam

I don’t think you need to know the background story to know this album is a significant step backwards from the debut: the songs are weaker, the attitude is reigned in on a number of songs, the reverence for the past is growing. If this is still punk music (and it is, at least I …

1977, Music

In the City (1977) by The Jam

The Jam’s debut is somewhere between the punk bands that it’s usually lumped in and Elvis Costello – I feel like they’re punkier than Costello but as reverent to rock and roll tradition as he is. I mean, the reverence for the mid ’60s Who is off the charts at times (such as the breakdown …

2015, Music

Payola (2015) by Desaparecidos

I was really surprised how much I liked their original album. Noticing my old rating for it I feel like I have bump it up a bit, as I like it more than the rating suggests. But this one… For one thing, it certainly sounds like the band hasn’t changed much in the interim. They’ve …

1975, Music

Horses (1975) by Patti Smith

Smith tries to do the same thing Jim Morrison did: combine rock music with serious poetry. I’d Smith’s far more successful as her approach is more musical than theatrical. However, The Doors were a much more versatile band than The Patti Smith Group. Anyway, musically this is basically just the kind of rock and roll …

1985, Music

Rum Sodomy and the Lash (1985) by The Pogues

I have long loved If I Should Fall From Grace With God and considered it pretty near essential, especially as punk treatments of roots music go. It’s got what is probably their most famous song – “Fairy Tale in New York,” the Pogues song that you probably have heard even if you have never heard …

2015, Movies

TIFF 2015: Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier, 2015) (14/15)

This is the second straight excellent thriller from Saulnier, featuring “real people” in movie thriller situations. Much like his classic Blue Ruin – which I strongly, strongly suggest you see if you haven’t seen yet – this film combines an incredibly tense thriller with elements of (very) dark comedy, to great effect. I had such …

1980, Music

Los Angeles (1980) by X

In 2010 I wrote the following: On the whole this is a pretty great record and Xene is pretty damn alluring. There is a little too much Manzarek here for my liking. From the liner notes it sounds like the Doors cover and, perhaps, by extension, his involvement, was somehow a condition of the release, …

1976, Music

Ramones (1976, GRT)

The Ramones’ debut album begs the question: can we determine greatness without looking at influence? If the Ramones released this album, and it didn’t influence half the rock musicians alive today (maybe a slight exaggeration) would we still consider it great? However, that is a stupid question. Albums are indeed released publicly and I personally …