Saturday, March 17, 2007
"New Feeling" As it happens, my initial sense of '70s punk-rock was largely based on "Anarchy in the U.K.," a few sightings of the Ramones, Ultravox circa Ha! Ha! Ha!, and this debut from what turned out to be -- what should have been recognized even with this as -- an art-rock outfit of highly sensitive intellectual filigree. Probably safer and more accurate to catalog them all as "new wave" -- "Anarchy," after all, for all its rage and outrage, remains perhaps the most hummable pop tune of all from the Sex Pistols. But whatever. The basic shtick here is radically stripped down 2 guitars bass drums w/ occasional keyboard rock 'n' roll in support of quick and quirky verse-chorus-verse mostly non-love pop vignettes delivered by a painfully self-conscious neurotic with guaranteed damp palms. Yeah, you could sing to it start to finish. Yeah, it's all perfectly unthreatening aw-shucks innocence, even when they implore the psycho killer Why? "Hip to be square" years before that went mainstream. And perfectly charming, every second of the way through.