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- WWPRD by Jeffrey Lewis & The Rain
9/10 Clinton Staff review, 06 September 2013
Standing for “What Would Pussy Riot Do?” This is a call to arms from Jeffrey Lewis and pals for bands to think first before involving themselves in the likes of corporate sponsorship and basically not to snuggle up with “the man”. Back in the day, I remember being horrified that one of my favourite bands The Shins allowed their music to be used in a McDonalds ad and then Low going the same way with Gap. But over the past few years it seems to be more acceptable for bands to do this as revenue streams from the sale of music decrease.
Lewis and team starts out professing their admiration for Pussy Riot before using them as an example to other bands to retain their punk rock rebellious streak. You could say, of course, easier said than done, bands are like everybody else, they need to make money to survive and you can understand how bands are easily tempted to cosy up to the corporate suits and it's often people who have already made a great deal of money such as Tom Waits who are the ones taking a stand. There does, however, seem to be a lack of understanding on the part of bands of the ripple effect caused by these actions, Lewis for one is an artist who has done it all on his own terms.
It's thought provoking stuff and it would be just that and that only without a rollicking tune to go with it. It kind of reminds me a lo-fi Tom Tom Club, with call and response vocals over rollicking drums, but it's when the bass comes in that it really takes off. Kind of Fall-like in its repetition, it's a track that could easily become a cult classic. On the flip you get a neat little organ and guitar driven thing which again works well with male/female call and response vocals. There then comes a potted history of the Soviet Union in song, to go with the cartoon on the back sleeve. Excellent stuff throughout and it's great to see a bit of punk rock idealism on show.
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