KFJC 89.7FM
Album Review

Rondos – “Destroy The Entertainment” – [King Kong Records]

Thurston Hunger   6/1/2011   12-inch, A Library

Double-Dutch 12″ blast from punk’s past. KFJC’s connection to Rondos
till now was limited to their great cut “A Black & White Statement” which
turns up in two incarnations here. This release is basically the
1980 “Red Attack” album (sides 3 and 4) plus a series of early 7″‘s
(side 1) and a live set (side 2). Side 4 also ends with John Peel airing
Rondo’s “Russians are Coming” sounding like it was taken off a jammed
satellite. The very first track, “King Kong’s Penis” sounds like it
was recorded in King Kong’s taint, but the sonic quality clears up
after that (although the live set has a blurry dank feeling which some
will get high on for its lower fidelity.) This band made a great punk racket
and published a Raket of another sort, a zine. This release includes a
zine-style pamphlet tracing their history, near squatting in Huize Schoonderloo
this large crazed shared housing for the band and many more. The politics
do more than lean left, and reading the notes, it seems like they almost
sort of painted themselves right red in the communist corner. Nowadaze they
see it as more of a DIY committment. But “Anarchy” was surely more than a
song with a catchy chorus for them. Plenty of energetic anger for armies,
wars, rich city boys, disco, chinese food, Philips, cops, laboratory animals
(well those who experiment on them) and even the “rastaman” merits some
scorn. Dope as the sacrament for the reggae religious opiate of the
masses? Who knows, this is the wandercrust of youth. For all their healthy
anti-military positions, it is interesting how some tracks feed on a sort
of martial beat. The guitar work is often brittle and clanky, just great.
Not far off their compatriots and contemporaries, the Ex. Sadly a tad less
well known and not quite matching the Ex’s longetivity.
It is interesting to hear the fumbling fret work early on (and perhaps
intentional, especially on anthem covers) give way to quite catchy,
itchy infectious work later. Any time the bass steps out in front,
the songs really drive. Many but not all of the tracks contain language,
and all are sung in a painstaking and precise English. Clipped in the
best sense, to sharpen the attack. Some oi work, but much more than any
one style, quite the potent art punk project now even 30 years down the
road. Tracks like “wanna go home”, “Hey gigolo”, “City of Fear”, “A Black
& White Statement”, “Run for Fun”, “Progress”, “Countdown/Twist” have
that kind of authentic urgency that rings true across the decades and
the sides of records and political parties.

-Thurston Hunger

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