It happened around or about the year 2000 with the mainstreaming of bands like The Offspring, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Rancid, Pennywise, and No Doubt, just to name the few orchestras that made it to FM radio that you pinheads might actually recognize. They -whoever the hell they are- called it Punk Revival, never mind the fact that independent label music, no matter the supposed genre, had continued to be produced since the omnipresent Some Dude said, “Hey man, screw Decca Records. I’m doing it myself.”
The title fit, I suppose. The music was brash and in your face and filled with spit and teeth. Kids still dressed up like the idiots of old and expended tremendous amounts of unnecessary effort on casting themselves as misfits, chaining themselves to the part like a monkey to a hurdy gurdy. Those parts were still there. But the part that got you your membership card back in the good old days; the part where you picked up the instrument and learned no more than the first three major chords in the Mel Bay Big Book of Chords and promptly passed it off for musicianship had long since lost favor. Unlike their distinguished forefathers, a large percentage of these new guys could play and cared for and paid attention to tone and technique and quality. Some could really play; as in write songs and explore the limits of their abilities melodically and move audiences to places beyond their usual opaque comfort zones. There were agitators and imitators and bullshitters and go getters. Everything and everyone it seemed was related to everyone else, even if just by a couch or a chunk of someone’s floor for a few hours or a big glob of unidentifiable bodily fluids.
And thus concludes yet another jerky, hiccup-filled, cloudy sermon of innuendo on another life and time. Anywho……
There was some great music that came out of that tiny time window at the turn of the Millennium. For one, a band called The Distillers.
Fronted by Brody Dalle, whom I would describe as a vocal reincarnation of the spiritual greasy spot left if Bon Scott and Christina Amphlett’s secret love child had walked in front of a Melbourne trolley car, The Distillers left a massive, shaking rift of wake turbulence as Brody scorched a path of burned earth and least resistance to an album deal sometime in 2000.
Listen, those of you who seek my counsel, for I am about to show you something good….
If you listen very closely, you can hear bloody, shredded pieces of her lungs and throat as they ricochet off her teeth and crash into the microphone.
Addendum: choice footage of The Distillers on stage at The Reading Festival, UK.