KID SHIRT

Saturday, June 19, 2004

SUPERTRAMP

So, anyway, I walk up my local shop to get a paper and the new issue of Bizarre magazine is in, complete with my article/interview with Shit and Shine...looks like it's been seriously shaved back to a 3/4-pager to make way for some Beastie Boys quotes...I prefered the original but, hey, editors edit; that's what they do. The S'n'S LP "You're lucky to have friends like us" is out on the ever-reliable Riot Season label and is a sort of frisky melange (is that a real word?) of Williamson-era Stooges and Hardcore Garden Hardware (that's lawnmowers to you, bub, not a Sarf London Grime Cru)...there's an accidental(?) homage to Can's "Unlimited Edition"; loads of needless swearing and the aural equivalent of gurning over home-brewed no-fi drum-loops, cracked guitar solos and Casiotone abuse; people come and go, slam doors, scream and make random castrated-cat noises....Yes, it is Big and it is clever. I love it; it's got a mid-Eighties genre-less-ness, a couldn't-give-a-fuck frisson about it...if the Butthole Surfers had grown up and attended a Secondary Modern school in Chiswick they might have sounded something like this. It's so refreshingly non-careerist and it sounds all the better for it. Is it Rock/Drone/Noise or What? I honestly don't know and I could care less either. Parts of the LP sound like early SPK having a custard-pie fight with...Who? Mainliner? Manowar? Or some pissed-up past-it pub-rockers who used to be on Stiff Records?

What is it with SPK though? (System Planning Korporation. Surgical Penis Klinik.) At the time I think everyone thought they were strictly 2nd division Industrialists who would never amount to nowt (though Graham Ravell has since made a bob or two nicey-fying mainstream Hollywood soundtracks)... Have SPK unexpectedly become a subliminal influence on a new generation of bedroom-based grungetronicists. I keep hearing stuff...mainly American...that reminds me of SPK (Pre "Metal Dance" 'natch)...I certainly hear echoes of their sound, such as it was, in Wolf Eyes' home-made oscillator and foot-pedal soundtracks. Vast tracts of Rhode Island and Oregon appear to have been infected by the SPK virus if some of the CD-Rs currently sneaking out of the States are anything to go by. Or maybe it's just a co-incidence. I'm curious, though: have any of these bands actually heard SPK?

Arriving home, I accidentally started singing a Supertramp song.

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