Monday, September 24, 2007

A Post-Punk Post.

It's no secret that I'm quite fond of 70s/80s post-punk in general, so I feel that it is my duty to draw your attention to a swell little album that was just relased & that you should make it your business to check out (and no, I'm not talking about the new Moving Units album, asshole).

The Fire Engines were a Scottish post-punk band in the 1980s who exisited for a staggering eighteen months before calling it quits. We can also blame them for inspiring & unleashing Franz Ferdinand into the world, but that's a different story. The complete collected works of the Fire Engines are now available on one convenient digital package (the anthology Hungry Beat) thanks to Acute Records, who have been consistently reissuing a number of essential & excellent long out-of-print no-wave/post-punk records on CD (I'd particularly suggest checking out their reissue of Glenn Branca & Wharton Tiers amazing 70s no-wave project, Theoretical Girls). Why should you care? For starters, the material on Hungry Beat has never been released on CD in the United States & you'd still be hard pressed to easily find it on any other format elsewhere. But the real reason that this is even worth mentioning is because this band was in-fucking-credible. A mathematical formula would look something like this: The abrasive skronk of James Chance & the Contortions + (the frenetic minimalism of Television x the dark pop sensibilities of the Velvet Underground) + the jagged punk off Richard Hell & the Voidoids = the Fire Engines, roughly. Or you could think of them as the Scottish condensation of every band mentioned in Legs McNeil's 70s punk chronicle Please Kill Me. Either way, they're good enough to overlook the fact that if it weren't for these guys & fellow Scottish 80s post-punk band Josef K, we wouldn't have had to hear Franz Ferdinand's damn "Take Me Out" song a million times over a few years ago. Highly recommended!

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