Hardcore pawn

I should add that Downward Trajectory is not finished. I was using it for example purposes and thought I had enough to give you the gist.

At the beginning of the eighties, punk became more aggressive as displayed in hardcore and Oi. Our hardcore sampler then:

Double Life

I adored how you endeared
yourself to polite company
slumped in something

I admired how  things transpired
you were multi-tiered you never tired
you kept abreast of lost innocents
consideration to consolation or recompense
I wanted to sing along
when bitterness entered the litany of song

I admitted how you acquitted yourself so well
a verse out of the casual curse and tell
Decades of decoded decadence
 a chin stroke chain of one last chance
How you hid what you did til they lifted the lid
bade you take your further bid
for freedom to need them

Pun crock

I approach this post with a little more trepidation than most and this is because of my long standing affiliation. It’s easy to get other forms of rock wrong and pass it off as a relative unfamiliarity, I can’t do that with punk.

Long-standing hatred

I was only going to get one chance 
to make my move the circumstance
the lure of a liar in lycra 
fell for lucre full of liquor
a long standing hatred


What’s wrong with this? Well it’s a bit like the reunion gig of Reagan Youth. Perhaps you could still be rude to Governor Jerry Brown in song but the continued relevancy of name checking is never certain. A story about some rough nut butting the former prime minister and barely leaving a mark doesn’t warrant a song; not even for demonstration purposes.

Punk rock in 1976 is as much the province of nihilists as it is anarcho-syndicalists. I always saw it as defiance against authority and against social norms. It’s been absorbed since as the decades roll out more extremes and we become desensitised.

Downward Trajectory

The emperor of the court the truth itself distorts 
at this ad mission abort
The news and views whose choose who skews
We must be cursed to thrust the worst

The mindlessness is more pronounced
than what we had before announced


This is more like it because, even though Downward Trajectory uses big words and is enigmatic, it does have that negative view of state affairs.

With punk rock there’s every disaffection rolled into a bit of noise so this could be some personal story about this girl you know, it could be owning up to being not all there, or it could be talking about the country at large or the system; all on the one album.


Bridge the cross

I find myself in a quandary, not a metaphysical one – despite the subject matter – a creative one. Yes I’ve experienced a Christian upbringing. I went to a small hall in Whoop Whoop for Sunday school every fortnight and I maintained an active interest in the belief system well into my teens and beyond. Inevitably perceptions and attitudes were rearranged the more I read and that’s because I made the simple but considerable decision to read widely. This might put me in a relatively unique position as hard coded scholarly rationalists can’t be bothered wasting time with superstitious nonsense and Christians meanwhile feel constrained by their chapel of choice.

How does this affect our praxis? Well I don’t feel we can leave out Christian rock but whatever credentials I might bring to an understanding of gospel and associated texts, the end game was finding a different belief system altogether and compartmentalising that with a strategic humanist approach to world affairs. You can take as much or as little as you like from this as it’s kind of the point that every single person on this planet has that solitary decision how much to believe or disbelieve. I merely fill in those blanks that explain the quandary: how to write Christian rock whilst not being Christian.

Every Creeping Thing

We conflate the confidence in the age and stage of creatures 
We read into the rock only Peter and his flock as features
and the murky depths we mock and that darn Doomsday clock
Every creeping thing that crawls above your cave
Every leaping thing that's thought there's souls to save

The errors in arrears as the terror so appears
Needs be on our knees we are all ears
A priest who pressed best unexpressed
Beasts at least no creed addressed

CHORUS: Every creeping thing that creepeth [RPT]

We catch a glimmer of each shade and shimmer
Each pool each school once a primitive tool
Shake awake evolution's mistake
Draw down Darwin 
Our eyes are heavenward we're chasing Afterlife
You can buzz us in or draw us out
Our gait our traits our lack of doubt
Belief in relief from animal passion
Unaltered edicts unexamined fashion
CHORUS: Every creeping thing that creepeth [RPT]

Breaking down rock

The amount of ground covered by pop rock and soft and hard rock must be considerable. Does that allow these samples to pass under their respective banners?

The pop rock example has some of the same weaknesses as on earlier pieces where a crude attempt to sound like you imagine the genre does, renders it less authentic. I trip over that ‘baby’ reference as it doesn’t gel with the narrative voice even if that is engaged in relationship drama and has some typical reactions throughout the song.

‘Dearest one’ is more Max Bygraves than standing by graves so that pushes it away from the influence of goth on the hit parade.
It’s enigmatic –  which some pop is but less so I think than simpler messages that wear their common interest on the sleeve – in several places which doesn’t bode well for the pop rock hybrid.

As for soft rock, we’d have to run back through those things we’ve already covered to analyse A Common Misconception. Do jump in at any point. It’s the title right? It’s a bit long and clunky. I know we’ve moved on from pop rock and it’s connotation of popularity or at least the potential for same. I can’t picture James Taylor singing or playing it but then I can’t see him calling an album Tea For The Tillerman or Teaser and the Firecat, or changing his name to Yusuf Islam either.

I know when soft rock was in vogue there were dark rumblings. This explains all the metal and punk and new wave and stark electronic two note wails. Soft rock held its own though.

And this song isn’t soft rock: there is some serious nod to the misery of being rejected, if this is a dominant feature of soft rock, but it’s spoilt by that tricksy entrance to the chorus or whatever the title refrain is.

It’s more like folk rock in its miserablist form at least when you think of Cohen and Dylan; not that I want to invoke their spirit in such a sidereal post. The rest is of a later period when soft rock has been slyly nodded at several times.

Hard rock covers everything from Black Sabbath to the White Stripes with Deep Purple in the middle. Or Black Sabbath to The Black Keys via Blue Cheer if you prefer. I don’t see why you couldn’t use Touching Story even if it’s something you’d normally see in related genres.

We’ve hit Hard Rock

The trouble with attempting hard rock so soon after heavy metal is the potential to balk. Luckily this sort of shit doesn’t bother me.

Touching Story

Father went further than faith healers would 
Mother's what mattered he muttered but good
Brothers insist I broadcast the fact
You're only as good as your final act
It's a touching story

Friends now depend on a diplomatic jest yeah
Policing the pleases, ranking the thanks
Old chums still wielding charms
the armour of amour safest arms

touching story

The fingers that linger on buttons and batons
thumbed through manuals describing grabbing
a piece of the piece de resistance
lust in a sense lost innocence
The weird have won a ward
in the inn of the unexplored
The leisurely joints apply pressure points
to the need that exceeds all the others anoints

Soft rock sample

Is it common to like music across the soft and hard rock spectrum? Of course I like Carole King and Cat Stevens even if my tastes run to groups with disgusting names like the Butthole Surfers and Dead Kennedys. Rumours, the top selling album of the seventies, confirms the continuing popularity of this accent on melody and acoustic yearning.

A Common Misconception

I could explain the pain 
I could make it plain
reference it repeated-ly in the refrain
insist at each instance til it drove you
In 'tsa common misconception

I'd dissect the neglect in a dismal dissertation
on the days of desertion and desperation
stitched up and stuck in this situation
where the care that was there for discarding

You had me at hello come hell or high water
fed lines til I'm on the lam til the slaughter
Don't do things by halves and you give me no quarter  
Am I calming down am I coming down
rendered upended as you were around
surrender to the tender for our surrounds


Pockets of Pop Rock

I’ve read the description and gone back over my experiences of pop rock as it emanated from radio but still haven’t grasped what it is. Or what pop is. So in the time-tested tradition for this blog, let’s wing it

I Want To Make It Happen

Each word that occurred 
absurd as the bird who can't sing or fly
yet you're asking me why
is it reason or treason that still makes us try
I want to make it happen baby

I want to make it happen dearest one 
So I've tried and applied on every side
to coin a phrase this coincides
with down at heel or a done deal

I've shredded and shedded past proclivities
axed exactly  those other activities
I've still stilts to stall guilt  
 billed as built
Each voicing of choice in the matter
exempt from attempts to be flattered
I shoulder this responsibility
selling a solar powered soliloquy 

Glitters and Heavy hitters

As is the practice, let’s review those last posts and see to what extent they could be mistaken for the genre I’ve mentioned. Given that we have already acknowledged that attempting to ape existing works in order to get it right or seem authentic is not a good approach for us, there is only so much change the songwriter needs to make to accommodate such urges.

We could ask Alvin or Ziggy using cut up method or something more Glitter than Gary but I haven’t got time for dress-ups. The priority for the lyricist is in taking the song where it needs to go. The choice is upfront in deciding a title or seizing on some passing scrap and building from it, after that you are going to see it form its own way.

I don’t know about you but I’m not that fascinated with the one time glitter rock to spend too much time ‘getting it right’. The thing to do is conjure it all up on your music carriage service of choice.

Ever So Slightly is a tongue twister; a dash through sibilance is a challenge or else a distraction for the singer, especially if they’re also playing a musical instrument. And this is antithetic to the whole ‘Come on come on’ that plays so well with the lads.

Stop You in Your Tracks is the same. It might form the basis for a symphonic metal beast but it’s not going to play well for the hairy biker you got to sing nor the swaying crowd.

Both look, for all their other traits, like poems to read on the page. The very decision to use the homonym means it will be extraordinarily hard to convey through a microphone, especially if you’re yelling and screaming or using a vocal pitch that is accentuated over playing to subtlety in meaning.

If we accept the fact that the songs aren’t bad, the only further observation of interest is what this highlights in the genres. Allowing that they all serve some purpose, be they crass or deluded, repetitive in uninteresting ways, it’s only to note mildly that no metal, be it doom metal, death metal, hair metal, power metal, black metal, thrash metal, dark ambient metal, gothic metal                               has started out vocally with ‘The fuddling of the feat to disappear’ nor fuddling of feet for that matter. Not to be critical of the many forms of metal which are musically dexterous, the wordplay here, which might be imperative in some alternative rock, just strips the impact that a more simply worded message would have.

So what do we gain from this trawl through the genres? The need to nod to fashion for our glam and glitter and to darkness and betrayal for our more metallic tinge, drove the direction of these songs.

A test of my metal

I’ve been putting off heavy metal as you can probably tell by my jumping to glam rock and blaming it on Wikipedia. The trouble with HM is that there isn’t a metal that I’m not mostly ignorant of. Apart from the few exceptions that had the speed and cogency of punk or some quirk that took my fancy, there were a thousand denim clad disciples better placed than I

That’s the theory though and this is a writing praxis. I’ll apply the following rules to conform to the dictates of metal: it will be menacing or dark in some way, it will contain some of the rebellion or displeasure that defines the very real cod metal. We’ll still just have to see..

Stop You in Your Tracks

The fuddling of the feat to make it here 
the full intent to disappear
for you were sent and scent alone
overthrown where it's overgrown
I'm going to stop you in your tracks

Since the prints were washed away
a war on watershed  display
Broken branches of banking threat
reach for the usual rite of regret
stop you in your tracks
stop you in your tracks

The wending con they're sending COD
the distance dusting up 'tween you and me
The forks at which we talk
 as having taken this walk
The bullies fully loaded the pipes of peace corroded
ringbarked or railroaded
though you thought to make it out of this
even an avenue to ally with alleys thus 


Glam ping

Ever So Slightly

As if this stiff could ever lift
the sent home with sentiment
this rule of release relent
this season's subtle shift in tone

Like this lad could lead or load
the embers of September into code
fibbers on fibre to the node
Now we're equipped with here encrypt
We've heard your crash We've seen your slip
lend me your ear and don't give me lip

In what way could the watts sway
the speckle of sparks stray
The little lightening of the load
 that'll give you trouble up the road
As if this stiff could ever shift
the cementing of seemly sentiment
this riled rules out repellent
this season's subtle lift in tone