Friday, February 11, 2005

Wake up, to 80's Punk

They were: Jeff Pezzati (vocals), John Haggerty (guitar), Marko Pezzati (bass), Jim Colao (drums), and, early on, future Big Black member Santiago Durango (guitar).

The general consensus is that Naked Raygun made anti-socio-political-punk at breakneck speed while probably out of their heads. They developed a cult following in the musical minor leagues because they were too experimental for commercial radio, made unfortunate career decisions and eschewed the artistic trappings of an unforgiving mainstream. They don't even consitute one of the main bands profiled in "Our Band Could Be Your Life" (Michael Azerrad), and are are more often than not neglected in favour of bands like Black Flag, The Minutemen, Mission Of Burma, Fugazi , Husker Du, The Replacements, Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, Big Black, Dinosaur Jr. Now i'm not neccesarily saying that Naked Raygun were better than any of these bands, but it's important to understand how even now they're passed over; despite being one of the best punk bands to come out of Chicago. These guys are still important now. You listen to their music and you start to understand why Steve Albini has made the music he has, and while you won't find any subtle nuances and arty-guitar work here, who wants that when you can have 80's punk with balls - I can be nasty too, you know..

I'm going to leave you with a track from Jettison. It's fairly well acknowledged that things started to go downhill for the band after this album, but since I haven't heard them I really shouldn't comment. The album starts with "Soldiers Reqieum" which is the sort of track that people listen to and decide to start a band there and then. "Suspect Device" appears as a live cover on the album, but while I think the original appears on High Fidelity, Naked Raygun fails to really improve on Stiff Little Fingers - They probably didn't want to. "Vanilla Blue" on the other hands starts with a one minute drum solo and really kicks off into...Oh, just hear it!

Naked Raygun - Vanilla Blue

Buy their albums at Insound, and If you're still not convinced Epitonic also have an comprehensive biography and additional MP3's from Jettison and their other albums.


At 7:19 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Naked Raygun IS Chicago punk, period. How Pezzati & Co. never got their due nationally is mind-boggling.


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