Let me posit an idea: The writer asks themselves the questions required for the process of a good album review. Actors do it, why can’t we? My first (and only, to be honest) question would be: what do you think has been lacking from the overall music scene? Aside from estrogen, queerness, and artists of colour, it’s the space for old-school DIY punk rock spirit that is most sorely vacuous.
London-based band Argonaut have that in spades. The card spades, because Wiki told me that one time when I thought it meant the tools you scoop up sand with at the beach. Influenced by bands that make me weak in the knees – Pixies, Sonic Youth, Le Tigre – Argonaut have absolutely nothing to prove when it comes to the art of do-it-yourself no wave art-anarchy.Their third album, Forever, was recorded live over a couple of days in Bally Studios in Tottenham Hale and hits the punk rock spots I sometimes forget still exist.
I remember hearing Dave Grohl talk about his recording process before the Foo Fighters. He’d record the song all the way through, then he’d have to record that tape on another tape to add the next track and so on, so forth. Always thought that was fucking cool.
Recording tracks live and in one piece is a challenge and fifty more, but in listening to tracks like Argonaut’s ‘Zero Said’, ‘Touch Electric’, and the Breeders-like ‘No Song’, you wouldn’t know it. I mean, just listening to the album (which I have been on loop for the last week, battling against the mainstream white-boy snoozy pop music coming from next door’s Sonos), I could hear Argonaut on a line-up with their influences. Or like in a quick cutscene from the (best) documentary (of all time), 1991: The Year Punk Broke. Like there’d be Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr. and Babes in Toyland, and then Argonaut. Yeah, I could see that.
Even cooler is the fact that despite the music landscape these days being so openly accessible to anyone with cash or an internet connection, the band are releasing the record as a limited edition of 100 CD copies. I love the fucking up of a corporate future. The limited release will also be available only from former Argonaut bassist, Paul Saiya’s, independent record store.
If there’s anything better in life than from the belly of the beast punk rock, I don’t even want to know about it. I am awash with the joys of a kid who worshipped Kim Gordon, Deal, and Kathleen Hanna, and because of Argonaut’s Forever, I’m reminded once more that punk will never die. Not so long as there are women around.
Now, how fucking cool is that?
Argonaut’s Forever is out now. Order it here.