Monday, May 09, 2005

Performance To Performance, Doing What You Want Me To

Of all the best qualities of early punk music, the most potent would be when dispossessed and bored rockers would throw the curtains back on the music machinery and expose it for the farce it really is: rebellious youth culture as just another form of drag. Late '70's punk was ready-made for this sentiment: if your band formed before even learning to play instruments, why pretend to invest on an emotional or intellectual level anyway? Going Through The Motions, taken from Amateur Wankers, a newly-released Acute Records compilation of everything by the 1976 working class British group The Prefects, distills this essence into a not-so-tidy nearly-5-minute rant, almost daring the audience to admit that they're as much a part of the sham as the band is. Although they toured with The Clash, The Jam and Buzzcocks, The Prefects as a whole never really fit into the standard punk mold and, unable to play the game the same way their peers did, quietly imploded soon after they'd formed. "Eventually," says vocalist/guitarist Alan Apperley in the liner notes, "We all got fed up and it fell apart. But that's how it should be, isn't it?" Purchase this essential cd at the on-line services of Carpark Records.


Mark said...

Love the song. Paradoxically, I think it has an effect completely opposite the stated lyrical intent.

From the Chuck Berry opening to the clanging repetition of the piano,
it's a primal, tribal chant that goes right to the heart of what music means. It's a call to pound the drum, spin like a dervish and give up your consciousness.

Disco:Very said...

Good point, although to judge from the cd's liner notes, this song was pretty much written from an improvisational session. To me, this suggests the lyrical matter was a means of facing up to the task at hand while acknowledging they had no actual interest in the task at hand. In other words, having to improvise a song about not wanting to write a song.