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Be Quiet Or Be Killed! Teeth Of The Sea's Post-Punk Playlist
The Quietus , March 22nd, 2013 06:58

Ahead of their performance at DRILL:LONDON this weekend (including a collaboration with Wire on Saturday night), Teeth Of The Sea put together a post punk and beyond playlist to get you in the mood

Photo by Al Overdrive

The well-worn cliché of punk rock as a cleansing fire that destroyed all before it, for all its truth, has long also long been a retrogressive plague in its own right in musical terms, leading to just as much self-indulgent complacency as Emerson, Lake And Palmer ever contributed to recorded sound, not to mention the entire careers of timewasters like Tony Parsons. These dozen gems represent an attempt to plot a course of timeless post-punk iconoclasm that steers clear of the well-worn paths and the received wisdoms that have been perpetuated. These, still startling in 2013, are the eternal flies in the ointment.

Chrome TV - 'As Eyes'

Helios Creed and Damon Edge are without doubt Teeth Of The Sea's favourite pair of garage-based cosmic sorcerors, building rickety rockets to Mars that run on little more than a surfeit of Iggy-esque aggro and a truckload of melted down trash culture artefacts. This, the opening statement of intent on arguably their finest platter o' splatter, 1979's Half Machine Lip Moves, is their mischievous mission statement made manifest.

The Screamers - '122 Hours Of Fear'

Similarly beamed in from another dimension where all the TVs have rickety vertical hold and still show the 1930s Flash Gordon on prime time. History still hasn't caught up with The Screamers yet. These LA freaks never recorded an album (reportedly misled by a manager who insisted they should only make videos, such was the way of the future) yet their fearsome synth-punk mania still makes most of their comtemporaries in the punk scene sound about as menacing as the Andrews Sisters.

Einsturzende Neubauten - 'Kalte Sterne'

Peerless savagery from the Berlin brutes. Still unrivalled for minimal malevolence, sheer physicality and relentless intent. Yet, as anyone who's witnessed Neubauten live will testify, a band able to wield humour, charm and charisma even whilst stripping paint from a venue's walls.

Void - 'Who Are You' 

This legendary and poleaxing early 80s USHC troupe may often be cited as influential, but when did anyone ever hear a band with enough fury, chutzpah, chaotic drive and sheer unbridled otherness to ever come within a mile of these lads?

Fad Gadget - 'Lady Shave'

The late lamented Frank Tovey once counted both Depeche Mode and Neubauten as his support acts, and the Mode were good enough to return the favour on one of their later mega-tours, but for all that the likes of Neil Tennant were quick to praise Martin Gore for crowbarring sexual perversity into the pop charts, one still can't help wishing that Fad Gadget had ended up being the more successful of the two.

Modern Art - 'Hello Goodbye'

A true late night driver, first heard on Silent Servant's FACT mix from last year. Keeps its atmosphere perfectly. It's a cliche to talk about tracks evoking late night rides through cities, but when it's done with as much neon wriggle as this then it can't be helped. The fact that this is Gary Ramon, who went on to form full-on Brit-psychers, Sundial, blows my mind in a most healthy way. No boundaries.

Miles Davis - 'Rated X'

This track came out in 1974, yet such are the ominous vibrations surrounding l'homme Davis in this era that this eerily prescient piece of work, wielding a relentless, scything rhythmic drive amidst fiercely discordant organ and vicious guitar from future Madonna producer Reggie Lucas, is both uncompromising and beyond-punk enough to have even the most vituperative iconoclast raising their eyebrows.

This Heat - 'Health & Efficiency'

Rainbow-hued skronk transcendence from another massively influential band to TOTS: an inspiration in terms of approach as much as sonics. The moment two or so minutes in whereby the opening harmony-laden blissout gives way to a locked-groove tape-vortex is one of the most sublime fist-raisers in experimental sound.

Implog - 'Holland Tunnel Dive'


Crash Course In Science - 'Cardboard Lamb'

Spindly in recording tech and rich in stern funk. I imagine that if you play this to a dancefloor everyone drops to all fours and starts sniffing each other's bits. Like they do in Philadelphia. Where these guys were from.

S.P.K. – 'Slogun'

Sick in a way that doesn't have to pick on anyone to prove it. Utterly debased and squalid. The track that gave New York based 'True Crime Power Electronics' act Slogun their name (check 'Set It Off' and prepare to jet from the style). Kill! Kill! Kill! For Inner Peace!

Boys Town Gun - 'Disco Kicks' (Live in Utrecht version)

All too many of our favourite moments of the post-punk era continue to be the ones where that old devil named D.I.S.C.O. reared its head and undermined rockist orthodoxy, such as Throbbing Gristle's peerless 'Hot On The Heels Of Love', and with this in mind, how better to end this occasionally rather gritty selection of ditties than with a particular floor-filling fave of ours from the early-80s. The only mystery amidst this winner is why these troupers feel a three-hour journey to a gig was quite so arduous.