Thursday, 15 June 2017

Second-generation punk

I recently gave a bizarre talk about lost beer styles and punk rock in 1976.

Researching for the music chunk, I listened to the early records of The Damned, The Clash and the Sex pistols. I already had it all on my punk playlist (I also have a 1960’s punk playlist, that’s how sad I am), it struck me how diverse their music was, but also how more sophisticated than its raw energy implied. Their looks were pretty different, too.

That was the class of 1976. The bands that came along after them – I won’t name any names here – the ones that were inspired by the first generation of punk bands. I never liked any of them. Just like the audience, they’d adopted a uniform. In this case a musical rather than sartorial one. Breakneck, simplistic songs, shouted with faux angst.

Seeing the beermat below on an Amsterdam bar recently, this popped into my head: second-generation punk.

There’s a lot of it about.


5 comments:

ts said...

Don't leave us hanging. let's see that punk list.

A Brew Rat said...

I have always been partial to the Mekons.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean but what generation was Crass?

Anonymous said...

It reminds me of Keynes's beauty contest, where brewers are trying to guess what people will like rather than trusting their own taste. You'd think that would get sorted out quickly, but since a certain segment of the market in fact can't tell good from bad, or boring from interesting, the market doesn't work things out very quickly. And new beer drinkers can easily find themselves in an ocean of mediocrity, lucky if they stumble across a Rodenbach Grand Cru or something, but buying swill until then. Hard to know how it ends, but I think this helps explain the large amount of uninspired beer and the prevalence of puerile beer labels.

Brando V said...

I believe we construct uniforms from such things because we wish to recreate the energy of that moment that was lived by others. Often we end up building a shell or fascimile of this, however, and coupled with the innate human instinct to create systems from perceived chaos (especially as we move away from our teenage years), and our affinity for tribalism, these cultural movements always end up where punk did. However I must defend a lot of my favorite bands from the 80s and 90s, as I feel quite a few of them were musically diverse: Husker Du, Minutemen, and Fugazi, to name a few, didn't necessarily sound like each other, or even themselves from album to album. And all three looked and dressed like average Joe's - no spiked hair or chains, leather, etc. But those were American bands, can't really speak to Europe...