L7 – Smell The Magic / Propagandhi – How To Clean Everything [TDK F60]

January 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Click on thumbnails to enlarge.

Note: since we all know what happend to Megaupload, the previous uploads are missing and for the time being cassettes will be available only in streaming version. Sorry for the inconvenience! I’ll sort it out soon..

This is a double feature cassette that is propably consumed by the hundreds of time I listened to it. Here are two of my favourite bands from the 90ies: the ass-kicking, tampon-shoving, definetely pro-feminist  riot grrrls L7 on Side A plus the pro-feminist, animal-friendly, anti-fascist, gay-positive boys from Manitoba (CA) Propagandhi on Side B. Talk about being angry & pissed.

I came to know of  L7, as many kids did, thanks to their huge hit Pretend We’re Dead: twenty years later that song still kicks ass by the way. What I immediately liked was their thick heavy fat sound, a perfect match with their flippant middle-finger attitude. L7 weren’t pretty, sexy or delicate girls: they were heavy, rude and direct, but they were feminine nonetheless and didn’t pretend to be boys. I found this incredibly cool and, yeah I found L7 to be quite sexy, in a way.

Fun fact: on their The Beauty Process: Triple Platinum album there’s a song entitled Lorenza, Giada, Alessandra. These are the names of three Italian hardcore L7 fans who came to know them and became friends with the band during the Hungry For Stink tour. L7 were so kind to dedicate a song to them. True story: I knew the girls! I can only imagine how they felt the first time they read the tracklist to the album. Ain’t this a wonderful little story?

How To Clean Everything is Propagandhi’s first album and when it came out I immediately fell in love with it. The lyrics were so smart, angry and funny, and the music was fresh, powerful and original. That said, listening to this record now, you can tell the band was quite young at the time and it can’t but sound a bit naive. For instance in certain occasions they ended up finding themselves entrapped into some kind of catch-22 situations. Everybody loved Ska Sucks, as it was a funny little ska-core song, but as it was intended to be “against” stupid ska songs, it backfired and the band started hating it quite soon. The same more or less applies to Haillie Sellasse, Up Your Ass: a reggae song against rastafarianism and religions in general. The lyrics and message of the song, conveyed once again through the code it’s supposed to be against (you know, like writing a book to express the idea that books suck) though witty are a bit confused and superficial. That and the spelling mistake in the title. Still I can’t do anything but love this record: at the time I didn’t find it naive at all, it was just perfect the way it was, and still is nowadays even with the inevitable hindsight that comes with age. I found out that I’m not the only one who has the same opinion. Here’s what vocalist Chris Hannah said about How To Clean Everything in a 2009 interview:
I dig it. We still play songs from that record. When I hear them and I play them, the message still resonates with me and I can see the 20 year old Chris writing those songs. It’s still fun, I still get a kick out of it. When we play them these days, they seem seamless in the set, with the new songs. There’s a bit of a difference in terms of the depth and dimension, but they’re still fun to play.
I just don’t like when I hear that record, like when I hear that actual record, that recording. That moment in time. I’m just like, “Jesus Christ, turn that fucking thing off”. But I don’t regret it. I’m not trying to hide that record from people. I just can’t lie to people and tell them we’re going to make another How to Clean Everything.

Stream Side-A on MixCloud/Stream Side-B on MixCloud

Originally recorded on a TDK F60 cassette.
Noise, cracks and hissing are intentionally left untouched.

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