The Scenics - Proto-Spunk 1976-77
Canadian legends The Scenics are back once again with missives from the vault, this time a set of crude, rude and holy live covers and originals from back in the day. The first in a planned series of music and biographical "punk haiku," "Proto-Spunk 1976-77" is a listening experience akin to being there when the Monolith showed the monkey how to use tools for the first time.
Besides the historical value, this shows a band who, by their own admission, barely knew what they were doing, yet in their covers of tunes like "Little Johnny Jewel," "See Emily Play" and a must-have, must-hear version of Dylan's (then available only on bootleg from the Basement Tapes) "Too Much of Nothing," they touch on virtually all the disparate streams unleashed by punk, including art-rock, no-wave, hardcore, Television-esque minimal psych.
Of the originals, guitarist Ken Badger/singer shows his melodic chops on the crunchy but meditative "In the Summer." "Farm Reports (and Test Patterns)" is a gem that would have fit perfect in any Music Machine or Sonics setlist.
To say that "Proto-Spunk 1976-77" is a must have is beyond redundant. The more that the Scenics release from the vaults the more it becomes obvious that punk history needs to be revised a bit. How many other bands were out there in the 70s, making vital music, on some nights even equal to the legends?
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