Bute Street – Fentanyl
Genre: Garage Rock, Alternative Rock
Drugs. Writers love to use them as a kind of prop for exaggerated comedies or heroic stories. Perhaps, it’s because of the fact that taking many of them is illegal and this makes those that indulge seem like rebels, people who play by their own rules, folks who march to their own beat.
The only problem is that most of them march to their own destruction too. For the most part it’s not even the kind of alluring, sophisticated implosion. It involves a lot of puking, losing or gaining weight, looking terrible and, if you’re a musician, recording some dreadful songs that the artists are convinced are some kind of modern masterpieces. Bill Hicks always said that we should praise drugs for giving us the Beatles’ body of work, but I doubt he was talking about Revolution #9.
Bute Street’s Fentanyl tackles a local health crisis of the most awful kind, a drug epidemic. It takes guts and a whole lot of soul to address these things directly, especially when it comes to the realm of rock music, an environment that has tended to glorify such things. The Canadian trio bring garage-rock grit to the proceedings and manage to do what Joe Strummer always encouraged groups, to put the news next to a beat and deliver the truth.
Ken Tizzard – Police on My Back (The Clash Cover)
Genre: Punk, Country
Why do people reinterpret things that went on in the past? People rewriting novels, covering songs, dressing up in funny outfits and going off to recreate battles in which thousands lost their lives. Should the past stay in the past?
I suppose we do it so that we can connect to the past. We do it, so that we can better understand it. And, not least of all, we do it so that our present, however uneventful it may seem at first glance, be reconsidered. After all, even the Clash were once squatters learning to play their instruments.
Of course, Police on my back, shows the Clash at their most ferocious, although they didn’t even write the song. The original is actually a delightful gem by a band called The Equals. It was one of a handful of retro songs that Joe Strummer and his cohort of miscreant musicians used to cover in rehearsals.
Ken Tizzard takes a further look back. This cover of Police on my back is a countrified version that belongs to sweaty nights out where folks play country that Chet Atkins wouldn’t approve of. It’s a funny, playful thing. It will delight your friends and, perhaps, remind you of the spirit of punk.