|By Mark Keresman
October 21, 2009
Jeez, what year is this? I know this’ll make me sound old, but some of this debut platter by Oakland’s Impediments sounds like one of those late glitter-era/proto-punk platters (e.g., New York Dolls, Dictators) while the rest of it sounds like the class of 1977 (not that it’s a bad thing per se). Even the brittle, no-frills-with-a-hint-of-echo production is a ringer for that of the maiden voyages of the Dead Boys and the Heartbreakers (the Johnny Thunders combo, gang) along with the lesser-known bashers the Zeros and 999.
The vocals of Nick Allen and Ray Seraphin ooze adolescent impatience and snotty impertinence, the tempos range from fast to faster (though certainly not hardcore), lyrics are knee-high nihilism with a nudge-wink, and their melodies have the same sweet-and-sour melancholy as the earliest songs by the Ramones and the Jam. The terse, rowdy guitar solos end almost as quickly as you’ve realized they’d begun, as grinding-slamming chords are the order of the day.
Originality? Not really, but these lads’ve got enough spunk and style to rock their contemporaries and give grads of the 1976-’79 punk epoch pangs of beer-scented nostalgia. These young dudes carry the news and they mean it, maan. (HappyParts Recordings)
Impediments perform on Sunday, Oct. 25, at the Budget Rock Festival at Thee Parkside (1600 17th St., San Francisco). 2 p.m
Electric Picnic 09 – Golden Animals
Looking like a mixture of Captain Caveman and Francois Hardy, Golden Animals are an unusual proposition. Pounding out primal garage rock, they shatter the serenity of the normally blissed out Body and Soul area, and more than likely melt a few heads.
Howling from beyond hell, jagged guitars pummel the audience into submission, whilst the rhythm just keeps on marching on. It’s dark, and at times recalls Jim Morrison at his self-mythologizing best, and it’s utterly perfect for this time of day. The Body and Soul area perhaps draws the biggest number of festival casualties, the sick and the damned, and those who can party no more, and a band like Golden Animals serve as a wake up call to remind us that we are at a music festival, after all. Heads are turned, eyes are rubbed, and people start to come back to life. It’s not a massive crowd, to be fair, but we all seemed to be paying attention.
The music itself is clearly ’60s influenced (as is the look of the band) but it doesn’t come across as derivative. Neither is it in thrall to the garage rock revival of the early part of this decade, as spearheaded by the White Stripes. This boy/girl duo may be thrashing through the sixties, but they sure ain’t Jack and Meg White, making the White Stripes look positively cuddly in comparison. This is the apocalyptic, ‘Altamont’ kind of sixties, and your correspondent is lapping it up.
More of this kind of thing, please.