Classic Album Review :: Gang of Four — Entertainment!

You know those albums that you want to share with the world, but are unsure how people will take your description? This is one of those albums for me.

I consider this the perfect example of what punk can be. I am well aware that this album is not strictly considered punk, more new-wave, but I cannot overstate just how punk this album is!

First of all, there is something beautiful about how repetitive and simple everything is. I’m pretty sure that the entire thing is just in 4/4, and there are no solos from any instruments. Instead, just fantastic groove and a steady beat. On a few of the songs, a traditional chorus change is sequestered for the disappearance of an instrument. It keeps the infectus groove while giving a little more body.

Secondly, the lyrics are both rambly and important. They can be self-serving, but they can also be extrapolated to give way to a grander exploration of society as a whole. That last sentence just explains how you can sing along, or you can sit back and enjoy. I cannot see any greater meaning, or anything offensive and stupid.

Third, and most intriguing, they use a fucking accordion occasionally.

I love this album. I really think that more punks should have it in their playlist, and I think that it needs more recognition. Personal favourite song is “Nature’s Not In It“, but it is also the most mainstream. The song “Damaged Goods” is by far the one I would push if you’re looking for the punk influence that I keep trying to spearhead into this blurb.

You used to define me…

I was listening to Circa Survive, and worried that I moved on.

I was listening to “On Letting Go”, which is one of my favourite albums. The drums are the most deceiving orchestration, the vocals sore, and the brilliant guitar leads always lead to my surprise. Yes, over 13 years later and I am still surprised every time I play it through. You would think that, by now, I have learned every part.

That album is not my favourite of all time, but it has been high on my list since its release. I would probably put in on my top ten of all time; or, at least, I would have. I was listening to it today, and found myself let down by parts. I was almost bored by it, and found myself tuning out for the first time since I got my hands on the beautiful collection all those years ago.

I got worried that I was just bored of Circa Survive in general, so I immediately put on ‘Juturna’ to find out. By the song ‘Wish Resign‘, I was comfortably back in a state of bliss.

I have no idea why my attention has been taken away from that album. The track ‘The Difference Between Medicine And Poison Is In The Dose‘ was my favourite song for a very long time, and I feel like I have just divorced a part of my life. Maybe I am just being melodramatic, I am finding putting my dismay into text properly very difficult.

Anyway, I had to share that ‘On Letting Go’ has soft-lost a place in my heart. I still really enjoy the album, and ‘Living Together‘ is still a banger. I am almost positive that majority of my reader base doesn’t care, but it really upset me. Knowing that this was more than a FaceBook status prompted me to write this blog, which turned out to be a lot longer than I meant.

Finally!

My old band, The Twin, finally got out stuff on Spotify and Apple Music! If you only use one of those, and are curious, give it a listen!

Spotify

Apple Music

Why am I excited still, even though it has been almost a decade since the release? I just like having music that I was apart of around for everyone to listen to. Maybe even… enjoy?!

Accept Your Voice

This is something I am horrible at.

Realize that in your writing, whether the written word or audio, you have a voice. Escaping that void is possible, but you should not be ashamed if you cannot.

It was my pleasure recording with the ~4 bands I did. I may have had a drumming “style”, but I was never boxed in by the constant repetition of one writer. That is not a bad thing, but from a drummers perspective, it can be a bit hard to grow as an artist. The coolest dichotomy that I saw was Livestalk v ACU. It was the same writer, but he was not constrained by the “punk/metal” sound we cultivated in ACU. He had taken down all constraints and, therefore, was able to flex his creative sound.

That is not even delving into his creative contribution to Slender Loris. They will probably remain one of my favourite punk bands for the rest of my life.

Voice is more personal when it comes to writing. I have read back most of my works recently. I was taken back by how similar they all felt initially. It was not until I looked at them from objectively that I noticed how different they are.

You can be too close to appreciate the things you have done. When your style is a certain way, it is easy to write-off projects as “the same”, resulting in spiraling and not producing any further.

Accept that you may have a tone or “voice” in everything you do. It doesn’t make anything new too similar to what you did prior. Look at the narrative. There is a difference between those two projects, and a successful tone should not dissuade you from doing something.

Yes, it is possible to leave your comfort zone. It is possible to create works leaving behind atribute that you have relied on forever. It could be neat! This does NOT mean your old works are shit.

Don’t beat yourself up.
Don’t hate what you do if it brings you happiness today.