Wednesday, May 18, 2005

CRASS – Penis Envy LP; Yes Sir, I Will LP
Sometimes these crazy urges just take over your body and you find yourself doing the strangest of things. I had that urge last weekend and found myself purchasing not one but two Crass LPs. What in the hell was going on? It seems a peculiar thing to do… I mean, I’ve only ever owned two Crass discs before, and they were bought when I was 14 and 18 (Sheep Farming In The Falklands 7” and their Best Before 2LP, respectively). I don’t even own the latter anymore. Well, I figured they were a band well worth investigating, even though I’ve always previously dismissed them as a band with cool record covers in search of some listenable music to place within those very sleeves, but...

Crass are an excellent example of an aesthetically perfect band, an outfit with a single-minded vision who stuck to it against huge odds right until their dissolution (and this is whether you agree with their stance and politics or not: it’s an admirable trait and one I even begrudgingly admire in knuckleheads like Skrewdriver); their lyrical content is at least always engaging and worthy of reading – again – even if you don’t agree with a word they say (the same reason I can get a kick out of reading Ayn Rand); and their music is a whole lot better than I remember it being. Or perhaps my brain wasn’t ready for this kind of tuneless, vaguely avant-garde punk-noise onslaught as a teen (I don’t know how that figures, considering the godawful racket I listened to at the time). Musically, at least, these two albums are pretty darn hot. Aggressive, propulsive noise-punk which barely lets up for a breather (except for the “experimental” pieces which break up the barrage), there are more than a few moments which strongly bring to mind such godsends as Rudimentary Peni, The Fall, Venom P. Stinger (especially in the constant marching-style drum-rolling a la Jim White) and Flipper (dig that bass rumble)… and then the vocals come in and ruin everything. Anyone got any dub mixes of Crass’ best works?

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