Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Pop Group - Thief of Fire

Today's entry about the Pop Group makes pleasant company with yesterday's on Suicide. Although they both have a shared affinity for occasional shrieking, they sound quite different. However, both bands pushed post-punk to its outer limits, making music that could only be classified as post-punk because what it truly was hadn't been invented yet, or was impossible to classify.

The band had a short life, forming in 1978 in Bristol, England and breaking up by 1980. Their debut album, Y, remains their classic and is seen by many as a forgotten masterpiece. You can sum up the Pop Group by throwing punk, funk, free jazz, and dub reggae in a blender, setting it on high, and recording the result while the blender is still mixing. You hear elements of familiarity, funky bass lines, jazz guitar, timely percussion, but then waves of feedback, screeching horns, chaotic drums, and bipolar vocals. It's a beautiful mess.

The Pop Group - Thief of Fire

"I admit my crime
I'm a thief of fire
I admit my crime crime crime
I'm a thief of fire

We do not have anything
We have not learned anything
We do not know anything
Do not understand
We do not sell anything
We do not help
But we will betray
And we will not forget
And we will not forget
I admit my crime
I'm a thief of fire

But who to trust
When you're stealing from a nation of killers
Do I trust myself?
I'm like a tramp in its cage
Flower in Moscow
Losers take all
We are here to go
All lovers betray
All lovers betray"

The Pop Group: Stylus Magazine's Second Thought

The Pop Group - Y @Amazon.com

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