Thursday, March 03, 2011

Reynolds attacks from an oblique angle by posting Tears for Fears, leaving me momentarily wrong-footed. The swine! Do I now try to respond to his surprising left-of-centre selection in kind or plunge on with my own agenda….hmmm….


I think to be honest I have a lot of Acid Rock to get off my chest before I start getting more nuanced about things! Posting the Buttholes below and Sam’s comment reminded me of a guitarist and a band I really love who to some extent were disciples of the Buttholes (they were on Trance Syndicate, Leary’s label), The Painteens, whose guitarist Scott Ayers had a similar abject/elevated aspirant soiled/silvery scrape to his guitar sound.

Now I guess we’re not basing this little soundclash on technical excellence right, so the Joe Satriani and technical death metal heads will doubtless be appalled, I guess that as per last year it’s just simply stuff we like…

So yeah, the Painteens were a great band, and the album Born in Blood is probably the best of them all, there are better showcases for Ayers guitar work than the track above (ie the track below!) but again, in keeping with the Buttholes’ stuff, i like the way it slowly flickers into life as the track fades and brings in a kind of cold dazzle to an already pretty frosty song. I think it’s a lot better than Bowie’s stodgy and histrionic original which it sort of fillets out and soften and abstracts, taking an unsexy song and adding a certain…. well, wintery Sapphic ethereality.

Mostly the Painteen’s focus was on sexual and psychological abuse, S and M, self harm, serial killers, extreme behaviour etc. A pretty well-worn furrow of transgressive subject matter that even in the late eighties /early nineties seemed a little… dated… but they were still, sonically at least one of the more inventive of the post-Blast First wave of guitar bands (Dinosaur, Buttholes, Sonic Youth etc) and Scott Ayers (who did later stuff with/as Sub Arachnoid Space and the Walking Time Bombs,) seems to be a typically “overlooked” figure. Like the Buttholes they seem to be able to attain moments of unexpectedly piercing beauty and uncanny, otherworldly allure.

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