Chimpomatic

Jeffrey Lewis

12 Crass Songs

It’s been a good week for record label PR and a bad one for Chimp research, following from Muxloe’s Young Marble Giants admission, I had penned the following review based upon the first few listens of Jeffrey Lewis12 Crass Songs:

Jeffrey Lewis began life as a beatnik, or at least his parents were, a lifestyle choice that deemed comic books and blues records more suitable entertainment than that old Hippy’s foe: Television. Lewis took that early absence in his life personally it seems, as TV is one of several targets in the sights of his nasally-voiced shotgun on new album 12 Crass Songs

Before becoming a musician and a member of New York’s anti-folk movement (the power and anger of punk via acoustic guitar) Lewis drew (aha) on his upbringing to become an underground comic book artist. The sparse/direct style of comic books runs through 12 Crass Songs; it’s a wall-to-wall bunch of blunt, angry self-effacement - delivered like a crude black and white sketch through minimal music and Lewis’ talking/singing.

12 Crass Songs doesn’t let up. Nothing is spared as various tones of grey are added to the bleak portrait of the western world today. The human race is the first in the firing line on End Result “I’m part of the race that kills for possessions, part of the race that’s wiping itself out” On I Ain’t Thick, Lewis has his daggers drawn for that old villain 'The Man' who uses TV/Sarah Jessica Parker, consumerism and even history books, to keep the masses downtrodden, but Lewis ain’t having that y’all.

Systematic Death plays out like a comic book story, etching a sketch of Mr and Mrs Average America doomed to a life of misery, oppression and downright idiocy under the SYSTEM SYSTEM SYSTEM!

If he’s pissed at Sarah Jessica Parker, then imagine the ire Lewis reserves for Bush (I bet even Sarah Jessica Parker is pissed at him) and Mr. President’s policies, particularly his idea of defence, come under the penlike scalpel of Lewis. Even punk itself isn’t safe. Punk is Dead laments that the movement that once inspired Lewis and his contempories sold itself out “Punk is Dead. Punk is Dead. Just another cheap product for the consumer’s head”.

I would disagree however, what is punk other than getting a personal message out there by the most direct means possible (or is that DHL? (Corporate Fascists)). It’s easy to roll the eyes at another New York artist bitching about conspiracies and the like, but that’s exactly the fuel that feeds 12 Crass Songs. The world in 2007 is a mixed-up place of complacency and terror, artists that stick their head out, stare you in the eyes and point that out should be saluted. However, it surely wouldn’t detract from the message to add a splash of colour now and again, if only musically….

Then, like a tardy Colombo, I discovered that I had overlooked a vital piece of evidence; 12 Crass Songs is exactly that; 12 cover versions from late 70s/Early 80s English Anarchists Crass.  It’s depressing to think that 30 year old messages of protest and opposition still ring true and clear today, and strangely all of my thoughts were still valid - even though I refuse to believe that Sarah Jessica Parker was a key instrument in Thatcher’s oppression of Britain’s working classes.


Links

Official Site
MySpace
Rough Trade

Tags

#chimpovich
#Music

3rd Sep 2007 - Tumblr

2.5

News

Reviews

Articles

Surveillance

The Light Between Oceans

Long, but moving and stylishly directed period drama. Fantastic cinematography.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

15th Jan 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Search

Logan

Grown-up superhero flick. Handled far better than most, but ridiculously violent.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

6th Jan 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

By the Sea

Slated by the critics, this is a stylish, slight, small movie - with two massive stars in it.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

6th Jan 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

Kong

Skull Island

Fun, original take on an otherwise ageing property. Apocalypse Now meets Watchmen.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

5th Jan 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

The Ones Below

Clunky Brit thriller that telegraphs every one of its sub-Hitchcockian twists, despite the decent premise.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

3rd Jan 2018

Read more 2 star reviews

Guardians of the Galaxy

Vol 2

Stylish, fast-paced, amusing antidote to the endless stream of generic superhero movies.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Dec 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

La La Land

Disappointingly slight award winner, that doesn’t find its stride until 10 minutes from the end.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Dec 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Bright

Left-field genre mash-up that pitches itself just right. Solid action, good humour. Thoroughly enjoyable.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Dec 2017

Read more 4 star reviews

I, Daniel Blake

Bleak, real-time journey through the realities of living on benefits.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Dec 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

Star Wars

The Last Jedi

Shambolic sequel that squanders the promising set up from JJ, plus 40 year… https://t.co/SdXpv8B5hj.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

21st Dec 2017

Read more star reviews

ET

The Extra Terrestial

Kids on BMXs sticking it to the man. What could be better.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

19th Dec 2017

Read more 5 star reviews

Life

Lifeless sci-fi horror. Gravity meets Piranha.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

12th Dec 2017

Read more 2 star reviews

William Eggleston in the Real World

Disappointingly flat and uninsightful documentary from Michael Almerayda.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

5th Dec 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Lucky Logan

Amiable, zero jeopardy comedy from Soderbergh. Slightly unsure what it’s trying to be.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

2nd Dec 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

20th Century Women

Another thoughtful biographical effort from Mike Mills. Stylish but a little long and sprawling.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Nov 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Assassin’s Creed

Stylish, but utterly nonsensical drivel. Knowing anything about the game might vaguely help.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Nov 2017

Read more 2 star reviews

The Girl on the Train

Bland, predictable potboiler that could have been written, directed and acted by a computer.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

18th Nov 2017

Read more 2 star reviews

Lion

Stylish, touching movie. Nicely acted if a little slow.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

12th Nov 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

6 Days

Historical engaging, but languidly edited thriller surrounding the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

5th Nov 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

Moonlight

Intense, mournful coming-of-age drama. Very stylish and operatic. Terrence Mallick via John Singleton.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

21st Oct 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Intricately plotted, but seamlessly crafted into a lighthearted modern classic.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

20th Oct 2017

Read more 5 star reviews

T2 Trainspotting

Belated sequel that remixes the original with some success, but the nostalgia runs a little thin.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

15th Oct 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

The Accountant

A Beautiful Mind meets the A-Team. Convoluted actioner that doesn’t transcend its premise.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

11th Oct 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Sully

Solid, uplifting biopic. Well structured with moments of real tension despite the inevitable ending. And 91m.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

11th Oct 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Bladerunner 2049

Good visuals, nice music, flabby storytelling and a confusing plot. A worthy sequel.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

6th Oct 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Finding Dory

Convoluted, charmless sequel. A rare misfire from Pixar.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

17th Sep 2017

Read more 2 star reviews

American Honey

Andrea Arnold transplants her class observations to the US. Unforgivably long, if beautifully shot.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

17th Sep 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Ordinary World

Billie Joe Armstrong plays a former star dealing with 40. Good concept, rendered as flat as possible.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

16th Sep 2017

Read more 2 star reviews

Passengers

Woefully inept, on-the-nose sci-fi romance. A reasonable concept executed in the worst way possible.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

10th Sep 2017

Read more 1.5 star reviews

Deepwater Horizon

Nicely directed, but a true story often doesn’t make for a well shaped film.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

31st Aug 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

The Box

Over-complicated, over-stylised mess from a director who clearly fluked his debut.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

30th Aug 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

The Lorax

Overlooked Dr. Suess adaptation from the Minions guys. Charming, but lacking a stand out character.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

30th Aug 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

The Infiltrator

Utterly standard undercover cop gets in too deep movie.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

29th Aug 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Arrival

Stylish modern sci-fi with a clever structure, but it's still a film about subtitled aliens.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Aug 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

The Lobster

Clever, quirky, black comedy parable that runs out of steam.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

23rd Aug 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

Dunkirk

Despite the good press, it's another shapeless, bloated one-dimensional rough cut from Christopher Nolan.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

17th Aug 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Doctor Strange

Ambitious CGI can’t save this bland comic book entry. Cumberbatch’s accent strikes the death blow.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

17th Aug 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

To The Bone

Unchallenging drama investigating life with eating disorders. Occasional Keanu Reeves.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

12th Aug 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Moana

Flawless new-generation animation from Disney. Action, heart, comedy and very catchy songs.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

6th Aug 2017

Read more 4 star reviews

Nocturnal Animals

Intense, terrifying, riveting thriller from Tom Ford. Great performances and assured direction.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

22nd Jul 2017

Read more 4 star reviews

The Girl With All The Gifts

Reasonable zombie drama. More rewarding than Walking Dead, but still a bit derivative.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

14th Jul 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

Captive

Intense, borderline arthouse Canadian kidnap drama from Atom Egoyan. Ryan Reynolds impresses.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

8th Jul 2017

Read more 4 star reviews

Cake

Self-important, slightly contrived mainstream indie with the one with the good hair from Friends.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

8th Jul 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

Song to Song

More clichéd Terrence Malick. Amazing cinematography. Meandering improv. Great real-world settings.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

6th Jul 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

Threads

Brutal 80s TV movie, imagining nuclear winter. Age has blended the stock footage to horrifying perfection.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

3rd Jul 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

The Intern

Surprisingly charming, sentimental, old style movie with no need for an antagonist. Plus, solid DeNiro.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

1st Jul 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Jack Reacher

Never Go Back

Serviceable action sequel that ticks a lot of boxes without thinking outside of any.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Jun 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

Sing

Totally predictable, thoroughly inspiring animated sing-a-long for the X-Factor generation.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Jun 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Bad Moms

B-list, mis-cast, low-ball girl gang comedy. Weak.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

19th Jun 2017

Read more 1.5 star reviews

War Machine

Catastrophically miscast black comedy that fails at every turn. Big let down from star and director.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

11th Jun 2017

Read more 2 star reviews