Sunday January 21st 2018

Dead Boys – “Young, Loud And Snotty”

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Dead Boys – “Young, Loud And Snotty”

 

I never thought the Dead Boys were one of the best early punk bands. Sure, I liked them but I thought a lot of their music was still caught in the past. Garage rock with a jolt of energy and nihilistic lyrics. Probably the best thing about them was their name and the singer, Stiv Bators, who seemed to embrace the wasted, let’s die quickly as possible, negative approach to life, so popular in the punk scene at the time.

But now, I see so many bands cover Dead Boys songs- especially bands that aren’t very punk- that it surprises me. And I realize the Dead Boys symbolize a sense of danger and un-political correctness to the young- more than The Sex Pistols, The Clash or The Damned.

Not sure if they deserve this but I do know the feeling they tapped in to was true at the time. Living on the edge of life because all you’ve believed in was gonna be swept away soon- all the true, pure music, art and passion just swept away at the end of the night along with the bottle caps and cigarette butts lying on the bar room floor.

But that didn’t happen. The music hung around, much like the cigarette smoke and piss smell, to influence tons of other bands. The term punk is now not one of derision but one that suggests integrity in the music, and instead of running from the description like the plague, bands today try to grasp onto it like a prize.

They only made two albums, this was the first and the best. And now I hear it much better than I remember it, and I’m surprised how many lyrics I really like- minus the most crude sexist ones. So I think they more than deserve to be here.

So sit back, get relaxed, get your soul strapped in. Your about to enter the realm of dual texting where if you are prone to dizziness, fainting or respiratory failure- only then are you suggested to participate.

 

Slimedog- What do you think of their first album?

Andy- You mean, “Young, Loud and Snotty”? I’ve always liked it. You know the Dead Boys were one of the first early punk bands.

Slimedog- Yeah, from Cleveland but in with the CBGB crew of ’77. It sounds better to me now than I recall, with some great lyrics. I see many bands covering them now. I think they represent the wild, nihilistic sort of punk to young people.

Andy- As I recall they were quite the rowdy bunch. Lots of aggression. But yeah, they had some catchy tunes as well.

Slimedog- “Sonic Reducer” was one of those early punk songs that stand out to me, like “Stranded” by The Saints or “Oh, Bondage- Up Yours” by X-Ray Spex.

Andy- Yeah, “Sonic Reducer” is a classic that will go down in history as one of the greatest punk tunes of all time.

Slimedog- I like how when punk bands boast, like in this song, it’s always as an underdog- it’s actually charmingly modest. But when a big rock band like Queen claim “We Are The Champions,” it just comes off as bombastic nonsense. It is a great Iggy-like tune.

Andy- Yeah, Stiv was a big Iggy fan and you can hear his influence throughout. When they moved to NY, you can see a few other similarities in their style to the NY Dolls and The Dictators as well.

Slimedog- Every punk musicians loved and was influenced by Iggy. Next up “All This And More,” with it’s snappy, glam rock, hand clappin’ groove. “Can you describe what its like to have sex with the lights on. And would you feel right if I did you tonight and put the bite on?” Did Billy Joel or Bob Seger ever write lyrics as good as this- I think not.

Andy- Indeed. Cool tune with a few groovy twists. I just noticed, they seem to make a number of references to “little girl” in this album. I hope they’re aware of the age of consent.

Slimedog- Yeah, As Lou Reed once sang, “Those were different times.” How about the next tune, “(I Want You To Know) What Love Is.”

Andy- A straight ahead rockin’ tune with cool guitar and lots of attitude. They do some interesting things with reverb/echo on the guitar.

Slimedog- I like these lyrics: “I don’t need none of your bedroom bruised sweet box. I don’t need none of your spoiled ass sweet talk. I wanna write on your pretty face with my knife, I wanna toy with your precious life. I want you to know what love is.”

Andy- Yeah, perhaps a little psycho therapy might have been in order.

Slimedog- I can’t say I agree with the sentiments of that song but they are evocative and powerful. Something that candy-ass bands like Bon Jovi would break out in hives if they ever accounted. Last is “Ain’t Nothing To Do.”

Andy- Well, I guess stark lyrics is one of the things that makes punk, “punk.” If I didn’t know better, I’d say the next tune was Iggy & The Stooges. One of my favorites on the album.

Slimedog- Or it could be a song by Motorhead or The Dictators. And all these bands got a lot of their style from garage rock and metal, too. Anyways, a great rockin’ tune. So how do Dead Boys rank in the Punk Hall Of Fame?

Andy- I think it’s hard to ignore how their style and attitude influenced what came after. Just their punk anthem, “Sonic Reducer”, is enough to keep them remembered forever.

Slimedog- I’ll go with that. So your choice of “Dark Side Of My Ass” by Pink Floyd for the next review is “inspiring.”

Andy- With pants on, I believe both sides of your ass are dark…

Slimedog- But no one can see if that’s true, because they’re covered…

Andy- It’s like that old saying. If you fuck a tree in the woods and no one sees it, does anybody care that there’s maple syrup on your dick?

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