I’ve got two reviews up at Blurt right now, both of bands that reek of the 1980s. One of them, the Zero Boys, comes by its influences the old-fashioned way…their fantastic only full-length, Vicious Circle was originally released in 1981 and has been reissued this week by Secretly Canadian. The other, the Pains at Being Pure at Heart, is a latter-day echo of fuzzy, noisy, Creation records-style pop, but quite good anyway.
The Zero Boys is just excellent, classic punk, leaning a little more to West Coast than East…but you could draw all kinds of links to the Ramones and Dead Boys, as well as TSOL, the Angry Samoans and the diLs if you really got going. My review is unusually hard to excerpt, but not bad, so if you’re curious, why not read the whole thing?
Here’s Zero Boy’s “Civilization’s Dying”
The Pains review is a little easier to chop into pieces. I said, “A reverb-heavy haze layers over insinuating, narcotic hooks that pull you in and wrap you in gauze. Sweetness disintegrates from the inside out, riven by a squealing squall, punctured by a pounding bass line, and yet these songs are, above all buoyed by melody. Think Jesus & Mary Chain, not the pop-song-hitting-a-buzz saw of ‘Upside Down’ but the damaged mellifluence of ‘Just Like Honey.’ The rest is here.
And Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s “Everything With You”
Oh, and since I mentioned “Just Like Honey,” let’s just all take a deep breath and remember what a great song it was.
My son has been smitten by Sugar's "If I Can't Change Your Mind"...which I have as part of a Creation Record sampler. But if any of you all want to share that first Sugar album or some Husker Du, it would be much appreciated.