Friday, June 13, 2008

Singles Going Single # 45 & 46 - Big Chief (1992, Sympathy) & Die Kreuzen (1990, Touch and Go): Germs/Wire tributes

...but what would Darby Crash think?

First a Darby-less (but surprisingly respectable) reunion, then a biopic, and now...Germs footwear and apparel? A t-shirt is one thing, but when you pole-vault into Vans slip-ons territory you're talking some crass commercialization my friends. Has the Germs "legend" really warranted this level of saturation, and to an arguable extent, exploitation? All it takes is one red-hot album, a bevy of violent punk gigs, a young suicide, and voila: El Producto! Unbelievable. 
Prior to all the recent hype, and even a few years before a pair of tribute albums hit the shelves, were a couple of modestly issued singles by two Midwestern bands: Detroit's Big Chief and the Milwaukee-based Die Kreuzen.

Big Chief's grunge-cum-funk approach ironically makes for a less melodic spin of The Germ's GI classic, "Strange Notes" than the original, and believe me, that's saying a lot. Then again, straight covers can get boring real quick. As depicted, this was a one-sided single pressed on luscious blue wax, with an etching on the reverse side. It comes courtesy of Sympathy for the Record Industry.

It doesn't get much more lacerating and intense than the long-departed Die Kreuzen, and their rendition of "Land of Treason" is about as feral and savage as it gets. Presently, they'd be mistaken for a "screamo" combo, and rightfully so I suppose, but none of today's new schoolers could craft a lethal, full-throttle, number like this, whether it be a cover or otherwise. Quite simply, this has to be experienced to be believed. The single's A-side is their retooling of Wire's "Pink Flag," which pales held up against it's counterpart.

Were Darby Crash to rise from his coffin, I like to think he'd salute the two bands in questions, and hack a nice fat loogie on the fugly Vans loafers. For further enlightenment, check out my October '07 posting of the rough mixes for the Germs GI album right here
Big Chief:

Update:  Apparently, Touch & Go is not comfortable with me sharing the Die Kreuzen single.  Sorry. 


Philip said...

The Die Kreuzen link doesn't work. Rapidshare says the link's been blocked for illegal content.

spavid said...

My bad. Looks like this one is still available from Touch & Go. I've deleted the link.