James Leonard Hewitson – Temporary Values
The original sound of punk music is, essentially, our excuse for starting Alt77. To anyone unfamiliar with those loud, guitar-driven 1970s bands and artists, let me explain their abilities and objectives bluntly.
Some of them couldn’t play, weren’t really bothered to learn and didn’t want success. Damn did they write good songs and looked good in a leather jacket. They were the original punks.
Others couldn’t play, were ready to learn and would sell their granny for a gold record. They formed new-wave bands and weren’t adverse to promoting themselves using flashy clothes and silly haircuts.
There were also those that could play, wanted to learn to play even better and would set your house on fire if you dared mention commercial success. They were labelled post-punk. The proggiest proponents of simple guitar music were bands like Killing Joke and Gang of Four.
People will bemoan the lack of any music infused with the same sort of acerbity. They must not have heard of James Leonard Hewitson’s Temporary Values. Its sound is punchy and built like the Hanging Gardens. The lyrics show a singer embittered by the world around him. And, it all sounds like a love letter to Gang of Four. You might have been looking for this and not even known it.
Amy Darling – Nasty Habits
Lou Reed used to decry rock music’s shallowness. He argued that the likes of Henry Miller, Jean Genet and William S. Burroughs could load up their art with all types of taboo topics, and they would be embraced by the literary world as visionaries.
Reed, on the other hand, wrote songs like Heroin or Venus in Furs and got embraced solely by other artists and an assortment of weirdos. Of course, history has been kind to Reed and the eccentrics in his scene. After all, many years on from the birth of the original form of rock n’ roll, its numerous varieties have tended to blend into one another.
The blend we are left with is a rather flavourless one. That’s the reason why Amy Darling’s Nasty Habits arrives just in the nick of time. It’s a soulful and dirty ode to self-destruction. These are mature themes and ones that rock audiences should be used to and might take the opportunity to embrace. Amy Darling needs our help in making pop music evil again!