Thursday February 22nd 2018

Angry Samoans – “Back From Samoa”

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Angry Samoans – “Back From Samoa”

 

Andy & I have always prided ourselves on having the most absurd sense of humor. Others go for accolades, we go for ridiculousness and ridicule.

Unfortunately, Americans have decided that during the next four years, everyday news will probably be more bizarre than anything we’ve written or can write. Though, I must admit, part of me takes a perverse pleasure in knowing this.

The Angry Samoans were one of the early California hardcore bands that combined outrageous humor with speedy rhythms and explosive hardcore/punk sounds. Not political, but politically incorrect- pissing off many who heard them, but in a totally, fun- playful, not hateful- way.

The following is a dual texting review, no animals were hurt during this endeavor but the impulse to inflict harm on its participants is certainly understandable. So buckle up, adjust all systems to hyper-drive and move toward the exits in an orderly fashion as we enter the dual-texting zone.

 

Slimedog- I first heard this in your car on your tape deck. You had bought it that day without hearing it previously.

Andy- Yes, I remember. It must have been sometime in the early eighties.

Slimedog- It came out in ’82. We should explain that records cost about 5 or 6 dollars back then. And we would buy albums just by the sight of them.

Andy- Yeah, I’m not sure why I bought it, but in those days I was always looking for new hardcore. I guess between the band name and the album art I figured the album had to be interesting.

Slimedog- I remember you seemed pleased with your new find. Before punk, no one had music that was musically good with humorous words. Somehow humorous words were thought to distract from the music’s worth.

Andy- Possibly the best “blind” music buy I’ve ever done. Fourteen hardcore punk tunes with nary a bad one in the bunch.

Slimedog- Yeah, I remember enjoying it immediately. At that time punk was not only breaking the music rules but breaking the lyrical ones as well with profanity, humor and realism. Did you know that two of their members were rock writers for the magazine Creem?

Andy- No I didn’t know that. The lyrics and subject matter of many of the tunes could be considered a bit controversial, if not blasphemous. But it all fits together nicely.

Slimedog- And I should point out that Creem introduced me to Iggy, Dictators, first Ramones record etc. And their most famous writer Lester Bang, is my biggest influence. Also, this album has 14 songs that clock in at about 18 minutes.

Andy- Yes, a true masterpiece in the world of punk rock that all should partake in.

Slimedog- “Lights Out” is probably the best short punk tune of all time, just over a minute.

Andy- Yeah arguably the best tune on the album. A personally favorite of mine. “Poke, poke, poke your eyes out…”

Slimedog- Mine, too. “Time to get hip to the lights out way.” I guess this song is about the reasonable suggestion to blind oneself as to not see the horrors of life of today. Do you remember seeing a matinee show they headlined at The Channel?

Andy- Yes. It was a great show. I remember it like it was yesterday. It’s a shame their aren’t any more venues like The Channel.

Slimedog- It might have been our first matinee show. I remember you had to go inside a metal cage if you wanted to drink. Do you remember any other bands on the bill?

Andy- I believe it was Angry Samoans, SS Decontrol and D.Y.S.

Slimedog- Great bill- I talked to “Metal” Mike Saunders once (lead singer of the Samoans) and I asked him why they had a picture of that show on their myspace and he said that he remembered that show well, as it was their first big show they headlined. Next song is “My Old Man’s A Fatso.”

Andy- Actually a rather respectful song in a back-handed kind of way as they recognize that dad’s rules apply since he owns the house. Even though he is a fatso…

Slimedog- Um, not so sure about the respectful part as there is a line threatening to “piss right in his face.”

Andy- Well, no one is perfect.

Slimedog- Another sensitive song is “They Saved Hitler’s Cock.” Local punk band, Unnatural Axe, had a song at the time “They Saved Hitler’s Brain” which was a movie title from an old B-movie. But this song took it a bit further.

Andy- Yes…”They hid it under a rock.” Quite an imaginative tune. There weren’t too many bands around then or now like the Samoans. It was a different time, but a really fun time.

Slimedog- And the final tune we’ll discuss is a unique tune, possibly as great as “Lights Out.” It’s “The Ballad Of Jerry Curlan” a local politician at that time (LA area). It starts musically like a typical, seventies sucky ballad, like “Nights In White Satin.” “Jerry is nice, sensitive and has lots of friends in Washington.”

Andy- Yes, by all accounts the Samoans didn’t like Mr. Curlan much.

Slimedog- Well, what’s hilarious is the chorus erupts into hardcore with a vocal that sounds like someone suffering from Turret’s Syndrome. “Sucks shit, eats puke. Licks his sisters pussy. Is a toilet drinking queer, sucks his mother’s asshole, buttfucks his brother.” I can’t imagine why this never became a hit tune?

Andy- I believe this tune has the most profanity ever heard in the shortest amount of time. At the very least, it should have gotten an award in the Guiness Book of World Records. … Amazing.

Slimedog- The album’s lyrics are so crazy and outrageous you wouldn’t think music writers of a national publication would be involved in it. “Sleeps with midgets, drives a Ferrari, is a shithead, buttfucks his dog.” I bought an album called Angry Samoans Box Set a few years back, it had all their recorded work, something like 36 songs and it all fit on one CD!

Andy- I’m not sure we’ll hear anything like the Samoans ever again. Or the Dead Kennedy’s or the Circle Jerks or Black Flag or, for that matter, The Ramones. A different time. A great time. An awesome time. But unfortunately, a long gone time.

Slimedog- True, but I hear new local bands all the time that get me excited just like the bands of old. I guess we’d both agree that the Angry Samoans deserves to hang with all the bands you mentioned, and be  considered one of the best classic California hardcore/punk bands of all time. Well, I look forward to your pick next time which is rumored to be John Denver’s “Oh How The Dandelions Weep For Me.”

Andy- Agreed. But I’m kinda torn between John Denver and Wayne Newton. I guess the audience will just have to hold their breath till next time.

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