Teen Mortgage – Such Is Life
Teen Mortgage sounds like they instinctively get how to make a great punk record. They are frustration itself and bottled up energy shaped into sound. Joe Strummer did say that punk rock was just the truth with a backbeat to it. What he failed to mention, or many bands failed to realize, is that the group and the words better be alluring enough to get people to listen.
Such is life has no such problems. It’s as memorable as smack over the head from a total stranger on the bus. The vocals are distorted, but sharp. The arrangement is plain, aggressive, yet memorable. The story of the lyrics is simple enough that nobody would ever be able to accuse Teen Mortgage of making up this story.
To tell you the truth, punk rock is an arms race. Here’s a musical format as simple as simple can be. But, in punk as in conversations, only a selected few are worth spending any time on, while the rest are insufferably boring. Teen Mortgage is worth spending a lot of time on.
Marianne Dissard – Come On, Let’s Go!
Most good movies spend most of the running time by building a character’s narrative arc, taking him/her on some kind of adventure and, finally, having something wonderful or terrible happen to them. It’s easy to understand which of these junctures is most entertaining to watch.
Marianne Dissard’s Come On, Let’s Go! sounds like the sonic interpretation doesn’t sound like the apex to a story. It doesn’t even sound like the painful aftermath. It sounds like the acceptance that follows it.
Yes, this is a cover of a song that shines in all of the characteristics that a 1950s song should. But, it’s a relatively minor hit of the era and one that Dissard is clever to have dug up.
The singer doesn’t choose to cover it straight like most musicians would in 2021. Instead, she makes it sounds like the Velvet Underground taking cues from 60s French-Pop marrying pop and art in a wonderfully confusing and pretty musical concoction. This is not so much singing as it is movie directing work done with sound instead of tape.