That old post-punk “cassette culture” is still going strong, you just have to look for it. Although regular readers of my comments boxes will note that it has a habit of coming to find me…
Godspunk vol. 1 was one of my favourites of last year, so I was well chuffed to be sent the latest instalment by the man like LDB. It’s a bit of a gargantuan effort this time round, with a whopping 34* tracks by 10 bands. (*Or perhaps, 27 tracks – confusing? Yes!).
Label owners Howl in the Typewriter inhabit low-tech techno & post-punk territory with a nod to Wire, 70s Eno, and a whole truckload of other influences. It’s definitely post-punk in “never went away” modus operandi way, rather than a revival cash-in. (Although hopefully they will do alright now that the stars are correctly aligned again for this sort of stuff!) Some good poppy tunes + cynical lyrics = HIT! “I’m not going to see the mormons again / I don’t think the mormons are my friends.” Innit.
Some more standout tracks from LDB: hip hop stylings which work precisely because he is too white, too old and too grumpy. This set builds on the innovation with the beats etc we saw glimpses of last time – samples of Candi Staton’s You Got The Love, the Pixies, etc. It’s incredible that he does all of this without the aid of a sequencer. Basically I reckon this is just as good as The Streets (but in another direction to them/him), but I am biased. Stadium R ‘n’ B is the HIT! here, Last Days of Rome is the head-nodder for walking those mean streets. Warrior, is the, uh, stoopid rawk number. (I really hope this is a one off!)
“Have you ever been porked? Ever had a man smoke your pole?” Gays In The Military contribute serious homo-swamp-rock topped & tailed with some great campsploitation film samples. Lyrically it’s a voyage into the underworld of yesteryear (?) “the yellow hankie boys/ they don’t like to kiss/ they just want to get down on their knees and drink your piss!” HIT!
Las Vegas Mermaids don’t seem to live in Las Vegas, but I reckon they really are mermaids. Their first track here is a tender, yet upbeat number – a touching daughter’s tribute to her father “you’re just a rich old man with his ball bag hanging out/please put it away/ I’m going to join a commune in France/ and get fisted on stage every night” HIT! Track two is Weevils – deeply twisted sub trip hop “weevils – insects of the night”. Errrrrrr?!
RooHmania’s remix of Howl in the Typewriter (one of their catchiest tracks from volume 1) is a bootleg mashup charting the history of UK pop. It covers Strawberry Fields, Satisfaction, Pretty Vacant, Blue Monday – all killer no filler! Their other track here is a rather fine skittery folk number, like a punkier Beta Band.
UNIT storm in at the last minute to deliver four tracks which average about 2 minutes each. As you would expect they cover quite a lot of ground in that time – a humanist version of All Things Bright and Beautiful and a couple of anti-bigotry rants (one of which is the latest instalment in a long line of autobiographical incidents). Two Weeks in Malaysia is another classic UNIT pop ditty, tailor made for Andy Martin’s delivery: “I know this song isn’t very deep/and maybe it’ll send you fast asleep/but it’s better than pills/or counting sheep” – HIT!
Other tracks veer from experimental field recordings to politicised EBM.
I think it’s safe to say that you won’t find Godspunk vol.2 in the shops, but you can order it for just five quid (inclusive of UK p&p) via the Pumf Records website – while you’re there check out their other releases (including mp3s) by people including the excellent Ceramic Hobs.