Monday, January 6, 2014

The Normals “so bad so sad”

(Last Laugh) These late-seventies New Orleans pop punks (though pretty straight up power pop, with much of their punk pedigree coming post-mortem by virtue of KBD-adoption of their only single, and the fact that its flip was titled “Hardcore”) were honored not long ago with the exhuming of relatively lost recordings released as the “Vacation to Nowhere” LP/CD. That a band known for a sole obscure 45 has had two full album-length sessions of top quality lost material (with a few repeats of songs per session) dug out and dusted off is an archeological miracle. Though both sessions were from 1979 this one is a little grittier, with less pop sheen then the other tracks (though the exact same grab-you-by-the-balls pop hooks), and the vocals are a little more fake British in these sessions.  But this band was all-American, and by multiplying their musical footprint tenfold the Normals and the Last Laugh reissue label now can be thought of as less of a footnote in Crescent City punk history and more of thrilling early chapter. And putting history aside, it sure is fucking fun to listen to good, virile power pop that tastes fresh and delicious decades after brewing.

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