Anus Kings | Seems You Haven’t Learned
This is something I downloaded entirely on a whim because FIDLAR (another band you should totally check out) posted a link to it on their blog.
Before listening to it, I had absolutely no impression of who Anus Kings were. I didn’t check their website until after listening to it, so my initial expectation was based entirely on the name Anus Kings, the cover of the album, and the fact that FIDLAR produced it. My best guess? A really crusty but spunky and fun-loving hardcore punk band with a lot to prove, which, admittedly, is an awful lot of things to attribute to very little.
So with that in mind, upon hitting play I was immediately surprised and a little confused. What I got were the sounds of some pretty nimble guitar playing, a very enthusiastic bass line, and some really pleasant female vocals. At first I didn’t really know what to make of it. Was this just a tongue-in-cheek intro track? Were they going to unleashed a ridiculous explosion of feedback and screaming and lightning fast instrumentals at the last minute? But then I slowly began to realize that, no, what I got was what I would continue to get over the next sixteen tracks.
Admittedly I was disappointed at first, since it was, conceptually, the opposite of what I was kind of hoping for. The production, to me, felt flat and not that interesting. But it wasn’t unlistenable by any means, but it left much to be desired.
Instrumentally, sometimes it felt loose. Not enough to be sloppy, but it wasn’t as tight as it could’ve been.
But after listening to a while, it started to win me over. While it wasn’t what I expected in execution, it definitely had that indescribably punk, DIY spirit hidden under layers of folk sensibilities. It’s nothing if not interesting. It’s almost as if Woody Guthrie or Ramblin’ Jack Elliott spearheaded the hardcore punk in the 80s.
And while the playing doesn’t feel that tight, that isn’t to say there aren’t some surprising chops behind the guitar playing and the bass playing (though the latter I can’t necessarily attest to because I’m not a bassist. Nor am I that good of a guitarist but you know). It takes some impressive coordination to play some of these licks while also still singing, and that kind of punk rock frantic desperation lends itself to songs that sound like stripped down, acoustic Minutemen songs which is really great.
So, granted, this isn’t the greatest album, but it’s a fascinating mash-up of two completely different styles of music (though you could argue that folk music does have its fair share of rebelliousness throughout its history). The chops are all there, and while the production or “professionalism” isn’t really anything to write home about, that’s not really the point of making punk music is it? More importantly than all of that though, it has heart, and it definitely shows. It fully embraces the punk rock mentality without playing to typical punk rock characteristics, and that in and of itself is pretty cool.
I’m definitely interested in checking out this band’s other releases, which you can all for free here. I recommend you listen to this if anything I’ve mentioned previously sounds enticing to you. It’s pretty cool.
- victoryawaits said: T_T Anus Kings! XD