Saturday, 4 December 2010

Bloodclot Movies!

In 1983 Rock For Light was among the first 20 or so punk records that I ever bought or heard. I could go on about how it challenged my understanding of what the philosophy and culture of hardcore could be about (not that I thought about it in those terms at 14 years old), but the more important point is the music itself. The inclusion of religion may have confused and annoyed me, but it paled into insignificance before the devastating ferocity of the Brains' sonic attack. The previous year I'd been completely floored by the blinding intensity of This Is Boston, Not L.A. and Hüsker Dü's Land Speed Record, but neither of those LPs had the sheer hair-raising emotional power of Rock For Light. It was mind blowing.

I saw them at the Marquee in London six years later, just before they split for the first time. I remember being surprised at how laid back the band looked while shredding so hard - all except H.R. that is. He didn't move around the stage much, but he exuded the white-hot, unfaltering commitment of a man completely possessed. A wide-eyed madman on a mission, his presence filled the room in a way that I've seldom experienced since. As they tore through their set and H.R. threw his large frame through a couple of his signature back flips, I barely averted my eyes... even when the pinned and drunken crusty behind me pissed all over my leg.

As always seems to be the case, such ardent zealotry comes at the expense of a sense of humour, open mindedness and, perhaps, sanity. H.R. didn't like the Big Boys... and he doesn't like movies either:

Here's to the maker,
The film double taker,
The illusion type faker.
Guaranteed shaker,
Paravision viewer,

Or it just may seem
Lost the real scope of life.
The hope of life,
To cope with life,
And found it on the screen.

And how many times have we heard that line do you think
I'm blind to trade my mind for what you call fine.
Never in my time I'm not in your movie.

Hey, what can it be on the big white screen
Hey how can you see you're living in 3D.

I guess you think you're at the movies somewhere.
Stale popcorn don't you stand in your chair stale popcorn
Don't you stand in you chair.

A child is influenced by the make believe
To take advantage of this truth is cold hearted sin.
So I say to youth right now.
Don't sway to the unjust,
No matter what they say,
Never give in.

Or should that be "never have fun". Anyway, I'm a strong believer in separating the artist from his art - what they do at home is their business, not mine. An eccentric and abrasive personality seems to be a byproduct of genius.

This is for anyone who's only heard the poorly remixed and rearranged Caroline Records CD. This is the original 1983 PVC mix and song order, and remains the only way to listen to this album. Fuck revisionist reissues! It's a pretty big file in FLAC, so you'll have to delete some of that trendy new shit to make room for it...


  1. Well-written post that belays my sentiments on said record as well.

    this thing blew me away as a young man, along w/ the MDC - Millions of Dead Cops LP. Those 2 records changed the way I have looked at my world ever since.


  2. Thanks a lot! - I grew up with this record in the eighties and love it to this day, but as you've already pointed out, there is no proper official CD-version of this milestone: The Caroline-remix is simply horrible - too much treble, too much reverb and they even cranked up the speed of the tapes to the extent that everything is a semitone higher ...
    So, thanks again, finally there is a good sounding CD-version of this.


  3. L-RV, that MDC lp was hugely influential on me too.

    The remix thing is odd Jo, according to Wiki it was Ocasek and Darryl who remixed it. I just can't understand why they did that to their own great work.

  4. Amazing record. Thanks for the nice rip. My vinyl is scratched to shit. These cats always sounded like they were racing eachother. H.R.'s delivery is better than 70% of the hardcore vocalists' out there.