Volume 92, Issue 60

Thursday, January 14, 1999



Prince walks like an Egyptian

The punk rock funDementals

Traditional folklore legends gone awry

London band puts feather in their cap

The punk rock funDementals

Various Artists
The Demics Covers

The Demics were a punk band which formed in London, Ontario in 1977 and, as with most punk bands, sank into oblivion by the early '80s. Although they never earned national recognition like fellow Ontario counterparts The Forgotten Rebels or Teenage Head, they were nonetheless more than an interesting footnote in the history of London's punk scene.

The artists featured on this tribute are the forerunners of the recent underground music scene in London. Osterberg, the Corn Dogs, Ross Daily, Grayline and Nagen Vittles have all contributed their versions of songs in this tribute to The Demics. These tributes successfully manage to recreate the threat which The Demics posed at the height of the punk revolution.

A cover album by its nature does not allow much room for innovation. However, the songs the Demics played were true to the style of '77 punk – loud, snotty and reckless. This is wonderfully duplicated on the album as genuinely as possible with a more contemporary twist.

"Talk's Cheap" and "Juicy Lucy" are as snarling and mean as punk can be. The first of Osterberg's efforts, "I Wanna Know," is kicked off in true '77 style – three chords and clocking under two minutes. The variations on the original songs include folk-punk, electronica and an acoustic version of "New York City," the darling song of the Demics. Songs like "You Tell Me" and "I Won't See You No More" border on the mundane, but given the rest of the album's quality material, it's forgivable.

The most inventive track of the album is not a Demics song at all, but a techno/punk tribute to the glory of the punk era and its rejection of traditional values. "Life is a Crazy Passion" was written by a collaboration of different artists featured on the album and includes punk riff sampling and trip-hoppy beats, with an intense voice-over on the celebration of the punk era.

This foray into the experimental succeeds without being too self-indulgent and isn't about the Demics as much as it is what they represent. This album is a great insight into a piece of London's music history.


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Copyright The Gazette 1999