Wednesday, March 3, 2010

House Burning Down


I know that I am in the minority of people that love Beefeater. I spent a lot of time in the late '80s and early '90s trying, to no avail, to convince people of their merits. So I am not going to do that here, I am just going to say what they mean to me, and add that you will hate this record. When I listen to this I am reminded of so many so-called revolutionary and innovative bands that followed clearly heard them and borrowed from them. Universal Order of Armageddon comes to mind, as well as Alice Donut, Victim's Family, and fellow DCers, Nation of Ulysses, Fugazi and Girls Against Boys. Beefeater were risk takers, completely oblivious or indifferent to trends or what was "punk." The took the peckerwood post-funk of bands like The Big Boys and The Minutemen, added the visceral aggression of Black Flag and The Bad Brains, and topped it off with the sharp introspective intellect of many of the DC bands at the time. The result was something not immediately palatable, something a bit more challenging, but ultimately rewarding and original. Few punks could play as well as these men, and even fewer would dare to create something so adventurous. Again, you will hate this and you will say to yourself "I remember when Cosmic Hearse was the best blog on the interwebs, now the guy posts bullshit that nobody likes, I'm going to head on over to that generic lazy blog and see if they leaked that new Burzum album."

31 comments:

Aylmer said...

Heh, I've always loved this record. Also Donut and V.F. two of the best bands of the '90s and two of the rippin'est live (I'm an A.T. whore). Funny, I've never encountered any hate for Beefeater.

Milla said...

AHHAHAHAHAHAHA!!
I just love the ending of this post.

Then again, I don't give a shit about Burzum, but I LOVE Girls Against Boys, so Beefeater is right up my street (and to me they have always looked like quite a handsome bunch of men, which never hurts).

sephim said...

I went to that blog and they redirected me here.

When I get some time, I have to come back and get a bunch of stuff - this included.

Anonymous said...

I personally have always loved Beefeater. They have so much passion and anger and they are one of the few punk bands to successfully utilize slap bass.

I also quite like Fidelity Jones

macumbista said...

Heh... the new Burzum is a testament to why some people should stick with playing Dungeons and Dragons and the guitar instead of playing around with politics...

Anonymous said...

Got to see them live twice, and they were a buncha freaks! Bad Brains meets Big Boys is close, but more dangerous.

Carnacki said...

I actually downloaded what I thought was the new Burzum off Soulseek but got burned, so I'm gonna check this out instead :-D

Shruggy Reps said...

Thomas, brilliant lyricist; Dug E. Bird, wacko thunder slapper; Fred is just nuts. I was listening to Beefeater a lot during the Bush years. Reagonomics off of their first EP is a ruler. + Need a Job. Who else had the stones to cover Manic Depression? The punk gurus of DC Metroland. The Mahalia Jackson of punk.

catatonic_disassembly said...

i like it better when you post non-black metal stuff...

somethingleafy said...

Maybe it's because I'm from Germany, but: Beefeater-always loved them and still do. Fidelity Jones as well, played that 7" to death :-).

raul_dook said...

i have heard of this band but i haven't had the chance to listen, i'm taking this opportunity to do so. thanks.
cheers
-tony

matt said...

i bought everything on dischord in the 80's. i always WANTED to like this band but for some reason it never clicked with me. i sold the lp fairly recently actually. i liked those fidelity jones records too but sold those years ago. i wonder how they sound now?

phinehas.roy said...

No way! I thought I was the only one that liked Beefeater! In 1991 this ruled my world. I heard that Fred legally changed his name to "Freak". Let's hope that's true.

matt b said...

Wow, poor old burzum's gettin' ragged on. Just to add a bit of balance i'll add that i dig burzum. it's no ildjarn but el counto is a funny guy. yeah, yeah, i know he spouts some dubious phrases, but i don't give a shit.

i'll check out this beefeater see how it goes. i'll listen to anything for shits and giggles. the write up sounds interesting, so fuck it, why not.

oh yeah, i got the new burzum pre-ordered. no leaked shit for me. oh no.

Aesop said...

I like the new Burzum album. My comment was more a swipe at the 100 trite blogs that posted that album on the same day without so much as a write up. A whole bunch of folks being special and different in the exact same manner.

macumbista said...

Hey Aesop... I dig Burzum too, no worries. I also like your BM posts, and most of all I like that you actually think about the stuff you post and write funny shit too. I might download one out of twenty releases, but I read every damned post. Keep it up!

Mike Desert said...

so, did you just post the second half of the 2-LPs-on-one-CD release?
I liked Beefeater, but they weren't one of my faves. I liked 'em better than Circus Lupis and the like.

Aesop said...

Yes I did, Mike. This is the great Discord reissue of both albums. "PLays for Lovers" is great, but "House.." is better.

KombatRock! said...

Shit, it looks like people like these records more than you thought. I dug em cuz they were weird and not just angry white kids like most of the other Dischord releases of the time.

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Narthex said...

It might be because I tend to not like most punk, but I think this album is pretty rad so far. As always, impeccable taste.

jabladav said...

Thanks for this post. I honestly wasn't turned onto these guys back in the day. These guys have chops, that is for sure. My .02 on the Burzum, I want to have the buying/listening experience of not know what the fuck this is going to sound like. I'm kinda like Ralphie in a "Christmas Story" checking the mailbox every fucking day waiting for "Belus" to show up.

TMM said...

Song for Lucky is very original

Aylmer said...

Shruggy Reps: "Who else had the stones to cover Manic Depression?" NoMeansNo, that's who. Also, my two cents about Victims Family, I think Ralph Spight was much more influenced by the Tar Babies than these guys.

robert wood said...

I'm a big fan of all the Revolution Summer era material (although I don't remember how closely Beefeater was linked to that stuff.) It's a great refutation to the presentation that American Hardcore made about Punk and Hardcore.

Lo-Res Viscera said...

A stoney record if there ever was one. Always loved it, totally unique. Fred is a fuckin' beast.

NO BEAST SO FIERCE said...

Burzum and Beefeater had a lil blog baby and that lil blog baby became a daring lil blog. That daring lil blog baby....Cosmic Hearse.
OK,yes, Its 3 AM, my Bar is empty and i'm wasted. Comment random shit I will damn it!

Anonymous said...

I especially love that first song on "house burning down" but they in general were great.. As far as fidelity jones, maybe I'm the only one who thinks this but on the 7" I hear some voivod in the guitar playing, not so much on the 12" but I really hear some voivod on that 7".

fredwasright said...

love this record, especially that version of Manic Depression

Anonymous said...

Great post, but I feel I should add a couple of notes about the original release of House Burning Down. The Song "Wars In Space" was not on the album, and neither was "Blind Lead the Blind." Missing from this download is the first track on side 2, titled "Sinking Me."

Having said that, I'd just like to say thanks for giving props to one of DC's finest. I know how difficult it is to do that for you SF folks unless the band in question is Void.

Anonymous said...

Love Beefeater! They had some funny shit, too. i thought this was a really interesting band... so many of the hardcore purists hated them, as was the case with so many bands that tried to break out of the expressively restrictive sounds that the old hardcore scene permeated with. many of my friends back then would shout 'sellout' the second any hardcore band attempted anything different... and they all attempted something different. I remember a review of Black Flag's MY WAR album in Flipside or Maximum RnR saying that it sounded like Black Flag imitating Iron Maiden attempting an impression of Black Flag! Although kind of funny- totally and arbitrarily inaccurate! And god forbid when a hardcore band started picking up some metallic riffage during the whole crossover period for a lot of bands who 'went metal'! lol. Not that Beefeater was ever typical hardcore, but that was the attitude of the time, and when I got my 1st Beefeater album! I'm with you on that earlier Bad Religion post of Into The Unknown, as well! Although, unlike you, I DID like Bad Religion up through No Control- I still feel Into The Unknown showed a desire from the band to explore territory musically that the attitude of the fans kinda squashed! As a young kid in elementary school, the freedom and individuality of 'punk' bands made me very excited; as a teen hardcore fueled my anger and provided an outlet for my frustration, but by my late teens people had already gotten to where 'this is punk, that is not. these guys are sellouts, because their album has somewhat slower songs and they're growing their hair' and this has allways bugged me. It's what happens when something artistic happens and people dig it and a 'movement' becomes another 'scene'. Right now, so many people I know STILL do it. Like Crusty's going well it's punk to eat vegan, and ride a bike, but other shit isn't. Bands I loved as a kid would never be accepted by these folks nowadays. Anyway, sorry for the rant- i ate a bunch of percocet and have a tendency to get excessively 'typey' under these conditions!- I love this Beefeater record, and always have!

-Josh