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March 06, 1985 - Image 6

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-03-06

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Wednesday, March 6, 1985

Page 6

Hardcore

By Hobey Echlin
N O FORM OF MUSIC has un-
dergone as much change in its
following and format than American
hardcore. From the garage days of the
Germs to the post-punk techno-rock of
the Effigies, and from city-dwelling
skinheads to the suburban dippity-do
mohawks, hardcore has grown from the
once emphatically loyal cult to the
commercialism that establishes it as its
own rock genre. Some would say this
change has ruined the originality and
intensity, as well as the innovativeness
and accessibility of hardcore, and
forever doomed hardcore to just
another commercial trend.
But when the Butthole Surfers and
Scream played Traxx February 22,
they showed that even if the truly har-
dcore days are gone, the same unique
attitude can still be maintained, even if

13 year-old s
most of the au
Scream is,
an attitude.I
was at the Clu
ago. I rer
spiritualness
minute regg
unabashed
political rap
in the hell the
the almost c
clubhouse to
much larger'
their hour-pi
they just goti
as ever. Only
could afford
And so theyp
The set s
pleasing har
tle too raw
sophisticate
But, noneth
backing voca

surfing 'n' sci
uburban "punx" make up and some fiery chord work, Scream
idience. - gave the newer crowd a taste of the
a perfect example of such older thrash.'
The last time I saw them From there they worked into some
ubhouse a little over a year newer, more rock 'n roll oriented
membered their almost material that seemed to confirm their
as they'd shift from 10- Ritchie Blackmore look-a-like
gae songs of poetry to guitarist.
hardcore screaming But before you'd write them off as
P. And then I wondered how another hardcore band straying too
ese guys would adjust from much into metal, a la Black Flag,
ommunal intimacy of the Scream came back with some
the glitter and neon of the emotional reggae songs, highlighted by
Traxx. When they finished "Still Scream in' " off their album of the
lus set I had my answer: same name.
up there and played, same And if you thought by then they were
y with a larger crowd they taking themselves a little too seriously,
to have a little more fun. what with the poetry-laden reggae and
played. all, their encore proved you can still
tarted with some crowd- have a jammin' good time after all. In
dcore, fast and maybe a lit- perhaps the most surging and
v in light of the more energetic style I've ever seen, Scream
d reggae that was to follow. lashed into a medley of sorts of Step-
eless, with some Misfittish penwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride" and
als, more than a bit off key, Ian Hunter's "Who Do You Love", top-
ped off by a perfectly wrought cover of
"Helter Skelter" that had half of the
audience singing along and the other
S half thrashing themselves into a rock 'n
" roll frenzy.
7 9A little rock, a little reggae, a bit
" more hardcore, a lot of emotion, and
0 TIL 6 P.M. " even more energy, and Scream blew
" " " " "."."."..........":" the "punx" away and left the older
off any 0 crowd satisfied.
tickets. " And with that, the Butthole Surfers
7/85 " mounted the stage. A word or three of
" " " " "* " " " " " " " " " explanation before I go on. The Surfers
ADEMY AWARDS " defy reason. They defy logic. They defy
. BEST PICTURE, * eardrums. They downright defile. But
RECTOR & BEST ACTOR * they seem to have fun doing it all the
%M " same.
RSTON " The Butthole Surfers are one of those
HE ' bands you either love or hate. And
... seeing them live, being defiled is a true
L:NG test of anyone's sanity. But all the
US same, being the objective reviewer I
® :try to be, I seem to have found a resting
RY, NO TUES. OR DISCOUNT PRICE " point somewhere between love and
Y 4:15, 7:00, 9:35 hate. Whatever it is, it's strong. And
7 ironically enough, their most emphatic
" " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " following is a precarious mix of old

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eaming
hardcore fans and the newer "punx".
Well, with that out of the way, and
sticking as close as possible to an objec-
tive view, here comes a probably real
confusing description of the Surfers
show.
For starters, everything about the
Surfers is a mix of unique, unconven-
tional, and damn close to absurd. For
example, the first song was an "in-
strumental" featuring two stand-up
drum kits and their tribal poundings
and simultaneous cymbal crashing,
while a cross-eyed guitarist held an
irritating chord. All this while the
singer, clad in a dress and a shitty lip-
stick job with clothespins all though his
hair tore up effigies, ate hamburgers
from the effigy's hearts, and spattered
ketchup over himself and unlucky
bystanders. And who can forget when
he threw a load of pictures of
cockroaches into the audience, while,
after tearing away the dress to reveal
blood stained underwear, he shook the
clothespins free of his hair, and
proceeded to stick the cockroach
images to his chest.
And would you believe singing
through a megaphone, a toilet paper
role, or amid monitor amp feedback?
Sure: all's fair, albeit demented, in
love, war, and rock 'n roll.
Musically, the Surfers carry a tune
and drop it off a cliff. Most of their
material was tribal in nature: driving
beats, sudden tempo changes, and
hunting, chanting, and screaming of
lyrics. Lyrics? "There's a time to live
and a time to die; I smoke Elvis
Presley's toenails when I want to get
high." Only in America. Only the But-
thole Surfers.
More general noisemakers than
musicians, all the guitarists traded in-
struments throughout the show, so no
one is totally to blame. (So much for ob-
jectivity?)
But seriously, when they come at you
with a tuba, you've really got no choice
but to run for cover or stay and be sur-
fed.
So much for labels. The Surfers
defied and defiled any such monikers.
Ironically, their most typically har-
dcore song was the "Butthole Surfer
Theme", while the rest of their set
dwelt on their Another Man's Sac LP
as well as their first album.
My reaction to all of this uniqueness
can be summed up as follows: hail
those who tarry from the beaten path,
but laugh like hell when they step in a
pile of shit. So it's a bit harsh; the But-
thole Surfers are a harsh band. So it's a
bit tasteless.. .you guess the rest.

3

UB40 concert tonite

By Paula Dohring
IN EARLY 1984 UB40 played at the
late Second Chance. Tonight, a
year later, they are returning to Ann
Arbor, this time for a show at the
Michigan Theater.
The Chance show presented the
British reggae band playing from
their then-recent U.S. album,
Labour of Love. UB40 did Labour as
a collection of reggae classics and
obscurities, performed as close to
the original versions as possible.
With such songs as "Red Red Wine"
and "Cherry Oh Baby", this album
developed more interest than the
band's first U.S. release 1980-1983.
Because much of their fame in this
country arose from their renditions
of reggae standards, UB40 was not
regarded as a "pop" band; their
early fans were largely reggae

purists or those familiar with the
British pop scene. Thus, early 1984{
-saw them at the Chance, a smaller
venue to accommadate their limited,
number of fans.
Since then, UB40 has tried to
break out of the "British Reggae
Band" syndrome. Their latest
album, Geffery Morgan is com-
prised of all new, original songs that
are much more relaxed than most
reggae. The band chose a high-tech,
production sound for the album,
which results in a more accessible
and "American-sounding" effort.
Tonight's sold out show at" the
Michigan Theater reflects the suc-
cess of UB40 in their efforts to get
beyond traditional reggae. They
seem increasingly marketable and
their fans are more numerous and
diverse than ever before.
The show starts at 8 p.m. and"
features Pable Moses as the opening
artist.

b

POLPH/N' Afk'e 1OTElC rcO
g&,gqoG THE /YlOST-
\ GOMRO2V' GT
t MA GNT ON THE
6OTARN ACT
YOU WON'T
.EEV
", n*2

T" Y AN OMU/VCRTEWI TH
p,5r/NCr/VE An/2,DEgt DpO41
OKAY, GuyIs!
HIT IT!/
.v

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Records)
Encyclopedia Metro, the new EP by

Y 0flM i

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