Saturday, March 22, 2008

THE POP GROUP "3:38"

I've gone on record against THE POP GROUP and all they stood for in previous blogs of mine; I hit them with an "overrated" stick perhaps because 5-6 years ago the band was riding a wide of critical hosannas that I felt was undeserved, given the track record. I really dislike(d) the slow-dying-hyena vocals, the faux agitprop lyrics etc. - in fact I coughed up this rant in 2003:

"The snarky, wheezing vocals....are grating enough, but each track is so unstructured and atonal that it’s honestly hard to discern where the pleasure lies. You certainly can’t dance to it, unless you just finished smoking a giant bowl; it’s not clever enough to rank with the true pioneers of dub or even of white boy funk; and when rated against the explosion of British rock and roll creativity and boundary-pushing during this time period, the POP GROUP are decidedly minor players, if that."

Then a couple years ago my pals Mark & Brian played me "3:38", a rare B-side on the 1979 "She Is Beyond Good And Evil" 12"EP. I totally dug this tense, wound-up PIL-ish instrumental. I now wonder if maybe I need a reeducation campaign, or if this was the lucky shot that hit the target. Lemme know what you think, because this one totally rules.

Play or Download THE POP GROUP - "3:38"

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jay,

"Y" has finally been reissued onto CD and I suggest you grab a copy. I've gone on record at length before regarding my fandom for the band, but seriously, I don't get how you could be a fan of Cab Voltaire, Fall, PiL, Raincoats, etc., not to mention the Minutemen, and NOT be a fan of The Pop Group. "Y" and their subsequent "We Are All Prostitutes" 7" show the band to've been true visionaries. Take the leap!

- Dave Lang

DR said...

I know what you mean, they're an awkward lot, I love 'She is Beyond Good and Evil' but a lot of it is no fun at all, if I was buying records when this first came out I'd probably love it, and maybe even someting like SPK, the aesthetics are so anti-everything it must have been pretty potent at the time, but fast forward to nowadays and you're not left with much to go on.

hooverific said...

"we are all Prostitutes" still rings true and rocks hard regardless of anything 'derivitive' or otherwise 'bad'. The guitars and bass and beefheart influenced vocals are incredible on that track. Oh and the lyrics, while definitely lacking in an alternative, nail a description of today's ills to the wall.