Artist: The Spits
Title: Pain 7"
Label: Slovenly Recordings
Release date: Late 2009
The Spits did more in 2009 than put out one of the year's best long-players. They also put out a 7" dedicated to alleged kiddie fiddler Roman Pulanski with three amazing originals and a cover song lifted from CHiPS.
The cover song, "I Hate Pain" by Pain, is a new one to me. It is best known as the song performed by the generic, angry punk band in the "battle of the bands" episode of CHiPS I just forced myself to watch on YouTube. The best part, aside from Eric Estrada's singing, was when they show this punk girl with a Jack Grisham haircut. Now THAT should be a fad and I will do whatever I can to encourage girls to cop the next governor of California's impeccable style circa 1982.
Back on topic, this song is pretty damn awesome. While most bands turn to Killed By Death compilations when they want to cover obscure songs, The Spits looked to a shitty and slightly homoerotic (says the guy who wrote the previous paragraph) television show for inspiration. In the process, they took a paint-by-numbers punk tune and made it a little more dangerous and a lot more weird.
From there we have a middle finger raised to all authority figures in "Beat You Up", an honest though satirical take on American imperialism in "Army Life" (or, as the record's label calls it, "Army Bound"), and yet another eye to eye with the Apocalypse Spits number in "Planet Failure".
All four songs are awesome, but "Army Life" gets the nod as the best. It's one of the best Spits songs to date, and they've been releasing good ones for almost a decade. It's also the kind of classic punk track that makes you wonder if you should dance and laugh or get off your ass and try to fix this wretched world.
"Marching through the jungles, the desert, and the ice. I probably won't come home, I love the army life!" Sing that to the next old-timer who tells you punk rock is all safe and nice now.