The Nuns – Do You Want Me On My Knees
The Nuns didn’t exactly score an instant hit with their song Do You Want Me On My Knees? In fact, they were bold pioneers of the San Francisco punk scene, later rebranding themselves as an S&M under the direction of singer Jennifer Miro. But, one can’t help but feel that the lack of initial success happened wholly for reasons well outside the group’s control. The fact of the matter is that few punk songs, especially ones unknown to the mainstream public, are as instantly memorable as this tongue in cheek (we think) ode to submission.
Yes, the appeal of it may be primarily voyeuristic. However, the famous request for punishment may also be read as a comment on the relation between power, greed and corruption. Miro was certainly a clever enough songwriter to consider this.
No doubt, the Nuns, New York/San Francisco group of considerable renown during the 1970s, knew what they were doing. Throughout their incarnations, they included several great songwriters, including Alejandro Escovedo. Their fascination was not only in shock tactics but the one-two punch of very well written rock singles.
It only makes sense now that the Nuns would get to have some of their work reissued. It’s the fate of bands like The Screamers, The Germs, or The Nuns to shine brightest after their dissolution. Still, archiving these great works is a well-worth task.
The Vanilla Milkshakes – On+On+On
The Vanilla Milkshakes describe themselves as something akin to Nirvana covering The Offspring songs. This is the equivalent of Rowan Atkinson saying that his acting career was basically him doing Hamlet each time he got the chance. It’s not exactly true, nor false, but certainly undermines the greatness at play in exchange for unfair comparisons.
No, The Vanilla Milkshakes are more like a pop-punk band that can just not get to agree on the playlist they should be running on the tour bus. Power-pop anthems get interrupted by odd, avant-pop pieces, and the latter seems to enter the group’s writing more than anything else.
On+On+On is a catchy little rock number. But, even when playing it straight, there’s something silly and totally distinctive about the singing, especially. This isn’t Nirvana or The Offspring. No. This is the Dead Milkmen relearning to play their instruments. Just joking! It’s a great band with a unique, off-pitch voice.