Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Leaving Trains: "Fuck" LP

Perhaps the best symptom of the KBD price-gouge fallout is that it makes it easy for lazy assholes like me to scope out some gems from the '80s. I mean, what in-the-know Joe cares about '80s PUNK? Two wrong numbers and a four letter word. Recalls all sortsa horrid visions of shaved heads and crossover mistakes, hip-daddy-o cartoon postures of '60s-inspired garage geeks, watered down stabs at AOR a la Du/Mats: It ain't the '70s! No, but while the fetishist slugs grease and glide over each others' backs to grab those obscure finds in record holes, distro bins, fairs, thrift stores, younameits, I get to leaf through their leftovers and buy the overlooked post-'70s nuggets. Real cheap. Got this one for one lone clam.

One day T. Kellner and I were doing some sluggy rifling ourselves through mostly-garbage in a Chicago shop when he spied Fuck and threw it at me. "It's a buck," he said. "You'll like this one. Get it." Cover looked horrible, so of course, I bought it. Along with the Raunch Hands' Fuck Me Stupid LP and one other that had the word "shit" in the title. Can't remember which. Those since sold for peanuts because they stunk. But hey anyways I stammered when the clerk rang me up and remarked on my obvious taste for juvenalia, and I smuggled it back to the basement apartment a couple days later and after one unimpressive listen -- not fast enough, production's too glossy -- I filed it away and promptly struck it from memory.

Fast-forward two years: A little bit older, a little bit boreder, a little bit broker, way down in the hole and had no new recs sitting by the speaks so I grabbed Fuck from the shelves and by the time "How Can I Explode?" finished, its bombastic stop-stop-stop hook snapping each verse into, I was sold. This was a legitimately good alb! Great, even! Rockitis suffered here 'n' there, sure, but I couldn't deny the goods. Repeated listens uncovered a stacked deck of gems. The aforementioned "How Can I Explode?," the heart-on-sleeve harmonies of "The Horse Song," the paisley-toned upstroke of "Walking with You," the smiley jackhammer of "Sleep," the surprisingly catchy countrified G. Club lilt of "With Dr. A.W.O.L."...and that's just a few cuts on the a-side. The flip has just as many hits, like "27 Days" and, a personal favorite, "So Fucked Up," a heartwrenching cornball anthem that dominates that side of the rec like an ugly loitering wino who can't busk to save his raggedy ass, but refuses to leave. Slide guit and all. Hell, not even Falling James' half-baked poetic lyrics could get in the way.

I fell in love with the rec. It's a personal deal. Which is how I feel about a lotta records that fall by the wayside in favor of far crummier listens that've been billed as top-tier due to scarcity or time/place pigeonholes or etc. This is no Red Squares' "Modern Roll" or Tazers' "Don't Classify Me" -- it's far better than that. And it's cheaper than dog food and you're a dummy if you don't give it a shot. Or not. Leave these 'tween-period artifacts to me.

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