envoyé! translated on the inner sleeve of the 12″ as “fuck off and die”
allright – the video has aged and was low budget at the time already – but the music let my jaw drop. the first record of a band which then coninued to amaze and delight me for now over 20 years.
name dropped as an influence from many fellow musicians, even some big names, the young gods share the fate of many bands introducing something new into rock: they stayed unique. it is in my eyes no coincidence that franz treichler stated in a couple of interviews that he is less influenced by a certain style of music an artist plays, but by the attitude of the musicians towards their art.
there were quite some bands in the 1980s trying new ways out to be rock bands withoput being rock bands – i am thinking of d.a.f., front 242, and wiseblood. all these bands worked with new technology, had unusal set-ups, were musically, well, rather on the harder side and have for me rather unique ways of dealing with – masculinity. far fetched? not necessarly, i believe. rock always had to do something with cock, with young angry and supposedly potent men. whereas wiseblood took this masculinity and just turned the screw not only once, but several times to get to a kind of nightmarish vision of hypermasculinty, d.a.f. explicitly worked with hypermasculinity differently: being very controversial for their use of the german language, seen as fascistic, it has been less remarked upon the explicit use of homoeroticism. the same is true of front 242: maybe less explicit, but having seen them performing a song like headhunter live i just think it is as well a very homosexual homoeroticism – coupled (as in the case with d.a.f, and of course that other band that made real big waves at the time: laibach) with a disrespectful play with ideologies, more precise: their signifiers. and they have stayed unique and in a certain way out of reach – even for themselves. gabi delgado (one half of d.a.f.) stated in an interview that it is interesting that other bands copied their very slogan-like use of the german language, but never copied the homoerticism. and the disrespect towards ideology just does not account to too much these days – what with the cold war (hey, that is not that long ago – even if it feels like) very much over and ideologies as seemingly so last century (but with me wondering if a record like the the‘s mind bomb could be made today). so the music these bands made was unique through their picking up their times perfectly – because of a unique ideological and musical context. and also because they were early adopters of new technologies and trying to enlargen a format (rock) through the use of these technologies.
and where are the young gods in this picture? standing a little bit apart: ideology was never such a topic – and they did not play masculinity in a certain way they just…used it by converting it. they made cock-rock without the cock. we all know thanks to jimmy sommerville that the guitar is the cock of rock – the young gods use a lot of guitars, very hard guitars – but coming out of a sampler. and through the use of this technology they actually managed to get rid of all the connotations of the guitar, of all this baggage and just had: the sound. the young gods were never about posing in the sense of a classic rock act: the “posing”, the live staging of their music as well as the fully designed visual appearance of their records follows one goal: maximum impact of the music. that is why it is important to have a sampler instead of a guitar: no ego, just sound. and seeing them live is just that: maximum impact through sound. yep, for me its that easy – and that is why a lot of people copied their aesthetic, their sound – but it would have been more interesting to learn from their attitude towards music.
so – enough of my musings. there will be anyway more about them in following posts – after all they belong to a small group of my personal musical gods and godesses. so it is time for some music. and we go all the way back to the early years, to a live recording from 1987 – the time of their first LP. yep, it is a bootleg recording, taped from radio. it includes the main show and two encores and you can get it here.
if you would like to explore their early records, head over to robert poland – he has the first record up (in the cd version, so you get also the two 12″s envoyé and did you miss me). and say thank you!
and now enjoy the young gods live and be assured: some more about these gods is coming….