Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Crash Normal - Nothing I Can Tell

Crash Normal Nothing I Can Tell 7" (Royal, 1998)

Was an influential record ever less influential than this one? The first Ep by this French ensemble came out on Sabotage Records a year or so before this one under discussion here, and confounded me into writing a vacillating, weak-kneed review at MRR. Then I got ahold of this spazz-art punk followup and realized what a durn fool I'd been. It was the sound of 2005 (or so), just almost a decade too soon. See, the French (well, actually, the 'French' were about thirteen-and-a-half people in and around Paris) had forcibly established a sort of beachhead of garage-level punk in the early/mid 90's, when bands such as the Splash Four and the TV Killers started making the first truly interesting (or physically accessible, same thing) punk rock records to come out of France since early Les Thugs. I assumed I had the French take down, and that take was gut-busting rock 'n roll with feet planted firmly in late 70's and early 80's punk sounds. "Skydog was back", metaphorically speaking, and no complaints here.

Then Royal Records put this out, a completely unexpected trip into art-punk territory that revealed a whole new side of an entire scene's possible influences. On this you get a palette of early 80's post-no-wave along with bursts of pure fuzz that recall some of the contemporaneous Japanese Psyche Moderne bands (minus guitar solos, natch), all simmering in a tension and bile that immediately mutters 'punque roq' in a teeth-clenched whisper. Many bands were attempting this type of thing in 1998, but they usually spoiled it with tedious prog affectations or an obvious lack of dedication to the form; that being punk action, which is our focus here. Many dozens of bands were not formed in the wake of this ep.

So Royal pressed up 200 of these, sold 'em, pressed up another 200 with a screened cover (same songs), then moved on. In the meantime, we are left with this amazing art-punk disc that sounds like it could have come out last year, which is no knock on our current adherants, it just took that long for this thing to dissolve into the Rockquifer. Drink up. -Ryan W

And a wee bit down the road one of two laid out some green and put out a full length by these guys. It is really good. Trust me. --SS

Thanx Ryan. And thanx Scott.
The 2 sleeves I put out at the same time. It was not a re-press.
The black sleeve is my favourite.
And Crash are playing this friday.
And it's still 13 people.
Come this may come on!
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