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September 26, 1988 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-09-26

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 26, 1988 -- Page 9

Ex-Detroiters sing
hardcorps politics

BY ROBERT FLAGGERT
And today the millions cry, we eat
and drink while tomorrow they die."
- U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
"We're the young who stand upwe
must never be silent.We've got to
speak up now for all our sakes."
- The Alarm's "Marching On"
"I read the newspapers and listen to
the news, but I take it all with a
grain of salt. The only thing I know
for sure is what I see with my eyes."
- Rhythm Corps' Michael Persh
A FTER putting up with U2's
platitudinal drivel for what seems
like an eternity, and after watching
the Alarm decay into a fetid, wimp-
rock, bore band, unity rockers are in
for a treat, as L.A.-based Rhythm
Corps marches into town tonight
with a fresh angle on this "over-
done" vein of music. Bringing with
them more optimism than UCAR
and more hair than the Manson
family, these guitar-weilding galutes
will assault fans at the Nectarine
Ballroom with their Clash-
influenced political rock in what is
sure to be an exciting, if not
enlightening, show.
Formed in 1981 in Detroit, the
members of Rhythm Corps have
paired their British influences with
strong, industrial American roots to
create a sound they can call original.
By taking the niive political views
of bands like XTC and the Sex
Pistols, and injecting it with a sub-
stantial dose of city-dirt and street
smarts, R.C. has become a band
with a mission, attempting to teach
as they entertain, and succeeding

Rank
Sire Records
"Manchester, so much to answer
for!" - including for a start, great
English rock groups like the
Buzzcocks, The Fall, Joy Division,
and, of course, The Smiths.
Rank was recorded live at the
National Ballroom, Kilburn in
London, in October 1986. At the
time, the Smiths were vilified for
being "too rocky"; and yes, there is
more muscle and sinew here than in
their Rickenbacker rhapsodies of '83
and '84 - but the group's hallmark,
Johnny Marr's guitar chime, is still
omnipresent. Rank captures the
Smiths at their creative peak, before
the patchy Strangeways, before Marr
played with Bryan Ferry and Talking
Heads, and before the band's
breakup.
And contrary to common
perceptions of the Smith's music as
miserable, self-pitying dirges, Rank
shows that - surprise - The
Smiths are funny! Morrissey has a
dry ironic and perfectly English
sense of humor. In this setting he
yodels, hams it up, indulges his
verbal gymnastics, rolls his R's
magnificently, and hisses his S's out
like there's no tomorrow. I challenge
anyone to listen to "Vicar in a Tutu"
and not smile.I
Morrissey wrote "Shoplifters of
the World Unite" as an ode to
plagiarism/quotation/postmodernist
theft, exemplified here by the
group's rendition of Elvis' "His
Latest Flame" as an intro for

"Rusholme Ruffians." Rockabilly
appears again in "London," which
sounds tough enough to have crept
out of the Cramps' Psychedelic
Jungle.
But the Smiths' greatest potency
lay in the brooding romanticism of
the music and Morrissey's ability to
tap into some shared, common and
often painful experience. "I Know
It's Over" is one of those rare pop
songs which really does gnaw away
at some truth, and frightens with the
intensity of its bare confession.

Rank is worth buying for this track
alone. But in any case, you won't be
disappointed with a jaunty version of
the adolescent love primer "Ask,"
the revitalized "Still Ill," and a
venomous "Bigmouth Strikes
Again."
Whether Morrissey and Marr ever
work together again is open to
question, but for now we have a
legacy of great records, and Rank
makes a neat final chapter.
-Nabeel Zuberi

where others have failed. Songs such
as the call-to-arms single "Common
Ground" reveal a softer side of the
band, while "Streets on Fire" and "I
Surrender" - powerful free-for-alls
sure to grab attention - show them
at their peak.
After six years of struggle in
Detroit and the release of two five-
song EPs, Esprit de Corps, and
Paquet de Cinq, -Rhythm Corps
moved to Los Angeles, where they

were quickly snatched up by Pasha
Records. The current tour backs their
first full-length album, Common
Ground, the big payback for almost
eight years of obscurity, and a har-
binger of more sonorous slo-
ganeering to come.
RHYTHM CORPS unleash their
polished political fervor on fans at
the Nectarine Ballroom tonight.
Doors open at 10 pm and tickets are
$10.50. Be there or be apolitical.

Why just watch the show?
UAC/Soph Show Presents
GREASE
Books, Music & Lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey
Be a part of it!
Mass Meeting
Auditions for Cast and Technicians
Monday, September 26
7:00 P.M.
Pendelton Room-Michigan Union
For more info. call 763-1107
REGISTRAR'S BULLETIN BOARD
Each term the Registrar will publish important information
and key dates affecting students
Dates to Remember

"... fantastic adventure, beats like
a strong pulse."
- The Book World
"A thriller packed with lust,
laughs adventure and murder-
ous intrigue.r"
- Literary Guild

GTYOUR COPY TODAY!
CoPynghl 19888BridgePubhcapons Al. J rghts, esemea{

,

Tired Of All Nighters?

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WITHDRAW FROM FALL TERM - with payment of the $50
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Full payment of tuition and fees for students who withdraw
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