My Pal/Task Force
2 Track, 7inch (2009, Ecstatic Peace)
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Related: Violent Soho.
They’ve spent the past month-and-a-half at Rockfield in Wales and are about to relocate to New York, but Violent Soho haven’t forgotten their roots. The quartet from Mansfield in Queensland’s “bible belt” have recorded two covers of Australian punk-rock classics (‘My Pal’ by GOD and ‘Task Force’ by Razar) for a tour 7” – and they’ve done a pretty faithful rendering of ‘em too.
If Violent Soho have learnt anything from Magic Dirt, Bored! and The Specimens’ take on ‘My Pal’, it’s that the original blueprint should be revered, not reworked. Thankfully, all’s kept intact: Matty Whittle’s pummeling fills, which belie his own pubescent dexterity; Tim Hemensley’s basslines that coolly snake around the melody; and one of the greatest five-note riffs known to man. Singer Luke Boerdam takes some vocal liberties and there’s an overall sense of higher fidelity (the original was cut on an eight-track in an afternoon) but the band stay remarkably true to the song’s acne-riddled genesis/genius. If it’s all a bit rigid and serious, it’s probably intended. There’s absolutely nothing funny about being 16 and uncool.
‘Task Force’ by contrast is far more irreverent and off-the-cuff. They take the piss out of the ocker intro, play ’round with the song’s snotty vocals and, in the process, sound more like Rancid covering the Ramones. But I guess that’s the thing about tackling a rarity from 1978. You can fuck around, because the few that were actually there were probably too drunk to remember anyway.
by Darren Levin