Friday, September 23, 2005


Here are some incredible, yet politically left-leaning, albums of note worthiness.

Husker Du: Flip Your Wig (SST, 1985). Calling Bob Mould angry is like calling the ocean damp. In fact, he's mad as hell. Divide and Conquer might just be the best rock anthem since Won't Get Fooled Again. Together with partner Grant Hart, they write songs that are terse -though not nearly as much as Zen Arcade - and at the same time sonically challenging to the senses. But they've got a softer side. Green Eyes might be the weirdest, sincerest love song of the age. A

Mekons: OOOH! (Quarterstick, 2002). If this isn't the anti 9/11 tribute record then Karl Marx was a Republican. It's also their darkest album since Fear and Whiskey. They also haven't lost any of their country influences, though here that's hardly relevant. They are as obsessed with the treachery of the government and society's old ills as ever. Thee Olde Trip To Jerusalem is another reminder that they ain't buying the SOP that seems to serve the common folk so well. This Way Through the Fire is their warning. They're not hungry, thirsty, weary or alone. They're just aging missionaries looking for a safe shore to land on. Going on 25 years and they still have more to say than any one else still standing. A+

The Housemartins: London 0, Hull 4 (Elektra, 1986). When Paul Heaton says, "Don't shoot someone tomorrow that you can shoot today," he's not just whistlin' Dixie, or Piccadilly Square for that matter. These guys take their Marxist Christianity (or whatever else you care to call it) seriously. From the Queen to fence sitters, they pull no punches and hide no contempt. Call them the Left's version of the Beatles. Power pop for the masses. Original grade A- A.

The Minutemen: 3-Way Tie (for Last) (SST, 1985). Like Lynyrd Skynyrd before them, their best was, well, their last. D. Boon never sounded so good, or so well defined. Yes, they were a little too utopian at times as The Price of Paradise and The Big Stick attest, but theirs was a just world, where might was right, er, left and people everywhere lived together in harmony. You wanted to believe Boon when he said that if war isn't what we were all about then someone would eventually "get the peace train back on its track." Naive, yes, but still words to live by. A

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