Wednesday, July 16, 2003

“I am a C, I am an H…”
I found the first May Blitz album at Neptoon last weekend, but they wanted $30 for it, which was a little rich for my blood. Thirty bucks is just the wrong side of expensive for a fairly beat-up copy of an album I’ve never heard before.

When I was a kid I’d need to hear an album half a dozen times at somebody else’s place before I’d commit to buying it. But after a few years of music consumption I discovered the allure of the unknown, bolstered by the self-formulated fanboy logic that if the Queen album that depicted the band being killed by a gigantic robot was cool, then the Queen album that pictured them all dead of (sheer) heart attacks must be cool also. And the logic was sound.

With Neptoon having priced May Blitz into oblivion, my attention has turned instead another local band from the seventies: The New Creation. I read an article about them in the Sun on Monday that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. It had all the components of a compelling story: family dynamics and drama, salvation through music, steadfast creative determination, struggles against indifference and disdain, a random rise from obscurity and a possible creative renaissance. And it all began in a wood-paneled basement in Coquitlam.

If you’re curious, you can find out more here.

I guess the immediate appeal for this sort of thing is “ha-ha, they’re so bad they’re good.” The same appeal that the Shaggs have, although the New Creation were nowhere near as otherworldly and shocking as the Wiggins sisters were.

There’s also the earnest flipside, as we wonder at the beauty of their naivete and guilelessness. I favour this point of view, but I think it’s good to make an effort to appreciate the hard evidence. From what I can tell, the songs are witty. The New Creation aren’t stuck up their own pious arseholes; they’re trying hard to entertain. And the playing is firmly in accidental Velvet Underground mode—not bad at all. If you think the singing needs a little work, well, I’d like to see you try to record your first album in six hours. Black Sabbath did it, but they had Satan on their side.

They also had the stripped-down guitar/drums configuration that’s mandatory for hip bands nowadays.

The New Creation's chosen means of expressing their spirituality predates Pedro the Lion, Moby, Living Sacrifice, and Stryper... And from a local standpoint, Thee Crusaders, Carl Newman’s somewhat creepy genre exercise from a while back, have met their match. Can a split EP be in the works?

No comments: