Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Negative Trend S/T EP on Superior Viaduct Records

Before Flipper there was Negative Trend. It seems like you can never go back far enough, there's always a band or artist that came before that seminal band that everyone references. It also reminds you that Flipper didn't just appear on the scene out of nowhere. Those guys, like every other band since, have been playing for years in one form or another and that project just happened to become the remembered one after the fact. Superior Viaduct is looking to highlight ground zero of San Francisco punk from 1978, not a place I even thought about having any kind of punk scene.

"Mercanaries" I love how one of the first notes is just stumbled on a little bit, in that kind of who gives a shit style, this is the good take, we don't have all day. A little honesty. Otherwise this is seriously clean, cranked up in the middle of a room, from the four count. Mikal on vocals is actually talking about those soldiers that got paid to go fight, remember when that was a weird idea? It's crazy that a track like thi could actually be eye opening. I remember friends and I going to see Jello Biafra talk somewhere. Back before the internet it wasn't the worst thing to have your high school mind blown by someone who had some crazy ideas about Reagan and running for mayor.

Die for General Motors!

You could see how you couldn't just casually like this sort of thing because it's fun to put on a mix tape. This means business and if I'm into this, I do to. Mikal Waters is seriously going on about Rhodesia? This is actually making the case for this single years later being a kind of weird time capsule, like Holiday in Cambodia...another place I would know nothing about if it weren't for punk rock telling me to check it out.
"Meathouse" to 2013 ears is more garage sounding with a pop melodic feel. Mikal keeps this in line with a Dazing sonding vocal, and yes that's years later, but when talking about these guys, everything is. Talking about a 'Meathouse' and every part of the process. Skinless faces. This could be a horror Cramps punk sound but it goes political with '...we get all our heroes there.' Power chords from a couple of guitars, that tight snappy drum sound. I imagine in the late '70s on the west coast this must have legitimately scared the hell out of aging hippies.
B-Side "Black and Red" has beefy lower end riffs that definitely are going in a Flipper direction, Mikal comes up with a post sounding lyric that juts out between the muted chords with a slight more echo than the rest of the record, surprised this sounds as sludgy as this actually. These are long tracks for a single, but I love that this is in that DIY tradition, they couldn't put out a whole full length. At the same time this could have been recorded in the last few years if they just got rid of how clear sounding this is.
"How Ya Feelin'" is a quick surf rock sound if Mikal weren't sounding like such a freaking brute. You'd want to steer clear of this dude, warning you about your stupid friends who are up to bad shit and then asking how it feels. They have about two seconds to throw a solo in here, the focus on these vocals and the serious thought put into the beginning of punk. Great authentically duplicated document in the tradition of Sing Sing or Last Laugh Records.

Get it from Superior Viaduct Records.

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