Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Chicago's Finest

Big Black, Naked Raygun and the Effigies were seminal post punk bands from Chicago. Among the three, Naked Raygun was the most melodic and some say the most muscle-bound band from the Windy City. Along with Hüsker Dü, Naked Raygun was one of the first U.S. post-punk bands of the early '80s that merged melodic influences with punk/hardcore. Formed during 1981 in Chicago, IL (and largely influenced by such art-punkers as Wire and Gang of Four), the group contained several different members during its ten-year career, including leaders Jeff Pezzati (vocals), John Haggerty (guitar), Marko Pezzati (bass), Jim Colao (drums), and, early on, future Big Black member Santiago Durango (guitar). Naked Raygun made it clear early on that they were unafraid to speak their minds (especially when it came to their personal political views, which were often from a strong and "macho" point of view), as proven by such confrontational compositions as "Tojo" and "Potential Rapist" off their 1983 debut Basement Screams. 1985's Throb Throb saw the group hone their sound even further (adding more melody, in addition to a more meatier and metallic guitar sound), as evidenced by the album's single "Surf Combat."

Naked Raygun - Basement Screams





Naked Raygun - All Rise



Naked Raygun - Jettison



The Effigies was formed in 1980 and became one of Chicago’s significant punk bands. Their music is not as political as Naked Raygun though their lyrics tackled the nitty gritty realities of urban life. They released 3 albums, and a compilation of their early releases, Remians Nonviewable. “Remains Nonviewable is 40 minutes of the most incendiary, intelligent, and expertly executed punk you will ever hear. Infinite substance and zero pose.” – All Music Guide.


Effigies - Remains Nonviewable




BIG BLACK.While punk rock was always supposed to be about pushing the envelope, few post-punk bands seemed willing to go quite so far to creatively confront their audience as Big Black. The group's guitars alternately sliced like a machete and ground like a dentist's drill, creating a groundbreaking and monolithic dissonance in the process. Their use of a drum machine, cranked up to ten and sounding a tattoo that pummeled the audience into submission, was a crucial precursor to the coming industrial music scene while creating a sound which was far more challenging and organic than what groups such as Ministry and Nine Inch Nails would achieve with similar ingredients. Big Black's songs, which openly dealt with such topics as mutilation, murder, rape, child molestation, arson, immolation, racism, and misogyny, established them as a group that acknowledged no taboos; and while they didn't seem to be advocating the anti-social or criminal behavior they sang about, there was also a level of familiarity with their subject matter which made more than a few listeners blanch. Big Black was a band that went where few bands dared to go (and where many felt bands shouldn't go), and for good or ill their pervasive influence had a seismic impact on indie rock. At the same time, Big Black was a group who maintained firmly held ideals when it came to doing business; they paid for their own recordings, booked their own shows, handled their own management and publicity, and remained stubbornly independent at a time when many independent bands were eagerly reaching out for the major-label brass ring. – All Music Guide




Big Black - The Rich Man's 8 Track

9 comments:

Maikoholic said...

Nice post, thanks.

If i remember correctly the effigies asked a fellow blogger to remove their music from his blog not too long ago.

Greetings!

Punk Rock Daddy said...

Thanks for the advice brother

Chris said...

Hey, Rich Man's 8 Track was deleted. Can you re-up?

Anonymous said...

i've lost all of these records in a recent move. any chance of updating the link? thanks.

Donut Duck said...

Well, i am missing BLOODSPORT here. Their album/EP "I am the game" is awesome and stands the test of time IMHO. Other than that: awesome blog you have!

Anonymous said...

"Basement Screams" link is broken. Could you re-link it?

powerpopfanatic1979 said...

Hi,

Could you please post up a copy of The Effigies' Ink album if you have it please? Its' the only one I need to complete my collection.

Regards

Reza

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