Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Leftist Rants of the One and Only Jello Biafra

For most people my age punk rock represents the rebellious nature of youth. Before the marketing machine got a hold of it, Punk was the purest form of expression you could get in music. Bands like BLACK FLAG, X and THE DEAD KENNEDYS came at life from the viewpoint of the disenfranchised and disassociated in a way that most teens could relate to. Even if you were like me and grew up in a stable, middle class environment, there was still an appeal to the anarchistic cry of the punk movement. Where NY punk was more artistic in form, the west coast scenes reveled in the sheer energy of the moment and had a more direct political bent. Leading that charge was JELLO BIAFRA.

Biafra was the manic ranting front man of the Dead Kennedys up until their dissolution over money (insert your own ironic joke here). Biafra has since formed a new collective, JELLO BIAFRA AND THE GUANTANAMO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE. Their latest ep is a 6 song collection called "Enhanced Methods of Questioning." Clearly time has not calmed Biafra down as the songs rip with the intensity and spark of the Kennedys. The music is a collection of punk shredding mixed with some blues and rockabilly not unlike THE REVEREND HORTON HEAT. on the 18 minute epic "Metamorphosis Exploration On Deviation Street Jam" the backing band noodles about like a house band for a spaghetti western as Biafra stretches out some his spoken word chops. Biafra still attacks the sacred cows of the day; corrupt politicians, mass consumerism in society, and the ever growing presence of technology in our lives. The highlight for me was the more straight ahead "Victory Stinks" which sounds like something GREEN DAY would record if they were allowed to be more adventurous.

Biafra has always been something of a Punk Rock benchmark for front men. His lyrical style is akin to a sledgehammer and he leaves nothing to chance. You will get his message through his sheer will or you just aren't paying attention. Either way, he will continue to push the envelope.

(mp3) Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine -- Victory Stinks

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