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Fashion Statement or Counterculture: “What’s Left?” July 2016, MRR #398

Maximum Rock Roll, Issue #398

What's Left?

I attended a “Faces of Death” party in San Diego between 1980 and 1982. I don’t remember the exact date as I was drinking heavily at the time, and some details are pretty much a blur from those days. “Faces of Death” was a film compilation of various explicit on-camera death scenes—half of them fake—which led to a movie series, and then a horror genre. I’d heard that Boyd Rice organized the party, not around a video showing but in honor of the suicide of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. The living room had a shrine set up, with black and red altar cloths and lit tapered black candles featuring a framed picture of Ian alongside one of Adolf Hitler. Boyd hadn’t yet transitioned into full-on racist fascism, so this was him being transgressive and oh-so-naughty. The soundtrack for the evening, besides Joy Division, included Throbbing Gristle, Boyd’s band Non…

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The Exquisites, HOME Album Review, 2016

REVIEW: The Exquisites latest release, “Home”


The Exquisites latest release, Home, finds them continuing down the same road they began on their debut; featuring rough around the edges punk that also knows how to slow things down and the hoarse but soulful vocals of Jason Clackley. This album finds the band a bit more comfortable with its sound than before, and Clackley opening up a bit more about his past than on the previous release.

This album finds Clackley’s lyrics being both reflective and featuring a sense of determination to move forward. Lyrics like this, for me personally, is the best way for a singer to write lyrics of that nature because it shows where they’ve been but also how they’ve grown and changed because of it. While there is certainly something to be said for albums that can absolutely devastate you emotionally or get you so pumped up on positivity you feel like you can take on the world, those albums are defaults for certain moods. The relatability of a lyricist/vocalist dealing with life as a whole, and doing so in a relatable manner, is one of the harder things for a songwriter to accomplish.

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