May 23rd, 2009

NZ Music Month

New Zealand Music Month - Day 23

As an antidote to yesterday's disco video, here's a video of what the 1970s thought up as an antidote to disco.

Despite what Malcolm McLaren may believe, the concept of punk rock didn't emerge fully formed from his brain some time in 1976. By the late 1960s the concept of bare, low-fidelity music was beginning to catch on, particularly in America (most notably by The Stooges). Any textbook example of punk rock would be very basic: very perfunctory music (basic bass and drums and two or three chords on rhythm guitar) and very amateurish singing.

But anyone with real talent who first emerged in the punk rock scene rapidly evolved into one of the many genres of music that are lumped together under "post-punk". One of New Zealand's earliest post-punk bands were Toy Love. Formed in late 1978 / early 1979, out of what remained of The Enemy - a punk rock group more inspired by the original Americans than the then infamous British - they comprised: Chris Knox - vocals; Alec Bathgate - guitar; Paul Kean - bass; Jane Walker - keyboards; and Mike Dooley - drums.

This isn't the only song Chris Knox has written about a silly old horror movie - it can't have been that long ago I put up a link to The Brain that Wouldn't Die, complete with ping-pong-ball percussion - but this (despite lapses into lurid parody of country and western) is a more cohesive song. Here is Bride of Frankenstein.