Looking back from more than half a century later, it’s astonishing how rapidly the primitive pounding of punk evolved into the questing experimentalism of postpunk. PragVEC were one of the first to embrace the avant-garde.
Of all the oddballs produced by punk (and there were many), one of the oddest was Kenneth Spiers – universally known as Spizz. He’s best known (if at all) for his habit of constantly changing the name of his band – always using ‘Spizz’ somewhere – over the course of his long career.
The Mekons were one of the quintessential punk groups, coming out of art school in Leeds in 1976 – the same scene that spawned Gang Of Four and Delta 5. Where Were You? – a minimalist masterpiece of bare-bones punk rock – remains one of the defining songs of the era. (more…)
I love Suicide. They were punks before punk and their debut album is the template for nearly all the electronica to emerge since its release in 1977. This is their first release – the version of Rocket U.S.A. that appeared on the Live At Max’s compilation the year before. And this is the article I wrote for The Quietus when Alan Vega died in 2016:
Not even hardcore punks from the Class of ’77 are likely to remember Kleenex – Switzerland’s solitary contribution to punk. Or their two singles on Rough Trade that went on to inspire the Riot Grrrl movement.
The Slits’ debut Cut has come to be regarded as one of the classic post-punk albums. But they sounded nothing like that whenever I saw them live: for the first couple of years they were widely mocked as a joke band. (more…)