A Mighty Wind

Garage Punks Discover New Wave and Kick Out the Cans

I can envision bands like Sweden's Caesars both hitting the Top 40 (though the fact that they're on Astralwerks means that I'm probably as out of touch as ever) and defining the genre for a lot of people. And other than their being Swedish and playing an organ, and a Beatlesque chord here and there, they're not particularly garage rock as I'd have used the term a couple of years ago. The harmonies on 39 Minutes of Bliss (in an Otherwise Meaningless World) are more '90s than '60s, more Gin Blossoms than Beatles. "I wanna sniff glue/'Cause I can't get over you" would get across to the teen rock fan because it's easy to understand and it's funny and is obvious role playing, as if the band were saying "This is a role we like to play but to which we don't have to commit" while at the same time committing themselves to being the sort of band that would sing such words. I can imagine listeners (even me, perhaps) identifying these poses as connecting to both our actual lives and the fun we ourselves would take in such posturing. In other words, this is good to sing along with. The lyrics might stick in our throat, however, since their deliberate mockery and shallowness doesn't mitigate their basic ugliness. An intelligent person might take "No matter what I might say, you don't mean a thing to me" as indicating just the opposite (if you make a point of your indifference, then obviously you're lying), but nonetheless, the overall tone is of people hurting other people, to incredibly catchy tunes and a voice that's pretending to be silly. Despite the sound, maybe these guys are the only true garage punks of the bunch ("punk" as in weak person who hurts others in order to feel tough). Leaves an icky aftertaste, though one that you should try for yourself.

Clone Defects: half primate, half cockroach
photo: Courtesy Screaming Peach
Clone Defects: half primate, half cockroach


The Deadly Snakes
Ode to Joy
In the Red

FM Knives
Useless & Modern
Broken Rekids
Smartguy Records

Clone Defects
Shapes of Venus
In the Red

The Fever
Pink on Pink

The Caesars
39 Minutes of Bliss
(in an Otherwise Meaningless World)

The Fever play Mercury Lounge July 17.

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