Music, But Barely: LA Punk

blackflag-latimes.jpgAlphaStX.jpgtumblr_me0epkapZq1rlyq9do1_540.jpgWhen asked how the whole “rock scene” started, Wolf Frenzy responded, “…I think it was the night the bass player in the Noise offed himself. He was really pissed off, because he’d been getting a really good sound out of his equipment, so he jumped off the top of his bass stack, breaking his neck and impaling himself on his tuning pegs. There was a really spontaneous reaction from the crowd… they all laughed at that.

LA punk seizes the Sid Vicious thread and sadistically unravels it. Musicality ceases to exist; what remains is illiterate syntax suffocated by noise in the most savage sense of the word. I have always described punk rock as being deceivingly simple, and secretly complex. There is nothing deceptive about the barbaric simplicity of LA punk. The Germs, Black Flag, and X exploit their inherent primitivity. LA punk is an inflammatory, and yet impossibly enticing, instance of rage. It is “the thrill of shouting ‘FIRE’ in a crowded theater–or even in an empty theater.”[1]

[1] Marcus, Greil. “The Last Sex Pistols Concert.” Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century. 20th Anniversary ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1989. 71. Print.

  • “Lexicon Devil” (Germs)
  • “Fix Me” (Black Flag)
  • “The World’s a Mess; It’s In My Kiss” (X)



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