View the Mobile Version of M+N

Record Reviews
My Pal/Task Force

Violent Soho
My Pal/Task Force

2 Track, 7inch (2009, Ecstatic Peace)
Play All Tracks In New Window
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

Related Artists

Your Comments

unvisible  said about 6 years ago:

I'm pretty sure they only recorded Task Force on Friday. That's some fast work.

willus  said about 6 years ago:

i'm pretty sure i nailed your girlfriend on friday...not long after you met her...also quite fast work.

timscottt  said about 6 years ago:

teen archer do a cool/sloppy cover of my pal too

anonymous  said about 6 years ago:

peabody did as well....

covers everywhere.

Ben  said about 6 years ago:

and Diamond Sea

drtoupee  said about 6 years ago:

I think I have a copy of The Specimens doing My Pal live somewhere

drtoupee  said about 6 years ago:

Just listening to Violent Soho version now, could do with a little more nut on the main guitar riff but not bad

dnzr  said about 6 years ago:

I love 'my pal' but covering it is very brave/silly.

Besides being done to death, you're only gonna get props for not butchering it.

And woe betide those who don't get it right...

FrankieTeardrop  said about 6 years ago:

'My Pal' is one of my favourite Australian songs ever, but it's like covering The Stooges The Pixies or something - the original is so perfect and universally beloved, there is no point in doing it. Whether it's reverent or fucks around with the blueprint, all these many versions of 'My Pal' do is make me want to listen to the original. I hope that's the point.

That said, this versoin isn't bad, but nobody can really match the laconic vocal drawl/snarl of Joel 'Rocknroll' Silbersher, which constitutes the heart and soul of the song.

Block  said about 6 years ago:

I'm puzzled by a line in the EG about this today:
''three near-perfect minutes of teenage angst from 1987 that didn't pay off so well''

Carbie  said about 6 years ago:

I had to pleasure to seeing them perform this song TWICE within a day. Last night at The Tote and just now at their in-store performance at Missing Link Records.
Originally heard them play it October last year, when they were supporting The Pixies' Black Francis at The Forum.

Kristy  said about 6 years ago:

here is my pictorial review of last nights show...

You need to be logged into Mess+Noise to contribute to the Releases.
Go on and Log In or if you you're not a member, feel free to Sign Up.

Related M+N Content
Today On Mess+Noise