Thursday, 6 December 2012

School Jerks - School Jerks

When you come to write about all the music you've enjoyed in a year, certain trends tend to pop up, mainly when you find yourself repeatedly using the same word and digging about desperately in your head for some other term so you don't just find yourself saying things are 'manic' a million fucking times in a throw. This year, noise is obviously one recurring theme, same with snottiness, the other one is obnoxiousness. I like a lot of obnoxious snotty noisy music. Obviously not words that are usually used as positive endorsements, but punk music is a redefinition of what constitutes acceptable aesthetic aims, so all those quick dismissive negatives, sloppy, amateurish, stupid, unlistenable garbage, get twisted into exultations, shibboleths for those who have an open ugliness to them, embrace the shit and kick of the world, grazing themselves on its coarseness and laughing at it, rather than papering over it with platitudinous soft-rock conservatism. When you're reviewing a band like School Jerks, a term like 'vile piece-of-shit' is about as two-thumbs-up as you can get.

This sort of music fucking hates you, almost as much as it hates itself. It's the squirt of teenage arseholes, early 80s hardcore at its most primal, before the indie-rock reimaginings, the solo folk projects, the weird art-bents, the musical development of Minutemen or Husker Du who tilted at big expansive takes on the human absurdity, this is small lean angry fuckhead fury, when the speed and fury and were the thing beyond all else but nobody knew one fucking thing about the battered crapstick guitar they were wailing on so the metal-competence crossover was far far in the distance. It's a shabbily-carpeted a room full of hormones and wiry-weird bodies stuff with  insecurity and stunted self-definitions bouncing off each with bladed elbows and contorted ghoulish faces. A raw hardcore punk quarter-hour where a 30 second song doesn't feel like a tossed-off joke or a gimmicky aberration, just a point where all you had to say in the world was a half-minute howl of resentment.

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