700 Club - Smash the State of the Art

700 Club
Smash the State of the Art

Released 1986 on Slithering Disk
Reviewed by Lawrence, 14/02/2013ce

I dare anyone to try to make it through this recording all the way! This is one of those albums that's not supposed to be an enjoyable experience.

Of course the 80s did have its biting satire. One only has to look online for Culturecide's Tacky Souvenirs album for an example. Or more accessibly the book American Psycho. Also No Trend's Teen Love is another example of outsider mockery of supposedly 'normal' people... At the extreme (of course) are the German Shepherds...

However this comes from the German Shepherds one-time home turf of San Francisco, but this is more forgotten. But a bit of an anomaly considering its time period -- honestly these guys knew they weren't gonna be stars putting this out, but that's obviously not what they aimed for. At first it almost sounds like New York No Wave but what it really is, it's all the trappings of 80s pop composition and production but with all the components thrown askew. But that's not what makes this record so grinding.

What this is about is showing that the 80s (like the 50s) were not such a hunky-dory time. Mostly defined by runaway greed and its consequences, 'Yuppies' who supposedly 'made it' have to sit through the drudgery of meaningless office work, and overly focusing on their boring lives and perfection added to the stress. The record allows no empathy in its subjects, as this is biting satire at its most spiteful. Case in point "Bulimia" and "Put On a Happy Face", so nasty it puts any late-period Whitehouse lyric to shame.

So although it's a period piece it's one that's not easy to forget. The dark side of the 80s revealed in a 40 minute album.

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