Monday, 12 January 2015

Rotten UK - Bat Shit Crazy 7"

Stuff that comes from far away is better than stuff that comes from near you. Everyone knows that. Celebrities looking for the latest eastern religion to latch onto, foodies searching out the latest imported food fad, bibliophiles admiring the intensity of feeling in a magic realist novel from across a couple of oceans, and punks excitedly chattering about some old hardcore record that got a pressing of like a hundred 30 years ago and 10000 miles away.

If you know a lot of christians, it might be harder to see the divine in the book that they follow when you're keenly aware that they're just as full of shit as anyone else, but if that wisdom comes from a far-off place, then it might just be sweeter, less messy. With distance it's easy to romanticise, to see things as purer, unencumbered by all the tawdry human trappings that make bands from round the corner seem so pedestrian, to imagine that these punks on this wax from that country in that year are the realest motherfuckers possible, no day jobs, no scene squabbles, no bad shows, just pure 100% uncut sewersnake attitude. Even if you know that's gonna be bollocks, it's just easier to pretend. Nicer sometimes.

Unfortunately in that desire for that illusion clarity of thought, of action, what is actually happening over there gets flattened, warped into something other than human, when it's often the human drive behind it all that's the most interesting part, the art, the religion, the food, the literature. These things, and all their attendant mess, get stereotyped into things they're not, bite-sized nuggets of digestible misconceived culture to lend a faded sense of exoticism to your interests. Imagine if you were a follower of a religion whose most well-known proponent for most of the world was Richard Gere. It'd be a bit shit.

Rotten UK are not from the UK. They are from Rochester, New York, not Rochester, Kent. They offer a brand of punk ripped from UK82's moronic beat, using the UK as just a lazy cultural signifier, a snotty punk trope akin to d-beat 'dis's or garage-punk 'thee's. They take this whole pulsing nation of 60 million people and reduce it to naught but a mangled Exploited song.

And that's shit. Really really shit. And that's great.

Fuck this country. Fuck this shit rain-drenched feudal outcrop, this shithead isle, choking on its own thankfully dying relevance. Take it all and bash it into a cackling Disorder rip-off. Fuck Shakespeare, Chaucer, Dickens, the Snapping Bogseats are as close as the UK ever got to a voice of the nation, aggressively ignorant, simplistic snaps of shite.

A seven inch in which at least two of the songs are bloodily rearranged nursery rhymes, a thick-as-shit Macc Lads nursery rhyme like Mary Had a Little Goat and the violent fantasy of Burnt Church. That's all we've got, the inane mouthings of babes thrashed into a scrapheap bang of Chaos UK like aggro football chants constructed out of vulgarised pop songs, thousands of voices calling you a cunt in unison. The chugging cut of Slipping Into Darkness. The sneer of Broken Coffins. Death and decline. The end can't come soon enough, and when it does it's gonna sound like Rotten UK. Burn everything down. Smash it up. Weigh the country down with the concrete boots of tradition and sink it in the north sea. Support your local punk scene, vote Tory.

"God save the Queen and a fascist regime … a flabby toothless fascism, to be sure. Never go too far in any direction, is the basic law on which Limey-Land is built. The Queen stabilizes the whole sinking shithouse and keeps a small elite of wealth and privilege on top. The English have gone soft in the outhouse. England is like some stricken beast too stupid to know it is dead. Ingloriously foundering in its own waste products, the backlash and bad karma of empire" - William S. Burroughs, Place of the Dead Roads


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    1. You can send something to if you want but I can't promise I'll get round to writing about it. I always have more to write about than time I have to write.