03 Sep 2021
To mark our 20th playlist, guitar player Peter gave us a brilliant list of ten bands that are THE influences for the band. And in the playlist you will find three songs for each band. But let’s hear which bands form the Duchamp-sound!
1. Lifetime Very clear and undeniable: Lifetime from New Jersey were particularly style-defining for Duchamp’s band sound. With Jersey’s Best Dancers, the band already submitted the perfect HC/Punk album in 1997. An album that consists almost exclusively of hits (”Turnpike Gates”, “The Boy’s no Good”, “Francie Nolan”, etc.) but never drifts into triviality and can also thrash forward well (”Bringin It Backwards”!). Dan Yemin’s riffs change moods almost by the second and move between highly melodic, anthemic, high-speed and melancholic. Add to that Ari Katz’s snotty vocals with perfect lines like “But you’re miserable and I’m useless. Always making up excuses I made you cry too many times” invalidates every HC-mack cliché.
2. Kid Dynamite Just one very good band was obviously not enough for Dan Yemin. His “second band” Kid Dynamite has a similar density of hits, but the sound is much more intricate, old-school and somewhat less melodic than Lifetime. At first listen, you hardly notice how meticulously laid out and controlled Yemin’s hard riffs are. The whole thing is carried by singer Jason Shevchuk, who fires off perfect sing-a-longs (e.g. ”Cheap Shot Youth Anthem”) and thus imposes an aggressive-raw but at the same time always loosely charming hit-ness on the songs. Additional personal opinion: Far too little attention is paid to the unbelievably cool drummer Dave Wagenschutz.
3. Dillinger Four Embarrassing but true: For some reason, I [Peter] have never listened to Dillinger Four. I guess because of their name proximity to Dillinger Escape Plan – a band I totally do not give a shit about. Fortunately, Ingo pointed out the brilliant Situationst Comedy record to me in the studio and actually forced me to listen to it again (with the phone pushed into the corner). Recommended listening: the opener ”Noble Stabbings”!!
4. Rest Easy Rest Easy are the first insider tip on this list. The band is comparatively new (2019) and consists of former musicians from Shook Ones, Dead End Drive-In and Daggermouth. Our bassist Kruse brought the band to our attention almost a year ago and commented on their hit ”Bad Idea” with: “Here, they do sound like us”. And indeed, Rest Easy make no secret of being huge Kid Dynamite fans.
5. Saves the Day Not all Duchamp-ies feel love for Saves the Day. Some find the band too poppy, others just don’t care. So I don’t speak for the whole band when I say that the first two records (Can’t Slow Down, Through Being Cool) represent nothing less than the perfection of a coming-of-age old-school punk sound. The songs are reminiscent not only lyrically but also musically of late 1970s Power-Pop (Big Star!) - but all at four times the speed. And the lyric line “But I’m having a bad week. And I miss my mom” was already an effective poser provocation back then.
6. Rancid Here at Camp Duchamp everybody agrees that Rancid’s And Out Come The Wolves is the Punk record of the 90s. For me it was the first Punk record I ever listened to. On the one hand it offers indestructable hits (for example ”Ruby Soho”, “Time Bomb”), which are staged with an unbelievable coolness. On the other hand the record is also off the rails and does not follow conventional song structures like a slave, or rather it refrains from them whenever fitting (”Daly City Train”). At the same time, the band elegantly incorporates an old-school Dub sound into their soundscape, that has nothing to do with the lackluster Ska-Punk that a lot of their contemporaries played.
7. CIV I really stumbled across CIV via a special on VIVA [a former German music channel] that was hosted by Ray Cappo and Porcell (from Shelter). Actually, these two hours shaped my musical tastes strongly: It featured not only several older Revelation bands, like Into Another, Chain of Strength and Shades Apart, but also more off-the-path stuff like Lush or Devo. The highlight for me were surely CIV with their ingenious talk-show-video for ”Can’t Wait One Minute More”. The brilliant idea to feature the guest singer – here Lou Koller from Sick Of It All – on a small screen was the original which we “borrowed” for our ”Defiance”-video.
8. Avail Stepping a bit out of line on this list are surely Avail from Richmond, Virginia. Not really timewise, but stylistically: their Southern heritage and socialisation with Southern Rock and American/Alt-Country are easily noticeable with this band. The musical abrasive-ness of Hardcore, but one with extremely offensively displayed cordiality, a good Punk ethos, fun, euphoria, friendship and a DIY-ethic – all of that running contrary to the cliches of East coast tough guys: Avail were radiating all of it. Dixie, 4AM Friday and the absolut opus magnum Over The James are three records that simply seem to burst with hits and singalongs. Additionally, Tim Barry, Cheerleader (!!) Beau Beau and the rest of the bunch are simply the nicest, most open and friendly touring partners that one can wish for. ”Poor. Ugly. Happy.” - that says it all. Duchamp love Avail.
9. Dag Nasty One of these bands that only posthumously receive the applause the deserve for what they have been doing all the time – open-heart-surgeries but not with the really blunt knife. Because while many (let’s ‘call’ them Hardcore-)bands came across rather bully-ish and arrogant, Dag Nasty disrupted the scene with a mix of longing, melancholy, despair and a fighting spirit. The band founded by Brian Baker loved being caught between the stools, and that might be the reason why friends of Hardcore and Punkers and Emo-kids all alike could agree on the band. For us Duchampies (is that really a term?), especially Can I Say and Four On The Floor are the ultimate inspiration and referential records of the band, because surely Dave Smalley’s vocals display that kind of tension best, which is also at the heart of Duchamp. How great it was, to be able to persuade Smally to deliver the guest vocals on our single ”Teeth Gone Missing”…man, I could cry for joy. Again.
10. Constant Elevation And this is the second Duchamp-insider suggestion, again presented by our very own Head of A&R Kruse: Constant Elevation are a new Revelation supergroup, with Sammy Siegler of Youth Of Today/CIV and Vinnie Caruana of The Movielife. The band plays NYHC of the late 80s era and they take very good care of getting the sound across as authentic as possible, which means dynamically staged riffs which spark the caveman in you but which never hop along boringly. Suggested listening: ”Fuck Runnin”!