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Musicians & tQ Writers On Anti-Fascist Anthems
Luke Turner , October 4th, 2016 08:32

Featuring contributions from Ben Durutti, Penny Rimbaud, Bobby Barry, Jeremy Allen, Ben Myers, Kevin McCaighy, Stewart Smith, Neil Cooper, Matt Evans, Tony F Wilson, Leo Chadburn, Emily Mackay, David Bennun, Phil Harrison, Arnold De Boer, Joel McIver, Russell Cuzner, Jeremy Bolm, John Doran, TV Smith, James Sherry, Jonathan Meades, Tristan Bath, JR Moores, Julian Marszalek, Captain Sensible, Andy Moor, Christine Casey, Nic Bullen and Stewart Lee


Sonic Youth - ‘Youth Against Fascism’

'Youth Against Fascism' started out as a demo jam that Thurston Moore didn't like. According to producer Butch Vig, that's the real reason its refrain goes, "It's the song I hate / It's the song I hate"; it literally was a song that Moore wasn't enjoying very much. Vig persuaded Sonic Youth to stick with it however, and with a little lyrical embellishment the "song" that Moore hated became fascism. There's a lot to love about this track, from Kim Gordon's stomping two-chord bassline to the improvised guitar attack courtesy of guest star Ian MacKaye. But one of the things I really like about 'Youth Against Fascism' is the lyrical restraint shown by Moore in verse number three. As repulsed as the singer is by the attitudes of skinheads, racists, Christian liars, the KKK and other assorted political numpties, Moore refuses to award them the strongest, coarsest reactions they crave. The neo-nazi is a "sieg heiling squirt", an "impotent jerk" and a "fascist twerp". Compared to the term Moore uses to describe President Bush (a "war pig fuck"), the insults he fires at the actual far right seem weirdly quaint. Yet his non-swearing slurs make his targets seem far less powerful, threatening and manly than they perceive themselves to be. A very good friend of mine insists that he would find it far more hurtful were you to call him a "prat" than a "cunt". Fascists really are such monumental prats, aren't they?
JR Moores