(Or:- “Eees always good t’ get’cha maaaand blaaawn”)
“If you liked Vincent Black Shadow, you’ll definitely dig on Murder” promised Adam Black Savage via email when I devoted to them one of these weekly tongue-baths a while back and finally I get round to downloading their self-titled EP follow up to the debut FUCKPUNK (phew, I know right… capitals an’ all), hot on the heels of having my existence noticeably improved by the Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell’s record last week I get another slice of thunderous genius in this new EP. Vincent Black Shadow, named after the 1936 150 miles-per-hour record breaking motorbike, the engine of which “looked like it had been forced in with a whip and chair”, they were a modern-day regurgitation of Stoogified philosophy taking the free-rock of TV Eye to its logical insanely enjoyable conclusion. At the eye of that hurricane was Adam Black Savage with hip-jutting shit-strutting vocal stuff so intense, and communicating through audio the fact he sleeps with someone under 25 any time he wants. I dug their self-titled debut and maybe dug their follow-up More Deeper a little more (both available on CD from Heartbreakbeat Records) and of course Vincent Black Shadow went the way of the Dodo (and the Vincent Black Shadow) and died off. Now Adam Black Savage and Dan O of that very heavenly noisy parish have returned with Murder, a project that attempts the same nostalgic hero-worship combined with shameless coffin-stomping of Electric Eels and Rocket From the Tombs riffs played with frustration and angst they deserve, and just as his growls and vocal gesticulations instantly recalled Iggy of Pop fame, with Murder he’s channelling Peter Laughner channelling John Morton channelling Iggy, Adam Black Savage is just as savage as ever.
Oh but we just can’t get that hirsute git away from the Stooges, because the opener of Murder, by Murder, is Six Cigarettes, very much an original choon, but deeply rooted in the first two tracks of the Day the Earth Met Rocket From the Tombs, one of which was the largely instrumental version of the Stooges own Raw Power, replete with opening yelp guaranteed to shove a 230 volts up yer butt and make yer hair snap shit and jump ten hut! That’ll certainly be the effect of the first three songs on the EP, all come in under three minutes and all make you jump like M-16 fire o’er yer head, friendly fire! The roughest, rawest proto-punk this side of the millennium for sure, and just like the Garn of Sir Lord Balt fame, Savage’s vocal thrusting is so openly sexual it turns the punk lyrics into the most manfully striving truisms currently surfing the market, and he belts them out like a beltfed motherfucker; and the lyrics themselves are something to be heard, rolling pounding instantly satisfying rhymes. Of course Savage is the star of the show, and the production seems to think so too, his vocals lay out on a platform above everything else in the mix. By the third track (Black Leather Forever – fuck me, Vincent Black Shadow had a track called Real Wood and now this… can he give lessons just in naming songs or summit?) you know he’s ditched all that slowdown proto-Zeppalike stuff that helped make Vincent Black Shadow’s debut so fun and is focussing on delivering workouts most in common with that the Day the Earth Met Rocket From the Tombs intensity, with neverending rock rumblings and the most basal statements, as he issues forth Black Leather Forever, singing in repeat “I’m not an or-din-ary chaaaald!” you catch yerself thinking ‘damn, I like it, but why has nobody ever thought of doing this before?’ Savage represents this statement all over. His appearance, his style, his vocal mannerisms we’ve discussed but his whole ethos sings to that junction in proto-punk and proto-metal that all his bands seem to be rockin’ in. Mining a rich furrow in unselfconscious retro and making it all seem fresh and endlessly enjoyable despite pulling down the same Stooges and Electric Eels riffs everyone else has been working on for years. The key is attitude, as with Savage himself. Like with Sleep, if yooz influenced by another band and wanna rip them off to such a degree that comparisons are inevitable, you could have a sense of humour ‘bout it and laugh it off, or you could go down the Sleep road of being so much more full on than yer predecessor that people have to conclude that you ain’t some lazy rip-off merchant trying to mine a fast buck outta yer wallet off yer nostalgia, and you are in fact a bigger fan than they are and you’ve decided to take the ideas of yer heroes and do them bigger, harder, faster than they could.
And it is the attitude that separates the men from the boys, the guys who go partying with the groupies from the guys who get to bed early for getting back to the office Monday morning, Murder from all the other spunk-chump lazy-bones tryin’ ta surf the proto-punk waves without grasping the essential truth about all punk… it was all bullshit. Sure Gun Club almost had us convinced, they were the ones who seemed most like they meant it, but even the Sex Pistols admitted it was all a big fakery and yooz got yer Mohawk done fer nuthin’. It’s the attitude, because the message is gonna be bullshit, even if you did have a manifesto as Murder reminds us, you might die this weekend, you might die this week, you won’t die when you want to. You ain’t never gonna get your manifesto out, man. And the groupies don’t give two shits about how much you increased the power of yer amp, but they do care that tonight they be leaving the party with a genuine slick-haired Iggy freak in full freak-out who just played a noisy, ludicrous show ram-jam packed full of proto-punk references but not shackled by them, and someone who gets the proto-punk of the Electric Eels, and is using the same forty year-old sonic weaponry like some guerrilla Vietcong shit to fight this new American underground boys bullshit with genuine throwback mung worship rock and roll unforgettably leading us all up exactly the right forest path through this infernal nightmare present and up to a brighter tomorrow, where the old ways aren’t respected, but they are recycled, and Adam Black Savage is the perfect pied piper. Lead on!
Download Murder, by Murder, here from Baltimore's Friends Records.
Written under duress by Steven.