Tuesday, November 14, 2006

There Will Never Be Another Grong Grong

Not in a million-and-two years, no. There will never be another band-titled lead-off track on an LP that slams the door so hard on your neck. There will never be another "Louie the Fly." There will never be another cover of MC5's "Looking at You" that will sound so wrong and right at the same time. Won't happen.

Grong Grong: They were Aussie meatheads bent on proto-punk of all directions: You hear Kramer/Sonic/Co., but you also hear Ubu and all manner of Clevo junk, you hear splatters of various N. Cave vehicles, you hear Oz X, but -- and here's the best part -- you hear 'em all as interpreted through thug ears. These were not students from Williamsburg or performance artists from some boheme CA cityscape. This was muscle. This was meat 'n' meat, no potatoes, and these were four losers who choked you with their sound, the four-note basslines moving down their own obstinate path, firing down their own tracks like an unmanned freighter headed for a crater, crashing against the skittish guitar swipes, nerves of a toy poodle, mongo jazz chops that sounded like they could garrote ya, and maybe they could. Behind the kit, G. Klestines was metronome-mania personified, kept the din from self-destruct, except when he didn't, which is when he was slow, sludgy and perfectly understated, and the vox: They were birthed in the voc-chords of a nutjob and spat out with equal parts carelessness and lunacy. Real manpower. You can hear veins poppin' on necks in-between takes. And somehow, goddamn all, there are hooks in there. Incidentally.

Like Flipper, like the Electric Eels, like a whole lotta shit I love that has inspired misdirected tenth-gen facsimilies thereof in '06 and before/beyond, this band was the result of a strange aggregation of personalities and circumstances that somehow, someway, against all odds, made for an inspiring and great listen. Happy accident. Just barely on this side of the suck-line. So who's gonna do that now? Who's gonna form an outfit that can harness this brand of slop without the self-important pretense, without the irony? Who's gonna write the next "Angles & Demons" and really hit the nerve center, grab the primitive pulp and make you wanna funnel a gallon of likker down your pipes and shed those pantaloons and dance like a caveman? You? No, you can't. You already know who the Grong Grong are. Strike one. Strike two is that anyone stupid enough to play music like this in '06 sure as shit ain't listening to the MC5 and B-day Party and X. And strike three: Anyone angling for this sound is already fucked, because I guarantee these guys weren't, and I guarantee calculation had as much to do with the loose intensity of this record as politics and overt sex appeal and any other ancillary ingredient that tends to ruin the savage fuggin goddamn roar that makes music music insteada something else GODDAMN CHRIST, SHIT. ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING TO ME? I TOLD YOU THERE WOULDN'T BE ANOTHER ONE OF THESE! YOU'RE FUCKED!

But at least we still got the real deal, crap cover (w)art(s) and all. GRONG GRONG! Ahem.

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