Why Aren’t You Listening? – The Godspunk compilations
Not so long ago I gave Godspunk Volume 6 a deservedly positive review in this Organ. And lo! There soon came through the post volumes 1-5, each bearing the distinctive (nay, trademark?) cover artwork; that of a slightly out of focus clown face, and each boasting titles that just scream out for recognition. I can’t resist sharing the title of this track that nestles on Volume 5 with you:
Thank You For Being Insane Pervert Human Being – Try Getting A Hearing Aid On The N.H.S., Shithead (Sorry If This Is Printed Upside Down)
That’s by Satan The Jesus Infek’d Needles And Blood. And it sounds like five minutes of screaming bloody madness.
There’s only one thing to do when faced with this sort of challenge, (or that sort of song title) and that’s listen to the entire 5 volume set; which I did. I can say I enjoyed it thoroughly. This is music with a grand, profound agenda; even if, (as with Howl in the Typewriter or Norman) it sets out to take the piss at times.
The music mostly consists of cut ups: lo-fi, sometimes wildly sloppy punk, bedroom rave and ‘dark’ techno; or fabulous bitter singer-songwriter rants. Howl in The Typewriter (with his scuzzy acidic agit-pop) is an ever-present, as is the fuzzy righteousness of UNIT. Acts to look out for are the brilliant Litterbug on volumes 3 and 4; their thrashy tales of suburban underachievement, (Who am I? and Looking Back Then) are fucking out there and should be dance-floor staples. Things veer from straight forward song-writing, like Las Vegas Mermaids’ tremendous Bus Driver (which graces volume 5), to obtuse ideas; a great run of found sounds and acoustic balladry from pinkeye can be found on volume 2.
There’s far too much to describe, really. But it’ll keep you off the streets for hours.
To be honest this is a series that really deserves a place in your collection. Just like those beaten-up small town classics that make up the Pebbles and Rubble compilations, these LPs offer a flip side view to what’s going on. It is also highly intelligent, contrarian, raucous music and genuinely looking out for a chance to expand your mind. It’s all way too honest with itself to play any pop-star games, this in a sense is true punk; no star trips, no entertainment schmaltz, just perverse, searching musical enquiries. Great sleeve notes for each volume, too.