Thieving Bastards: Complete Musical Disasters 7"

Thieving Bastards: Complete Musical Disasters 7"


Tags: · 10s · Bf2019 · hardcore · hcpmf · inept · noisy · raw · recommended
Vendor
SPHC Records
Regular price
$6.50
Sale price
$6.50

There is a certain style of hardcore that was present in throughout the 80's and has generally been forgotten to time. USA had Cyanamid and Chemotherapy and Psycho Sin, France had Rapt, Netherlands had Larm, Italy had Wretched (not exactly in this style but close), Brazil had Olho Seco and SP Caos and Ulster, and the UK had a plethora of bands like this: Eat Shit, Sons of Bad Breath, Genocide Association, Suburban Filth, and of course, the infamous Skumdribblurz.
What style of hardcore do I mean? I mean punk bands without skill and without song, just banging on stuff as fast as they can and shouting indiscriminately over top, making a charismatic and energetic cacophony that challenges our notion of what "rock music" ought to be like. The same sort of musical characteristics we give to noisecore, but executed in a purely punk style; this was before "grind" had even been created, after all.
Fast forward and Lotus Fucker is playing in Manchester England with Active Minds and Thieving Bastards. I'd never heard of TB but Bene (TB drums) was our roadie in the UK and I am keen to see him play. They are absolute shite. I'm in awe. My jaw is on the floor. I can't believe bands still play this style in 2012. My mind is blown. I immediately offer to do a record for them. And they politely decline because they're not really a band that makes records.
Fast forward to 2014, and Carys (TB bass) is staying with me in Baltimore on her American roadtrip. She hands me a CD-R marked "rehearsal", and relays the good news: they've finally decided, if I'm prepared to piss away my money, they are happy to let me release a 7".
Oh, I'm prepared.
From the brain behind Skumdribblurz and Timmy Trampeater comes the most legit shit-fi hardcore record of the modern age. Years in the making and I couldn't be more proud.
Art and layout by the esteemed Tom (General Speech Records/zine).


Our take: Debut 7” from this long-running UK band, and it’s a real treat for you scholars of ineptitude out there. The label’s description mentions a number of different milestones in the history of ineptly played and recorded punk records, but Thieving Bastards strike me as a little bit different than most of them. When you talk about something like Wretched, Ohlo Seco, or Larm, I get the impression that those bands were trying their best to be raging hardcore bands, but they fell well short of the standards of fidelity and musical ability that most listeners would have had at the time (or now, for that matter). However, it doesn’t seem like those bands were unaware of or deliberately ignoring those standards… they just didn’t meet them. It’s only in retrospect that people appreciated the political dimension of choosing to play what you want to play (or can play?) regardless of technical ability or your degree of ambition as a musician. (By the way, I should note here that I don’t actually know what I’m talking about… I was born in 1979 so I certainly didn’t hear or appreciate this stuff the first time around.) Thieving Bastards, to me at least, seem to be doing something a little bit different. Basically, it seems like they’re not really trying at all. They’re not trying to write good songs, they’re not trying to play them well, and they’re not trying to be a cool band that all of the cool, well-connected people with good taste will like. Basically, they seem to me to be a giant middle finger to all of that. It’s almost like a realignment of punk’s values and priorities, and a more or less explicit challenge to the listener. “You think that you like raw music? You think that you don’t care about pop melodies or mainstream (over-) production values? Well, try listening to this!” It is, in a word, shit. Listening to it and trying to approach it on it’s own terms, I’m forced to ask myself, “how do I feel about shit?” Do I like it? If so, then why? If not, then why not? To me, it’s very much the same challenge that Cecil Taylor issued to the world of jazz, just in a different format. Perhaps this is an overly intellectual reaction to this music and what I’m really supposed to do is allow this primitive pounding access to my caveman brain, which would presumably respond with something like “LOUD! GOOD!,” but hey, we are who we are, and I’m a middle-class intellectual approaching middle age. If you are of a similar station in life and you like music that questions your values at the deepest level then this might be something you’d be interested in, but if that’s not the case I have a feeling that you’re really, really going to hate it.