Thursday, May 28, 2015

What We Were Listening To - LA, 1980

The Sex Pistols were pissed, The Clash socially conscious, but X took the punk jawn and fashioned stories of heroin, rape, and the abnormalities that took place in subterranean L.A. This is not the Los Angeles the media brought to the masses. X was how we grew up to find there was more to be angry about than mom and dad.

Los Angeles (AM7) was released in 1980 and produced by Ray Manzarek of The Doors. Unlike most of their contemporaries (who were raw style over substance), X consisted of real musicians, fusing the power and frenzied emotion of punk with rockabilly and a country twang. The quartet of Exene Cervenka on vocals, John Doe on bass, Billy Zoom on guitar and DJ Bonebrake on drums were supplemented by Manzarek on keyboards. The nine songs are quick bursts of power and precision. The stories are timely and timeless: misfit lovers on "The Phone's Off The Hook, But Your Not," date rape victims on "Johnny Hit & Run Pauline," and the banality of the rich in "Sex &  Dying In High Society." They even tackle The Doors’ "Soul Kitchen." But it's  the title track that is the album's finest moment. X was a band hardly destined for mainstream success, but nearly a quarter of a century later, Los Angeles remains fresh and vital.

No comments:

Post a Comment