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ACTIVE INGREDIENTS «Bringing down the big boys» 7"EP (Fat-Man Records, USA, 1985)

Remember the days when slagging off the Rock business still seemed to make sense? When there magically shone a dividing line between “them” and “us”? That’s how I got to know of MTV; it wasn’t aired in Europe until I don’t know when, but songs like “I hate MTV” from ACTIVE INGREDIENTS or “Get off the air” by the DEAD KENNEDYS (who of course were filmed for MTV in 1984) spread word about this new form of mass-compatible entertainment simultanously with the new media conquering the world. Nowadays, I still don’t watch music on tellyvision nor take further interest in music videos etc., but it’s funny how these old songs are still calling for reaction in some minds. Like pavlovian dogs they are responding to the stimuli and like good dogs, they don’t hate the master, they hate the stick. Because, let’s face it – it wasn’t the “big business” or the “entertainment industry” (culture industry, to say it with Adorno) that “destroyed” our so called subcultures – it was the subcultres triumphal procession into the imagined temples of the masses that was accompanied with sweet anthems of pseudo-rebellion like these anti-mtv songs. There never was such a thing as “subculture” or “them” and “us”. I used to find this insight disturbing in the 90s and I find it amusing in the 2000s.

However – “Rockstars”, to be found on this 7″, is a total killer of a song! “Rockstars live in L.A., Rockstars sleep all day, Rockstars are merry dudes, Rockstars eat lots of food”: This is the perfect succession to DETENTIONS masterpiece “Dead Rock’n Rollers”, or logically, its precedessor if you put it in context. Sarcastic lyrics, dripping acid, with gnarly and aggressive music that sometimes sounds like more like a prayer than a song. One of the last supergreat hymns of the 80s, maybe. But the other 5 songs on this babe are no letdowns either. All finest quality, great guitarsound, great vocals. Way above the bands first 7″ from 1984 and as good (yet totally different) as the other ACTIVE INGREDIENTS (“Laundramat loverboy” and “Hyper exxageration” 7″s of KBD-fame). That’s why I had put this 7″ on that unnamed 4 7″s LP-boot years ago; not that too many had taken notice of it. I guess, that’s just another case of rock’n roll injustice.

The cover came in different color variations.

Listen to “Rockstars”.