Wednesday, April 3, 2013

LOUDMOUTH--Ramones 8

With the opening track of the debut record's second half, the RAMONES piece together a four-part basher out of what are already (or soon will be) trademark, stock moves. The song kicks off with a more downbeat variant on the principle BLITZKRIEG BOP riff. Second, there comes a progression which will later find a more confident and powerful place among WE'RE A HAPPY FAMILY's ingenious construction. Third, a zigzag four chord verse which echoes the intro to CHAINSAW with an altered, longer meter (the next track, HAVANA AFFAIR, will also feature a similar main section.)

Finally, the song ends with a unique, closing coda whose chords are lifted from the beginning of I DON'T WANNA GO DOWN TO THE BASEMENT. The relatively inexperienced TOMMY drives with plenty of dramatic punch as the repetitive outro fades. With TODAY YOUR LOVE, TOMORROW THE WORLD utilizing a similar tactic, the LP's second side is bookended by tracks with powerful, surprise climaxes.

Lyrically, LOUDMOUTH stakes one of the album's most defiant stands against rock music's conventional norms. More or less three sentences long and featuring just over a dozen words, the sure-to-offend-some undercurrent of violence is impressively potent given the meager materials. JOEY squeezes his skinny frame into character as far as he can, clearly savoring the somewhat absurd pose. Trouser Press' IRA ROBBINS once referred to the 'anti-art' apparent in tracks such as these, but with the passing of merely a few decades the critical appraisal of their primitivism has come to the other end of the pendulum's swing. Treading the line between forcing blunt, non-metaphorical realism and relishing yet another poke in the eye sick joke, the minimalist contrariness of the RAMONES' early statements have come to be considered purely, and inarguably: Art.


Photo by Roberta Bayley

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