22 July 2010
I first heard Boston's THE NOT after I snagged their second self released record, the 1985 Kids Survive 12", on a whim and was suitably impressed. Killer hook laden punk that blurs the lines between power pop, mod, and tuneful garage punk - the vibe is laid back and chilled out but they fukkn jam. The catchy music is offset by photos of the band that seem to be as much in line with the back of an SSD record as with these rockers, shirtless teens flying through the air with Thrasher stickers on their instruments, sign me up. 1984's What's The Reason came into my life a little later, and THE NOT was placed firmly in my mental ranks of the unappreciated. Yesterday I was at Devon's place in Oakland, trying to pry out of him the years of cassettes that languish in boxes (I get a huge archive to play with, he gets them all ripped for free - what could be better?!), and I came across this gem, not the Break Free demo that I would still like to hear (Al - I know you have one, help me out?), but THE NOT live on New Jersey's WFMU in 1986. Songs from both records, a solid rendition of a BYRDS tune and a mediocre version of the oft covered "Shakin' All Over," but the energy is sky high, and the talent of this band is obvious. "I Won't Run Away" in it's live form could have been an 80s hit, the guitars are epic and the lyrical sentiment is a perfect reaction to the cold war-era fear and social frustrations than lurked silently under the surface in the 1980s. Nine songs, half an hour, and a picture of three dudes standing up against a brick wall.