Sharoma Lesser known post-punk

Lesser known post-punk

The punk movement was extremely short-lived. It was burnt out in little more than a year, in fact. It has been said by Tony Wilson, infamous co-founder of Factory Records, that the greatest of the punk bands went on to make dance music. Whether this is true or not, three chords and ripped clothing soon took over from the original intent. Howard Devoto was the first visionary to realise that punk was indeed a dead end. Before 1977 was even out he left the burgeoning Buzzcocks to form Magazine, one of the most well known and critically acclaimed post-punk bands. But this is not the intent behind my short article. We all, I hope, are already aware of the Joy Divisions and Cures and Magazines and The Falls, et caetera et caetera. What I wish to pass on is a namecheck to some of my favourite post-punk bands that somehow eluded the fame and recognition lesser bands had heaped upon them. So here it goes:

The Sound

It is now common for Joy Division to be held up as some kind of mythical yardstick for measuring a post-punk band's worth. The other Factory bands suffered from this unfair comparison more than any others. In The Sound's case, their lead singer and driving force, Adrian Borland, also suffered for many years with depression; he threw himself under a train in April 1999. However, he left us with a fine musical legacy and some reissues that sound as crisp and striking as the day they were transcribed onto master tape. From The Lion's Mouth, their second album from 1981, is, in my ever-so-humble opinion, their magnum opus. A song-by-song rundown is not my style. Needless to say, if you have read this far into the article and haven't heard it, locate a copy, rip, burn - whatever your musical poison - and close your mind to outside distraction. This man was a genius.

Sad Lovers & Giants

We all, I hope, know of The Chameleons. No? Well I'm not here to inform you of Mark Burgess and Co. You should know of them, for they are exactly 26,000 times the band U2 could ever hope to be, with precisely 0.0067% of the fame and recognition. My route to SLAG came via The Chameleons, because despite most people saying the two are not similar, they are often compared (I'll tell you why in a moment) and I will perpetuate that comparison because it led me to the band in the first place. I'd say SLAG are even lesser known; I've heard The Chameleons in Manchester clubs (admittedly only one song, but still) but never SLAG. Why the spurious comparison? Well, this is my theory. If one assumes that Post-Punk Fan Person A asks Post-Punk Fan Person B "What is this band Sad Lovers & Giants of which you speak?", then the only way Person B can possibly translate their immense awesomeness in such a short space of time and with so little wordage is to compare them to another truly brilliant post-punk band, because naturally Person A is aware of The Chameleons and is already a convert. Confused yet?
Sad Lovers & Giants have been called a "pastoral Pink Floyd". That's fine. But what I love is the gentle nature of their music, combined with the fact that they are so utterly skilled their first album, with the exception of one song, was recorded pretty much live in the studio. It's such a masterly reissue of music that I keep coming back for more every few nights. Especially since it was reissued this year, I implore you to check out Epic Garden Music. It is aptly named, I assure you.

Section 25

Oh, Section 25. Many years I have been your champions. Articles I have written exclaiming your greatness. Facts I have passed on to tempt Joy Division fans include "They were on the Factory label" and "Ian Curtis produced a couple of their songs!". But, despite SXXV (I find the roman numerals cool, okay?) having a strong musical legacy, it is their continuation as a post-punk musical force that excites me, and should you, more. 2007 saw the release of Part-Primitiv, an album that so impressed me with its quality of sound, mix of electronic sounds and brash post-punk guitar and sheer biting lyrical onslaught (but they always did, didn't they?) that I felt compelled to addendum it to my original article extolling the virtues of these Blackpool based men. An e-mail from the new bassist Stuart Hill informed me of a June, 2009 album. Oh boy, does it deliver. A bona fide original post-punk outfit still producing music as good as if not better than in their heyday. What more could a young lad ask for?

Well that's it for now. It's 2009 so I don't expect any requests for mix tapes, MiniDiscs or even CD-Rs. Head over to iTunes for I am confident all three are represented. Check 'em out and enjoy.