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THE DESPERATE BICYCLES- The Medium was Tedium, b/w Don’t back the Front 7″ (Refill Records, UK, 1977)

I love it when a record messes up chronology. The philosopher Ernst Bloch coined the figure of the “simultaneity of the non-simultaneous” and meant the strange phenomenon of a Modernity in which different historical concepts, both old and new, overlay, like a strong moment of inertia, resulting in a weird “unmodern Modernity”. Well, this is what comes to my mind when playing THE DESPERATE BICYCLES. Pick any of their early releases: It sounds like some weird sixties band (the organ!), but it must be something else. In the past years, people have come to the conclusion that it is Punk. So let this be Punk then (even if it sounds, and here comes this figure again, like Post-Punk).
This is my favourite DESPERATE BICYCLES 7″ (yes, I like it better than the first one) and hands down, this is one of the sidereal hours in music as we love it. Just like the old story that tells us that WIRE only had rehearsed so and so little before recording “Pink Flag”, THE DESPERATE BICYCLES are wanting to make us believe that “it was easy, it was cheap” and anybody could do it. It sure was cheap (check the back cover) and I’m sure it was easy (not as easy as these things are today), but that is so once you accomplished something, anything. The blokes in DESPERATE BICYCLES may not have been the most talented musicians to ever walk this earth yet they prove that technical skills and the capability of creating art are not compulsively connected one to the other. Both songs, “The Medium was Tedium” and the equally great “Don’t back the Front” either grab you right by your brain (and not balls) or they don’t. It is easy and it sounds cheap but the effect this has on some listeners, of whom I happen to be one, goes way beyond these ostensible limitations.
This post may seem a bit redundant since there’s a web page that has the entire DESPERATE BICYCLES output for download, but I’m pretty sure it will reach the one or the other out there who will get a good kick from this. It was easy, it was cheap – and it’s all been done.

The Medium was Tedium.mp3
Don’t back the Front.mp3

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