Friday, September 24, 2010

Last Intoxication of Senses

I realize that if I want to fit in with today’s punks, I’m supposed to have this attitude that there were no good bands during the 1990s. Fortunately, I don’t believe that at all. In fact, sometimes I actually miss the punk scene of the ‘90s. I don’t mean to keep hammering this point into the ground, but it’s true: back then, most punk bands weren’t about slavishly imitating their 1980s idols. The past was there to be learned from and to be used as a jump-off point to keep the punk rock flame burning…and evolving. Today’s by-the-numbers hardcore bands have completely missed that point. But they will break up someday and start new bands. When that happens, one can hope that they check out bands like Neurosis, Buzzov-en, His Hero is Gone, Born Against, In/Humanity, and Rorschach to hear what it’s like to play punk rock with the same intensity as Black Flag while advancing the genre at the same time. It’ll be interesting to see what new ideas they come up with.

Another band that should be listened to in that same regard is Germany’s A Band Called Diabolo. They’re generally overlooked in 2010, but the relative few people who have their records know that ABC Diabolo was one SICK fucking band in their day. Seriously. Go ahead and ask knowledgeable crusty punks who were around back then. I don’t know this for a fact, but they may very well have been the precursor to German metalcore bands like Systral. Whether they know it or not, today’s “emo-screamo” bands also owe a debt of gratitude to the musical monster that was ABC Diabolo.

Back in 1995, I was blown away when I added “The Power of a Lyric Sheet” to the end of a mix tape. I remember this album providing the soundtrack to quite a few drunken evenings, in which we would fantasize about how utterly amazing it would be if ABC Diabolo managed to make it over here on tour. They’d already broken up by that point, but we didn’t know that anyway. I got my own copy a year later when I stole it from some Oakland crusty house during a party in which I was none too thrilled with the way most of the douchebag partygoers were acting towards me. I know that’s a bit immature and lame, but what do you want for being eighteen years old? Nobody wanted to share their beer with me, man! (This is the part where you’re supposed to laugh at my youthful stupidity.) Don’t worry, I don’t pull impromptu shopping sprees like that anymore.

Last Intoxication of Senses
is one of those albums that I keep in reserve. I try to not play it very often so I can continue to appreciate it for the great record that it is. On the occasions that I do listen to it, I find that like fine wine, it gets better with age. I like it when records do that and so should you. I’d like nothing more than to see punk bands who take their cues from ABC Diabolo. Sew on their patches. Rock the T-shirts. Cover their songs. Keep the flame burning.

Get intoxicated here.

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