CIVIL DISORDER – Yeah Right Whatever & It’s A Warning CD-Rs
Yeah Right Whatever CD-R
It’s A Warning CD-R
Slotted to play at the cancelled YR Dawg, Unclogged CNY 2006 show, Civil Disorder arrived early at NBT, bearing guitars and fresh-faced enthusiasm. I really wanted to see them play that night, but all we ended up doing together was hang-out at the nearby restaurant exchanging CD-Rs and feeling pretty low due to the shock cancellation.
I first heard of Civil Disorder when I saw one of their comments on The Fridays’ MySpace page. Intrigued, I went to their page and listened to their two tunes on there. Spirit of the Night caught me instantly, reminding me of exciting new local young punk bands such as The Goodnite Goodies & Dirty Divider.
These bands share the same spirit of being themselves, rather than trying to emulate a certain current sound, trends or outlook. It’s not MTV-influenced, nor it is restricted by the current need to be “uniformed” such as being “fastcore”, “crust” or “grind” or “emo” or “post rock” or whatever everybody else is doing that sometimes ended up confining a band to a certain rigid structures.
They also have the talent to write confident tunes without the need to please anyone but themselves, one of the qualities which is sadly losing its grip in the local scene. The Sex Pistols used to say, “You either love us or hate us, we don’t care!”. Now, that’s the spirit I’m always looking out for in this so-called “Boleh-land”. But what we see nowadays are bands playing by the rules of public acceptance, peer pressure and market research!
Before making it look like that I’m praising these bands to the high heavens, everyone must keep in mind that these bands are brand new and not everything about each one of them is perfect and tight and all that. Hell, lyrically they all needs to brush up their English, grow up some more and read more books! Musically they need a solid 6-months, 12-hours a day practice! They also play basic three-chords punk rock; nothing fancy, nothing special.
What’s endearing is that all three understood what is the spirit of “rock’n’roll”, the importance of being reckless, adventurous and that to fuck-up is just another trait of being a human being. This is the difference between being tight, muso-ish, “musicianship-driven” but inevitable soulless bands and being a band that just go out there and lay out all their faults warts and all for everyone to see. I hope this will explain why I have this incurable aversion to very-polished bands. For me it’s just not real. That’s a cringe-factor!
However, to those who are not in agreement to what I said, Civil Disorder (especially the guitar-solos) may have you all cringing endlessly. It’s simpleton punk rock, very juvenile; but they have time on their side. After all, none of them are even past going to school just yet! So there’s immense hope for them and their ilk to solidify as the years pass by, hopefully without losing that reckless punk rawk edge lah!
Okay, both CD-Rs have nothing much to shout about apart from capturing a nice picture of a young band’s passion and spirit. The recording is crisp but the playing is rather unhinged.
The first CD-R, It’s A Warning features four songs, with typically generic punk rock titles such as A.N.A.R.C.H.Y., No Future and Prisoner of War. Musically it’s mid-tempo punk rock of the early 80s British sort, with catchy sing-along parts and all that comes with it. The drumming is ultra-sloppy but the singing is however confident and as raw as a 16-year old can be!
The two best songs here are Prisoner of War and No Future; both features great lilting, punching-air choruses and foot-stomping beats but Prisoner of War wins hands down with its skanking cod-reggae parts and boisterous “Have mercy!” shouts.
The other CD-R, Yeah Right Whatever, features my favourite, the song that compelled me to call them up to play Unclogged. It’s Spirit of the Night and it’s a raging groovy punk rawk ditty with hints at the recent garage rock craze (see The Hives). The first tune, I Can’t Stand This Anymore is rather unfortunate though. It’s the band’s feeble attempt at writing an indie-rock, emo love song and it’s terrible! The other two songs are both good; Simple Youth features the most competent guitar solo so far, while Tsunami Moname again hinted at the garage-rock’s jagged clean guitar parts.
All in, both CD-Rs are patchy but the band does show lots of promise. Hopefully they will practice a hell lot more, get a solid direction of where they are heading and lose the straight-jacket.
When the band was leaving the restaurant we were hanging out at, I gave them a CD-R featuring songs which I wanted to play as Unclogged goes through it’s intervals, a soundtrack of sorts when there’s nothing happening on stage. It features a selection of old punk, post-punk and proto-punk stuff which I treasured; right from The Stooges, Velvet Underground, Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, Television, Patti Smith to PIL, Gang of Four, Joy Division, Talking Heads, Devo, Nina Hagen, Echo & The Bunnymen etc. Hopefully the band would have a listen to these past masters and find some other things which they would like and maybe incorporate and grow with. Fingers crossed!