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Track of the Day #8: The Arteries - Bleed Away

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Punk's a funny old thing. All that sweat and attitude. All that fervour. All that year zero musical conservatism. Basically, a lot of Modern Punk is about as punk as a Carpenters tribute band. In fact, that does the Carpenters a terrible disservice.

Shiny pop punk is the most heinous genre of all time. Faux rebels in scene-approved t-shirts, with just the right amount of rebellious wax in their subversive Toni & Guy haircuts, cribbing Blink 182's nursery rhyme melodies and the kind of sexist nonsense that'd earn a fist in the face from The Slits, and passing it all through Auto-Tune to get the harmonies just so.

Some of them say they like The Ramones.

That should be an imprisonable offence.

Punk has been a joke and a lie since the moment it became a brand. You'd need the services of the Large Hadron Collider to measure at which quintillisecond that happened in the immediate aftermath of the Pistols' appearance on Bill Grundy. But - for the most part - it is, and has been for the last couple of decades, nothing more than a clarion call for a herd of posh-ish kids to call themselves individuals. All in the same hoodies. All necking Jägerbombs. All keeping the cogs of the punk industry well-oiled with mummy and daddy's money.

Punk is just another tentacle on the multi-limbed entertainment crinoid. No more insurrectionary than One Direction. It just thinks it's different, hence my ire.

All of the above must be anathema on an apocalyptic level for 'real' punks. Imagine learning to question the world through Crass albums; learning to skate to Bad Religion; learning to play - and make your individual music - from Fugazi or Rapeman; then defining yourself as a punk, only to have Sum 41 co-opt it and turn it into Scooby Doo music.

I'd be riotous, me.

Because for all the CK1 wafting around punk in 2013, there is still a determined, principled, hardcore (although, perhaps not Hardcore) stratum of bands who subscribe to - and perpetuate - the punk credo: to make their music affordable/democratic/unstinting/without compromise. It must rile all of those great-hearted people to the point of angina that a studded wristband and a clicky, double bass drum pedal have almost become the de facto call signs for modern punk.

Swansea's The Arteries play fast and play true. You can hear conviction in every moment of every note on every track of their new EP on Specialist Subject Records. Bleed Away is perfect, thrilling rock 'n' roll. If something has been done a million times before, you'd better do it well, and The Arteries do it very well indeed.

The Ramones would probably have dug them.

God rest their perfect, skinny-assed souls.

arteries.bandcamp.com/track/bleed-away

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  • Comment number 1. Posted by Huw Rees

    on 19 Feb 2013 17:51

    I gave the drummer, Rhys, a couple of lessons, help him with playing fast! sounds great

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