25 September 2007
... from punk to post-punk, a wrench in time, a spastic transposing of the timeline from the Sex Pistols USA tour to the launch of PIL into the late 80s, a decade on and nothing has changed; same troubles with the lead singers who more or less get ditched in favour of group chanting (the 'Healy is Dead' chant inspired by our Chemistry teacher who self-destructed in the town centre to the general gossip and bemusement of all) in a vaguely Furious Pig style (The Animal Collective are but a glimmer in the eye, the freakfuckers still years away from the collective mushroom jamborees)...
The Rejected ditched all the musicians, ditched the name and the silly hats, ditched the Crass (crass?) stylings and ditched most of the instruments and replaced them with a Test Dept / Neubauten inspired array of metal girders, steel sheets, chains and oil drums - add in some bottleslide guitar played through fx and a couple of tasty Casio SK5 sampling keyboards (the king of samplers - so small you could strap em on and take em for a ride)and Dada IX Tab was born... a band so loud that we had to do all the recordings three doors down, on a little condenser microphone inspired by the recording of TGs First Annual Report.
If there was a lead singer then it must be the feral guy down the front, just a few months away from vomitting fake blood onto the teaching staff during an orgasmic rendition of Alice Cooper's 'School's Out' in the School Leavers Assembly - the clapping was polite, even through the sheen of blood and wine, the teachers might even have been proud that this time someone wasn't singing The Snowman...
It might have been him but it's quite impossible to tell in the filthy flip of orange semi-dreadlocks and cider-eyes. Foetus in his blood. He's got a scream Bargeld would still die for, doesn't even need a microphone to cut swathes through the multiple crashes from the oil drums and sheet metal; sounds like a guy having his arms mangled up at the steampunk Yeo-Valley cattle factories, at the East Coker bacon ranches, at the Tanneries (where the social club beer is cheaper than life itself).
There was rhythm, in places. Tiny micro-house anthems extrapolated to the Clyde ship yards - thin middle class boys with wild eyes and metal drumsticks specially lathed by my Dad. The slide guitar kept sounding like the cattle at the end of The Butthole Surfers 22 Going on 23. We kept it in. We loved that song. Punk sensibilities disbanded, as Dr Benway never said but we continually misquoted: "This is art, pure art".
It was noise. Catharsis. None of us had girlfriends. I think I was wearing a psychedelically-dyed dentists outfit.
There was more sexual rage in the moaning from the Casios. Sometimes they'd malfunction and we'd get La Marseillaise blasting out, complete with barking dog samples, train whistles and lion roars. We thought about playing an entire gig of thoe preset sample tunes, standing arms crossed like Laibach while they blasted out at Boyd Rice / early Swans volume. Later, Dr. Octagon.
The finale was always the same; a legoland micro-recreation of the GPO / Neubauten ICA gig, where they drilled through the stage and wrecked the place (Did I read somewhere that someone actually tried to recreate this event? - that has to be a worse idea that the remake of The Wicker Man). We threw oil drums around, trapped each other under migraines of iron, blasted the frail walls of the assembly hall with sliding scales of steel.
It sounded less good than that.