Anachronique : The Gun Club (Post Punk)
(see also the english review below) The Gun Club était un groupe formé sur la côte ouest des Etats-Unis en 1978. Toujours mené...
Finalement, la musique des Gun Club revêt une importance toute particulière en matière d'histoire de la musique, à mille lieues de l'anonymat du groupe. The Gun Club est régulièrement citée dans les discussions obscures de bar DIY comme étant le sacro-saint du début des années '80. Jack White pose lui même la question : "'Sex Beat', 'She's Like Heroin To Me', and 'For The Love Of Ivy'...why are these songs not taught in schools?". On retrouve cet album dans de nombreux classements. Citons Gimme Indie Rock: 500 Essential American Underground Rock Albums 1981-1996. Il est par ailleurs régulièrement décrit comme étant l'un des albums les plus sous-estimés de tous les temps. Sans lui, la scène de Los Angeles n'eut probablement jamais connu l’essor si rapide qui fut le sien dans les années '80 alors que New York écrasait encore le reste des Etats Unis.
Fire of Love is raw musical energy, stripped down, moody, and sometimes writhing in agony. It’s one of those rare punk rock album that differs from most punk records where guitars dominate. The guitar here is only one piece of band’s overall harmony where Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s quivering drawling and howling are the centerpiece. The bleak lyrics and music of songs like “Jack on Fire” and "For the Love of Ivy” conjure mixed images. The song lyrics are wrought with satire about stereotypes (“Preaching the Blues” and “Jack on Fire”) and Southern folks (“For the Love of Ivy”) and also deeply personal (themes of drug addiction and heartbreak pervade basically every track on the album). Yet despite this darkness the album has always been a great unifier in my experience. It once brought together those who formerly donned vintage velvet blazers over hoodies and exclusively smoked bali shag with their under-moneyed house and crust punk counterparts. Even the most reluctant eye-rolling millennial will find themselves jamming to this marvelous record if they like rock n roll. Its inevitable. You can feel the pulse of this record down to the tips of your fingers as if you yourself are plucking the steel string on "Ghost on the Highway”.
I have one particularly good example of the power of this record. Last year I found myself at a house party filled with detroit ex-pats. Many were significantly younger than me, feeling old and uninvited (note: I was not invited). I strayed upstairs into an open bedroom from where I faintly heard the crescendoing guitars of a Tyvek song. Everyone there was a stranger that was also drunk or high and also incredibly happy to see me. I immediately noticed the record collection, stepped up to the shelves of musty LPs and began thumbing through the collection. As soon as I found Fire of Love I pulled it out, opened it up, and asked if I could put it on. Nobody seemed to know whose room we were in. Within seconds of the needle dropping everyone in the room suddenly perked up and most began singing along. It was a beautiful moment that lived on for the length of side A.
If you have not yet heard this record I highly recommend it. It strongly reminds me of Tav Falco, the Cramps, and even Hazil Adkins but moody, complicated, less tongue-in-cheek and yet still satirical.
(mp3) The Gun Club - For The Love Of Ivy (1981)
(mp3) The Gun Club - Jack on Fire (1981)
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