Thursday, June 6, 2013

re-up'd: Toothpaste - EP [1983]

Yes, that's a Colgate-Hindenburg doing a Led Zeppelin -- enter Toothpaste, Chicago's Masters of Provocative Funk. This is their first of two releases, an EP recorded in late 1982 and released on Schwa Records, which also put out a 7" by a later incarnation of Silver Abuse around the same time. This 12" EP, recorded at the old Chess Records building on South Michigan Avenue, is a worthy example of the satirical/weird side of Chicago punk. The EP came out toward the tail end of the city's first wave of punk bands, and sounds nothing like the ossified, macho hardcore ritual that predominated by mid-decade (thanks a lot, Effigies/Raygun copycats). Instead, you get swirling guitars -- evoking new-wave on the one hand, early-'80s Bob Mould on the other. "Amerikan Beauties" mockingly apes the opening riff from "Pretty Woman." One minute they're singing blithely about the occupation of Palestine, next thing you know they're groaning about hardware as some kind of metaphor for fucking, or for American prudishness, or something. Toothpaste holds a mirror up to the banal tropes of Midwestern culture, its silly excuses for counterculture, and a Cold War too absurd to care about anymore. But nobody's looking anyway; probably Toothpaste was too absurd to care about. But they're precious currency for a certain type of weirdo, you know who you are. The video below gives you some idea, though the tune sounds more like Special Affect or End Result than what's on the EP:

The blog I Have a Brain in My Ass has video up of Toothpaste's set at the 2010 Riot Fest Busted at Oz reunion ... honestly they sound pretty stiff and uninspired, but if you're already a fan and need to hear some songs that never made it to record, check it out.
Every one was a terrorist, can't say that about our boys

1 comment:

  1. Oh wait, here it is... ^_^