Thursday, March 19, 2015


Maybe you were too jacked up on spikey haircuts and messed up clothing to give the Saints half a chance when they were first picked up by Sire Records in the U.S. back in the day. I gotta admit, there was so much coming out when that first wave of punk and, er, "new wave" that I didn't slow down long enough to weigh pros and cons. Bands had to look right and sound right, and, above all, be as far away from the new wave tag as possible. Being that they were promoted along side Richard Hell and the Voidoids, the Talking Heads, and the Dead Boys as something like "the new sound of the new wave" or some other nonsense, the Saints didn't stand much of a chance. Longish hair plus new wave? See ya!

This was the prevailing attitude. The late great Claude "Kickboy Face" Bessy, from The Decline of Western Civilization, shot in 1980.

I'd eventually come back to the Saints after they were already on their third album. Punk had gone the way of hardcore and that early hardcore shit, at least in Southern California, had become an even more confining sub-sect, with an even more stringent unspoken code of cool. (I was fortunate, I lived here, the best possible post punk segue.) Anyways, I'm still listening to the Saints here and there, but I haven't heard the entire first LP in at least decades, if I even have at all. Blah, blah, lotta catching up to do, blah, these sound good to me. Better than good. "Erotic Neurotic" is four minutes that does not let up, an ear wax removal kit.

Killed By Death, the host of the two cuts below, is a great site to dig around. Punk, hardcore, oi, and related sounds, primarily from the late seventies through the eighties, and some beyond. There's a lot of good classic stuff over there, sprinkled among the well represented, misguided, every scene has one idiot band, variety.


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