I used to look at older punks and scoff at their seeming inability to embrace the present. All these folks who couldn’t seem to make it past the first 2 Bad Brains records or would go absolutely apeshit for Social Distortion (who arguably haven’t had much to do with punk rock for decades at this point) but had hardly a nodding acquaintance with anything released within the past five years.
I’m certainly not that bad, but I’ve definitely been going through a period of listening to the moldy-oldies. The funny thing for me is that I cut my teeth on punk in a decade that had some pretty embarrassing moments. The 90s saw a shocking glut of pop-punk bands, bands that really did little more than encapsulate a kind of macho, thoughtless bro-style entitlement couched within pickslides and double bass and crappy melodies. I blame Pennywise. Who’s “Unknown Road” album is actually pretty awesome. See, there’s part of the dichotomy right there.
That’s what I’m talking about – right now I’m listening to Ill Repute’s “Big Rusty Balls” record and while there are moments that are shockingly bad, there are also brief glimpses of greatness – “Stop It Now” and “Above My Head”, I’m sorry, but those are cover-worthy songs. There are some awesome moments there.
Still, it’s embarrassing, and I can’t help but feel a bit like I’m one of those guys, withdrawing into the past. But I also think it’s good to revisit those formative songs and bands, if only to gauge whether they’re still any good. If only to see if they resonate with us anymore.
So yeah, Ill Repute’s “Big Rusty Balls”. An album I made fun of for years. Almost two decades later and I give it a 6 out of ten.
Meanwhile, thing are moving along well enough. Tiger Force Ultra, the record label and distro I run, is really taking off, enough so that trips to the post office have become a daily occurrence. Check it out at tfultra.com.
There are projects in the works, both for the web and print, for North By Northwest Records and Rebel Noise, as well as a multi-format, multi-illustration package for Portland band Abolitionist that’s pretty expansive and crazy. And I got a new short story published here, please check it out if you have a spare moment.
Okay, that’s enough from me. Thanks for taking the time to look this over.
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