Monday, 6 February 2017

The Cravats ‎– "The Colossal Tunes Out" (Corpus Christi ‎– Christ it's 8) 1983

As much as the idea of Crass depresses me, they did however have a very independant label, which amongst the dross,and awful Crass stuff, released some classic records, like Rudimentary Peni's "EP's" compilation, and a singles collection by The Cravats called "The Colossal Tunes Out".
As we all know, The Cravats had a saxophone in the line up; so what happens if someone plays a saxophone in a rock based format?...yep...they get the Jazz suffix applied to their genre label.
In the poor unfortunate Cravats case, they got labelled as 'Jazz Punk'!!?? Have these people ever heard any Jazz?
X-Ray Spex never got called 'Jazz Punk' did they? Niether did Theatre of Hate! Not even Jazz Goth was mentioned.(I'd love to see an actual Jazz-Goth group,can't think of a more incompatible coupling).
Jazz encompasses the art of the 'unexpected note',and an uncertain quota of improvisation;not just any musical ensemble with a sax in it. Neither of these traits can be applied to The Cravats, but they did have a sax player, amusingly called Svor Naan, who's sax playing followed the X-ray Spex template, playing melody lines rigidly adhering to a predetermined song structure.
The unexpected part of The Cravats was how unique sounding they were amongst the Post-Punk herds.Mainly due to their Dada-esque leanings, and The Shend's unhinged vocals.
This compilation's high points are undoubtedly "You're Driving Me", and the paranoid classic "Rub Me Out";previously released as singles on Small Wonder and Crass records respectively.
One of the stand-out and most relevant acts of the early eighties.


A1 –Off The Beach
A2 –Terminus
A3 –Firemen
A4 –The Station
A5 –Working Down Underground
A6 –I Am The Dreg
A7 –You're Driving Me
B1 –There Is No International Rescue
B2 –And The Sun Shone
B3 –Ice cubists
B4 –Rub Me Out
B5 –Daddy's Shoes
B6 –When Will We Fall

DOWNLOAD these colossal tunes HERE!


Ian said...

Thankfully I don't recall the Saints being tagged with the jazz suffix for their classic album Eternally Yours. Thanks for the post on the Cravats, I was completely unaware of them until now.

the saucer people said...

Rub Me Out - what a track, definitely in my all time top thirty - though championed by Peel, The Cravats/The Very Things never seemed to get the kudos they deserved.

I do occasionally feel the need to defend Crass - as a 12 year old, the Bloody Revolutions/Persons Unknown single changed my life and pretty much informed my politics to this day.

Though anarcho-punk has come to be defined in terms of clichéd three chord thrash and simplistic dogmatic slogans - it was actually an incredibly diverse - more an attitude than a particular style - for every Conflict type there was a Subhuman/Blood Robots/Astronauts/Fatal Microbes/Zounds/The Mob/Hagar The Womb.

The first two Crass albums were actually pretty diverse - just think of their killer weird disco track 'Walls' or the genuinely scary Reality Asylum (to a 11 year old at the time anyway!)

Plus the did put their money where their mouth in terms of most gigs were benefits - G's art was fucking incredible - their cut-up flexi of Ronnie and Maggie was taken so seriously by MI6/CIA it was considered clever Soviet propaganda and they were central if I remember correctly to the first and second 'Stop the City' back in the early 80s (for the younger people, it was like Occupy but actually meant something beyond identity politics and empty posturing).

Anyway, I don't think we will ever agree about Crass and anarcho-punk, but who cares - it's all about the music, maaannn and Dieordiy is about as good as it gets.

Jonny Zchivago said...

Indeed Ian, The Saints were not labelled Jazz-Punk, but they were slagged off for having a Horn Section....Soul-Funk was mentioned. The UK music press never forgave them for having long hair and dressing down in 76/77. Their first two albums however are monolithic rock'n'roll classics....although I'd have dropped the 'Horn Section' if i had anything to do about it.

R'n'R rule book do's and don't's basics:

1/ NO backing singers,
2/ NO keyboards
3/ NO more than five persons max in a group (ideal number 3)
4/ NO more than two guitars

Follow these basics and you can't go far Chelsea did when they had three Guitars in their line-up!!!!?

Jonny Zchivago said...

Welcome back The Saucer Person.....much missed.

Ohhh yes..."Rub Me Out" i said, Crass had a good record label....good sleeve art, and some good acts among the dross, like Omega Tribe and Conflict, both came as file under Dross.
There appeared Rudimentary Peni, Flux of Pink Indians, Poison Girls(?), Honey Bane, and The the good ones.

Sorry for dissing Crass, I did like their "Do They Owe Us A Living" single a lot.....but i immediately identified them as Posh, except Steve Ignorant. And i didn't like them turning the word Anarchy into an actual political statement rather then the tabloid version as used by the Pistols.....i always will be a Nihilist and have a problem with organised Anarchy,especially the leaders of the Anarchists.....and every time i hear the drumming on Crass records i just turn off.
But no doubt they meant it, which is a good thing(?).
The best Crass record is that "12 Crass Songs" by Jeffery Lewis.The deadpan delivery makes the words even more powerful than the original versions.

My fav anarcho-punk band is The Mob however, mainly because they are so crap....i think Rudimentary Peni were unfairly saddled with the tag...they being far too good in all the senses of the word.

djp said...

Very great album! but mine is full of scratches and was playing all time for years on the worst kid's plastic turntable. I can proudly own these mp3's :)

the saucer people said...

It's a pleasure to be back JZ and thank you for your kind words - now that we all live in the land of fake believe, DieOrDIY is truly a virtual oasis of sanity and good taste.

Got to agree with you about the identikit military snare drumming of Penny Rimbaud - it works a treat on Do They Owe Us a Living but does get a tad erm...repetative to say the least (not that I'm adverse to one trick drummers - I can listen to Palmolive and Moe Tucker all day and night).

Ah, The Mob...saw their last ever gig back in 83 in Rotherham or perhaps it was Barnsley (I could 'Google it' I guess but I'm currently promoting a revival of fuzzy middle age memory loss) and I'm probably one of the few people in the world with their Let The Tribe Increase album cover tattooed on my arm (ah, the stupidity of yoof).

Got to also agree with you on Rudimentary Peni - they were always in a genre of one and never fitted the anarchopunk tag in the same way they are just as ill fitted with the 'death rock' tag (I think that's what the kids call it).

They were absolutely unique and were a joy to watch live - it's been fun relistening to the singles and Death Church posts after all these years - it's quite reassuring to know I could recognise pure unadulterated genius from a young age.

Just spotted your Poison Girls post so I'm sure I'll have some more to say about them once I've finished watching this documentary called The NSU Complex about this trio of Neo-Nazi killers and the alarming yet precictable way the German intelligence services seemed to support and protect them (again, what should I expect from an organization co-founded by the CIA and Nazi scum like Reinhard Gehlen)... Well worth a watch if you have someone's Netflix password though I'm sure it's on a torrent somewhere

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