You have to love a song that sends you right back down the sonic rabbit hole, back into the body of that wide-eyed teenager that you used to be staring up at some long forgotten punk band in a now bulldozed venue in a town that you can’t remember going to. The first wave of any new genre is always the most exciting and subsequent musical devotees may capture the music, the style, the sound, the vibe but rarely do they capture the raw emotion that you felt when you first encountered the music that was going to change your life. A G E N T ’s Stop Talking, however, does exactly that.
For me it’s the south of England, the seventies are about to turn into the eighties and music is changing. Punk has kicked open the doors and all manner of new musical wonderments are pouring through, The New Wave of British Heavy Metal is taking root, indie music is still ballsy and boisterous and the music scene is dirty, sticky, cheap, nasty and brilliant fun. It is all these aspects that A G E N T somehow manage to weave together into a brilliant onslaught of raw, D.I.Y punky-metal but importantly they also throw in a wonderful curveball.
The curveball being that after a minute of perfect chaos and abrasive, D.I.Y. brutal art attacks, just when you thought that you had everything neatly worked out in your head, the song drops down more than a few gears into a minimalistic, proggy play out, one built on a drifting and soulful guitar line and barely heard vocals, incidental noises and pre-recorded spoken word. Work that one out. It’s two songs bolted together from opposite ends of the musical spectrum, music that has no business being in each others company, opposites attracting, the unexpected kick in the teeth…or what ever the opposite of that is really…but then again that’s the whole point I guess.
This track landed in the review pile at the same time as the full album, I thought that I’d start with a teaser before launching into their world and I have to say that it left me, as all good singles should, intrigued, full of anticipation and keen to know which way the album will fall generically.
And the video is just as odd as the music it seeks to represent. That’s a good thing right? Quite right! Hold my beer, I’m going in….