Year : 1970 to present day
Genre : Proto-Punk / Psychedelic
Label : Norton Records
Origin : United States
Official site : > - here - <
Image source : > - here - <
The Figures of Light formation - the now-duo had an initial onset with more members to its acumen before dissolving to "just" two elite level silence massacrers - have played their own variant of quasi-punk - proto-punk, as they call it - well before Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten had a chance to produce their first collective successful nervous breakdowns worth bursting out in nostalgia about a week later. (If you are under exploitation, the rules of time are rearranged.)
The FOL formation offers a considerable body of work, given that they are in the business since 1742 - no, not really, it is the year of 1970 that bears the burden of having to contain not less of an apocalyptic constellation than to give full value space-time to the ruthless planetary machinations of Figures of Light. To these men, music is "just" a tool, a metaphor to reveal a school of thought represented in consequent fashion since the beginning days of the project. It is not hard to rebel if the government won't fuck you up for it. But, if you read the Wikipedia page of Figures of Light, it turns out that they pulled off quite ballsy moves to express their radical discontent towards how television handled/portrayed the Vietnam war, for example, and ran amok while there were good chances to be put down like a rabid dog via the system. Antiestablishmentarianists for life AND beyond.
As I have researched for an image to include with this article, I have found a review of the overall FOL experience with the following quote included from a lady called Miriam : "you guys haven't improved in 35 years". Given that the quoted review offers a quite extensive and thorough look on the real life connotations and direct precursors of this full fledged studio effort, I will do the following : I will give you my personal percepts on the disc, on the music of FOL, while urging you to check out the review that I have been just telling you about. From that particular body of fine text, you will learn how the members delivered 20 songs in 27 takes in a studio session stretching over no more than 48 hours, while gaining insight of other related points of relevance, too. Read on to know more about the record, and definitely read this review, because it holds extensive information on the duo, information that is better linked than repeated.
I know that the name of the game officially is proto-punk, and I have zero problem with this genre definition, nor I wish to challenge it, as if I'd have been around when FOL already delivered proto-punk music from a position that is necessarily AND legitimately been occupied by their very nervous systems and souls by the dawning days of the project. So if they say they are proto-punk, then they ARE proto-punk, you got that??
In fact, it sounds quite precise! Check out the song "Don't call us, we'll call you", for example - a perfect example on how the original, polite variant of lounge-optimized beat music can go infectious and turn the modest mature lady next door into a ravenous fishnet cocain whore in 3 secs flat. The title and the message, the meaning is flawless, too : it obviously is a metaphor on how you failed legendarily on your latest job interview, how the interviewer considers you a misfit, and how she/he tells you this in the lingo of business diplomatics. "Don't call us, we'll call you" means : "please go and KINDLY fuck yourself".
The key, musical idea is very logical, powerful, and authentically - this is a rarity! - rebellious : FOL took what they knew of beat rock / psychedelic rock, and demanded that these sub-genres, their mere ingredients spill out absofuckinglutely EVERYTHING they contained, by shaking these harmonic structures around on rabid tempos, driven by extremely heated-, indeed punkesque - I don't know if punks would kill me for this word, probably, so there you go - artistic behavior. I would go as far as to claim true, legitimate historic significance to this band, because their music clearly showcases how beat, and psychedelic rock has no other chance than to turn into punk rock when their modest streamlines and polite demeanors get ruthlessly molested. Saloon rock always was punk music, but wore a mask. You played the same music, but secretly - haha! - planned to kill everyone on spot in the process. The tracks are pretty much picture perfect recollections, portrayals of these musically relevant unfoldings. Everything SEEMS to be simple, but the builds are more inventively researched than even the duo gives them credit for. Funnily enough, the band did not even realize that they learned to play a sub-genre of music Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious always wanted to hear.
Some songs on this album actually are very visceral, powerful, and melodically supra-infectious. "You are so innocent", for example. This is the song of the rabid man, who demands a field to express his capacity to be intimate on, who no longer gives a shit if he'll be beaten to death by the girl's family, -as a start - he will make a move on his immediate romantic interest anyway. Yet, this timeless narrative stance is laid out on a gritty, restless, simple, but very beautiful harmonic structure, that showcases a rather inventive and competent understanding of harmonies! It directly addresses the devil in you and commands it to move. No wonder the Church banned the "tritone", the flat 5th - the "Devil's Note" from music. Those mancunts! The same, outlined circumstance is observable in the context of the very next track, "Screwed", too. Very clever, efficient harmonic structures are showcased, and offered in the form of luscious sonic embellishments.
With a total program time of 37 minutes, the duo exhibits a keen understanding of the character of their visceral charm, and the songs always reign in an exploitative hurry : hit and run, biatch! "Black Cadillac", for example : everything worth taking away is taken, the song, the harmonies are ruthlessly addressed AND robbed, it is done, screw that, who gives a shit anymore, yeah, the song is good, but let's fuck it up anyway, and let's move on! Any other bands would congratulate for themselves, and spend 3 more minutes with the song - but not FOL, they never have time for fuckaroundary, and this, in fact, is the perennial message of punk.
"I got no time, man, I need to destroy myself ASAP!"
The band demands respect for not prolonging even their best ideas, as this very act of handling these ideas with the same punk "rigor", - oh, the irony! - preserves their viscera and demonic macabre. Talking about the the tritone - the Devil's Musical Note - the band ventures to the fields of Black Sabbathian doom metal, even. "World of Pain" is an example.
The disc is more dirty and reeks of more talent than you would anticipate, and witnessing your expectations being surpassed - by women, by cars, by music - always result in those zombie butterflies in your stomach. Figures of Light reigns in the most optimal and most authentic position to summon this dangerous, lethal limerence of passionate self-destruction, and this indeed is the disc dads don't want their daughters to hear. As such, it is an authentic and perennial variant on punk, even better : proto-punk! You want this.
You can listen to the whole album on a YouTube playlist - > here.
Official site : > -here - <
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