Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pistol Whip "Terminal" (Smog Veil)

I hear that when a classic Chicago punk band that shall remain nameless watched the DVD that accompanies this collection of rare tracks by Pistol Whip (an obscure Erie, PA-based, Chicago-haunting 1977-era punk band) they spent most of the time throwing up their hands in disbelief and at one point had to shut off the TV and walk away to compose themselves. It seems that despite the dozen original tracks (a reissue of their single, plus recordings they did in Chicago) this was primarily a cover band, and though they could draw a crowd in Chicago few survivors or students of the Chicago punk scene could even name them today. To be fair however, the documentary on the band is a no-budget, virtually no-footage (half of it is Ken Burns-style pans over show listings and band itineraries), tongue in cheek mock-umentary, their tales of debauchery obviously exaggerated for would-be comic effect, and their propensity for relying on cover songs betrayed by the set lists shown. But the DVD also includes the only live set filmed back in the 70s (a pretty ridiculous romp at an outdoor fest), plus reunion shows that are pretty solid, and most importantly in this band's defense, the song "Jooky MaGoo" is just as good as the title. It's a lucky thing they came to Chicago, as their Cleveland-recorded 1977 single is pretty by-the-numbers bar rock (in the documentary one guy mistakenly thinks a reviewer was favorably comparing one of it's tracks to a KISS song, when the reviewer probably meant it was a direct ripoff of that song), but the Chicago recordings are pretty good lowbrow, funny Dictators-style obnoxious punk. They eventually renamed themselves something after relocating to Chicago, and if they had only waitied until after Blues Brothers came out they could have called themselves Orange Whip, in which case Chi-town punks would be sure to remember them today.

1 comment:

  1. yea... well... this unmaned 'punk' band who didn't like the Pistol Whip release was probably just another in a long line of crappy bands in Chicago who can't play their instruments.

    Pistol Whip was a working band in the 70's. Like Cheap trick. who also played tons of covers. 3 -4 sets a night through 15 states.

    What? a 30 year old band is now 'threatening'? to the crap punkers?



    learn to play IDIOTS.