When you've been around as long as I have, it gets hard sometime to find the words to describe music with the same enthusiasm I had in my teen years and early twenties. I was discovering the underground back then. My friends and I would make pilgrimages to NYC's CBGBs and the Mudd Club to see bands that would eventually make history. It was easy to find the inspiration to immortalize what I was witnessing.
As a mature listener, I find myself all too often referencing the so called glory days, and inevitably, making comparisons to artists long ago that in their time were symbolic of the anarchy that prevailed over what established labels couldn't keep up with.
With today's formulaic hit makers back in control, this so called underground is as important a factor as ever in making sure that a primordial creativeness can flourish within the confined manufactured product that is today's money makers.
Understanding all of this, you may be able to relate to my reaction upon hearing the latest recording by Brooklyn's Le Rug from their latest release Press Start (The Collection), set to release June 17th on Fleeting Youth Records. Le Rug is a genuine throwback to the unbridled passion that came to be known as the brash punk movement coming out of NYC in the mid to late seventies. The brain child of Singer/Guitarist Ray Weiss, Le Rug is his musical vision facilitated by a collaborative of friends whose various instruments contribute to a unique sounding twist to the post punk genre. Above it all Weiss's vocals twist and turn over a solid bank of guitars, melodic bass and relentless drumming.
Press Start (The Collection) features 5 magnetic and pulsing post-punk releases(32 tracks overall)-- 3 albums from when Le Rug was more active years ago (Sex Reduction Flower, Party Rock, Sticky Buns EP) and 2 new recent EPs released earlier this year (Dead In A Hole EP, Cut Off Your Dick And Turn Into Slime). The older material is more of the "deep cuts" variety in which the records were short EPs or singles that never saw an official release.
After 10 years, 20+ members, relentless gigging, 9 releases, and work with other bands, Le Rug continues to be the most constant and consistent source of output for Weiss. Matching the frenetic and pulsing energy of their touted live shows, the band's musical output is always compelling. Ray plays and performs like he's undergoing an exorcism, and given the number of nasty things that has filtered through his brain over the years, he probably is.
The first glimpse into this amazing collection of songs is Harold Camping from the A-side and Dead In A Hole from the B-side. Harold Camping, with it's slinky bass line and driving guitars that wind around Weiss' infectious shrieks, is Le Rug at their best: unbridled, pulsing post-punk with a perfect blend of quirky instrumentation and catchy vocals. Dead In A Hole is a brand new Le Rug track about not getting high that morphs from shimmering and pensive to propulsive and angry at the drop of the hat. Both songs show Le Rug's intensity and imagination, and proves Press Start is a must have