Spizzenergi – Valentine’s Day
We are an ungrateful bunch of us humans, forever living for the past or the future, yet slow to recognize greatness when it is showing itself to us. It’s five years since the sad, untimely passing of the great David Bowie. In this time most of his more famous works have been provided with all sorts of honours, while a lot of the less famous ones have been reappraised.
And, while so much has been said and written about Bowie’s final album, Black Star, not nearly as much has been written about its predecessor The Next Day. The reaction to the album’s release at the time was, for the most part, one of awe at the great man’s return. Still, most who loved Bowie awaited future tours, future albums, and did little to truly enjoy and applaud that late, great work.
Of that album, no song is more perversely in keeping with Bowie’s cut-up strategy of songwriting than the melodic, chilling Valentine’s Day. Perhaps, to truly get it noticed in the manner that it should be, the song was simply waiting for the right interpreter, one other than Bowie himself.
Spizzenergi is a legendary punk-rock group led by singer Spizz. Like many in the original wave of U.K. punk, they can’t help but have been influenced by the Thin White Duke. Much like himself, the punk group has always possessed a tremendous quality of reassembling pop art in their own form. This cover of Valentine’s Day captures the spirit of the original perfectly, providing a new-wave/indie-pop retelling.
Rik L Rik – Eddie The Rat
I’ll be the first to admit my general lack of knowledge about punk band Negative Trend and their charismatic lead singer Rik L Rik. It was for this reason that the first time that I heard Eddie The Rat, I began scouring the internet to learn which great, famous band this tune might have belonged to and for what reason had I not heard of it earlier.
I was to find out that this was, indeed, an original composition. News of this hit me like a slap across the head. From the imagery to the controlled, well balanced instrumental, Eddie The Rat is an excellent song, the kind which had Bowie written it, fans of his would still be quoting alongside the Starman’s greatest compositions.
Punk bands, especially the original ones, trained in writing songs. It was only because of the sheer volume and speed with which they were performed that many listeners never really appreciated this fact. Eddie The Rat could have had a similar fate. Yet, with acoustic guitar backing, tender vocals and beautifully poetic lyrics about wanting to score in the dirty junkie snow, this is an absolute classic. A much-needed reissue.