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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Number 9 - "Britain is Sh*t", Selfish C*nt

Selfish Cunt, Martin Tomlinson and Patrick Constable

Britain is Shit - Selfish Cunt

No Wicked Heart Shall Prosper (2004)

A lot of bands were assigned the rather mutoid moniker of 'post-punk' over the course of the decade, and the term was almost already meaningless the minute it was uttered. As if anything could come post-music's nihilistic end...

But of course the music did continue, it just wasn't punk anymore.  To suggest that for instance Green Day have in the slightest relevance to or provenance from the original seventies genre is to render the original meaningless.

Maybe it's in the art of reducing punk to shallow symbolism, void of all its original significance, in drawing an equivalence between The Clash and playing your guitar quite loud with a safety pin on, in failing so completely to understand punk, that you evoke in the process a perfect nihilism. The act of neutering punk's most genuinely transgressive dimensions becomes in itself the most authentically punk act possible.

And it's the authenticity that was so frequently lacking in the things terms like 'post-punk' or 'new punk' or whatever permutations were applied to during the decade. Music that almost always seemed to veer more properly towards other genres - pop at one end of the spectrum, hardcore or even emo at the other.

There's only one act since the Pistols that have given us any sense that they are in any way inheritors of punk's wholesale aesthetic, political and musical mantle, and that act is Selfish Cunt.

 Yes, it's in part about the notoriously violent concerts, the beating up crowd members, the cancelled gigs, the bannings from venues, but it's also about the overtly nihilistic take on politics, it's about the aggressively sexualised cross dressing of Tomlinson (if Brian Molko and Iggy Pop ever spawned ...)

And it's about realising that THE most punk instrument in this day and age MUST be the drum machine. The quintessential enabler of so many musicians not even good enough to play with a bad band.

And it's about the lyric, the give-nary-a-shit vocal delivery, the utterly vicious pillorying of the middle classes, the political classes, the working class. It wants to kick the whole lot down, not because it has a better world in mind, just merely that it's run out of interest in this one. It's petulant, destructive, wanton, and throughly non-didactic.

Are you listening, Green Day?

Above is a little video I made for YouTube as this is kind of a hard one to stream. See below for more hot cross dressing action, from when we last encountered SC earlier in the countdown.